How Can I Talk to the Board?
Dear MNFC Member-Owners, shoppers, and community members,
Have you ever wondered how to communicate with the Board of Directors, and why you would contact the Board? Meaningful conversation between community members and their elected representatives at the Co-op is one of the many reasons the cooperative business model is unique and powerful. However, with over 6,000 Member-Owners, it can be confusing to know how to start a conversation, or where to turn with a question, concern, or feedback about the Co-op.
It may be helpful to understand some unique features of how MNFC works. The Board uses a model of governance in which the Board guides the fundamental direction of the Co-op by creating policies that set the purpose (the Ends) of the Co-op. The Board is also responsible for creating and monitoring policies that oversee the General Manager’s work. The General Manager is directly accountable to the Board for all of these policies, which are monitored year round according to a schedule; however, the policies are broad enough to allow the General Manager and Staff the greatest possible operational freedom to achieve the purpose set by the Board. Board policies are available on our website.
Here are some ways to bring any kinds of questions, concerns, or feedback to the Board:
- Email: You can email us at email@example.com. This email address is checked regularly, and exclusively by Board members, typically Board President, Amanda Warren.
- Phone: You can call us at (802) 388-7276 ext 377. This phone number is exclusively answered by Board members, again, typically the Board President, Amanda.
- Open Board Meetings: All Member-Owners are welcome to attend monthly Board meetings, which are usually held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 6-8pm. The schedule is posted on the website. The first five minutes are always reserved for “Member-Owner Business,” and then Member-Owners are welcome to attend the rest of the meeting to observe the Board’s work. Meeting agendas are available at the customer service desk by register 6, and are published the week preceding the meeting. If you plan to attend, please email the Board ahead of time, so we know to expect you firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next meeting is on December 20, 2023.
- Talk to a Board Member: You are always welcome to talk to any Board member and share your thoughts. Board members will then bring your questions to the Board as a whole. You can see who is on the Board by visiting our website. The Board takes all feedback seriously. You might wonder: who can talk to the Board of Directors? Anyone! Anyone who has a question, concern, or feedback about the Co-op can bring it to the Board–you don’t have to be a Member-Owner.
- Run for the Board: If you’d like to get even more involved, Board elections happen every May. Applications are due mid-March of each year. For more information, visit the website, or get in touch with the Board using any of the methods listed above.
If you’d like to learn more, or read any of our Board meeting minutes, you can visit our website. We look forward to hearing from you.
Amanda Warren (she/her) on behalf of the MNFC Board of Directors
email@example.com, (802) 388-7276 ext 377
Amanda Warren is President of the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op Board of Directors