Join the Board of Directors

Apply for the Co-op Board of Directors

Co-op members elect a nine-member Board of Directors to guide the Community Food Co-op. This leadership and policy-setting group reports to the membership and is responsible for the planning, review, and oversight of the Co-op.

The Board meets on the second Wednesday of every month at 6 pm.

or download the application here.

Board of Directors Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

Candidates must complete these three items by the listed deadlines in order to run for the Board:

  1. Attend a Board meeting (Wednesday, Dec. 13) or a Board meet & greet (Time TBD):  We ask candidates to attend a Board meeting to observe the process and see if this is something they would be interested in. The Board meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 6 pm. To join the meeting, contact the Board Administrator: [email protected]. They will give you the agenda and meeting information.
  2. Attend a candidate orientation: We recommend that candidates attend an informal candidate orientation. Contact the Board Administrator and we’ll arrange a time to meet with you before the Jan. 17 application deadline.
  3. Complete all candidate application materials (due by Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024):
Where do I turn in my completed application?
  1. You can fill your application out online.
  2. Email your application to [email protected].
  3. Mail paper copy to:
    Community Food Co-op, Attn: Board Administrator
    405 E Holly St., Bellingham, WA 98225
  4. You can also drop off your application at either store service desk (Attn: Board Administrator).
What is the role of a Co-op Board member?

The Board sets the direction of the Co-op through long-range planning and visioning. The Board supervises the General Manager (GM), attends to the financial health of the organization, and writes and monitors policies that set parameters for the GM. The Board does not direct day-to-day operations in the stores such as the products that are carried, personnel issues, or how the store looks. That is the role of the GM.

What are helpful qualities for serving on the Board?
  • Ability to compromise, reach consensus, and build on shared knowledge
  • Ability to “see the big picture”
  • Ability to make tough decisions and be accountable for the consequences
  • Experience with strategic planning or willingness to learn
  • Ability to read a financial statement or willingness to learn
  • Communication and cooperative group process skills
  • Ability to engage and work with leaders and communities of diverse racial, ethnic, gender, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds
  • Interest in serving and advancing the Community Food Co-op
  • Professional attitude, including an understanding of and ability to maintain confidentiality
  • An understanding of the Board’s role in the Co-op or willingness to learn
  • Inspiration and enthusiasm for the goals of the Co-op’s Strategic Plan goals
  • Understanding or willing to understand the role of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the cooperative model.
How many Board members are there?

Every year Co-op members elect three directors to the Co-op’s nine-member Board (there is one seat on the Board held by a Co-op staff person and they are elected by the staff).

How long is a Board term?

Each director serves a three-year term.

How much time do Board directors spend on Board work each month?

Board directors volunteer approximately 10 hours per month. Each director is expected to prepare for and attend the monthly Board meetings, and to serve on at least one Board committee (most committees meet once a month). In addition to these standing meetings, directors should attend scheduled Board trainings, fall and spring retreats, the Co-op’s annual meeting, member engagement events if planned by the Board, two Co-op sponsored events, and Board/management meetings as needed.

Do Board members get a discount when they shop at the Co-op?

Board directors receive a 15% discount on Co-op purchases, and a $20 coupon for each Board and committee meeting they attend.

How does the nomination process work?

The Board of Directors reviews all applications and nominates a slate of candidates for the ballot. Candidates not nominated by the Board can still be on the ballot by submitting a petition signed by at least 25 members or 1% of the membership eligible to vote in the previous year’s election, whichever is greater.

When and how does the Board election take place?

The Board election will run from March 1 – 28, 2024. Co-op members will be mailed election information and instructions about how to vote. The voting site,, will include the candidate’s profile (your answers to all the application questions) and your photo.

When do I find out if I am elected, and what happens next?

The ballot count takes place shortly after the close of the election. You will be contacted with the results by the first week of April. If elected, you will receive initial orientation information. Your first board meeting would be Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

For any questions contact the Board of Directors via email or at 360-734-8158, ext. 317.

Learn more:
Board Approved By-laws
Board Governing Policies
Amended Articles of Incorporation
Strategic Plan

Please submit applications by January 17, 2024.