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What kinds of things does the board do as a group?

Board members as a group:

  • Hire a competent manager, outline the duties and authority of the position, and formally review his/her performance.
  • Develop and adopt long-range business strategies.
  • Adopt broad, general policies to guide the manager. It is the manager’s job, rather than that of the board, to make the detailed decisions on how to implement the board’s policies. Once established, the board needs to monitor and review policies annually and make changes when necessary. Board members make policy decisions; they do not assume responsibilities that are part of day-to-day operations.
  • Review written monthly financial reports and operating statements to be informed of both favorable and adverse trends.
  • Review the operating budget for each upcoming fiscal year. The budget should estimate the expected volume and gross income, expenses, and net income expected. This constitutes necessary forward planning on the part of the board and management.
  • Employ a qualified auditor to make an annual independent audit to determine the accuracy of financial records and evaluate the effectiveness of policies and budget. The audit provides insight into the effect of past decisions and the need for new ones and is the primary method the board uses to report the financial condition of the co-op to its members.
  • With the aid of the manager, plan and conduct the annual meeting.
  • Determine the patronage refund allocation, weighing legal requirements against the need for reinvesting refunds to provide money to retire old equities and still meet current capital needs.
  • Obtain competent legal counsel.
  • Keep a record of the board’s actions.
What kinds of things does a board member do?

Blachly-Lane’s bylaws Articles III and IV outline the duties and responsibilities of the board of directors. Board members as individuals:

  • Become familiar with the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the cooperative and conduct the business in accordance with their provisions.
  • Attend regular and special meetings of the board.
  • Understand the terms of all contracts into which the co-op has entered by the authority of the board — leases, loan agreements, membership and marketing agreements, supply and other contracts.
  • Are familiar with the state law under which the cooperative was incorporated.
  • Understand the general legal responsibility of serving on the board of directors.
  • Are responsive to innovative ideas and changes that are in the best interest of the membership at large.
  • Commit to participate in training programs to better understand the cooperative’s operations and the director’s role in it.
Should I consider running for the board?

If you care deeply about our co-op, would like to represent your district in the overseeing and decision-making process and the ongoing conversation about the direction of our Co-op, and can attend monthly meetings as well as spend some time preparing for these meetings, you should consider running. The board election is held in April, so we’ve found it wise to start this process in the winter. The final date for submitting applications is typically mid-February.