Cheryl WallaceCheryl Wallace

I do believe size matters and the complexity of the organization matters in board selection. I see some boards that don’t have the skill set and lose out on opportunities to grow or lose funding because they don’t know what is involved to meet the requirements of funders or regulators. Each industry is so different with regulations / expertise and knowledge requirements. That all being said having grass roots members on the board is important to add an understanding that may not be there otherwise. Having a diverse board is important to have different points of view. We saw this in Enron with board members not understanding the complexity and maybe having a conflict of interest. I am speaking in broad terms.

As far as MEC is concerned they need to ensure they understand their strategy / mission and vision to ensure they are structuring their organization to meet that. They were able to grow their business from a small grass roots organization with those types of board members. Maybe they need to re-examine what they want their strategy to be. Governance expertise does not need to be the main requirement of board members. YOu could have a few experts and educate the others in areas they may need. They can also have external resources to support them through consultants and auditors.

The board does not need to fully understand the operations of the business. The CEO and management need to. The board needs proper reporting to support it from a governance perspective.


“I thoroughly enjoyed the Good Governance Matters course offered by Co-operatives First. The course provided a solid background on governance generally and specific examples of good governance practices in co-operatives. It is uncommon to find governance training specific to co-operatives so this was refreshing.”

Janet Taylor (Corporate Secretary)

Libro Credit Union

“The Good Governance Matters Course was a valuable course. I shared it with the [Arctic Co-operatives Limited] Senior Leadership Team. If it ever comes up again, I highly recommend others to take it.”

Mary Nirlungayuk (Corporate Secretary and Vice-President, Corporate Services)

Arctic Co-operatives Limited

“The online course, Good Governance Matters was very informative, easy to navigate and discussed issues relevant to our needs as a Board of Directors. This course is a great tool for boards to build their knowledge to become strong, strategic boards.”

Lori Sanders (President)

Sherwood Co-op

“This course has greatly increased my understanding of what good governance could/should look like and how each part (boards, management, members) plays a vital role in the co-operative’s success.”


“This course was highly enjoyable, and relevant to working in not only the co-op space, but with any group that needs to make decisions.”