As we begin the New Year, I want to share with our owners some of what is happening from a Board perspective at our Co-op. On the Board, we have a new level of energy and excitement for our future. That excitement started with our Cooperative being named “Business of the Year” by the Greater Keene and Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. What an honor and truly a motivator to be a part of this amazing organization.
Our Board is relatively “young” in terms of the experience of its members. Therefore, the Development Committee comprised of David Sayles, Meena Neva, and our newest member, Ed Selby, presented a plan at the January meeting for board training. Continuous learning is important to assuring organizational accountability. This training will help us develop the necessary skills, tools, and supports to maintain excellence over the long term.
One challenge facing food cooperatives is keeping the doors open and the shelves full while thinking ahead to the future. We are no different. With our expansion barely in the rear-view mirror, the questions of “What next?”, “Why?”, and “How do we get there?” are already in sight.
Strategic thinking is another required element of organizational excellence. In January, our Board began an in-depth consideration of the current state of the grocery industry and in particular, what is happening in the natural and organic food sector. We are fortunate to be a part of a network of food cooperatives, National Cooperative Grocers. Collectively, its members contribute operational data to the central organization which then provides data back to us on current performance and future trends in the industry. The Board is engaged in a detailed review and analysis of this data and hopes to use it to begin imagining our future over the next several months.
We are also completing a major review of the policies that govern how the board functions — for example, what is the job of the board, how do we model standards of ethics, and behavior for board members while working on behalf of the board, and how the committee structure works. The review is focused on how our policies and decision-making promote greater justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
If any of this sounds interesting to you and you’d like more information, if you are considering running for the Board, or you have questions you can reach the board by email at email@example.com