Our Board has nine directors and each year, three seats are up for election. As a Co-op member, you may vote for up to three candidates each year. We all play an important role in electing members to our Board because the Board is critical to ensuring top notch oversight of our co-operative which has grown into a complex $1.2 billion business that operates in multiple lines of business, across different geographic areas, and with 3,900 employees.
Together as members, we make the final decision about who is elected.
Why does the Board now recommend certain candidates?
Calgary Co-op needs many different competencies to succeed – from our customer service team to our CEO. The Calgary Co-op Board also wants to ensure its Directors have the types of competencies required to provide effective oversight of our complex co-operative. The information provided to members is intended to assist in the evaluation of candidates and determination of which candidates that members wish to vote for.
The overall process began after the last Annual Meeting when a third party consultant, Brown Governance, conducted an assessment of the required competencies of the Board based on the strategy and current situational needs. The goal is to create an ideal state Board that would maximize the effectiveness of our Board. The Board members were individually assessed and the results were measured against the Board’s set of ideally required competencies. The outcome was openly detailed in the Director Election Handbook and listed the following factors.
Required competencies as approved by the Board:
co-operatives; financial; business; governance; human resources; leadership; strategic planning; strategic risk management; sound judgment; continuous learning; independent and integrative thinker; effective listener; open mindedness; integrity; and special emphasis on commercial real estate, legal matters and financial risk/oversight.
“Recommended” candidates are those individuals who, after a thorough and independent review process, were assessed as having the best match of competencies that will further strengthen our Board. We use an independent consultant to create a fair and objective process.
The Director Election is open to all eligible members of Calgary Co-op who meet the criteria set out in the Director Election Handbook. Any Calgary Co-op member who meets the eligibility requirements may stand for election. These criteria ensure that all candidates meet a high level of initial criteria such as satisfying the By-laws requirements, meeting a spending threshold, holding a valid membership, proof of non-bankruptcy, proof of no criminal history, etc. These initial criteria are also vetted through an independent third party, Grant Thornton. As a result, all the candidates shown in the package, meet the eligibility requirements and you may vote for any three candidates of your choice.
After all the candidates are deemed “eligible” or not, then another third party consultant, Watson Advisors, conducts thorough assessments of each candidate. This assessment process includes reviews of detailed material and supporting documents provided by each candidate, professional interviews with selected candidates and an evaluation based on needs and best-fit with Calgary Co-op. Interviews are issued to those individuals whose skills, education, experience and attributes best align with pre-approved competencies..
The Nominations Committee in conjunction with the Board, works to create a process that is independent from the Board. This provides a fair process, while continuously improving the value of the Board’s oversight of our Co-op. The final vote always remains in the hands of the members and we encourage you to vote in our Director Election.
Thank you for your interest in the governance process and for being part of Calgary Co-op’s Director Election!