It’s election time! Please — each and every one of you — consider running for MNFC’s Board of Directors. Spring will be here before we know it (really…it will!) — and among other things, it is the time when the Middlebury Natural Food Co-op member-owners have an opportunity to participate more fully in the democratic practices and overall wellbeing of the Co-op. We invite all member-owners to consider running for open seats on the Board of Directors. The voting takes place during the month of May. Elected winners are announced at the MNFC Annual Meeting, and new board members begin their term at the June Board of Directors Meeting. There are four open seats this election season. Please see the information for potential candidates below.
Board of Directors Applications are available at the Co-op or online:
Dear Potential Board Candidate,
Thank you for your interest in serving on the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op’s Board of Directors. This election packet provides you with an overview of Board functions and responsibilities to help you make your decision about running for the Board. Please contact Kate Gridley (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any member of the Board for further information.
All are welcome here.
Here are our values:
MNFC member-owners, customers and the community benefit from:
A Vibrant Local Economy
Environmentally Sustainable and Energy-efficient Practices
Cooperative Democratic Ownership
And Learning About These Values
The Board of Directors is the legal representative of the member-owners of MNFC and is therefore responsible for the overall financial wellbeing of the Co-op. The Board exercises its responsibilities through its relationship with the General Manager, whom it hires and oversees. The Board is made up of 11 directors. Each term of office is three years, and terms are staggered so no more than 4 terms expire each year.
Time Requirements and Responsibilities for Directors
- Make a three-year commitment to the Board of Directors.
- Attend two Board orientation sessions.
- Attend a workshop for cooperative boards in the first two years of your term (this one-day session is typically held in Brattleboro on a Saturday in January and MNFC pays for travel expenses).
- Be familiar with MNFC’s by-laws and Board policies.
- Prepare for and attend monthly Board meetings (6:30-8: 30 pm, currently scheduled for the fourth Wednesday of the month at the Co-op), occasional sub-committee meetings, and a daylong annual retreat (usually February). Monthly time commitment 4-6 hours a month.
- Attend the Co-op’s Annual Meeting (early June) and Co-op community events.
- Keep information and materials confidential when appropriate.
Qualifications of Candidates
- Be or become a member-owner of the Co-op.
Powers and Duties
- Monitor the General Manager’s performance (store operations are the sole responsibility of the GM)
- Monitor financial statements
- Monitor, revise, create appropriate policies on a yearly basis
- Communicate with the member-owners
- Work to perpetuate the cooperative
- Monitor Board performance
Brief Explanation of Policy Governance Model
The Board of Directors of MNFC governs using the model of Policy Governance.
The Board develops policies outlining how the Board functions; what authority is delegated to the General Manager; and the limitations within which the General Manager operates. The General Manager communicates with the Board through monthly reports. In Policy Governance, the General Manager makes all operational decisions while the Board focuses its attention on the strategic direction of the Co-op; engages with member-owners; and monitors management performance.
In recognition of the time and commitment required to prepare for and attend meetings, required training and events, directors receive a stipend of $649/year plus a 10% discount on all purchases (except alcohol) at the coop. Committee chairs and Executive Officers receive additional stipends.
Please apply! As the MNFC handbook says: Regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, national origin or ancestry, place of birth, disability, and genetic information, you are welcome at the Co-op. Racism or discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated.