Board News

BOD Elects Officers for 2008

The newly elected BCS Board of Directors held their first meeting on November 29, 2007, and elected officers for the next year. Officers serving from November 2007 through October 2008 are as follows:

  • President: Donna Stroup
  • Vice President: Joellan Muyskens
  • Treasurer: Mary Beth Haas
  • Secretary: Carol Bridges
  • At Large: Spyridon Stratigos, Joanne Orrange, Gretchen Handlos

The Board is looking forward to an exciting year and began with a board training session in early December, facilitated by Michael Healy from Cooperative Development Services (CDS). This session helped to ensure that the board understands its responsibilities, limitations, and the mechanics for functioning effectively. This session also provides a good foundation for the work at our annual planning retreat, to take place in early 2008.

- Donna Stroup, Bloomingfoods BOD President 

BOD: Looking Back and Moving Forwards

S.G. StratigosReflecting on the past two years, when I have served as board president of Bloomington Cooperative Services, I can honestly say with pride that the experience has been rewarding and extremely educational. I have great admiration for my fellow board members, past and present, and for the hours of board work they have done governing a growing multi-unit organization. Although board work is important for setting policy and taking on fiduciary responsibility for the co-op, credit for the implementation and manifestation of our vision belongs to the people who work in the Bloomingfoods family of neighborhood grocery stores. Kudos goes to our general manager, George Huntington, and his staff, for a job well done.

Over the past few years a lot of our board time has been absorbed by major practical decisions involving financial business issues and the philosophical nuances of working through the process of how best to govern a democratically principled organization. The last few years have been occupied with the financial health of our co-op business. After exhaustive financial and marketing research, and much discussion, we decided to convert the Encore into a neighborhood grocery store. At this point in time, it looks as if we made a good decision.


BOD: Education and Training

ImageThe board recently participated in a very useful workshop day with Michael Healy of CDS. One of the primary purposes was to assist the new board members in understanding how to function within the Policy Governance model of board involvement. Michael is an excellent facilitator and led us through our own BCS Policy Manuals to find where we were in compliance or out of sync with the best practices. We are now in the process of upgrading any written policies which are not clearly stated so that future board members and staff will have smooth sailing in making decisions based on the agreed-upon goals of BCS.


BOD: The CCMA Conference 2008

The Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) holds an annual conference each year, attended by food co-ops from across the country.  The gathering features workshops, displays, board training, human resources panels, special interest roundtables, forums, and local tours. CCMA 2008 took place in Portland, Oregon on June 12-14, with local host People's Food Co-op.
CCMA was a great experience this year! Two of us from the BCS board, Mary Beth Haas (treasurer) and Donna Stroup (president), attended CCMA, along with seven Bloomingfoods staff members. Together, we covered nearly every session in seven tracks.


BCS Board Ends Policies

A shopper approaches as I haul my groceries to the car. He says, “I’ll take your basket back for you.” Suddenly, a stranger has become a mythical symbol of new possibilities, the world has become the place of kindness we wish it to be.

Years ago, I used to walk a route to town and would often pass the same woman. She would look up and say, “You look beautiful today.” One sentence, out-of-the-ordinary, not “How are you?” but more like “Yes!This is who you are (or even, who I wish you to be), a beautiful being.” It was a great teaching.

And what does this have to do with grocery shopping? Well, in our board policy manual, we have what is called an “Ends Policy.” It states: “Bloomington Cooperative Services encourages a healthy local, national, and global environment by operating sustainable (environmentally, economically, socially equitable) businesses which provide wholesome options to our members and community.” The rest of our manual breaks this down into the ways we intend to achieve these Ends.