What should I know before deciding to run for the Board of Directors?
There are a few basic things Co-op Members should know before deciding to run for the Board of Directors.
The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op is governed by a 7-member Board of Directors. Directors are elected to 3-year terms.
A member must be current in their Fair Share 6 months prior to Election Day. Election Day is defined as the day that the General Election ends. Please see the General Election Timeline for the specific date for this year’s election. A member that is elected to the Board must keep their Fair Share payments current for the length of their term. (A member that is fully invested is always current)
The Board of Directors uses a Policy Governance™ model to govern the affairs of the Co-op. Policy Governance™ uses policy language developed and voted on by the board to set out the goals of the organization (Ends Policy), to limit the actions of the general manager (Limitations Policies) and to outline the board’s work and process (Board Process policies and Board-Management Relationship policies). These policies can be found on the Co-op website here.
The Board of Directors are responsible for:
- Creating and sustaining a transparent and accountable relationship with the membership.
- Hiring, compensating, delegating responsibility, and holding accountable a general manager. (We call ours the Cooperator in Chief.)
- Having expectations in the form of written governing policies that realistically address the broadest levels of all organizational decisions and situations.
- Regularly monitoring operational performance in the areas of Ends and Executive Limitations, and board performance in the areas of Board Process and Board- Management Relationship.
- Perpetuating the board’s leadership capacity using ongoing education, training and recruitment.
What does the Board of Directors NOT do?
The Board of Directors does not make decisions about, become involved with, or take part in any of the day-to-day activities or decisions regarding the operation of Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op. The board’s sole official connection to the operations of the cooperative is through the Cooperator in Chief (GM).
The Board of Directors currently holds monthly business meetings and quarterly meetings to engage members. A member of the board should expect to devote several hours per month to review the monthly board packet and at least two hours per month for the business meetings. Quarterly meetings are two hours long. Additional time may be required for trainings, conferences, committee meetings and for day-to-day board communications. New board members should also plan to set aside time for the onboarding process.
The job description of a general member of the board can be found here.
OK, I am interested, so how do I run for the Board?
Once the Statement of Interest has been submitted, the Nominating Committee will contact you to set up a follow up interview.
The Nominating Committee is charged with the responsibility of selecting the best candidates for the Board of Directors and making a recommendation to the board. Not all interested candidates may be recommended by the Nominating Committee. At the June board meeting the Nominating Committee will declare approved candidates for final approval by the board.
Candidates not recommended by the Nominating Committee may still run by petition. To run by petition a member must obtain signatures from 3% of active members. Due dates for petition signatures and all other deadlines are included in the Election Timeline.
Once candidates have been nominated or have gathered the required signatures to run by petition, all candidates are then required to fill out and sign a Declaration of Candidacy form, and the Board Code of Conduct form. Candidates should then become familiar with the Election Code and the Election Information Packet to understand the rules for campaigning, the timelines for submitting statements and photos, and the dates and expectations for the Meet the Candidates & Election Forum.
Additional things to become familiar with are the Co-op’s Ends Policy, the Co-op’s Bylaws, the Board Governance Policies, and the general workings of Policy Governance.
SNFC Ends Policy
Bylaws of the SNFC
SNFC Board Governance Policies