Board transition: A note from Kevin McCracken

Untitled_design.pngDuring the fall of 2011, my life began to change, unbeknownst to me. The agent of that change was my involvement with the co-op. I began as a committee volunteer and within a year, I was serving on the board. It would be years before I understood the role that the co-op would play in my life.

For the past three years, I have served as board president of Columbus Food Co-op and my experience has been extremely gratifying. And now, I must prepare for more change. My commitment to the co-op has required me to postpone further graduate study. I now I find myself at the point where I can no longer postpone those studies. 

So, I have resigned as board president in order to create more time to further my education. I remain an elected member of the board and ardent supporter of the co-op and its mission. You will still see me at annual meetings, the farm market, and various other co-op events. But, I find it necessary to step away from myriad behind-the-scenes meetings and commitments.

To facilitate the transition of leadership, I have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with new board president Jon Bachmeyer and with site coordinator, Dan Fleming. I have full confidence in Jon, Dan, and the rest of the board. We are on the cusp of exciting news and I am hopeful that we will realize our vision of a full-service cooperatively-owned grocery in our community. Our co-op is constantly growing and evolving and I view this change as one that is good for our co-op. 

As I look back upon the past five years, I can think of many anecdotes worthy of sharing.         
Here is one:

I was a participant in a co-op workshop in Bloomington last year. The presenter asked each person to share with the group what skill or strength he or she brought to their co-op. Each person (about 40) answered. The responses included, “unbridled enthusiasm,” “financial management skills,” “passion for healthy food,” and many, many others. I found it fascinating to hear the broad array of answers given with sincerity and without hesitation.

The presenter next asked participants to raise a hand if they believed that being involved with their co-op had changed their life. Immediately, every person raised their hand. There was no hesitation and no glancing around to see what others were doing. There was simply a spontaneous group declaration that each of us was immersed in a life-changing experience and that each was better for having done so.

For me, it was a moment of awareness unlike any other. The community connection I felt and the sense of purpose was never stronger.

I began volunteering in my community nearly 20 years ago. I have served on many boards and volunteered at many events. Nothing in my experience compares with the time spent serving our co-op. Our board has a level of commitment and effort that can only be described as an order of magnitude above any other board I have experienced. The friendships that have grown out of my board service and the people I have met have been among the highlights of my life.

So, I encourage each of you to give the co-op your passion, creativity, effort, and knowledge. What you get in return could change your life.

Cooperatively,
Kevin McCracken 

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