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Think Globally; Govern Locally

We’re just coming up on Spring election season as I write this. And while voter turn out is understandably less than last November, I am struck again by thoughts of local vs. national representation. Decisions made now about State Court justices and School Board members can certainly effect my family in intimate and lasting ways. Changes in organizational leadership of the groups to which we belong and care about have similar potential. Will they continue to meet our needs and uphold our values? To what level do we involve ourselves to guarantee this?

Five Board seats

If you’re interested in helping guide Willy Street Co-op’s future, now is the perfect time. There will be five Board seats coming up for election in August. Do you care about the Co-op’s continued success while also staying true to its history, mission and potential? Enjoy collaborating with others to address complex issues? If so, please consider running for the Willy Street Co-op Board of Directors!


I was elected to join the Board last summer and have been pleased to be able to contribute while also learning much about policy governance. Helping the Co-op pursue its goals of sustainability, accessibility and fairness has been challenging and rewarding. Board and management’s work on the Living Wage Committee to evaluate our worker compensation package is just one example of this commitment. How do we balance fiscal responsibility to our member owners with equity to our workers? How do we offer competitive pricing while also providing a progressive workplace?

Staffing costs are the largest category of Co-op spending after it pays for goods. Everyone is certainly concerned about food prices and our staff works diligently to address this. But paying a Living Wage to employees is also consistent with the Co-op’s mission. Investing in workers rather than joining in a wage race to the bottom touches upon other important sustainability issues, such as local sourcing, environmental stewardship and human rights. How successfully we balance these crucial components relates directly to the Co-op’s short and long term health and that of our community and world.

Compatible visions

Your participation in Board elections ensures that Willy Street Co-op’s development is compatible with your vision.It’s an exciting and critical time for the Co-op whose well-being depends on a committed ownership and a knowledgeable Board that sets goals and provides guidance for the organization. We need Owners with good communication skills and group decision making experience. Background in one or more of the following areas is especially helpful:

  • Business—retail or wholesale

  • Finance—budget analysis, major financial decisions

  • Law

  • Real estate acquisition

  • Personnel management

  • Natural foods and nutrition

  • Cooperative movement and philosophy

  • Grocery industry

  • Marketing

  • Service on other boards

  • Planning

  • Meeting facilitation

  • Contract negotiation

How to run

Interested parties are highly encouraged to attend a Board meeting for a first-hand view of our process. Board meetings are generally held the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm with upcoming meetings scheduled for May 19th and June 16th. The final date for submitting your nomination is Thursday, July 9th, followed by candidate introductions at the Annual Membership Meeting. For a nomination packet or more information please contact the Board at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Board executive assistant, Stephanie Ricketts: 251-0884.

Intrigued but unable to run? There are many other ways to be involved in your Co-op. Call, write or email us, attend an Owner Forum, Board meeting or event, and follow committee meeting minutes on our website— Your input isn’t only important, it is crucial to the Co-op’s success.