Board elections are coming up in August and I’m getting really, really excited about it. Part of me can’t believe those words just came out of my fingers, but it’s true: I’m getting really stoked for this year’s annual election for the GBCFC Board of Directors. It’s not very often that the words “Board of Directors” and “stoked” appear in the same sentence, but in this case, I think we’ve definitely got good reason for this kind of stokage (I think I’m actually more weirded out that “stokage” came out of my fingers but I’m gonna roll with it). When I think of the words “Board of Directors,” the first thing that comes to mind, for me anyway, is a group of a dozen or so old men in suits seated around a long, gleaming table, smoking cigars, throwing exorbitant sums of money at decisions that have no immediate impact on any of them and saying things like, “Cut the orphans’ coal rations!” [all erupt into maniacal cackling]. Somewhere between Scrooge McDuck and that weird roundtable assemblage of villains in the beginning of the first Austin Powers movie. The GBCFC Board of Directors couldn’t possibly be more different. Here’s why.
To self-plagiarize here for a second, the role of the GBCFC Board of Directors, in a nutshell, is as follows:
The GBCFC Board of Directors are tasked with providing general oversight and governance of the Co-op and are responsible for monitoring and maintaining the Co-op’s financial health. They’re also responsible for making sure that the Co-op operates in accordance with the Seven Cooperative Principles, the GBCFC’s Purpose Statement and Goals, and our Triple Bottom Line, which measures the Co-op’s success not just in financial terms, but in terms of our environmental and social impacts as well. Lastly, the Board also provides leadership and sets the overall direction of the Co-op through member engagement, research, visioning, and setting policy.
The GBCFC Board of Directors consists of seven democratically-elected member-owners, each of whom are elected to serve a two-year term and, through their two years’ accrued experience, have maximal impact on Co-op governance in the long term. At the end of each two-year term, Board members are welcome to run for re-election as many times as they wish. Elections are held on an annual basis, so some board members may be eligible for re-election while others might still have one year of their term remaining. In this way, it’s possible for the Co-op to simultaneously retain an experienced Board but have a novel iteration of the Board each year.
But it’s not the logistics or the bureaucracy or even the democratic process that make the GBCFC Board of Directors special– it’s the people themselves. Our current board is made up of farmers, restaurateurs, community organizers, entrepreneurs, native Nevadans. Our Co-op is overseen by people who know local food not just because of their work on Co-op Board of Directors but because local food is what they do. Developing local food systems is their main passion in life. And with close to one hundred years’ combined experience in marketing and small business management under their belts, the Board’s got the business chops to back that passion up.
You may have noticed that up to now I haven’t mentioned a single name (aside from Scrooge McDuck and Austin Powers). Who’s up for re-election this year? Who’s running for the first time? How and when do we get to vote for these mystery nominees?
C’mon. You knew how this article was gonna end. Dot dot dot…