Four pillars of cooperative governance

Run for the Board of Directors

The Owners of La Montañita Co-op elect Board members during an election season in the fall of each year. To qualify as a candidate, you must have been an owner continuously since at least July 1, 2016 (our bylaws require a candidate to have been a member at least 4 months prior to the start of the election). You must be at least 21 and not a convicted felon. (see Bylaws Section 2.1) Candidates must complete and submit their application by August 20, 2016. Candidate application packets will be available on this page by the first week of July.

This year there are four open positions, three 3-year terms and one 2-year term. Candidates are also strongly encouraged to attend our Annual Owner Meeting held in October (date TBD). At the gathering, candidates can introduce themselves to those attending.

The following is our 2016 schedule for meetings and election deadlines:

  • July 1: The date your membership must be valid and active
  • July 19: Regular meeting of the Board of Directors
  • July 20: Nominations begin
  • Aug. 16: Regular meeting of the Board of Directors
  • Aug. 20: Deadline to submit your application
  • Sept. 7: Deadline to have had your endorsement interview
  • Sept. 20: Regular meeting of the Board of Directors
  • Sept. 30: Deadline for candidate to withdraw from the election
  • Oct., date TBD: Annual Owner Meeting
  • Nov. 1: Voting commences through November 14th



From Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn, Board of Directors Election and Nomination Committe:

Each year the Co-op holds elections for three of its nine directors with terms running for three years. This year includes election of a fourth seat for a two-year term. As elected representatives of our 16,000 plus member-owners, the board’s job is to provide strategic vision for the future and to ensure the Co-op’s long-term stability and success. The work is challenging and rewarding.

The Co-op is a multi-million dollar a year operation with six stores: four in Albuquerque, one in Gallup and one in Santa Fe. Albuquerque is also home to our Cooperative Distribution Center, which is our foodshed warehouse serving producers, processors and retailers throughout our region. Finally, our many community outreach programs bring people together and strengthen our community.

The board’s work requires discipline and creativity. We govern by means of a framework called Policy Governance. At our monthly meetings, the board reviews management’s work by examining performance reports and comparing them to established policy standards. The board governs by declaring, through its policies, the results it wants and the actions it wants the general manager to avoid while achieving those results. Only by reviewing and adjusting these boundaries do we affect the direction of the Co-op. We leave day-today operational details to the general manager and his team (those are the people you see every day as a shopper). Almost half our meeting time is allocated for the Board Study Hour that has morphed in to the Community Education Series where we study our world, learn about our owners’ needs, and imagine the future. While it is customary for boards to attract prospective members with management-related skills, our approach is different. Our comprehensive policies and the management reporting that is required for them allow the board to simultaneously ensure successful Co-op performance and still focus on the bigger picture mentioned earlier.

To help keep the board on this path, HERE’S WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR IN A CANDIDATE:

  • First and foremost, be dedicated to the well-being of the Co-op and its owners.
  • Have a propensity to think in terms of systems and context.
  • Be honest and have independent judgment, courage, and good faith.
  • Be able and eager to deal with values, vision and the long term.
  • Be willing and able to participate assertively in discussions and abide by board decisions and the intent of established policies.
  • Be comfortable operating in a group decision-making environment, sharing power in a group process, and delegating areas of decision-making to others.

To better understand how these characteristics play out, we encourage prospective candidates to attend monthly board meetings. They are always on the third Tuesday of each month, starting at 5:30pm. Check the calendar, our website or the Board Bulletin Board for location.

Nominations start July 20, 2016 and end on August 20, 2016. Candidate application packets will be available soon, as paper copies from the information desk or printable PDFs available on this page.


Board elections will be held from November 1 through 14. Our annual meeting and celebration will be held in October. Candidates are encouraged to attend this meeting to have the opportunity to address members regarding their candidacy. The board will offer a list of candidates it feels are qualified to serve. Full information about this process is included in the candidate packet, which will be available on this page in the first week of July. For more information contact