2022 Board Candidate Packet

Dear Prospective Board Member,

Thank you for your interest in serving on the Community Co-op Market Board of Directors! The board determines the long-range vision for the co-op, provides financial oversight, and sets policies to guide the general manager in achieving our strategic priorities. Our board members are leaders, servants, stewards, and visionaries. This is a volunteer position
with a small quarterly stipend. We welcome you to contact us at board@communitycoopmarket.coop or call 850-399-2667, extension 125, with questions, or to be put in contact with a current board member to discuss this opportunity.

Currently, the Board has three openings. If you submit an application, you may be nominated by the Board to serve a three or two-year term. We ask that you carefully read the enclosed information before filling out the application.

In this packet, you will find:

  • An overview of cooperatives
  • A description of our business, goals, and values
  • An overview of the board of directors’ function, responsibilities, and eligibility requirements
  • Election process and important dates
  • Candidate Application

In addition to the responsibilities and eligibility requirements described below, we have certain expectations of our board members that we urge you to consider and understand. Directors should expect to spend an average of 1-3 hours per month (non-meeting months and 5-6 hours in the quarterly meeting months) on board-related activities, some of which may be time spent at retreats and special events throughout the year.

Our expectations for board members include:

  • Participate fully in board meetings. Attend all quarterly meetings of the board (4th Tuesday of February, May, August and November, along with the Board’s special meeting each year following the annual member meeting) and one standing committee, as well as meetings of any other committees on which you may serve. Special projects may require more time commitment.
  • Prepare in advance of every board meeting by reviewing the agenda, reading the packet, and compiling your feedback/questions.
  • Attend the mandatory orientation for new board members in May following the annual member meeting.
  • Actively participate in board discussion via e-mail or phone between meetings as necessary.
  • Attend other events, such as annual member meetings and in-store meet and greet activities.
  • Have access to a computer; internet; email.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have.

 

We look forward to meeting you!
Sincerely,
Nancy Muller, Kip Ritchey and Rosemary Mahoney
Board Governance Committee
2022 CCM Board Candidate Package


OVERVIEW

WHAT IS A CO-OP?

A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and
cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

Fast facts:

  • A co-op is a legal entity owned and democratically controlled by its members.
  • Co-ops can be either nonprofit organizations or for-profits that operate as a form of social enterprise.
  • Co-ops operate under a common set of ideals, originally developed in 1844 and adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance in 1937. These ideals (listed below) – seven cooperative principles and ten cooperative values – have been updated throughout the years.
  • Every cooperatively-formed business, whether grocery stores, utilities, housing, credit unions or other types of co-ops, all operate under this set of ideals.

INTERNATIONAL PRINCIPLES OF COOPERATION

  1. Voluntary and Open Membership – Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all people able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
     
  2. Democratic Member Control – Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.
     
  3. Member Economic Participation – Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.
     
  4. Autonomy and Independence – Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the cooperative’s autonomy.
     
  5. Education, Training and Information – Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.
     
  6. Cooperation among Cooperatives – Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
     
  7. Concern for Community – While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.

COOPERATIVE VALUES

Basic cooperative values are general norms that board members, cooperative leaders and cooperative staff should share; the values should determine their way of thinking and acting.

  • Self-help
  • Self-responsibility
  • Democracy
  • Equality
  • Equity
  • Solidarity
  • Honesty
  • Openness
  • Social responsibility
  • Caring for others

ABOUT US

YOUR COOPERATIVE

Community Co-op Market (CCM) is a retail food co-op that has been serving Tallahassee, Florida since 2019. CCM’s mission is to improve the health and wellness of the communities it serves through its retail food store. CCM operates as a cooperative owned by its members and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for staff, customers, suppliers and neighbors.

ENDS: WHY WE EXIST

Ends Policy
Community Co-op Market (CCM) exists to improve the health and wellness of the communities it serves through its retail food stores.

These Ends place the emphasis of CCM operations on the betterment of the communities it serves through food access. CCM’s success is measured by the ability to support brand growth across multiple stores through profitability and sustainability.

