Run for Board of Directors

Here are the results for our 2023 election:
Ruth BrownsteinTim ChenetteJennifer FaulknorIke NwankoDave Toler
paper votes97819810081total paper ballots=126
online votes8371799486total online ballots= 136
total all votes180152177194167total voters= 262

About the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is elected by the membership to serve a three year term for the Olympia Food Co-op. The  Board establishes policies, oversees the operating and capital budgets, approves plans and recommendations, and sets general guidelines for staff and working members. They hold ultimate legal responsibility for the operations and actions of the Co-op.

Board members also serve on various committees, such as finance, member relations, and expansion. Other responsibilities are listed in the bylaws, which the Board is responsible to uphold.

Board members receive working member credit for their time spent in Board and committee meetings. The monthly commitment ranges between 10 to 20 hours.

Elections are held each year October 15th to November 15th.

If you have any questions, contact us here

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Board do?

The Olympia Food Co-op Board of Directors is the body elected to represent the membership and holds ultimate legal responsibility for the operations and actions of the Co-op.  The Board establishes policies, oversees the operating and capital budgets, approves plans and recommendations, and sets general guidelines and goals for staff, working members, and the organization at large.

Who can apply?

Board of Director seats are open to all active members of the Co-op who have accurate contact information on file and agree to the following commitments: attend the monthly Board meetings, serve on Committees of the Board, and volunteer 10+ hours each month.

I have no experience, can I apply to be on the Board?

We encourage anyone with passion, commitment, and time to apply. Do you…

  • want to engage in board meetings and committee work?
  • want to learn about our co-op, or have prior experience with other co-ops?
  • want to learn about consensus decision making, or have prior experience in consensus decision making?
  • enjoy food, cooperatives, volunteering, the democratic process?

When and where are the Board meetings?

Once a month, on the third Thursday, from 6-8:30 pm.  Participation can be in person or through zoom.  Interested people are encouraged to attend the meetings.

610 Columbia St SW, Olympia WA, 98502

How long is one term?

Board members serve three-year terms.

What is the time commitment for a Board member?

Board members volunteer about 10 or more hours monthly.  This includes meetings and work within the Committees of the Board (each member is required to join 2-3).

What are the benefits of participating as a Board member?

  • receive discounts on co-op purchases
  • receiving training on consensus decision-making and anti-oppression
  • learn about the Co-op’s finances, policies, general procedures, and history

What are the requirements for participation on the Board?

  • attend the monthly Board meetings
  • join 2 – 3 committees, with bi-weekly or monthly meetings
  • regularly read and respond to emails
  • a minimum commitment of 10 hours per month

What are the Committees of the Board?

They are made up of members-at-large, Board members, and staff members.  Each committee develops and recommends plans and policies that are passed to the Board for approval. Committees include Board Development, Expansion, Finance, Local Products, Member Relations, Personnel, and Standing Hiring.

How do the Board and Committees make decisions?

Guided by the Co-op’s bylaws (available online at and consensus decision making practices, the members work together to build consensus.

Will there be training for the newly elected Board members?

Yes, they will receive an in-depth training on consensus decision making, finance, organizational overview, and more.

To be eligible to run, a candidate must be…

  • a current member of the Olympia Food Co-op
  • willing to make a three year commitment as a Board Member
  • available for training in November, December, and early January
  • available the first weekend each June for our Board retreat

How do I find out more information prior to applying?

  • you are always welcome to come to our Board meetings, held third Thursdays, 6- 8:30p.m. (610 Columbia St. SW)
  • read through our bylaws
  • wander around our website
  • contact us with questions

How do you run for the Board?

Complete the application process by 9 pm on September 8. The application can be found on the back of this brochure, at the stores, and online at For further accommodations, email

What happens after you apply?

The Board and staff will prepare the election materials for the September 20- October 20 election period.  December will be the first meeting with our newly elected Board members!

Will there be opportunity to communicate to the membership?

Yes.  Each Board applicant will be invited to make a short speech at the Annual Membership Meeting.  Also, the election materials will consist of the photograph and answers to the questions in the application.  These materials will be available online and in printed formats in the stores.