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Outpost's Board of Directors will use this blog to discuss issues the board is exploring as it envisions Outpost's future. Can't make it to a meeting? Check here frequently to read what the Board is up to. Your current Outpost Board of...
Your Board

Outpost: a model of cooperative values in action

Board Beet
By Your Board on March 15, 2016

In just a few days, Outpost Natural Foods Co-op owners can bear witness to cooperative values in action at the March 20th annual meeting. Board directors and staff are seeking to make the annual meeting more accessible by offering it at Mount Mary University, and by utilizing the power of technology, owners may choose to participate in real time at the Bay View, Mequon, or E. Capitol Drive stores.

Just a year ago, I gained a spot on the ballot and ran for election to the Outpost board. As a part of the Outpost family, I’m happy to know that with 21,000 owners and six locations, I’m supporting one of the largest cooperatives in the nation. In February, we gained 370 new owners. Hopefully, you’re one of them. If not, I invite you to learn more about the benefits of ownership and join our ranks.

Six candidates are vying for three seats and if elected, will serve three year terms. All share a belief in the cooperative values upon which Outpost is built and have prepared statements on why they want to serve as an Outpost board member. I invite you to get to know them. Two are incumbents with whom I’ve served this past year. Individual reasons for running may echo your own beliefs in your cooperative.     

Come to the annual meeting to receive the annual report with information on grocery competition

Each of us read the headlines and drive throughout our communities; so, we’re keenly aware of growing competition in the grocery marketplace. “Hey, we’re so much more than a market!” our owners say. Agreed. As a thriving food cooperative, Outpost offers organic and healthy food choices, an equity share of a $50 million company, leadership in sustainable environmental matters, investments in the local community, and equitable treatment of employees, leading to regular Amazing Place to Work designations.

We also stand out because Outpost board members, staff and owners care. We know we’re providing so much more than healthy food choices. A few months ago, I attended opening events associated with our latest location, Innovation and Wellness Commons at N. 17th St. and W. North Ave. The sense of community pride was palpable. As I walk through the building today, I still sense the pride.

As with all of our Outpost stores, we need to listen to what shoppers want in a community grocer, and publicize what makes us special. This includes the tangible and not so tangible. We need to invite all shoppers into the family. Fact is, food cooperatives have been around and relevant for more than 100 years. One of the largest was the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance and Cooperative Union (CFNACU) with one million members in the 1890s. History challenges us to become more inclusive and responsive to owner and potential owners’ needs.

We’re committed to keeping Outpost relevant, accessible and flexible. We’re certain this will allow Outpost to thrive in the face of intense grocery market competition. Join us at the annual meeting and learn how to help keep your cooperative healthy.

Click here to learn more about this event and to RSVP.


Lora Hyler

Board Director


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