Dear Co-op Members,
It’s that time of year when we members have the opportunity to run for a seat on our governing council. If you love Hunger Mountain Co-op and are looking for ways to be more involved, the council might be a great fit for you!
The council consists of nine members, elected from the general membership. Our democratic elections are held each year prior to our annual meeting in November. There are at least three open seats each year (this year we have five open seats), and council members generally serve three-year terms. Applying for council elections is easy: complete the application, gather signatures of at least nine member-owners and submit to the Co-op by September 3rd. Over the past couple of years, we have added a feature whereby candidates gather “apples” which are optional activities that provide information about what it’s like to serve on the council.
Serving on the council can be rewarding and fun, and it’s also important. The council plays a critical role in representing the member-owners in developing and maintaining the vision and long-term viability of the Co-op. The Council does not run the store; instead, we set policies and monitor Co-op operations in a way that emphasizes values, vision, and the empowerment of both council and staff, while clearly delineating the roles and responsibilities of each. Among other benefits, council members and their spouse/partner (if a Co-op member-owner) receive a 10 percent discount on most Co-op purchases during their term.
Hunger Mountain Co-op is truly a mission-driven business. We are here to build a community of healthy individuals, sustainable local food systems, and thriving cooperative commerce. We not only provide an outstanding selection of natural, organic and local foods, we are also committed to providing education on healthy lifestyles, reducing our environmental impact and supporting individuals and organizations throughout our community. The Co-op plays a vital role in the local food economy, purchasing goods and services from close to 500 Vermont businesses and employing more than 170 incredible staff members. Council members oversee all of this activity and take pride in the value our Co-op provides to the community.
If you are interested, we encourage you to attend a council meeting and engage in conversation with current and past council members to learn more about what it’s like to serve. The next council meeting will August 26th at 5:30 pm in the Co-op’s Community Room. We will also hold four separate informational sessions beginning August 22. Check out the Co-op’s website for dates and times as well our Council Candidate Information Guide found here.
Serving on the council can be hard work, but it’s also rewarding. You will have the chance to meet and work with other dedicated and talented people from our Co-op and beyond. As one council member put it, “You have opportunities to learn from and network with other co-op staff and council members from around the state, region, and country.”
Eva Shectman and Pat Siergiey
Council Recruitment Committee