Seward Co-op's Board of Directors is comprised of nine elected co-op owners who serve the co-op for three-year terms. The board typically meets 9-10 times a year on the last Tuesday of the month, at 6:15 p.m. Meetings are open to any co-op owner, and we request you email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of the meetings to indicate your intention to attend. This will allow us to notify you in the event of scheduling changes. Read more about board meetings here.
The co-op’s board of directors appreciates hearing from you! They are available to answer questions and provide information about co-op governance.
Employees on the Board
At Seward Co-op, one of the nine seats on the board is reserved for the Designated Employee Director. Additionally, the co-op's articles and bylaws allow up to two seats to be filled by current employees. This means employees may also choose to run for an at-large seat. Currently two employees are directors.
Seward Co-op's board uses Policy Governance, a detailed and comprehensive method that structures and organizes their work. This type of governance uses policies to guide the General Manager (GM) to progress towards stated goals (Ends) of the co-op while staying within established boundaries. Through reports from the General Manager, external reports, and the board’s internal monitoring, policies and goals are evaluated and updated regularly. The policies and Ends Statement serve as a guide for the General Manager and establish guidelines for the board’s evaluation of the GM’s performance.
Using Policy Governance helps ensure that the board does not involve itself in any areas of co-op operations, while ensuring that the business runs optimally. Through the Ends Statement, the board establishes the vision and goals that co-op management is to pursue and achieve. The GM decides how to achieve these Ends and presents the board with documentation showing that they have achieved them. The board then reviews the presented information, determining if the Ends have been met.
In addition to managing the General Manager through Policy Governance, the co-op's board also embarks on study to garner a greater understanding of food co-ops and related industry issues, including exploration of the Food Bill and the politics behind it. Currently, the board is building an understanding of the cooperative business model and its place in our economy as a means to better guide the vision of Seward Co-op.