By Sarah Christensen, General Manager, Co-op Owner
This October I’ll celebrate my 12-year anniversary working at the Co-op and my 10th anniversary as General Manager. During that time (and before I’m sure), many faces have come and gone from the Co-op. Many have left their mark on our history. Here’s a short list of some of my most influential past cooperators: Angela Pohlman, Becca Dunning, Matt Vogel, Kristen Ulmanis, Mary Rozga, Matt Himmelspach, Mari Potter, Liz Busch, Chris Venegas, Wilma Blackman, Erin Swystun and I’m about to add two more, Jennifer and Jay Fields. You may or may not know them, but behind the scenes they’ve played a big role in the Co-op over the past decade, serving a combined total of eight years on our Board of Directors.
Jennifer was appointed to the Board in early 2006, just as the Board began its exciting work transitioning to Policy Governance (yes, the hint of sarcasm is real). Board members at the time spent hours outside of regular meetings studying this new structure, wrapping their brains around how it would work operationally, and finalizing the language that would become GreenTree’s new governance system. It’s generally not the kind of work people picture doing when they volunteer for an organization. But it is often, and certainly was in our case, the type of work that builds a foundation and serves an organization for years to come. Jennifer’s term wrapped up in 2009 and she and a few other previous GreenTree Board members started the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum.
Jay was elected to the Board in 2011 in the middle of our most recent renovation project. In 2013 he became the Chair of the Board and has helped develop the Board’s understanding of their role in an expansion project. Under his leadership the Board joined the year-long Cooperative Board Leadership Development program, created new Ends policies, completed an overhaul of our existing governance policies, and revised our bylaws and Restated Articles of Incorporation—all of which helped position GreenTree for our upcoming expansion.
So here’s to Jay and Jennifer (and Whitney and Abram). Thank you for your years of service to our Co-op. Thank you for your commitment to making Mt. Pleasant a pleasant place to eat, be, and play. Wishing you the best in your new place!