By Liz Kolbe, Board Member
I lost my bid for student council representative from Mrs. Hollibaugh’s homeroom in the sixth grade. Years later I was not elected Homecoming Queen. In graduate school I was not chosen as the winner of the chili cook-off, placing third to a chili with no beans, no tomatoes, and no ground meat (I maintain it was simply a cheese dip).
Soon after moving to Ames, some friends asked me to run for a seat on the Wheatsfield Board. Losing an election can put a hit on our ego, especially if it’s for something we care about. I cared about Wheatsfield, but as a new member I decided it was pretty ego-safe; if I lost, I didn’t know that many people anyway. When I ask members to consider running for the Wheatsfield Board of Directors, I sometimes sense that they, too, don’t want to run in the election and lose in front of their peers.
But while serving on the Board and recruiting candidates, I’ve learned that running for the Wheatsfield Board isn’t an act of celebrity (like Homecoming Queen or the chili cook-off), it’s an act of service. You are saying to the Wheatsfield membership: “I am willing to give of my time and skills to ensure that our Co-op continues in the right direction.” It’s a wonderful gift to give to Wheatsfield and the membership. No matter the outcome of the election, we will be grateful to know we can count on you to be an active leader in the Co-op.
What the Board does:
The Board works together with Wheatsfield management and staff to ensure that the needs of our member-owners are being met. The Directors work as a team to set policy, hire and evaluate the general manager, maintain the fiduciary responsibility of the Co-op and represent the membership to create a vision for the Co-op’s future. The Board meets monthly, and is also involved with Co-op events, like the Fourth of July parade and “Coffee with the Board.” Serving on the Board has allowed me to learn more about our Co-op, to meet many of our member-owners and to work alongside a group of caring and committed people.
All member-owners are welcome to apply to be a candidate for the Board of Directors. Three seats are up for election. Apply by Monday, August 24, 11:59pm. Voting will commence on October 1, both online and in the store.
What the Student Board Member does:
The NEW Student Member seat on the Wheatsfield Board is a non-voting, advisory position that the Board established to make sure that student members’ voices and the unique perspective they offer are heard in the governance process of the Cooperative. It is a 1 year appointment that starts in September of each year and ends in August of the following year according to the Iowa State University school calendar. All student members (both equity and non-equity members) of Wheatsfield Cooperative are eligible to apply for the position.
The completed Student Board Application must be received by 11:59pm on Monday, August 24, 2020 to be considered by the Nominations and Recruitment Committee. The NRC will vet all applications received from student members interested in serving in the Student Member position on the Board and will submit a list of potential candidates to the Board for consideration of the appointment.