#8078
Ward WeisenselWard Weisensel
Participant

1. Would you consider implementing election procedure like those used by MEC? Why or why not?

We are in the process of implementing a Director endorsement process so our answer would be yes we would consider it. In a large retail coop that is increasingly complex, understanding the skill sets of director candidates and evaluating them is increasingly important. In addition, with a membership in excess of 300,000 I think members are looking for more information on the slate of candidates they are considering each year in the elections. As a Director, I cannot count how many times during an election campaign that I get asked by members about which candidates they should vote for. I think an endorsement process is an unbiased way to guide members and at the same time assists in having the diversity at the Board table that is critical to good governance and decision making.

2. How does your co-operative recruit new directors? Could recruitment be improved?

We do have good interest in our election process every year so from that perspective there is strong interest in the organization. We do encourage people to run where we see gaps that need addressing and this has been successful at times. That said, the nature of the democratic process does mitigate the effectiveness of these strategies. We have also brought independent un-elected candidates on to our Board as advisors from time to time where we see significant gaps that need to be addressed. This has resulted in interest in our coop as in one example they ran and were elected. The process is a bit ad hoc tied to an identified need but I think it is important to balance the need against the need to be open and democratic.

3. How do you ensure your directors have the skills needed to successfully participate on the board?

We strongly encourage Board training and we are formalizing specific budget availability for directors to enhance their training beyond the programs that are available through FCL.

1+

“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.”

2017 PARTICIPANT

“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.”

2017 PARTICIPANT