Interpretation – health and wellness of the community
We define the health and wellness of the community as the positive local impact reflected in areas such as:

  1. Community development, investment, and education
  2. Diversity of co-op staff reflective of surrounding community
  3. Financial security for households and professional development of those working at the co-op
  4. Business sustainability- stable growth, profitability, and governance
  5. Healthy food access to combat food insecurities
  6. Support of local vendors for products and services

Interpretation – the community CCM serves and the retail store
We believe the community CCM serves to be the surrounding 50 miles for patron shoppers and 200 miles for product providers. We interpret the retail store that will be serving the surrounding community to include:

  1. Stores that provide a full scope of grocery products typically found in supermarkets
  2. Ongoing support for local products and services
  3. Co-op active membership- grow membership percentage of total sales to 35% from 25%
  4. Joyful, knowledgeable, and pleasant staff determined by evaluation score growth and staff survey data improvements
  5. Relief for those who are food insecure- offer programs that support underserved populations

Executive Summary
The majority of the work outlined in CCM’s business plan at this time are initiatives that support our strategic priority to grow sales and earnings. CCM recognizes that it must future proof its business to grow CCM.

In today’s economy, CCM is working in an environment where food co-ops are also dealing with a generational shift to younger consumers who have less financial security and purchasing power, an ever-increasing level of competition and over-saturated retail grocery markets providing organic and natural foods, rising personnel costs, and more and more unpredictable impacts from the pandemic and climate change.

Co-ops that are unable to generate the sales and earnings necessary to reinvest and remain relevant to consumers are at extreme risk. CCM must develop its brand, policies, and procedures to achieve enough profitability to enable sustainable growth. While the pandemic slowed opening strategies to build awareness of CCM and plans to renovate the store were pushed back, the remodel was completed in late 2020.

In 2021–2022, CCM has and will take a multi-faceted approach to supporting growth in sales and earnings. A key strategy has been to begin broadening the inventory of products sold at the co-op to provide more opportunities for shoppers of all income levels to be able to afford to shop at the store. We recognize that we must attract new customers and grow sales while also developing high-level efficiencies capable of replication to drive operational costs down. It is imperative that management and staff work together to support one another in such a challenging yet
rewarding endeavor. Maintaining a livable wage and great benefits for staff is paramount. Brand loyalty of customers relies heavily on those staff who are customer facing.

Key initiatives include:

  • Increased marketing
  • Improvement of diversity amongst staff and management to match surrounding community
  • Pricing of products to ensure accessibility while evaluating product mix and standards
  • Increasing local producers and suppliers to improve the local economy while offering an entry point into the
  • grocery retail market
  • Becoming WIC authorized and a “Fresh Access Bucks” program, while advertising our ability to accept these forms of payment along with EBT/SNAP benefits
  • Working with local groups and organizations that are focused on food insecurity relief
  • Growing the patron membership.
  • Providing staff professional development opportunities leading to increased engagement, greater job satisfaction, and future promotions and raises.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS FUNCTION & RESPONSIBILITIES

The Community Co-op Market Board of Directors is a policy governance board that is legally responsible for the overall direction and performance of the co-op. The board carries out this responsibility by establishing broad policy guidelines and by monitoring the general manager within that framework. It is the general manager’s function to implement the policies established by the board and carry out day-to-day operations.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Prospective candidates, if slated, may be non-members (of course, we love all of our board to be CCM members!), but if you are a CCM member-owner, you must be a member in good standing. You can find more information about becoming a member-owner on our website at www.communitycoopmarket.coop/membership or visit us at the store.
  • Prior to running for election, each prospective candidate must attend at least one regular board meeting.
  • Right now these meetings are held virtually, and include the following dates:
    • Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 5pm-8pm via video conferencing; and
    • Tuesday, February 8, 2022, 5pm-8pm via video conferencing;
    • Please register via email to attend a board meeting or email the board at board@communitycoopmarket.coop.
    • Please note that board meetings may at some point be held in person once conditions are changed.
  • Prospective candidates should be willing to learn about and commit to cooperative principles and serve the coop’s member-owners by fulfilling the responsibilities of the board of directors as stated below.

