Image for 2021 Board of Directors Election

Take your membership to the next level by voting for up to four candidates in this year’s election. Mississippi Market member-owners will elect three candidates to three-year terms, and the fourth candidate will be elected to complete a two-year term of a position that is currently vacant.

The co-op members you elect to the board will review and establish policies that guide management in their work, monitor the performance of our general manager, develop a long-range vision for the co-op’s future, and provide financial oversight of business operations. The Mississippi Market Board of Directors is a policy governance board, meaning they do not engage in operational decisions at the store level. Instead, they are legally responsible for the overall strategic direction and performance of our co-op.

Cast your vote beginning Sept. 29! One membership equals one vote. Each co-op member-owner (individual or household) will cast one ballot for up to four candidates and vote on the proposed changes to the articles and bylaws and board compensation.


Proposed Changes to Articles and Bylaws

Articles and bylaws provide the legal basis for the co-op’s existence. They identify how the co-op is structured and how that business is governed and managed. Changes to the articles and bylaws require a vote by co-op member-owners. The board of directors endorses three articles and bylaws proposals on the 2021 ballot to keep the co-op’s articles and bylaws up to date.

The first two proposals allow the co-op to distribute member-owner documents electronically, helping simplify the process and reducing expenses and environmental impact. The third proposal is to update the text with inclusive language.

Current text: Section 3 (c) Information. Each new member shall receive a copy of the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the Cooperative
Proposed change: Each new member shall receive a print or electronic copy of the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the Cooperative.

Current text: Section 5 (a). The annual net savings from member patronage, less any deductions therefrom of exceptions thereto as determined by sections 3 or 4 of this Article, shall be distributed annually to the member-patrons of the Cooperative who consent to take into account patronage distributions from the Cooperative in the manner provided in 26 U.S.C. ß 1385, on the basis of their respective patronage in accordance of these Bylaws, and said member-patrons shall be notified thereof.
Proposed change: The annual net savings from member patronage, less any deductions therefrom of exceptions thereto as determined by sections 3 or 4 of this Article, shall be distributed annually to the member-patrons of the Cooperative who consent to take into account patronage distributions from the Cooperative in the manner provided in 26 U.S.C. ß 1385, on the basis of their respective patronage in accordance of these Bylaws, and said member-patrons shall be notified thereof by mail or electronically.

Current text: Section 8. Current Address. Each member agrees to provide to the Cooperative his her or its current address and to keep the Cooperative informed of any changes in address.
Proposed change: Each member agrees to provide to the Cooperative their current address and to keep the Cooperative informed of any address changes.


Board Compensation Vote

The Mississippi Market Co-op Board of Directors is asking member-owners to approve an increase in board compensation. The last time the board proposed a change to the membership was in 2015. As enacted through the board of directors, member control is a unique feature of a cooperative business. As our business grows and becomes more complex, so too does the role of board members. The new compensation better reflects the importance our co-op places on board leadership. Our bylaws require that co-op owners approve any changes to board compensation. If you have questions or concerns about the proposal, please email the board at board@msmarket.coop.

Why are we proposing this change?
Your board of directors has evaluated the current board compensation plan. After reviewing the board stipends at other co-ops, we arrived at the proposed change by considering the 10 hours per month that board members are asked to contribute and applying a living hourly wage. We believe our proposal will better reflect the values of our cooperative and the value that board members create. Board governance is a critical business function, and it requires an investment to attract, train and retain effective board members. We believe this will promote inclusivity by lowering financial barriers that might keep some member-owners from applying to run for the board.

Updated Compensation Structure
In compliance with the Mississippi Market bylaws, the board asks member-owners to approve the updated board compensation structure. Currently, board members receive a monthly stipend of $100 a month; the board secretary, treasurer, and vice president receive $150 a month; and the board president receives $200.

The proposed compensation for board members is as follows: a monthly stipend of $160 a month for board members; $240 a month for board secretary, treasurer and vice president; and $320 a month for board president. In addition, board members would continue to receive a 10% discount on store purchases. Upon approval of this measure, the compensation outlined will be in effect unless changed by the member-owners of the co-op at a regular or special meeting, or unless the board determines that the compensation would cause financial harm to the co-op, in which case the board would suspend the compensation.


Board Candidates

Current board members reviewed new candidate qualifications and experiences, resulting in a final slate of six candidates on this year’s election ballot. The board of directors evaluated applicants based on their varying levels of experience and demonstrated interests in the following areas: Board Governance, Community Engagement/Connections, Diversity and Inclusivity, Food Justice, Local Food Systems, and Long Term and Strategic Planning.