Straight From the Board - Second Quarter 2019

/kōˈäp(ə)rədiv/

According to Google, it can either be a noun that means:

a farm, business, or other organization which is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits.

Or an adjective that means:

involving mutual assistance in working toward a common goal.

That is all well and good to know for English 101 but what does that have to do with Mountain View Market and why is it leading off this article?

We do all know that MVM is a Cooperative, right? It's not just some local small business or a faceless mega-corporation -- it is a business which is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits.

Now let's take a closer look at that last sentence, in particular, the part about "owned" and "run." Everyone who has paid their $20 membership this year (or who has in the past paid off their full-share) can (and should!) consider themselves an owner That's right, over 3,000 of you are fellow owners. You are part-owners of a business right here in Las Cruces, a company that has been here in town for forty-plus years.

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Let's explore the "run" part of the sentence. The store is managed and staffed by a group of dedicated professionals, they are the life-blood that keeps the shelves stocked and makes your visits so enjoyable (By the way you should really thank them for all they do to keep our business running so smoothly).

Yes, the staff "runs" the store but what they do is not what the definition of cooperative means when it says "run," it is referring to what the owners get to do. You, as an owner have the opportunity to participate in the actual running of the cooperative. Sounds pretty neat right? For only twenty bucks a year you get not only to own a piece of a business you have the opportunity to help run it too.

There are many ways for you to participate in the running of the co-op, but before you get the urge to head down to the store and start bossing people around you need to keep reading because participating in running has nothing to do with bossing or managing anything. That part is what the staff does, not us the owners, the very cooperative cooperative owners (or coo-coo owners for short).

As an owner, you have the opportunity to participate in the running of the cooperative by:

1. Submitting comments to the board and staff (there is a comment box outside of the Community Room);

2. Coming to the monthly board meetings and present observations and ideas (meetings are usually the 4th Wednesday at 6pm in the Community Room);

3. Attend the annual (and any special) owner meeting and to vote for members of the board;

4. Serve on the board of directors;

Now if you remember a few minutes ago I said there were more than 3,000 owners? Every single one of the owners has the opportunity to participate in any one, or all of the four methods mentioned above. Actually, I don't think "opportunity" is the right word, more like a "duty as an owner" to participate in one or more of those methods (and even those of you who might not live in the area can still find a way to send in comments).

I want you all to think really hard and count the number of comment cards you have filled out over the last year, or let's make it easier, how many you have ever turned in?

Next, how many times have you come to a board meeting and spoken during the public comment period, or easier still, not spoken, just attended?

How about the annual meeting, did you come this year? Last year maybe? Have you ever been? Who were the previous board candidates you voted for?

Now, last but definitely not least - have you served on the board of directors?

Let's all add up the numbers and see if we are really participating in the running of our cooperative - how did you do? I'm betting for most of the people who have actually read this far you probably didn't score too poorly, and I thank you for participating.

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However, if you are still reading and you didn't have a high score then you are just the people I have been looking for... people who care enough about the co-op actually to read these newsletters but who maybe haven't really gotten into the cooperative spirit yet.

Do I have such a deal for you - the board of directors desperately needs your help, and all you need to do is answer a few questions and throw your name in the hat for the upcoming special election that starts on Saturday, May 4, 2019.

It's really not hard, and there isn't really any pain (well, other than the pain of finding a decent picture to submit) - just head on over to:

https://www.mountainviewmarket.coop/run-for-the-board

Please don't think you don't have the skills or experience if you can be a member you can participate and if for some reason you really don't think you'd be right for the board then there are still options 1,2 and 3. Remember that as an owner should really take advantage of all of the opportunities to participate, it is really your cooperative!

In Cooperation,

Ron, former Board Member