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What does the board do?

The Board of Directors are responsible for governing the Co-op. They are elected by member-owners to act on their behalf, with the goal of making decisions in the best interest of the collective organization and community. Board of Directors elections take place at our annual spring General Membership Meeting. Each Director serves a two-year term, starting the summer following elections. The Board is composed of anywhere from 9 to 11 non-compensated volunteer positions.

For those considering candidacy in our 2021 elections, we invite you to review the summary of responsibilities and core competencies outlined below. Eligible candidates must be a member-owner over 18 years old and in good standing on their equity investment.

Summary of Responsibilities

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 Co-op.
  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 General Manager 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 General Manager authority.

Core Competencies

After ten years of organizing, South Philly Food Co-op opened its doors for the first time on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020. Our General Manager focuses on day-to-day operation and management of the Co-op, while the Board focuses on organizational oversight, monitoring and support. As a working Board, our Directors serve on at least one Board Committee and complete work outside of meetings. Depending on availability, Directors can expect to spend about 10 hours a month working on Board commitments.

In order to remain in compliance with our bylaws, we must elect between 3 to 5 Directors at this spring’s 2022 General Membership Meeting. A handful of our current Directors will be running for re-election, while a smaller number of Directors will be rolling off the Board. The Directors leaving this year have offered tremendous leadership on areas of finance, marketing, outreach, personnel management, community engagement, event planning, and project management.

More specifically, the bulleted list below represents the core competencies that are most important to add to our current Board of Directors. Candidates need experience in only one of these competencies.

  • Appreciation for and experience with good governance and group process.
  • Ability to think strategically, holding the big picture and little details in the same frame.
  • Organizational and financial development.
  • Training curriculum and professional development.
  • Community engagement, event planning and project management.
  • Public speaking.
  • Problem solving.
  • Negotiation and diplomacy.
  • Eagerness to learn.
  • A strong attention to community.

We encourage all eligible candidates eager to advance our mission of using food as a force for good to consider running for the Board. Women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, transgender and gender noncomforming people, disabled people, elderly people and people with diverse ethnicities and / or religions are especially welcome to declare their candidacy.

If you have questions about the Board of Directors, the summary of responsibilities, the core competencies or the elections process, please contact our Governance Committee at [email protected].



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