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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 Board 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 role of the Board is to represent our member-owners, to direct and inspire the cooperative, and to ensure appropriate performance. In order to govern successfully, we will:

  1. Practice, protect, promote and perpetuate a healthy democracy for our Cooperative.
    1. Establish and maintain communication with member-owners, educating ourselves on diverse needs and perspectives, and reporting on the Board’s activities and decisions.
  2. Hire, set compensation for, delegate responsibility to, and hold accountable a General Manager.
  3. Assign responsibility through written policies in a way that honors our commitment to empowerment and clear distinction of roles.
  4. Regularly and rigorously monitor the General Manager’s performance in the areas of Ends and Executive Limitations.
  5. Regularly and rigorously evaluate our Board performance in comparison to our agreements as written in Board Process and Board-Management Relationship policies.
  6. Perpetuate the Board’s leadership capacity using: a robust recruitment, qualification, and nomination process; thoughtful appointments; fair elections; and ongoing education and training.
    1. We will have a strategic year-round recruitment and screening process.
    2. We will commit to diversity, equity and inclusion.
    3. We will provide excellent orientations to potential candidates and newly elected or appointed directors.
  7. Perform other duties as required by the bylaws or because of limitations on GM 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 5 to 6 Directors at this spring’s 2023 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 in 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, outreach, recruitment, and volunteer management.
  • 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 nonconforming people, people with disabilities, 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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