General Manager

Position Type: General Manager
Apply By: June 7, 2018
Posted: May 7, 2018 - 7:11 pm EDT
Organization Type: Co-op Retail
Organization: Community Food Co-op
Organization Location: Community Food Co-op
Organization Website: Community Food Co-op
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Contact Email:
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Information on General Manager Position

Job Overview

The general manager is hired by and reports directly to the cooperative’s board of directors, which is elected by its member/owners. Because co-op boards are democratically elected, directors are deeply committed to the co-op’s goals but not necessarily familiar with the board’s role in the organization or experts in the business that provides the financial engine. Our co-op board uses Policy Governance™(PG), which provides a structure for maintaining a productive relationship between operations and governance and provides the board with tools to effectively oversee the general manager. In the PG structure the co-op’s goals are articulated through “Ends Policies” and the general manager’s work is guided through “Boundary Policies”. [Link to the Co-op Ends and Boundary policies here.

Governance Responsibilities

The general manager is responsible for ensuring that the board is supported in upholding their governance responsibilities, using Policy Governance™. The board does not play a role in daily co-op operations.  The general manager is responsible for:

  • Providing the board with “reasonable interpretations” of the Boundary Policies. Interpretations explain how the GM is going to evaluate and measure success on the policy. Once accepted by the board an interpretation becomes the standard against which the GM’s performance on that policy is evaluated. 
  • Preparing Boundary and Ends Policy monitoring reports to the board on a schedule established by the board.
  • Responding in a timely way to board requests for revised interpretations or additional monitoring.

The monitoring reports constitute the record upon which the board evaluates the general manager’s performance.

Operational Responsibilities

Responsibility for achieving the results defined by the Ends Policies is delegated to the general manager within the framework of the GM Boundary Policies. The general overview of the responsibilities below is for informational purposes and does not constitute a definitive listing of duties.


Financial and Planning

  • Develop and recommend to the board of directors long- and short-range plans to achieve co-op purposes
  • Prepare operating and capital budgets for approval by the board and be held accountable for control of resources
  • Direct all financial operations of the cooperative
  • Investigate new business opportunities and make recommendations to the board of directors on expansion, relocation, and acquisitions; conduct negotiations as agreed
  • Provide information to the board and attend board meetings, retreats, and member linkage events
  • Participate in regional and national co-op and industry events



  • Ensure a profitable, growing business that acts as an economic engine to further the Co-op’s community initiatives
  • Maintain knowledge of natural foods retailing and industry trends
  • Maintain appropriate relations with wholesale distributors, local markets, and other industry sources
  • Ensure the establishment and maintenance of a product mix that meets shopper needs
  • Plan and execute a margin strategy designed to be price competitive and maintain adequate profit for growth
  • Ensure compliance with all applicable laws regarding licenses, permits, health regulations, employment, etc.

Human Resources

  • Oversee compliance with the cooperative’s personnel policies and update as needed
  • Hire, supervise and evaluate, management staff, including taking disciplinary action as needed
  • Develop a staff organizational structure that promotes fair distribution of work while maintaining maximum service to customers
  • Prepare a yearly payroll budget that meets operating budget constraints
  • Ensure a safe, healthy workplace for employees
  • Ensure adequate training of staff

Marketing and Outreach

  • Ensure that the co-op has an advertising and marketing strategy to increase public awareness of the cooperative’s products and services
  • Ensure that information about the business is communicated the members through newsletter, social media and an annual report
  • Ensure strong relationships with community partners to further co-op values and goals





Required Qualifications 

-          Track record of success

-          Retail grocery experience

-          Financial management and reporting 

-          Problem solving 

-          Curating and cultivating talented teams

-          Managing people

-          Visioning and entrepreneurship

-          Relationship building with the Board

-          Collaborative approach to community partnerships

-          Track record of cultural competency

-          Accountability for self and reports

-          Alignment with cooperative values and structure


Desired Qualifications 

-          Change management, adaptability

-          Systems development and monitoring

-          Models excellent performance

-          Get the best out of people

Apply online:

Send inquiries about the position to: [email protected].

This position will be open until we find the right candidate. For more information about Community Food Co-op and the General Manager position, please visit our website