Report from the board


Dear Karma members,

Happy New Year! Thank you for supporting Karma with your time, energy, expertise and shopping throughout 2019!

As I mentioned in the December eChronicle, our new Board’s November orientation and planning days helped identify 24 issues to address in 2020. We are just getting started on a few of these priorities, which range from clarifying existing policies and procedures to developing new ones. We are taking a programmatic approach to this work by creating a set of continuously developing guides and manuals that include a Board Minutes Style Guide, Members’ Manual, and Health & Safety Program. Necessary training, information, and resources will also be included in these documents.

Our goal in doing this work is twofold: to enhance access to information for all Karma stakeholders and to set us all up for success now and in future succession planning. We want to improve consistency and reduce the barriers to entry by establishing processes and programs that can be passed on to future boards, committees or staff teams.


At this time we are seeking member expertise and participation on a few priority projects in 2020:

  • The Health and Safety Committee will be developing a comprehensive Health & Safety Program for Karma. Current members are Board members Jim O’Reilly and Andrea Dawber, and GM Talia McGuire.

Seeking an HR professional (HRPA designation) and another certified Joint Health & Safety Committee Member with compliance and policy/procedure experience.

  • The Staff Liaison Committee is looking to enhance overall organizational efficiency and improve workload fairness among all committee and staff members. Committee members include Board members Lindsey Shorser, Kristy Van Beek, and Andrea Dawber, working in collaboration with GM Talia McGuire.

Seeking a skilled HR professional to help with a job role analysis and the development of integrated processes that enhance overall effectiveness, responsiveness and efficiency of committee and staff teams.

  • The Board of Directors would like to host a spring Committee Planning Day or half-day.

Seeking skilled and experienced facilitators to support member engagement in small and large groups, participating in a variety of planning activities.


Our 2019–2020 Board is excited for Karma in the year ahead, and we are looking forward to getting to know more of our membership in the store soon. We’d love to hear your view of what we’re doing well, areas to improve on, or any new ideas you may have. Please contact us at

On behalf of Karma’s new board of directors, thank you for actively participating in our food co-op.


Submitted by Andrea Dawber, Vice-President, Karma Co-op

Recognizing member contributions

Karma Co-op is made up of members who contribute their time, expertise, and passion for local food and products to make this community an open, vibrant, and knowledgeable food store for all of us.

Our members dedicate themselves to many parts of the co-op, including the array of committees we have that help Karma thrive. Some of our members have gone above and beyond, committing years of service on committees, showing leadership, and helping shape the community we have today.

In this e-Chronicle, we turn to our newsletter — The Chronicle — and extend our gratitude to long-serving members of this committee.

Karen Fliess
Karen first joined the Chronicle Committee in 2008, contributing articles and fulfilling the role of publisher and later communications manager, only recently retiring from her position in the spring of 2017. Many meetings were hosted in her home, where committee members shared food and enjoyed tea while reviewing past issues and discussing what stories would appear in the next newsletter. Karen also introduced us to other members through her column “In the aisle.” Individuals and couples were interviewed by Karen, explaining why they shopped at the co-op, what products were their favourites, and what improvements they would appreciate seeing at the store. We are very grateful to Karen for the leadership, order, and high standards she helped to set for our co-op’s newsletter and the many members she worked with on the Chronicle Committee.

Ellen Pauker
Ellen is a professional graphic designer and lent her valuable skills to The Chronicle for more than five years, taking numerous newsletters and transforming them into wonderfully designed co-operative publications. Any member of this committee can tell you this position is no easy task — fitting the articles and photos into the set number of pages, finding creative ways to lay out pages, and making edits, all in a condensed period of time. While Ellen has since retired from her position on the committee, we are very grateful for all the newsletters she designed for us. Thank you, Ellen!

Amy Stein
Amy has been an active editorial contributor, copy editor, proofreader, and content editor of The Chronicle for several years. Thanks to Amy, we’ve been introduced to some of the local farmers and producers of the special food available at the co-op. She is an excellent editor and helped polish many articles over the years. Amy also stepped up and helped engage the committee and membership in discussing the evolution of the newsletter from print to online. We want to thank Amy for these and so many other contributions she’s made to our community over the years. Amy moved on from the committee in the spring of 2017.

by Kate Rusnak