Why Serve on the Board?

The Berkshire Food Co-op Board of Directors helps to steward and strengthen the Co-op as an important community-owned resource that contributes to a flourishing local food system, supports local farmers and food producers, and sells an outstanding selection of natural, local, and organic foods. With a new store just opening this summer, this is a particularly exciting time to become involved. 

You may apply online using the form below, you may download the materials and email your application to marketing@berkshire.coop, or you can pick up printed materials in the store and submit a paper application.

WHAT DOES THE BOARD DO?

The Board of Directors is the governing body of the organization. In this capacity, it represents the interests of the Co-op owners, as well as the interests of other customers and stakeholders. The board is composed of nine members who are elected by the owners. The Board is responsible for ensuring effective organizational and financial performance of the Co-op. This includes overseeing the general manager, who is responsible for day-to-day management; developing clearly stated organizational policies and strategic objectives; monitoring compliance with policies and achievement of objectives by the management; monitoring financial performance; and ensuring that the values of the Co-op are reflected in all of its activities and actions. The Board is also responsible for interacting with the Co-op’s owners and other customers to better understand their needs and interests, and for anticipating trends that may impact our performance. In short, the Board’s role is to focus on the big picture in order to ensure our long-term success as a triple-bottom-line, community-oriented business.

CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE BOARD MEMBERS

Serving on the Board of Directors is just one of several ways Co-op owners can contribute to and participate in the life of the Co-op. While directors are not expected to have specific prior training or experience in running a business or managing a grocery store, there are some characteristics that enable an individual to be effective in the role. As you consider whether to run for the Board, please reflect on how your interests, experience, and motivations align with the following characteristics of effective directors: 

  • Are enthusiastic about shopping at the Co-op.

  • Are dedicated to the Co-op’s mission and values.

  • Understand the role of governance.

  • Are able to think in terms of systems and context, as well as the big picture.

  • Are able to work collaboratively and respectfully as part of a team.

  • Have strong personal integrity, independent judgment, a sense of humor, and the courage of their convictions.

  • Are willing to prepare for and actively participate in board discussions and deliberations, and to abide by board decisions and established policies.

  • Are able to set aside any personal agendas and interests that may conflict with the greater good of the Co-op.

  • Are knowledgeable about cooperative businesses and food retailing, or are willing to take the time to learn.

  • Have the necessary time available to be a fully effective and contributing board member.

ELIGIBILITY FOR BOARD MEMBERSHIP 

  • Must be a Co-op owner in good standing and be at least 18 years of age.

  • Must not have a disqualifying conflict of interest.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES OF BOARD MEMBERS 

  • Hire, compensate, delegate responsibility to, and hold accountable a general manager.

  • Exercise due diligence in monitoring the Coop’s financial condition.

  • Maintain confidentiality when required.

  • Faithfully honor all legal obligations that are integral to serving on board of directors, including the:

    • Duty of care,

    • Duty of loyalty, and

    • Duty of diligence.

EXPECTATIONS FOR NEW BOARD MEMBERS 

  • Make a three-year commitment to serving on the board.
    (Board members are eligible for an additional two three-year terms, for which they must be re-elected by the ownership.)

  • Become familiar with the Co-op’s bylaws, policies, and governance process

  • Prepare for and participate actively in monthly board meetings

  • Attend board training sessions, an annual retreat, and the annual meeting of owners

  • Become familiar with financial statements (with appropriate training)

Note that the board is not involved in the daily operations of the store. Board members are compensated by a 15% discount on items purchased at the store during their years of service.

LOGISTICS AND TIME COMMITMENT 

  • Board meetings are held from 6:00 to 9:00 PM on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Dinner is provided.

  • Board members can expect to spend one to three hours reading materials in preparation for each meeting.

  • Each board member serves on one or two committees, which typically meet once every two to three months.

  • New board members attend a one-day orientation to cooperatives, which typically takes place in Keene, NH.

  • All board members attend a board retreat each year.

  • Each board member participates in several owner events each year, including the Annual Meeting.

Election Timeline

Candidate Application Deadline: Oct. 1, 2019
Candidates Posted By: Oct. 7, 2019
Candidate Forum: Oct. 10, 2019
Candidate Videos Posted By: Oct. 13, 2019
Remote Voting Period: Oct. 7, - Oct. 26, 2019
Annual Meeting: Oct 26, 2019
Results Announced: Oct 28, 2019

Nomination Application

Name
Name
Address
Address
Phone
Phone
a. Current and previous professional work b. Current and previous community and volunteer involvement c. Current and previous experience serving on a board of directors or similar governing body
a. Worker, consumer, or other types of co-operatives b. Small businesses c. Natural foods
Please upload a photo of yourself upload
Your photo will be used in election materials. Make sure your name is included in your file name (ie - janesmith-picture.jpg)
Please upload your resume. upload
Make sure your name is included in your file name (ie - janesmith-resume.doc)