Seeking Board Members: Call for Nominations Now Open!
River Valley Co-op is now seeking applications for nomination to run for election to serve on our volunteer Board of Directors. It's an exciting time for our co-op—we now have two stores! One in Northampton and one in Easthampton. If you are a co-op owner from the communities we serve, if you care about our success, and if you are passionate about helping us achieve our mission of creating a just marketplace that nourishes the community, you are invited to apply!
Board members work as a team, relying on each others’ listening skills, leadership, and desire to learn and collaborate. In partnership with the operations team, we've grown our business through a steady increase in sales, local purchases, customers, employees, and co-op owners. River Valley Co-op has been a source of inspiration among other food co-ops and start-up food co-ops due to its high level of community impact. We’re also credited as a model for our ongoing co-op owner engagement in growing our cooperative.
River Valley Co-op has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; we strive to be anti-racist, and we strongly encourage nominations of people who reflect the BIPOC, LGBTQ, gender, age, ability and socio-economic diversity of our community.
The Board of Directors consists of nine owners, elected from the full body of co-op owners. Directors meet monthly, with an annual retreat, and take advantage of many opportunities for learning and connecting with other co-ops, regionally and nationally.Elections are held annually. The three candidates who receive the most votes will be elected for 3-year terms, starting December 2022.
What does a Director do?
A Director empowers and ensures the cooperative's financial health and sustainability, while meeting the cooperative's mission of nourishing positive economic growth, fostering environmental awareness, and promoting social justice in our community. The Directors do this by practicing our governance system and by partnering with our general manager. Engaging our community in new owner drives and capital campaigns to build our financial resources is a large part of this process.
The Directors build on the collective aspirations of owners by ensuring the co-op:
- serves our community food needs with excellence,
- builds a thriving local food economy,
- provides excellent co-op employment opportunities,
- supports social justice, environmental, and other community-building goals of importance to our ownership.
New Directors receive training and education to learn about the leadership role of the Board, about our cooperative business, governance system, strategic goals, and how the Board works with, directs, and holds the General Manager accountable. Throughout the Board's work, there is also ongoing discussion and learning about the larger cooperative, local food, and sustainability movements of which we are part. While enjoying a sense of camaraderie, new Directors receive support on topics like building social justice in the food system, best practices in governing a multi-faceted business, trends in national grocery retail.
Every year we seek co-op owners to be candidates to run for the co-op's Board of Directors in the annual election. Would you like to step up and contribute to this important work? We are accepting applications now!
Self-nominations: Accepted and encouraged.
River Valley Co-op welcomes nominations by and of co-op owners who are committed to the River Valley Co-op's success and development. Co-op board candidates are not required to have prior experience with board service and/or nomination and application processes. We are happy to provide support for the application and nomination process upon request.
Upon being elected, orientation and training is offered to support co-op directors in key aspects of our co-op governance system as well as financial and fiduciary responsibilities. Once elected for board service, each new board member is paired with a current board member who will provide guidance about the role and responsibilities of a River Valley Co-op board member and will introduce them to materials about the organization, the Board, important activities, and current policies.
Board Candidate General Interest Form
Interested in becoming a candidate in our upcoming River Valley Co-op Board Elections? Please fill out and submit the following form and let us know! This section will be used to verify your co-op membership and contact you. Owners must be current in their membership to run for the Board or be appointed to a vacant seat.
IMPORTANT READING FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS CANDIDATES
If you're considering becoming a candidate for the River Valley Co-op Board of Directors, please read the following important background documents:
- Board Application Packet (Read this first)
- About River Valley Co-op Board Governance (description of how our Board operates)
- Board Policies (complete version, pdf)
- Give and Get
- Annual Reports (link to pdf report downloads page)
- For more information contact Board Elections Committee Co-Chair Angus Brewer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Gary Schaefer at email@example.com