"Who's Responsible For What?"


Have you had a question about a product not carried in the store, or a problem you have encountered and wondered who to talk to? Should you ask someone stocking shelves, do you leave a message for the general manage or do you come to a board meeting and ask the directors? Who takes care of what?

Here’s one way of thinking about it. If it has to do with the store—inside and out, from staff to merchandise—­the responsible person is the general manager, our very own Prasanna Regmi. She, with her staff, handles everything from which farmers supply our carrots to who paints the stripes in the parking lot.

So you may wonder what’s left for the board to do? To put it simply, the board is the GM's boss. In fact she is the board’s only employee. That’s right, the board and the directors have no more say than any member-owner about who stocks the shelves or cuts the meat. That is all the GM’s job.

The board’s job is to take the desires of the owners and shape those into a variety of policy decisions that serve everyone. This role looks out for the best interests of the owners collectively rather than the interests of one group or viewpoint. As the GM’s employer, the board monitors the performance of the Co-op according to clearly articulated written policies.

That doesn’t mean directors don’t care about whether the food members want isn’t being stocked. It may point to a trend that informs us about the store’s performance and the GM’s effectiveness. But in the short run, we’ll direct you to the staff and the GM for a response.