VFC has a seven-member Board of Directors. Each member serves a 3-year term. To create continuity, terms are staggered so that either 2, 2, or 3 members get newly-elected every year.
The Directors who serve on our Board are the legal stewards of the Co-op. They are owners of VFC who are elected by the other owners to act on their behalf to fulfill the obligations that come with owning a business. The names of current Directors are listed in every issue of the Pea Soup Newsletter.
The Board provides leadership, vision and guidance for our Cooperative. It ensures that the needs of VFC Owners are being met. The Board is primarily responsible for protecting Co-op assets for the Owners (fiduciary responsibility). Directors are expected to act in good faith and in the best interests of the Cooperative as a whole.
The Board is also obliged to respond to changes in the economic environment, the ownership base, and the financial status of the Cooperative. This means that policies that are in effect when you join the Co-op may be changed by actions of the Board. Any such changes would be explained in the Pea Soup Newsletter and at the Annual Owners Meeting.
There are three primary responsibilities of the Board:
To ensure sound management of the Co-op resources
To act as trustees on behalf of the Owners
To set long-range goals and to plan for the future
The Board uses the Policy Governance model of organizing its efforts. This governance structure requires the Board to create policies that define the roles and responsibilities of the General Manager, and the purpose, mission and strategies of the organization. The task then becomes how to adequately monitor the performance of the Board and GM relative to these policies. This system requires attention and practice, and the VFC Board is working to improve, which will free the Board to better use its time toward big picture issues – what the ownership wants and how to make that happen responsibly. CLICK HERE to review our Board Policy Governance Manual.
Individual directors do not direct the operation of the store, supervise staff members, or speak for the Cooperative as a whole, except when the Board has authorized a director as spokesperson.