The Co-op Difference

Cooperative governance is democracy in action! Elected democratically from the ownership, the Board of Directors guides the vision of the co-op, enabling all Owners to have a say in how the co-op is run. 

The Grain Train's Board consists of five to nine Directors who each serve three-year terms. The Board is responsible for protecting Owners' assets by ensuring that the co-op is fiscally sound and viable. Additionally, they establish and monitor the co-op’s governance policies, and hire, monitor, and evaluate the General Manager. 

  

May 1, 2020

As Secretary of the Grain Train Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that the following individuals have been elected to serve on the Board via online voting. For three year terms: Joe Graham, David Heidtke, and Mark Blaauw-Hara; for one year terms: Marty Parks and Michael Holifield. Term lengths are determined by the number of votes cast for each candidate. Terms begin officially at the May 2020 meeting of the Board. Congratulations to all of you, and many thanks to the record number of members who this year cast their votes online.

                                                                   — Paula Welmers

Until further notice, Board Meetings will be held via Zoom. Grain Train members and prospective members may join us to observe using the link and meeting credentials below. Approximately 5 minutes is allocated at the beginning of each meeting for Open Member Forum, during which member input is welcomed. We ask that visitors remain silent for the remainder of the meeting.
Next Meeting's Agenda
https://zoom.us/join
Meeting ID: 968 0382 0668
Passcode: 701571

Meet our Board of Directors 

 

 

Lynn Wolf

Lynn Wolf 

President 

 

Hal Willens   

Hal Willens

Vice President

 

David Heidtke

David Heidtke

Treasurer

 

Paula Welmers

Paula Welmers

Secretary 

 

 Mark Blaauw-Hara

Mark Blaauw-Hara

 

 

Joe Graham 

Joe Graham

 

 

Lindsay Hall

Lindsay Hall 

 

 

Mike Holifield 

Mike Holifield

 

 

 

Betsy Schnell

 

Policy Governance

The Grain Train Board operates using the Policy Governance model, which was developed to allow Boards to maintain accountability for organizational performance while focusing on providing visionary leadership around our 'big-picture' mission.

With this model, there are four different categories of board policies, and all board policies must fall into one of these categories:

  1. Ends (the intended results for the customers): Ends policies all deal with ends, while all other categories of board policies deal with means.
  2. Executive Limitations (the limitations put on the General Manager): Executive limitations policies all deal with means, but they are written in the negative, telling what means the General Manager shall not use, instead of what means the General Manager shall use to accomplish the organizational goals (this avoids the two extremes of “micro-managing” and “rubber-stamping”).
  3. Board-Staff Relationships (how the board will interact with the General Manager): Board-Staff relationship policies all deal with means that the Board will use to interact with the Staff through the General Manager.
  4. Governance Process (how the board will govern itself): Governance Process policies all deal with means that the Board will use to govern and monitor itself throughout the year.

You can find the full Policy Register adopted by the Grain Train's Board here.

 

Bylaws 

The Grain Train's owners delegate authority to the Board of Directors with a set of Bylaws, which explain the fundamental rights and responsibilities of both the owners and the board. 

Board Meeting Minutes 

Last Meeting's Minutes:


Board Minutes Archive

 

Interested in Serving on the Board?

Please read the Prospective Directors' Handbook for more information about eligibility, the application process, and what it means to serve on the Grain Train's Board. Applications are currently closed for the 2020 election, but we hope interested owners will consider running in the future.

 Prospective Directors' Handbook: