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Co-op Q&A is a quarterly publication from the Member Relations Team. The goal is to provide education about the cooperative business model and answer commonly asked questions by our employees and patrons. Our theme this quarter is the Board of Directors.
How many people are on the Board of Directors?
There are 11 Directors and 2 Associate Directors.
What is an Associate Director?
An Associate Director is a non-voting director who is actively learning about the cooperative and its leadership. Associate Directors are appointed by the 11 voting directors.
How do Board of Directors get selected?
Nominations for candidates for the 11 voting Board of Directors are solicited from full membership via a mailed letter and Nominations Form. The Election Committee within the Board of Directors review all nominated candidates to ensure established guidelines are met (such as candidates must be capital stockholders and actively engaged in farming.) Capital stockholder members are eligible to vote in the annual election, which is facilitated through the mail.
For governance purposes, the geography from which the board is nominated is divided into 2 Districts (East & West Districts) from which Board of Directors are elected. The division line between the 2 Districts is roughly US Highway #183.
How long is the term for a board member?
Directors serve 3-year terms. Associates serve 2-year terms.
How often does the board meet?
10 regular, monthly meetings per calendar year. No meetings in April or October.
Annual Meeting in January
Annual Strategic Planning Retreat (January or February of each calendar year), 3-day event
What does the board do?
Provide long-term leadership and vision for the cooperative
Work collaboratively with Senior Management on business management, growth and development
Board approval is required for:
Hiring of CEO
Annual Capital Budget
Development of Credit Policy
Patronage Allocation & Equity Redemption
Large-Scale Business Decisions – purchasing or selling assets, larger philanthropic efforts,
mergers with or acquisitions of other businesses
Does the board have committees?
Yes, currently 4 committees:
Executive Committee (Board Officers – Chairman, 2 Vice-Chairmen (1 from each District) and
Do board members receive any training?
Upon election or appointment, all directors go through Director Certification Program (DCP) with the Nebraska Cooperative Council (NCC). There are 4 phases of DCP. A director can complete only 2 phases in a calendar year, so it takes 2 years to earn certification. There are also at least 4 annual seminars offered by the NCC.
Training and industry updates are also part of the Annual Strategic Planning, CoBank Regional Customer Meeting and other Regional Cooperative Annual Meetings (CHS, Land O’ Lakes).
Who are the current board members?
Bill Dodds, Albion, 1st Vice Chair
Tim Easterday, Cozad, Director
Jim Eschliman, Ericson, Secretary – Treasurer
Seth Gruber, Kearney, 2nd Vice Chair
Travis Heinz, Spalding, Director
John Keller, Eustis, Director
Tim Rowe, Elwood, Chairman
Ken Ryan, Greeley, Director
Rod Schaeffer, Stapleton, Director
Ryan Sukraw, Gothenburg, Director
Jeff Waltman, North Loup, Director
Tony Murphy, Spalding, Associate Director
Travis Ostergard, Gothenburg, Associate Director
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