Become a Board Member Candidate
2017 Board Candidate Information
A 12-person Board of Directors, elected by the membership, directs the Hanover Co-op. Each trustee serves a three-year term.
The Board plays a critical role in ensuring the continued success and health of this vital organization. It represents all the member-owners in developing and maintaining the vision and long-term viability of the Co-op. The Board does not run the stores, nor do they have direct control over the daily operation of them; that is the role of Management. Instead, the Board monitors the operations of the stores via Policy Governance®, a system of oversight and accountability that emphasizes values, vision, and the empowerment of both Board and staff, while clearly delineating the roles and responsibilities of each.
The Co-op Board meets monthly. Members are welcome at Board meetings.
Board Meeting Recap – February 22, 2017
Here’s a brief summary of key issues from the February Board meeting:
Discussed the 2016 Audit Report with representatives from Gallagher, Flynn & Co. Auditors issued a “clean” report of Co-op finances after examining our balance sheet, profit/loss statements, and cash flow statements. (Their full report and financial statements will be posted in the coming weeks). Particular findings included:
- Increasing sales and customer “basket size” while controlling operating expenses will be key factors in 2017 and beyond.
- Despite 2016 net income/loss (-$118,000), the Co-op’s ability to generate cash from operations improved, increasing to $1,336,000 from $528,000.
- The Co-op’s debt-to-equity ratio remains conservative, allowing management to finance major projects like upgrading to a new, comprehensive inventory system.
- Reserves for anticipated health care expenses are adequate. The Co-op embarked on a self-funded health insurance for employees in 2016. Cost of the program was reported at $2,788,000.
Welcomed new Lebanon store manager, Doren C. Hall. He will start work on March 13, but you can find out more about his background and experience, HERE.
Heard preliminary plans for the Co-op’s Annual Meeting, April 1 from 11 am to 2 pm at the LISTEN Center, White River Jct. The agenda includes featured speaker Vermont Lt. Governor Dave Zuckerman who will speak on “Co-ops: Healthy Food, Healthy Economy.” Members will have a chance to meet five candidates for the Board election, including Thomas Battles, Elizabeth Blum, Don Kreis, Benoit Roisin, and Ann Shriver Sargent.
Selected Carolyn and Milton Frye of Norwich, VT as winners of the 2016 Allen and Nan King award for “their contributions to two of the Upper Valley’s non-profit jewels: The Prouty, and Willing Hands.” The Co-op donates $500 to a non-profit of the Fryes’ choice.
Next Regular Board Meeting will be Wednesday, March 22, 2017 in the Culinary Learning Center at the Lebanon Co-op store.
Your comments are always welcome at presidentcoopfoodstore.com.
Michael Bettmann, Vice President, Succession Planning Task Force Chair: Interventional Radiologist with a long academic career. He is an Emeritus Professor of Radiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, consults to the International Atomic Energy Agency on the use of diagnostic imaging, and is actively involved in clinical decision support with the American College of Radiology. In addition to the Co-op Board, he serves on various professional society committees as well as three other not-for-profit organization boards. He and his wife, Ellen, live in Etna, New Hampshire, they have three grown children and seven grandchildren. Term ends in 2017.
Kevin Birdsey: Term ends in 2019.
Elizabeth Blum: Term ends in 2017.
Sarah Blum: Term ends in 2017.
William Craig:Term ends in 2019.
Harrison Drinkwater, Secretary: Retired after 42 years in customer service, including 18 years as the Co-op’s education director. He also serves on the Board of Headrest (drug and alcohol recovery; 24/7 hotline). He and his wife, Betsy, live in Enfield, New Hampshire. Term ends in 2018.
Victoria Fullerton: Worked in the art and film world, as a publicist, photographer, picture researcher and producer until bringing up her children, by far her most creative project. Now catching up with the digital age, she works as a freelance writer and artist for public awareness campaigns. She lives in Norwich, Vermont, and volunteers for the Rapunzel Project in an effort to bring it to the New England states and to make it available to all. Term ends in 2018.
