July/August Board Corner

Would you like to be more involved with your Co-op?

Our Co-op staff is doing a fantastic job of keeping our community safe and well fed during this pandemic. They have re-organized many aspects of the way operations usually run. People who normally work at the juice bar, for example, are packing oatmeal and curried cashews for the bulk area, and employees who might otherwise be organizing events or merchandising sale items are working on orders to be picked up or delivered. Buyers have been dealing with thick stacks of special orders, and everyone in the Front End is bravely helping customers check out with minimal exposure. All the staff members have been working very hard, and our community seems to appreciate the efforts. As one happy member-owner said: “Hats off the Co-op!”

Clearly, our organization plays a crucial role in our community. And there are ways you, as members, can play a bigger part. Now is the time of year we wonder who among our owners would like to join in the efforts of the board of directors to govern our Co-op. Would you like to become more involved?

Would you like to sit at the table as we decide how we want to grow? Would you like to work along with the GM as the Co-op endeavors to meet our ends: creating a sustainable, open, member-owned business that supports an ethical and resilient food infrastructure and a vibrant and dynamic community? The board is responsible for creating and maintaining the vision that takes us forward. If you want to be part of this effort, please consider running for a seat this year. We know these are challenging times, and adding a new responsibility may seem daunting. However, this unprecedented moment presents us with unique opportunities to shape the future of our Co-op.

We’re looking for people who are committed to our organization and who care deeply about our food system, our health and our community. We need applicants who have an understanding of positive group dynamics and the ability to work well with others, as well as the time, energy and desire to work—board work does take time and energy. (Directors who are not on staff get 10% off everyday purchases.) Many of our recent tasks have centered around achieving greater transparency and member involvement, moving to a bigger space, and ensuring that our organization is resilient as we face the future.

Any member-owner in good standing can declare their candidacy between August 1 and September 20, 2020. If you have questions, you can email me, Karen Bernard, at kbsweethome@gmail.com. I’d be delighted to speak with you about serving on the board and to review the election process.

If serving as a director is more of a commitment than you’d like to make, you might consider serving on a board committee. Currently, the committees open for membership are the Annual Meeting Committee, Member-Owner Participation Committee, and the Bylaws Committee. Please visit our website for committee descriptions or contact the board at boardofdirectors@eastendfood.coop for more information.

Finally, the board hopes you will mark your calendars for November 14, when the EEFC Annual Meeting will be held. This is a great time to socialize with other members, hear updates, meet the candidates who will be running for the board, and enjoy a delicious meal. This year we’ll also be voting on changes to our bylaws at the Annual Meeting. Many thanks to those of you who reviewed and provided feedback for the proposed changes!

We’ll be meeting at the Eastminster Presbyterian Church in East Liberty again—assuming we’re not in quarantine, that is. (But if we are, we’ll meet in cyberspace.) Hope to see you there!


Karen Bernard, EEFC Board Member