Board of Directors

Committed to fresh food. Committed to the Co-op.

Being a Board Member is a great way to get involved in long range planning which shapes this vital community resource. There’s always lively conversation and healthy food at the monthly Board meetings. If you are someone who cares about our Co-op and its values and would like to play an integral role in its continued success,  we invite you to consider running this fall.

Run for the Cook County Whole Foods Co-op Board of Directors — 2022

April, 2021

Dear Co-op Owner,

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Co-op Board Director. We welcome diverse backgrounds, knowledge and skills, knowing that fresh faces and ideas enrich our Board. No experience is necessary. All we ask is that you have a passion for learning about the Co-op and its values, and commit to playing an integral role in its continued success.

Being a Director is a great way to get involved in the long-range planning which shapes this vital community resource. Due to the pandemic, we meet virtually, via Zoom (this will change and we’ll be back to meeting in the Co-op Conference room with a shared meal sometime in the future!). Board Members receive a monthly $80.00 store credit; Board Officers slightly more. The Co-op carries Board Liability insurance.

The Co-op will be holding elections for the Board of Directors prior to the Annual Meeting which will be held Tuesday, October 26, 2021. The election results are announced within a day of the meeting. In order to include information about prospective candidates in the fall newsletter we must receive a completed copy of the Declaration of Candidacy and your Candidate Statement on or before September 1, 2021. Feel free to call Jane Alexander with any questions.

Cook County Whole Foods Co-op Board of Directors

Jill Barber/President, Yusef Orest/Vice President, Don Grant/Treasurer, Libby Larson/Secretary, Jane Alexander, Alyssa Hedstrom, Erik Hahn


Under Policy Governance, The Board’s job description comes from the belief that a governing board exists on behalf of the owners who legally and morally own the organization.

The Board is accountable to the cooperative’s owners. To be accountable the Board makes sure that the organization achieves what it should while avoiding what it should not. Therefore, the Board defines, delegates, and monitors but does not “carry out” the Co-op’s work. Specifically the Board has five responsibilities:

  1. Connect with the owners; reflect their values and visions in the decision-making process.
  2. Act as trustee on behalf of the owners by monitoring the Co-op’s financial status. Give regular reports on the status of the Co-op to the owners. Assure that the Co-op follows its bylaws, policies and appropriate regulations.
  3. Enact, monitor, and review written policies to guide the Co-op by debating, deciding and declaring the Board’s values.
  4. Ensure sound management occurs by monitoring compliance with policies. The Board is responsible for hiring and supervising the Co-op’s General Manager. This involves reviewing the GM’s reports, monitoring key indicators and evaluating the GM’s performance.
  5. The Board dreams the future. Directors set long-range goals and plan for the Co-op’s future by discussing strategic planning, approving yearly and long-range plans, and setting performance goals.
  • Devote the time needed to fulfill the responsibilities of the position.
  • Attend all regular and special Board meetings, as well as all committee meetings as assigned.
  • Develop strong relationship with fellow Directors.
  • Keep informed of larger Co-op trends by attending training sessions, conferences and pursue educational opportunities.
  • Consider the business of the Co-op and its owners to be confidential.
  • Always act in the owners’ best interests.
  • Ability, eagerness and enthusiasm for working with the values, vision and the long term goals of the Co-op.
  • Ability to focus on the purpose and results of activities more than solutions and actions.
  • Commitment to the ownership and to the Co-op’s Mission Statement and Ends.
  • Propensity to think in terms of systems and contexts.
  • Willingness to participate assertively in deliberation, communicate fully and to collaborate with colleagues on the Board.

The Board sponsors various events to get direct feedback from owners. Directors host the Annual Meeting, spend time in the store on Owner Appreciation Day and attend other events that are planned for the purpose of connecting with owners. Directors also take turns submitting articles for the Co-op newsletter, Blueberry Jam.


The Board of Directors consists of seven Co-op owners; each serves a three-year term; three consecutive terms is the limit.

  • Initially a block of time is necessary for learning about CCWFC Policy Governance and
    our Co-op’s by laws. There are also two introductory training sessions (one Board training, the other provided by our consulting firm, Columinate).
  • Meetings are monthly – generally for 2-3 hours and held on the 4th Tuesday of the month.
  • There is pre- and post-meeting preparation, such as reading materials or having email discussions on important board topics.
  • There is an annual, required 1-2 day retreat (locally held).
  • Additional training is encouraged at various times throughout the year-most often in the Twin Cities (fees and travel expenses paid).
  • Attendance at the Consumer Cooperative Management Association’s annual meeting is encouraged (CCMA is a national meeting for co-op managers, staff and board members) (fees and travel expenses paid).
  • Directors average 8-10 hours per month on BOD work (including meetings). We recognize that the ability to commit to volunteer time is a factor for our Directors, and we do everything possible to make it manageable. However, serving the Board is a big responsibility and we ask Directors to take the matter seriously.

As per our by-laws the election is finalized at the Annual Meeting in October. Owners have an opportunity to mail in ballots or drop them off at the store prior to the meeting. Due to the pandemic, it is unknown at this time whether the Annual Meeting will be held live or via Zoom. The voting will be completed either prior to the meeting (if via Zoom) or at the meeting if we are able to meet in-person.

Click Here  For the Declaration Form And Learn The Steps To Declare Your Candidacy


Contact the Board:

Jill Barber – President

Term expires 2022



Yusef Orest – Vice President

Term expires 2023



Don Grant – Treasurer

Term expires 2022



Libby Larson – Secretary

Term expires 2022



Jane Alexander

Term expires 2021



Alyssa Hedstrom

Term expires 2021


Erik Hahn

Term expires 2021


Let us be your sounding board.

Do you have questions, comments or suggestions for the Co-op’s Board of Directors? Send us an e-mail, leave a note, or come to a board meeting. Board meetings are typically the fourth Tuesday of each month (check our Events Page for times), and owners are always welcome. Notify the Board President in advance if you would like a topic to be added to the agenda.