Dana Cook Grossman: Director of publications emerita of Dartmouth Medical School, where for 25 years she edited the award-winning quarterly magazine Dartmouth Medicine. Since 2011, she has been a full-time freelance editor and writer; her clients include PBS Nova, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Association of American Medical Colleges. She's also been very active in civic affairs, including chairing the Thetford, Vt., School Board. Dana and her husband, Dan, have lived in Thetford since 1972 and been members of the Co-op since 1973; they have two grown daughters and four grandchildren. Term ends in 2019.
Edwin Howes: Term ends in 2019.
Benoit Roisin, Treasurer: Benoit Roisin is Professor of Engineering Sciences at Dartmouth College (under the name of Benoit Cushman-Roisin, having hyphenated his wife’s name to his for all professional activities), where he has developed new courses in sustainable design and industrial ecology. Some of his students’ projects have been adopted by the Co-op and the Town of Hanover to reduce their environmental footprint. He is the author of three books and is working on a fourth. In addition, Roisin maintains an active consultancy in water issues and energy efficiency. He has volunteered his expertise for several non-profit organizations, including The Haven and COVER. He has served on the Co-op’s Board of Directors intermittently since 2003. Term ends in 2017.
Anthony Roisman, President: Environmental attorney specializing in claims for damage from exposure to toxic pollution and the safety and environmental problems of nuclear power plants. He lives in Weathersfield, Vermont, with his wife, Gabriele Popp, and six cats. Term ends in 2018.
Responsibilities of the Board
The purpose of the Board, acting on behalf of the Co-op’s members, is to set strategic long-range direction, hire the General Manager and monitor organizational performance.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Representing all Co-op members in determining and demanding appropriate organizational performance.
- Ensuring adequate communication between members and the organization, including working mechanisms to determine member needs.
- Ensuring that members are well-informed about the nature of the cooperative, the activities conducted by the cooperative, and the results it achieves with respect to its Ends Policies.
- Ensuring that members understand the industry of which the cooperative is a part and can consider the activities of the cooperative in the context of relevant markets.
- Ensuring that members understand the different interests and stakeholders that exist within the cooperative.
- Ensuring that the cooperative continually analyzes changes in its membership and its environment, regularly revisits Ends-related issues in light of such changes, and innovates to meet changing member needs.
- Producing written governing policies that, at the broadest levels, address each category of organizational decision.
- Evaluating General Manager performance against Ends and Executive Limitations policies on a regular basis.
- Monitoring Board performance and providing effective leadership using the Policy Governance process.
- The Board is not involved in the daily operations of the stores. Board members have a duty to represent the member-owners at large and not a particular constituency and to act in the members’ best interests, consistent with the Co-op’s values, principles and policies.
Responsibilities of a Director
Directors are fiduciaries of the cooperative and shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the cooperative values and principles.
Each Director must:
- Inform him or herself so as to be able to carry out the foregoing.
- Be committed to perfect or near-perfect attendance at Board meetings.
- Be willing to serve on at least one Board subcommittee.
- Be familiar with the Co-op’s bylaws and governing policies.
- Be willing and able to prepare for, and actively participate in, monthly Board meetings.
- Be able to attend Board training sessions, the annual retreat, and the annual member meeting.
- Be able to understand financial statements (training provided).
- Be willing to take responsibility for Board duties and work together with understanding, mutual support, and respect.
During their terms in office, Board members and their spouses/partners receive a 20 percent discount on store purchases and a 10 percent discount on auto repair service and related parts, subject to the restrictions and eligibility requirements noted below. The discount amount is taxable income for board members.
The following products are NOT eligible for the 20 percent discount:
- Annual case lot sale items
- Motor oil
- Fedco orders
Products purchased by the case, which are not part of the annual case lot sale, will receive the 20% discount only; the normal 5% “case discount” will not apply.