A board of directors is an essential component of the cooperative business model. The Hampden Park Co-op (HPC) Board of Directors uses a structure called Policy Governance to oversee the co-op and to guide its work, allowing for an ongoing conversation between the board and the general manager (GM). The board is charged with setting the vision of the organization and making strategic action to move in the right direction. In addition, it proffers a set of policies that articulate the manner in which business operations must adhere to broader HPC values. The GM, in turn, is charged with managing business operations and presents monthly reports that allow the board to assure compliance with the governing policies.
Policy Governance allows the co-op to clearly distinguish between work best suited for the board, and work best suited for the GM and staff. Board directors are not involved in the minutiae of running the business; that work is left to our GM and HPC team. Instead, per the language of Ends/Purpose Policy A5, the board is elected by the membership “to be their voice in setting, implementing and monitoring policies which forward the goals and purposes of the cooperative.” Consider the board of directors as stewards, elected to ensure that the co-op’s business operations live up to the member community’s ideals.
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Here are bylaws, articles of incorporation, and sundry other documents related to the general structure and governance of the Hampden Park Co-op, Saint Paul, Minnesota.