Food Co-op Board Retreat

After years of strong growth, the Middlebury (VT) Natural Foods Co-op needed pause to take the long view; to think 10 to 20 years out about what their co-op might look like, what trends it would need to prepare for, how it would leverage opportunities to better fulfill its mission in a changing world.

Here’s what the Co-op’s Board President said about the day-long retreat I designed and facilitated for the organization.

“When our forty-year-old food co-op encountered an unforeseen set of complex challenges, the board turned to John. He was quick to grasp the underlying issues and helped us design an intensive, daylong retreat to address them.

The venue was perfect and the pacing deft. He combined provocative thought exercises with intervals of generative discussion in a way that kept the group’s spirits high and focus steady, and provided just the right amounts of reflection and feedback. In the end, there was a sense of confidence and accomplishment, in part because we came away with an impressive list of actionable next steps. Needless to say, we look forward to working with John again in the future.”

—Tam Stewart, board president, Middlebury (VT) Natural Foods Co-op