Responsibilities of the Board of Directors
In general, members of a co-op board of directors have the same duties as the directors of any business. In addition, members of a co-op board of directors must act on behalf of our member-owners and balance business interests, along with member-owners’ individual interests, when making decisions.

The Community Co-op Market board of directors is a policy governance board; the board does not engage in operational decisions at the store level, but is legally responsible for the overall direction and performance of the co-op.

Primary board responsibilities are:

  • Provide fiduciary oversight on behalf of Community Co-op Market’s member-owners.
  • Hire, compensate, delegate responsibility to, and hold accountable a general manager.
  • Have expectations in the form of written governing policies that realistically address the broadest levels of all organizational decisions and situations.
  • Monitor operational performance by the general manager and board performance in the areas of board process and board-management relationship.
  • Exercise due diligence in monitoring the co-op’s financial condition.
  • Perpetuate the board’s leadership capacity using ongoing education, training and recruitment.
  • Maintain confidentiality as required.
  • Faithfully honor all legal obligations that come with directorship, which include the:
    • Duty of care (make informed decisions in good faith; act as a prudent person; use a good process for decision making; be honest; ensure adequate record keeping).
    • Duty of loyalty (always act in the best interest of the cooperative; disclose and avoid conflicts of interest; engage in no self-dealing; maintain confidentiality).
    • Duty of Attention/Diligence (attend meetings; participate in discussions; be prepared; review materials; ask questions; know and adhere to state laws and co-op bylaws; support Board decisions and policies; honor contracts; ensure payment of all tax obligations).

Interested candidates should also review Community Coop Market’s Bylaws, which may be found on CCM’s website here.

Board Election Process Overview
We appreciate your interest in applying to be a Community Co-op Market board member! You may submit your application via email. Please include a resume or summary of experience along with your application. Throughout the application and election process, correspondence will primarily take place via email; thus, the Board Governance Committee requires you to have access to a personal email account. You will receive an email confirmation once the Board Governance Committee receives your application. This confirmation will serve as record that we received your application, and it will detail next steps and eligibility requirements. You can expect an emailed confirmation that we received your application within one week of submitting it. If you do not receive a confirmation within one week of submitting your application, please email board@communitycoopmarket.coop.

If you are slated and become one of the final candidates on the ballot, we will need a current headshot for our marketing and voting materials. You may email the headshot to board@communitycoopmarket.coop.

Community Co-op Market’s board of directors has three open seats for the 2022 election – two full three-year terms, and one two-year term. The members of the Board Governance Committee will review all applications received by the February 1st deadline. We use a slating matrix to perform the initial screening of candidates’ skills and strengths. Slating allows the Committee to seek out the top candidates based on current board priorities. In your board candidate application, you should expand on areas where you feel you might add particular value to the board. We will slate as many as two candidates for every open seat.

The Governance Committee will present the slate of candidates to the full board of directors for approval. Once the slate is approved, the Committee will contact all applicants to notify them of whether they were chosen for the slate.

A printed member newsletter announcing slated board candidates, voting procedures and election timelines will be mailed to member-owners around the same time that the voting period opens in mid-April. An email containing a board election voting link to digital copies of this information will be emailed to all co-op member-owners. If chosen for the final slate, some of your responses to the candidate application may appear in the election issue of the Community Coop Market member newsletter. All applicants chosen for the final slate are strongly encouraged to attend Community Coop Market’s Annual Meeting on May 14, 2022. Newly elected board directors will be announced and welcomed at the annual meeting, and are expected to be available immediately after the meeting to participate in the board’s annual meeting and orientation.

Again, if you have any questions as you proceed through the application process, please contact us via email: board@communitycoopmarket.coop.

2022 Board Election Timeline

  • Now through 2/1/2022 – Application window
  • 2/1/2022 – Application deadline
  • Mid-February – Board finalizes slate of candidates and begins preparing election information for members
  • Mid-April – Election process opens for members
  • 5/14/2022 – Annual meeting and completion of election, followed by annual board orientation meeting

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