Board of Directors → Policy Governance

The Berkshire Co-op Market is cooperatively owned and operated by people in our community who care about nutritious food, where it comes from and how it reaches the consumer. As a democratically controlled organization that follows the cooperative business model, store patrons who purchase an ownership share of stock in the Co-op elect—on the basis of “one-person-one vote”—a Board of Directors to represent them and provide governance and oversight. Board members are elected to three-year terms, with elections taking place during the annual owners’ meeting and celebration held every November.

The nine-member Board of Directors meets monthly, and owners are welcome to attend meetings. As representatives of the owners, Board members try to stay aware of owners’ needs and aspirations for the Co-op. Every meeting includes a time during which owners can provide input and ask questions. Special forums are occasionally held, as well, to obtain feedback from owners on important questions. A major aspect of the Board’s governance responsibility is hiring and overseeing the General Manager, who serves as the Co-op’s chief executive officer and person in charge of operations. Working in partnership with the General Manager, the Board helps ensure that the store is run in a way that is financially responsible, socially conscious, and genuinely responsive to the wide interests of the owners.

The Board conducts its business in accordance with the “Policy Governance Model” of board leadership, where its primary role is to define the broad goals of the Co-op. We refer to these goals as “Ends” since they articulate the key results we aim toward, such as promoting healthful living, and fostering the growth of local and regional food systems. The Board is also responsible for establishing a comprehensive set of policies that define the roles and responsibilities of the General Manager and the Board of Directors. Generally speaking, the Board sets policy objectives for the General Manager and the Co-op as a whole, while the General Manager oversees and manages the complex day-to-day operations. The Board and General Manager, working collaboratively, are responsible for carrying out the policies. Together with all its owners, we strive toward the benefit of the Co-op and the wider community.