“Your Cooperative, Your Board of Directors”

Sarah S. Davis, Wheatsfield Board Member

Iowans blossom this time of year – plants, animals, and people. Spring and Summer events like the Art Walk, Stash the Trash, Yoga in the Park, Pride Month, Juneteeth, Farmer’s Market, and Tiny Desk Concerts are drawing you out of the long winter and pandemic isolation. I have seen you gathering in the parks, on the streets, and at the co-op. Like the trees around town leafing out their limbs, you are ready to rejuvenate your community connections. And your co-op is ready for you. June is a member celebration month and time to consider serving on the Board of Directors.

What is the Board of Directors? 

Wheatsfield Cooperative’s governance structure, like most other member-owned co-ops, involves the work of a board to review and set policy, hire and evaluate the general manager, monitor the organization’s financials, and interact with the membership to support the Co-op’s mission and vision.

Why should I run for the Board? 

1) The Co-op needs the input and vitality of your participation. It will thrive best from rotating a variety of member voices. And,

2) You will learn a ton about cooperatives and discover how much you can make a difference in our community.

What will I have to do? 

Show up, be prepared, listen, and add to the hive mind as needed.

Here are the basics:

  • Give a three-year commitment to the Board of Directors.
  • Become familiar with the Articles and Bylaws, and the Mission and Core Value Statements.
  • Prepare for and attend a monthly Board meeting.
  • Understand the financial statements.
  • Attend Board outreach events.
  • Have a genuine interest in the cooperative model, food issues, and our community.

Am I really qualified? 

Yes. Three of the nine director positions are up for election each year. Some members choose to run for another term and others move on. You will always have a mix of veteran and new directors with a range of organizational experience and talents. No single director has to be an expert in every aspect of Cooperative governance, but each contributes.

How do I apply? 

Please read the Board Packet and fill out the application. The Nominations and Recruitment Committee will review your application and contact you about the next steps. Also, there is a student seat for a 1-year appointment running September through August. Wheatsfield’s student community members are eligible to apply for the position here.

If you’d like a little more context about the Board, please see my article from last year here, or send your questions to [email protected].