2016 Board Election - Call for Candidates



Pick up an application at the store, online or from the Board Chair and submit by February 20th.

Complete interview with the Election Committee between February 21st - 27th.

Slate of candidates approved by the Board of Directors at the March 2nd Board Meeting.

Board of Director election held in the store from April 17th - April 30th.

New Board members installed at the monthly Board meeting June 1st.


by Brandé Payne

Open Harvest Co-op Grocery is not owned by a corporation; we are its owners, and each spring we show our commitment and responsibility to the Co-op by electing Directors for the Board. Back in November at the Open Harvest Annual Meeting, the Member-Owners voted to reduce the size of the Board of Directors from fifteen to nine. This was an important decision as it allows the Board to become more efficient and effective in its decision making by having a smaller working group of members. As former Board Chair, Carla McCullough, stated in the last issue of The Dirt, “the Board’s request for this change was a decision many years in the making and was not taken lightly.” In the end, we agreed that the efficiency of the Board was of utmost importance. As a result, in the upcoming Board Election we will have at least 2 open seats. This means that there is room for you, as a current Member-Owner of the Co-op to become a part of this new streamlined Board of Directors.

Why should you consider running for the Board? Because you know how important Open Harvest is to you, your family and friends; you believe in supporting local farmers and producers; you want to support a more sustainable way of living; you believe in the values and principles that guide the Co-op. The International Cooperative Alliance states, “Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, selfresponsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others.” Open Harvest operates on these values. It is meaningful and energizing to work together on something we all believe in. I encourage you to consider running for the Board and joining this group of dedicated members.


The Board meets on the first Wednesday of each month from 6-8 p.m. We also have a retreat in early summer and may schedule other meetings and training sessions as needed. Board members are expected to prepare for and attend all meetings and be an active part of the governing process. The Board provides general supervision of the Co-op, including hiring the General Manager. We use Policy Governance as our guide in this work. Policy Governance focuses on the Ends, or overall goals, of the store and the General Manager can determine the means to get to those ends. Board decisions are made by consensus, which means that all concerns must be addressed before decisions are approved. Everyone is encouraged to attend a Board Meeting to witness this process. More information about how the Board operates can be found in the Board Policy Register at openharvest.coop/co-op-documents/.


Each Director is elected for a three-year term by the Open Harvest Member-Owners and receives a 5% store discount for their service. Bylaws state that the Board candidates must be current members of Open Harvest. Staff members of Open Harvest are not eligible to run.


Candidates can obtain applications at the Co-op, on the Open Harvest website and by contacting Brandé Payne, Election Committee Chair (see info below). Applications must be submitted by February 20, 2016. Candidates must also complete an interview with the Election Committee between February 21st and 27th. The purpose of the interview is to establish that candidates are aware of Board duties and responsibilities and committed to observing the Board Code of Conduct. The interview also allows for the candidates to ask any questions they have about the Board. All candidates who complete the application and interview by the deadline will be on the slate of candidates to be approved by the full Board at the March 2, 2016 Board meeting. Elections will be held from April 17-30, 2016, and new Board members will be installed at the monthly Board meeting on June 1, 2016.


Interested candidates may contact Election Committee Chair Brandé Payne at branderlpayne@gmail.com for more information and an application packet.