What does the board do?

The South Philly Food Co-op is governed by a board of directors, which, per our bylaws, can be comprised of anywhere between 9 and 13 member-owners who are 18 years of age or older.

Job Description Per the Policy Manual

The job of the board is to represent the members in defining and monitoring appropriate organizational performance and envisioning the long-range direction of the organization.

In order to govern successfully, we will:

  1. Practice, protect, promote and perpetuate a healthy democracy for our Cooperative.
  2. Seek out members and potential members, listen to and learn about their ideas, opinions, values and principles regarding the co-op, and take this member input into account when considering board actions.
  3. Hire, set compensation for, delegate responsibility to, and hold accountable a General Manager.
    1. Use a strategic process to establish the value of GM compensation, and complete this process in a timely manner.
  4. Assign responsibility in a way that honors our commitment to empowerment and clear distinction of roles.
  5. Have expectations in the form of written policies on organizational ends and means in four areas:
    1. Ends: Long-range organizational goals
    2. Executive Limitations: Certain types of executive activity that are not allowed
    3. Board Process: How the board conceives and carries out its own tasks, and governs the organization.
    4. Board-Management Relationship: How power, authority, and accountability are delegated 
  6. Rigorously monitor operational performance in the areas of Ends and Executive Limitations.
  7. Regularly evaluate our own Board performance in the areas of Board Process and Board-Management Relationship. Monitor our compliance with our own policies annually or as needed.
  8. Perpetuate the Board’s leadership capacity using ongoing education and training, a robust recruitment, qualification and nomination process and fair elections.
  9. Perform other duties as required by the bylaws or because of limitations on GM authority.

Statement from the Current Board of Directors

As we write this, we anticipate opening the Co-op before the next board election. This moment is not only incredibly exciting—it also represents a shift in what is necessary for our board.

As the board passes full control of day-to-day operations of the Co-op and its activities over to Lori and her staff, the board is shifting into a true governance role—one of oversight, monitoring, and support. This represents a change from the board’s role during our start-up years, which has often been more hands-on.

Moreover, we know that three of our current board members are term-limited and will not be eligible to run for another term in 2020. These three individuals have given tremendous time and leadership to the areas of finance, facilities management, and outreach.

We encourage everyone who is eager to contribute time and energy, and aligned to our mission of using food as a force for good, to consider running for the board.

With all of that said, from our view, the bulleted list below represents the competencies, skills, perspectives, etc. that would be especially welcome on the board at this time:

  • Financial oversight and compliance, especially in lean-budget start-ups
  • Legal leadership, especially as it relates to contract negotiation
  • Ability to think strategically, holding the big picture and little details in the same frame
  • Appreciation for and experience with good governance and group process
  • A strong attention to community
  • Public speaking
  • Problem solving
  • Eagerness to learn
  • Organizational and financial development
  • Negotiation and diplomacy

Women, people of color, trans and gender noncomforming people, LGBTQ folks, disabled people, elderly folks, and people who experience marginalization as a result of their ethnicity and/or religion are especially welcome to declare their candidacy for the board.

If you have any questions about this document or the elections process in general, please email the Governance Committee at

Yours in Cooperation,

The 2019-20 South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors:

Mita Banerjee
Jessica Calter
Angel D’Ippolito
Leigh Goldenberg
Jen Honovic Herczeg
Chad Hooper
Eliza Kinsey
Anna Kisiel
Marquis Tavon Upshur
Emily Wyner

A 2-page PDF of this job description and statement from the current board can be downloaded using this link.

Interested in running?

To declare your candidacy for the 2020 board elections, please complete this form online by March 27, 2020.