The Co-op membership has spoken. The Cedar Falls Food Co-op’s first Board elections went off without a hitch. Thanks to all who helped make the elections run smoothly, especially Judy Schindel, CPA, who served as our election official. Special thanks, too, to everyone who stepped up to run for the Board. We couldn’t do it without your willingness to serve!
Selected to serve three year terms are Jess Cruz, Brenna Griffin and Sheri Huber-Otting. All three Board members have been involved for many years on Co-op committees, so they bring a wealth of experience to their new leadership roles on the Board. Please join me in welcoming them to the Board! Also, many thanks to outgoing Board members Erica Graen, Julie Halevan, and Steve Hoodjer. We’ll be sad to see them step down, but good news…all three will continue to help with the Co-op effort by working with the Co-op’s committees. Leave a comment to let them know how much you appreciate their leadership since the very first Steering Committee was formed nearly three years ago.
Over the past year I’ve written about a number of the 7 Cooperative Principles. Seeing as we’ve completed our first ever Board election, it’s a good time to talk about P2: Democratic Governance. I feel the value of democratic governance is self-evident. Of course we’d all prefer to have a say in the businesses we frequent. Considering that we shop grocery stores approximately 1.6 times per week, having a say in how our local grocery store runs its operations would be a great value to us.
I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about the remaining six Board members, including myself. The CFFC is committed to ensuring that all Board members are democratically elected. Over time, each of your Board members will be elected members. But this will take a few years as we transition from a steering committee to a fully-elected Board of Directors. Here’s how this will work: Each year, three of the nine seats will be up for election for three-year terms. This year marked the first set of Board members elected to serve. Next year, we’ll have three more transition on, and then in 2017, Co-op members will elect the final set of three Board members.
The Co-op’s bylaws allowed for this sort of gradual transition from willing volunteers to willing volunteers who were elected to serve. We feel this was a great solution as we shift from an idea to a business run by and for its members. Democratic governance is a great principal for the Co-op!