Your co-op, September 2006

This article was originally published in September 2006

Talk to the board

Thursday, September 7
West Seattle PCC, 6 to 8 p.m.

The board invites members to participate in the governance of their co-op by attending membership and board meetings, by responding to Sound Consumer, online and telephone surveys and by coming out to meet the board at monthly “Talk to the Board” store visits.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 26 at 5 p.m. at the co-op office. Members are welcome to attend all public sessions of the board meetings.

PCC public policy report

As events warrant, PCC engages in public policy matters involving our mission “to create a sustainable environment where the natural and organic supply chains thrive.” Here’s a brief report on recent work.

  • PCC Nutrition Educator Goldie Caughlan is serving on a workgroup for the Washington State Department of Agriculture to assist small dairies in becoming licensed.
  • PCC Public Affairs Manager/Editor Trudy Bialic has been elected to the Acting Food Policy Council for Seattle/King Country, which will work to strengthen our local food system.
  • Caughlan and Bialic joined members of the Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network in a semi-annual meeting with three deans of Washington State University’s agricultural college. Discussion included the new program for organic and sustainable agriculture, genetically engineered crop plantings in Washington, and use of growth hormones (rBGH) in WSU’s research herd of dairy cows.
  • PCC sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support the Northwest Cooperative Development Center’s application for a Rural Cooperative Development grant. The grant would be used to assist renewable energy projects, including one for biofuels.
  • PCC sent letters to Washington’s U.S. senators urging a “no” vote on the “National Uniformity for Food Act,” which would eliminate nearly 200 state food safety and labeling laws.
  • PCC sent a letter of comment on how the USDA should address access to pasture and replacement animals in the national organic program.
  • PCC sent letters to U.S. Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee members, urging support for a $5 million appropriation to implement farm to cafeteria programs and school gardens.
  • PCC sent a letter to the USDA arguing why it should reject plans to deregulate and allow commercial plantings of a genetically engineered plum.

For more, see Public Policy statements under Issues and Education on our Web site.

Fall Member Meeting

Tuesday, October 24, 6 p.m.
The Center for Urban Horticulture
University of Washington
3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle

Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Directions to the Center for Urban Horticulture can be downloaded (PDF), or call 206-547-1222. (Free parking, Metro bus routes 25, 65 and 75).

After a delicious organic meal, members will have a chance to ask questions of the board and management on operations and planning. The board is particularly interested in member thoughts on long-term planning, growth and community outreach.

Should you wish to receive a list of the kinds of questions that might stimulate a good conversation on the issues with which the board deals, please email

July 25 board meeting report

The meeting featured the annual presentation from legal counsel on the trustees’ legal and fiduciary responsibilities as spelled out in pertinent Washington statutes and PCC bylaws.

The board also named several task forces and elected chairs who will focus those groups on the following areas: Board Development (Julie Tempest, chair), CEO Evaluation (Bob Cross, chair), Finance (Bill Roach, chair), Linkage (Linnea Noreen, chair), Staff Relations (Kanwal Kaur, chair) and Sustainability (Chantal Stevens).

Management reported on development plans for the new PCC store in Seward Park.

Interested in PCC board service?

The 2006-2007 nominating committee is interested in hearing from you if you think board service may be something you’d like to consider! The committee already has met and elected Kim Norton as chair. It soon will interview the current trustees to get feedback on additional skills that would be beneficial to the board, as well as issues that the board may deal with in the near future.

“Our sales topped $93 million in 2005 and our co-op now employs more than 700 people. Board members must be able to bring knowledge from a wide spectrum of relevant business fields as they make decisions about PCC’s future. Applicable professional experience includes, but is not limited to, retail grocery, commercial real estate, public relations, human relations, environmental design and construction, farming, finance, information technology and health sciences,” notes Norton. Previous board experience is helpful, but not required.

The application deadline is Tuesday, December 5, 2006 at 5 p.m. For an application packet or more information, call Janice Parker at 206-547-1222 or email

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