Menomonie Market Food Co-op’s Board of Directors is the governing body that is elected by our owners every fall to set policies and oversee management. Our co-op has seven directors who each serve a three-year term. Positions open each year, and any co-op owner can be nominated to serve.
Menomonie Market Food Co-op operates under a system called Policy Governance, developed by John Carver in the 1970s. In this system, the only employee that the Board of Directors oversees is the General Manager (GM), who in turn oversees all other staff and the overall operation of the store(s). The main responsibilities of the Board are to hire and monitor the GM, form the needs and desires of the owners into an ends policy, and ensure the co-op’s decisions are financially sound.
To ensure the GM is operating according to the values of the owners, the Board creates policies that the GM is required to follow. The GM is responsible for two kinds of policies: Ends Policies, a vision of what the Board sees as the ideal result of the co-op’s operation, and Executive Limitation Policies, a description of actions and conditions the Board requires the GM to avoid in operating the co-op (e.g. unwarranted financial risks, poor working environment, etc.).
When elected, board members commit to remaining confidential, attending regular and special meetings fully prepared, sharing ideas, acting in a professional manner, attending training sessions, taking on leadership, serving on committees, and avoiding conflicts of interest. Serving is voluntary; however, board members receive a monthly stipend to shop at our stores, as well as the satisfaction of serving a growing organization that provides the community with quality products and education. Board members have a voice in shaping the future of the co-op while working with a group of people who share a commitment to a democratic process and a sustainable local economy.