During the day, I have the privilege of working at a local nonprofit. I love what I do. Don’t get me started talking about it! But I also love volunteering as president of the Cedar Falls Food Co-op. As one of a growing legion of Founding Owners, I’m just one voice, so I rely on hearing from other member-owners for perspective. (Seriously, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give me a call (319-830-3742) whenever you have questions, ideas or suggestions.) Beyond hearing from other member-owners, I also rely heavily on my fellow Co-op Board members. They are an amazing group!
One of the things that sets a cooperative apart from nonprofits, or traditional for profit businesses, is P2. No, I’m not talking about a video game console. I’m talking about Democratic Governance, which is the second of seven co-operative principles. The key concept is “one member, one vote.” We collectively have a stake and and a say in this. My favorite part of Principle 2 is that the members “actively participate” in the decision making. You couldn’t get more active than serving on the Board.
At the August 21 Board of Directors meeting, we tackled a number of issues that will help us get closer to opening the store. From tax filing to hiring to social media plans, we also set details for our first ever Board election. According to the bylaws, the Co-op has 9 directors, 3 positions of which are open for election every year. Because terms are 3 years in length, we ensure a smooth transition from year to year. We decided to phase in the transition from our current Board, which is made up of the Co-op’s original steering committee, to a fully elected Board. So this fall will be the first time the membership will be able to elect its representatives. If you don’t consider becoming a candidate for the Board, you should make sure you participate in the election. Let’s hear all voices!
If you want to participate even more, I encourage you to consider applying for a position on the Board. Full details on how to apply are found here I won’t make any promises, but I’ll tell you this: serving on the Board has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.