What Does the Menomonie Market Board Do?
Submitted by: Steve Hanson, MMFC board of directors
What is your vision for your food co-op? What do you think MMFC should look like in five or ten years? These are the questions MMFC board members ask ourselves every month, and we’d like to know more from you about your own views.
MMFC’s board uses a policy governance model. In that model the board writes policy documents for MMFC, and is both empowered and constrained by that policy. In essence, the board is concerned with long-range planning and goals for the co-op, while the operational staff at the co-op is in charge of daily regular operations. The GM, Crystal Halvorson, is the only employee of the board. The only influence the board has over the co-op’s operations is through Crystal. The board works on long-range planning and we monitor our own adherence to the board policies. We also receive regular reports from the GM so we can evaluate whether the store is fulfilling the co-op’s mission statement and meeting our ends.
The Board/General Manager Relationship in Action
A great example of the the board and general manager working together is how we navigated expansion together. During expansion mode the board generated ideas about how the store could best meet the co-op’s ends and reflect the needs of the community. Many difficult decisions were made during that period as the co-op committed several times to leasing locations for the new store, only to have all of the plans fall through as the plans of the developers failed or changed. Finally the board and the general manager made the difficult decision to build our own store and buy the property where the co-op now resides. The board was involved in the big picture planning for the new store, but all of the decisions on the actual design, operations, what would be stocked, and other operational decisions were made by Crystal and the store staff. The roles of the board and staff are outlined in policy governance, and together we built a new store to strengthen the co-op and the community.
What does this mean to you as a co-op owner? If you have a general question or issue about the day-to-day operations of the store, and you talk to a board member about it, they will happily listen to you and get you connected with an appropriate staff member who can answer the question or resolve the issue. On the other hand, if you have a question or an idea for the long-term plans for the co-op, this is the work of board members and we will likely want to learn more about your ideas and introduce your concepts to the rest of the board.
Board Plans for Annual Retreat – Share Your Ideas
The board is currently planning for our annual retreat. The retreat offers a great opportunity for us to work out the far-reaching plans for the co-op. If you have long-term ideas and suggestions for where the co-op should be headed, please let us know. It’s our job to represent the interests of co-op owners, and we love to hear from you. This is your co-op too, so please help us make the co-op stronger by giving us ideas.
The best ways to be in touch with the board are:
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us at one of our upcoming board meetings (June 27, July 25, August 22, September 26, all meetings begin at 6pm)
Leave a written comment card in the store (please write that it should be directed to the board).