2019–2020 Board Orientation & Planning Days in November

Hello from your new 2019–2020 Board of Directors! At the recent AGM, Karma members elected a new board and, for the first time in many years, we have a full complement of 10 directors! It was great to see such interest in the board and engagement in the co-op. Several directors are continuing two-year terms but to get all the new members up to speed, Karma’s President, Kristy van Beek, organized two days of board orientation and planning that was also open to any interested Karma committee members.

On behalf of all of us attending, I would like to thank Kristy for organizing and facilitating two great days of board orientation, governance training, engaging conversations, and planning. Our new Board of Directors and several committee members came together to learn about our new roles and to identify the work we need to accomplish in the year ahead.

On Saturday, November 16, 2019, we explored various aspects of board governance and our roles and responsibilities, identifying gaps in policy/practice as we proceeded. Later that day, Dan Kleiman, household member and regulatory litigator, spoke about Karma’s duties and obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. He shared a few legal stories about workplace accidents and identified common safety needs for workplaces like Karma to protect its staff and member volunteers.

On Sunday, November 24, we started the day with a comprehensive history of Karma by Howard Kaplan, who became a member in Karma’s inaugural year of 1972! We all greatly benefited from Howard’s excellent memory and oral history telling, which was captured on video for our future records. Kristy then facilitated a full day of workshops to dig into Karma’s Why, How, What, and we performed an analysis of Karma’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Over the course of the two days, we identified a list of 20+ issues to address over the coming year. Our next step is to solicit further feedback from staff to help us prioritize tasks, including items that can be addressed quickly and easily.

Next month, the board will be seeking member participation on 2 to 3 priority projects. In the upcoming e-Chronicle, we will announce the member expertise and skills we seek to move these special projects forward. On behalf of Karma’s new board, I welcome your questions and feedback, and invite your active participation in our food co-op. After all, the co-op exists to serve its members, and we’d love to hear your view of what we’re doing well, the areas to improve on, or any new ideas you may have. You can contact us at board_list@karmacoop.org.

For more information on our new board members, please see our Board of Directors page on the website.

Submitted by Andrea Dawber