It has been an honor to serve the members of the VFC. After a year on the Board of Directors, I have come to appreciate the everyday hard work of the staff and General Manager. We have come a long way from the little store I remember shopping in as a child with my parents, but we do have further yet to go.
When I joined in the fall of 2015, the Board was already in the early stages of planning an expansion. As a shopper and member, I had noticed the multiple add-ons and expansions to the back end of the store, and during the lunch hour it was hard to get through the line. The Co-op was feeling small again. My first thought was, “How are we going to build a bigger space?” I wanted to know about the process of when and how we could expand, and what risks or opportunities our co-op faced in the future. I began talking with other members and my family about VFC’s expansion planning and was encouraged to participate at the Board level.
I encourage other members to learn more about their food co-op and get involved – see how the democratic process works in cooperatives. I believe there is a lot of strength in the cooperative democratic principles; they provide a framework for safe, strategic conversations so we can focus on the interests of the members.
You don’t have to be a Board member to participate in the Co-op’s mission, or to play a part in our co-op community. If you have questions or ideas about the Co-op that you would like to share, there are many ways you can participate: write to the Board, attend Board meetings, attend VFC events. The next “Coffee with the Board” event is on March 11.
As members, we all have ownership of our co-op and our community. I think as member-owners it is our duty to be good stewards of our co-op.