Your co-op, November 2002

This article was originally published in November 2002

Looking for a few good leaders

By PCC Nominating Committee: Bob Cross, Stewart Rose, Carmelita Logerwell, Mark Huppert, Cathy Buller

It’s that time of year when the air gets nippier, the leaves begin to change, and — the PCC Nominating Committee gears up its search for candidates for the next board of trustees election!

Didn’t we just have an election? Yes, we did, but it takes time to recruit and get acquainted with potential candidates in order to present the best possible slate to the membership each year.

There are many ways to grow — bigger, smarter, more focused.We’re looking for bright, business-minded individuals to join the PCC Board of Trustees and share their experience and expertise to help PCC become the best that it can be.

A nine-person board of trustees elected by the active membership directs PCC. Each trustee serves a three-year term, with three positions open for election each year. A trustee may serve no more than three consecutive terms.

The board’s primary responsibilities are to provide wise stewardship of the cooperative’s resources and leadership to maintain the success of a retail grocery co-op with well over $65 million in sales. The PCC Board follows the John Carver model of policy governance.

The nominating committee begins its work by talking to many people about the possibility of serving on the board, providing the information they need to decide if board service might be a good fit, and assessing skills to see what is needed.

In January, we will be interviewing applicants and offering nomination to those whose experiences, interests, and skills indicate they would be successful board members. The election is held in May and the new board term begins in June 2003.

Please see the next section, Responsibilities of the board of trustees. If it sounds like you or someone you know, we invite you to apply and put your experience and skills to work providing leadership for the largest retail food cooperative in the United States. We look forward to meeting you.

PCC membership required. Elections are in May. Application deadline is January 14, 2003.

Responsibilities of the board of trustees

What the board does

  • Serve as trustees for and provide linkage with the member-owners and shoppers of PCC.
  • Establish two types of policies to guide management: Ends to provide direction, and Executive Limitations to prevent unacceptable actions.
  • Establish two types of policies to guide board actions: board-CEO Relations to ensure effective communication between the board and management, and board process to ensure excellent board performance.
  • Ensure that all activities of PCC are carried out within the law, Articles, and Bylaws.
  • Provide wise stewardship of the member investment.

What the individual board members do

  • Understand the board’s roles and responsibilities as stated in the bylaws.
  • Allocate sufficient time to prepare for each meeting. Trustees receive packets of written information in advance of each meeting.
  • Prepare for and attend all scheduled board meetings, held at least five to seven times per year, usually on the last Tuesday of the month, plus serve on one or more board task forces. Board meetings may average four hours; task force meetings 90 minutes to two hours.
  • Attend annual meeting each year, usually a half day in April.
  • Attend two day-long board retreats each year, usually one in summer and one in winter.
  • Visit stores regularly throughout term of office and attend PCC events when possible.
  • Time spent on board business may vary from month to month, averaging 10 to 15 hours per month, including preparation for meetings.

Board compensation

  • Annual stipend.
  • Unique and valuable hands-on cooperative board experience.

PCC membership required. Elections are in May. Application deadline is January 14, 2003.

Report on board activities

The board’s September 24 meeting covered a variety of topics, from a presentation on green architecture by the architect for the new Fremont store to a discussion with management on its interpretation of the board’s newly developed policies on PCC’s direction (Ends Policies). The board also made plans for its November retreat, which will focus on education in four broad areas: finances, grocery operations, cooperatives, and food toxicology.

Pricing accuracy

From time to time, the City of Seattle Weights and Measures experts show up without warning at our stores (and other grocery stores) to verify the accuracy of our pricing for customers. They select 50 random items and check to make sure that the price listed on the shelf matches what actually rings up at the register.

In mid-October, Weights and Measures conducted a pricing audit at PCC Greenlake. It was 100 percent accurate. Congratulations to Mark Frasher, Sue Reid, and Bill Hardesty for a job well done.

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