Board of Directors Expectations

The Marsh River Cooperative

Board Member Expectations Document

The purpose of the Board: to uphold the mission of the Marsh River Cooperative 

We maintain a year-round market that emphasizes locally produced goods and provides fair prices to both consumers and producers; we create a space to nurture social and economic connections and further an understanding of cooperative values and other topics relevant to fostering a healthy, creative, and sustainable community; and we help to maintain a viable and sustainable local economy by providing meaningful employment and support for local producers and vendors.

The Role of the Board:

  • The Board oversees, directs, and controls the business, property, and affairs of the cooperative on behalf of member-owners and is directly accountable to them.
  • The Board monitors the financial status of the cooperative and positions the organization for fiscal sustainability
  • The Board ensures that the cooperative functions in accordance with our bylaws and policies, and that all business is conducted legally, prudently, ethically and in accordance with general cooperative principles.
  • The Board hires, evaluates, and oversees the manager and supports them in the day-to-day operations of the business.
  • The Board educates members about their rights and responsibilities as member-owners of both a cooperative market enterprise and a community organization.
  • The Board organizes community outreach to promote an understanding of our mission and services.

In all of these functions, the Board must be sensitive to the needs of the general membership and make decisions based on these needs, not only on what is most profitable for the cooperative.

Board Member Responsibilities:

  • In general, Board members serve three year terms; be prepared to serve out a full term with the understanding that you may resign your position at any time with written notice
  • Stay up to date with current conditions, happenings, and events at the cooperative
  • Be prepared to spend 8 hours per month on board related work as a member, and more if you are an officer
  • Attend monthly, two hour long board meetings
    • Prior to the meeting, bring to the attention of the Secretary or President any issues you would like to have addressed on the agenda
    • Come to the meetings prepared to participate in discussions and decision making, having read all of the necessary documents prior to the start of the meeting
  • Respond promptly to time sensitive cooperative matters conducted via email or phone
  • Consider serving as an officer – president, vice president, treasurer, or secretary  – based on your strengths, interests, and the needs of the cooperative      
  • Be an ambassador on behalf of the cooperative: invite new customers to the co-op, encourage membership and volunteers, etc.
  • Consider serving on at least one committee
  • Follow through on the commitments made during meetings
  • Plan, organize, and attend the Annual Meeting and help prepare the annual report
  • Participate in a yearly Board retreat


  • Board members receive discounts on groceries at the coop; inquire for further information
  • There is an option to earn a membership through your Board service