Getting Involved with the Brattleboro Food Co-op Board

| Board of Directors

Hi everyone, I’m Grace, a voice that you have not yet heard in the monthly Food for Thought Board of Directors column. I’m new to the Board, relatively new to Brattleboro, and… while it pains me to say it… new to the world of food co-ops. I thought sharing my story of how I got on the Board might resonate with some of you and inspire you to come to a Board meeting and maybe even run for the Board of Directors yourselves.

Wearing Two Hats

| Board of Directors

I am a cashier at our Co-op, and I am also a Board member. Being new to the Board, it can be challenging to remember which hat I am wearing at any given time! A little background: our bylaws require one and allow up to two staff directors on the Board. It’s commonly thought that I’m on the Board to represent only the Co-op employees, but that’s not the case. Staff directors, like patron directors, represent all shareholders. However, in my experience, my insights as an employee have been welcomed at our meetings.

What Does Community Mean?

I had no idea what I was going to write about until Grace, a newly elected board director, shared a link to in The Commons titled “Not a word, but an action.” It was the subtitle that ensured I would read the article very carefully: “What does ‘community’ really mean, especially for those who face moments of being outside of it?”

Deep Into Board Learning

At our January 2020 Board meeting, our General Manager Sabine Rhyne said she was, “deep into her own learning cycle,” in response to the difficult discussion about race she facilitated with shareholders at the November Annual Meeting. I appreciate Sabine’s candor and the level of trust and respect she and BFC Board Directors have for each other. I am grateful that she shared this self-reflection with us, and thank her for providing me with a topic and a title for this article.