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Two Major Activities

I joined the Board last fall and have enjoyed the experience and learned a lot so far. Board involvement gives me an opportunity to work on issues that I care deeply about—creating a healthy, local, sustainable food system and providing an empowered and positive work environment. It’s energizing to be part of an organization that is having a real and positive impact on these issues on a daily basis.

There are two major activities that the Board works on each year in the first quarter: a review of the General Manager and a Board Retreat during the first quarter of each year. I’d like to tell you a little more about each of these Board responsibilities.

GM review

The GM review is conducted as a 360º evaluation, which means the Board reaching out to Co-op stakeholders from every side: community leaders, the management team, and staff in general. Anya Firszt, our current General Manager, also completes a self-evaluation that the Board factors into our assessment of her performance over the past year. Once we have all this information in hand, the Board comes together to evaluate what the GM has accomplished, what goals have not been reached and why, and areas for further development. The Board then writes a summary of our meeting as a letter to the General Manager and approves the continuation of the GM’s current employment contract.

While the content of the review is confidential, I can tell you that the Board feels quite lucky to have such a competent and experienced General Manager as Anya in a time of great opportunity and change. We believe that she, along with the entire management team and staff, have a significant and positive impact on the way the Co-op currently operates and how prepared we are for future growth. The quality of the people working at the Co-op in general is one of the things that make it a great place to shop, eat and to be involved in our community.

Annual Board Retreat

In addition to the GM’s annual review, the Board is currently planning (and will hold by the time this issue of the Reader goes to press) our annual Board Retreat. The retreat focuses on the long term vision and strategies for Willy Street Co-op. The newly-formed Board Development Committee is responsible for planning the retreat as well as Board education throughout the year.

The Board Retreat (held on February 17th) is one of the few opportunities that we have during the year to take a step back and think about the bigger picture—where the Co-op is and where we would like it to go. This year’s retreat focuses on improving how we work together, evaluating our progress in reaching goals set at last year’s retreat, and establishing the future direction of our work. You’ll hear more about our long-term strategic plans in the coming months.

In the meantime, if you have questions or comments, please email us at .