Food co-ops have over time become more organized and foresighted in their recruitment of members of the board of directors. Here is a summary, “Director Recruitment: the Nominations Process,” by Karen Zimbelman (1985) that reviews the essentials: http://www.cooperativegrocer.coop/articles/2011-01-04/director-recruitment-nominations-process.
As an example of specifics of the nomination process, here is a comment (Nov. 19, 2012) by Barbara Mendenhall, a former director: “Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op also has a Board Nominations and Recruitment Committee. Members in good standing can 1) be nominated by collecting petition signatures, or 2) get screened by the Committee, recommended to the Board and nominated by the Board, or 3) get nominated at an owner meeting (quorum required). Method 2 is the most frequently used but method 1, nomination by petition (I think 75 member signatures), has been done quite often, for variety of reasons: interested parties did not meet the Committee deadline, decided to run after the Committee process was closed, were out of town during Committee process, did not want to go through Committee process.”
After election, the board needs orientation and continuing development. “Be the Best You Can Be – Quicker,” by Nina Johnson (2012) covers recruitment as well as board leadership development: http://www.cooperativegrocer.coop/articles/2012-06-04/be-best-you-can-be—quicker.
Cooperative Board Leadership Development
Through its board of directors training as well as extensive online resources its Cooperative Board Leadership Development (CBLD) program, the CDS Consulting Co-op has deepened food co-ops’ understanding of co-op governance: http://www.cdsconsulting.coop/services/cbld-leadership-development. At the CDS Consulting Co-op website, visit the CBLD Library, which has a wide variety of co-op governance resources available for download both as text and as online recorded workshops: http://cdsconsulting.centraldesktop.com/cbld/doc/3154572. The CBLD 101 Reader, a 60+ page pdf, is an excellent collection of articles that serve as a broad introduction to food co-ops.
[See related wiki pages under Board of Directors / Governance.]