Over twenty years ago, I joined my first food co-op, the Olympia Food Co-op in Olympia Washington, because I believed passionately in the cooperative mission and supporting the local and organic food movements. Eleven years ago I was happy to have the opportunity to continue supporting the cooperative movement by becoming a member of the Viroqua Food Co+op when I moved to the area with my family. We knew if a small town could support such an incredible co-op it must be a special place. Indeed it is! And a little over one year ago, I decided to throw my hat into the ring, run for the Board of Directors, and be in a position of providing leadership, vision, and guidance for our Cooperative.
When I joined the Board in the fall of 2016, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, as it was my first experience on a board. After a year, I am truly impressed by the hard working staff and the GM, Jan Rasikas, who continue to make the Co-op the special place that played such a role in convincing us to move to this area so many years ago.
My first full year as a VFC Board Member has been rewarding, challenging, and filled with learning. I worked diligently with fellow Board Members to carry out our responsibilities during these times of change. I have been tremendously impressed with the quality of the discussions in our meetings as we’ve worked to ensure sound management of co-op resources, act as trustees on behalf of the owners, and plan for the VFC’s bright future as the Capital Campaign ends and the expansion project continues full tilt in advance of winter snow.
Over the past year, I have also been inspired to hear the passion from the membership. We had a record breaking election and Annual Owners Meeting this autumn – 490 owners cast ballots, and 132 owners participated in the meeting.
Congratulations to Aurora Boyd and Mike Link on being elected to the VFC Board of Directors for three-year terms. The Co-op is healthier with full participation from members. The Board is here to represent your voice as the Co-op carries out its mission to “create together a work of enduring value.” Please continue to reach out to me and the other VFC Board Members. Ask us questions – make your voice be heard!