Since its incorporation in 1987, Weaver Street Market has been an innovative leader in cooperative modeling. While most cooperatives are either consumer owned or employee owned, WSM is a hybrid, owned by both its worker-owners and consumer-owners. Community ownership ensures that the organization is reflective of and responsive to the needs of the community. Worker ownership allows it take advantage of the natural entrepreneurial spirit of workers who are owners.
The hybrid form of cooperative means that both owner classes participate in the governance of the co-op through representation on the Board of Directors. WSM’s Board of Directors is composed of 7 directors: 4 directors are elected by the two owner classes, workers and consumers, with each class electing 2 directors, and 2 positions are appointed by the board itself to fill the need for particular skills or knowledge. The General Manager holds the 7th position. The board term is two years with no term limit.
The WSM’s Board of Directors is responsible for
- Interacting with the owners—to understand their values and vision for the co-op.
- Developing, monitoring, and revising a body of policies that guide the co-op to achieving outcomes that are consistent with owner values and vision.
- Ensuring, through consistent monitoring mechanisms, that management achieves the goals set by the board and that the board operates according to its established processes.