Dear Co-op Owner,
Thank you for your interest in becoming a Co-op Board Member. 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. We welcome
diverse backgrounds and knowledge and hope that fresh faces and ideas continue to come
to the Board. This year there will be two seats up for election.
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. Board Members receive a monthly $50.00 store
credit; Board Officers slightly more.
The Co-op will be holding elections for the Board of Directors prior to the annual
meeting on October 27, 2020. The election results will be announced at the meeting. In
order to include information about prospective candidates in the fall newsletter we will
need to receive a completed copy of the Declaration of Candidacy included in this packet
before September 1, 2020. Feel free to call Lorrie Oswald or Don Grant with any
Cook County Whole Foods Co-op Board of Directors
Lorrie Oswald, Don Grant, Nick Vavrichek, Yusef Orest, Libby Larson, Jill Barber and Jane Alexander
Lorrie 920/737-1190 • Don 218/370-9998
Please consider getting involved in this important community resource. Two seats will be open for this election period.
The job description is as follows:
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 these five responsibilities:
1. Connect with the owners; reflect their values and visions in the decision process.
2. Act as trustee on behalf of the owners by monitoring the Co-op’s financial status, hiring
an auditor to review financial records, give regular reports on the status of the Co-op to
the owners, and be sure the Co-op follows its bylaws, policies and appropriate
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 by monitoring compliance with policies. Directors are
responsible for hiring and supervising the Co-op’s general manager. This involves
reviewing the general manager’s reports, monitoring key indicators and evaluating the
general manager’s performance.
5. Dream 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
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A DIRECTOR
• 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
• Respond promptly to voice mail or e-mail between meetings to address urgent issues
that may arise;
• 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.
DESIRABLE CHARACTERISTICS FOR A DIRECTOR
1. Ability and eagerness to deal with values, vision and the long term.
2. Ability to focus on the purpose and results of activities more than solutions and actions.
3. Commitment to the ownership and to the Co-op’s mission Statement and Ends.
4. Propensity to think in terms of systems and contexts.
5. Ability to participate assertively in deliberation.
6. Willingness to delegate, to allow others to make decisions and to share power.
CONNECTING WITH OWNERS
The Board sponsors various events to get direct feedback from owners. Board owners
may spend time in the store on Owner Appreciation Day or attend other events that may be
planned for the purpose of connecting with owners. Directors also take turns submitting articles
for the Co-op newsletter.
The Board of Directors consists of seven Co-op owners; each serves a three-year term,
with a three consecutive term limit.
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.
• Initially a block of time is necessary for learning about Policy Governance and
our Co-op’s by laws.
• Meetings are monthly – generally for 2-3 hours.
• There is pre- and post-meeting preparation, such as reading materials or having email
discussions on important board topics.
• There is an annual 1-2 day retreat (locally held).
• Additional training is offered at various times throughout the year (fees and travel
• Attend Consumer Cooperative Management Association’s annual meeting (a
national meeting for co-op managers, staff and board members) (fees and travel
Directors average 6-10 hours per month on BOD work (including meetings). Time is a
huge factor for our directors, and we do everything possible to make it manageable. However,
serving on the board is a big responsibility and we ask directors to take the matter seriously. The
Co-op does carry Board Liability insurance.
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. All
voting will be completed prior to the meeting this year due to extraordinary circumstances
related to the pandemic.