It’s that time of year when we Co-op 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 before the Annual Meeting in November. There are at least three open seats each year, 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 Tuesday, Sept. 8. 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 systematically establish and monitor policy 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 over 500 Vermont businesses and employing more than 160 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 meetings will be on June 22 and August 31 at 5:30 pm via GoToMeeting. We will hold seven separate council candidate informational sessions, via GoToMeeting, beginning Monday, June 15 at 6 pm. With additional info sessions on Wednesday, June 24 at 8:30 am, Friday, July 10 at noon, Saturday, July 25 at 8:30 am, Monday, Aug. 10 at 5:30 pm, Monday, Aug. 31 at 4:30 pm, and Thursday, Sept. 3 at 8:30 am. Check out the Council Candidate Information Guide. Can’t make it to an informational session? Listen to the recording here.
Serving on the council can be hard work, but it’s also rewarding. You will get the opportunity 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 Schectman and Pat Siergiey, Council Members and Recruitment Committee Members