Our 2023 Election concluded on Saturday, December 2nd. We are pleased to announce the election of Alhen Drillich, Adam Hughes, and Kimberly Lomonaco. 17.1% of 3788 eligible electors voted in the election.
We are actively seeking to appoint a former employee who is eligible for Board service to complete the remainder of a term ending in December 2024, which became vacant by the passing of Secretary/Treasurer Helen de Haven last summer. Another seat recently became vacant with the resignation of Erin O’Tool. Those interested in being considered for appointment to these vacant seats can fill out this application, and the Board welcomes recommendations for members to appoint via email at email@example.com.
In early 2024, new Directors will complete a training program that will familiarize them with the history of cooperatives, policy governance, understanding financial reports, among other topics that will prepare them to serve in their roles. These trainings are a benefit of Board service, and a significant part of our governance budget, the total of which was 0.26% of total sales in FY 22-23.
As we shared at our annual meeting on December 2nd, there were no bylaws changes during Fiscal Year 22-23. For the remainder of the current fiscal year (through June 2024), we have voted to designate Staff Involvement in Governance as our Study & Engagement topic. Options to consider include a staff liaison or ombudsperson, or a bylaws change that would result in a complete restructure of our Board to include seats for employees. We plan to seek input from members and employees, and will inform members about our ongoing research into this topic including, of course, any decisions that are made.
We will continue to build on the momentum of our member linkage efforts in 2023. These included the 2nd annual member picnic in June, a flower arranging educational and social event at the store in September, and several listening sessions in the dining area of the store this past month. We made efforts to increase readership of our Board News posts via links in the monthly “Updates from your Co-op” email and social media posts. We directly respond to members via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, an account we exclusively manage, and provided the opportunity for members to speak at forums at our monthly meetings and our recent annual meeting. An invitation to participate on our 2024 Board committees will be forthcoming in the new year.
We are grateful for the increased interest in governance in the past few months and look forward to continued engagement with our members. We trust that, with your support, Three Rivers Market will continue serving as an example of how cooperative businesses can thrive.