What to Know About Owner Capital Campaigns

By |April 7th, 2022|

Raising capital is especially important for cooperatives, which don’t have a typical ownership structure that banks or lenders are used to. Mobilizing the co-op’s membership to raise funds through an owner capital campaign can be an excellent strategy.

Meet Columinate Consultant Cassia Herron

By |March 31st, 2022|

Cassia is a dedicated activist, a skilled community development professional, and a proud Kentuckian who brings 20 years of experience to the Columinate network. She is deeply rooted in the Kentucky local food movement, having organized farmer’s markets, established the Louisville Food Policy Council, and co-founded Louisville Association for Community Economics, which is opening the city’s only cooperative grocery store.

  • Vernon Oakes hosts Everything Co-op podcast

Meet Vernon Oakes

By |March 23rd, 2022|

Columinate is proud to welcome Vernon Oakes as a new consultant. Vernon is a passionate advocate of the cooperative business model and brings a lifetime of diverse experiences to the Columinate network.

The Gender Equity Project: One Year Later

By |March 10th, 2022|

In February 2021, Columinate launched its Gender Equity Project in response to findings that grocery co-op general managers (GMs) who identify as female are paid significantly less than their male counterparts. We talked with project lead and Columinate consultant Carolee Colter to learn how the Gender Equity Project is going, one year after its inception.

  • Seward Co-op Opening

Financing a Start-up Grocery: A Conversation with Don Moffitt

By |March 2nd, 2022|

Food access in low-wealth communities is a major problem that continues to grow. More and more, communities with food access difficulties are looking to the cooperative model to meet their needs. For a start-up cooperative, once the foundational questions of “why do we exist?” and “who do we exist to serve?” are answered, the next big question to address is “how do we pay for it?”

Staff Surveys Provide Valuable Feedback, Pandemic or Not

By |March 1st, 2022|

No matter how closely you work with your staff, there are some things that aren’t openly discussed. Regularly conducting employee surveys brings these issues — and satisfactions — to light. Taking the pulse of the co-op is perhaps more important than ever and prioritizing surveys pays off for all involved.

Spotlight on the General Manager Compensation and Evaluation Guides

By |February 9th, 2022|

Supervision and evaluation of a general manager (GM) are some of the most important tasks that a food co-op board can have. Columinate Board Development Consultant Molly Snell-Larch has developed two useful guides for navigating the sometimes complex processes of general manager evaluation and compensation.

  • GM Development

Supporting New General Managers

By , and |February 1st, 2022|

When a co-op board hires a new general manager, the directors know that there’s seldom an “ideal candidate” out there waiting. Instead, they choose the candidate who offers the best potential to meet the specific qualifications that the board has decided will advance the vision for their co-op. Since boards often realize that their new general manager may be lacking in certain key areas, they may look for resources to help mitigate the new leader’s deficits and build on their strengths.

  • Trust and Betrayal

Trust and Betrayal in the Board/Manager Relationship: Learnings and Reflections

By |January 31st, 2022|

Early in January 2022, the Cooperative Board Leadership Development (CBLD) team presented a new virtual workshop, Trust and Betrayal in the Board/Manager Relationship, to discuss the ways boards and general managers can build and repair trust. We connected with the workshop facilitators to learn more about the training.