The Reluctant Joiner

Council - Announcements

By D.E. Bentley

join-a-committeeJoining is, without a doubt, a means to an end. People in their earliest incarnations joined to survive. It didn't take long for humans to figure out that it was much easier to fight ferocious beasts or gather food and other resources when they joined together to form a band of people. That said, some people, myself included, are not, by nature, joiners. But, as with all rules, there are exceptions. One notable exception has been my decision to join GreenStar and, for the past year, serve as an at-large member on the Governance Committee.

There were several reasons for my choice to serve as an at-large member. First, I had gained some experience as reluctant joiner, serving for several years as an officer for a local bee club; success breeds confidence and when something "works" we tend to try it again. Second, I finally decided to become a member-owner, after shopping at GreenStar as a non-member since its earliest days. I hated to be a member and not take a role, so I started looking for something to do. Third, it is nice to get a discount for serving, especially if you are already an avid GreenStar shopper. There are many reasons for my choice to shop extensively at GreenStar, including an acute shopping cart phobia, but I digress.

What I am trying to say here is how nice it is to be a part of something that encourages rather than discourages people to take an active role. Having the opportunity to serve on a committee has many advantages beyond those initial incentives. It allows the chance to become familiar with other involved GreenStar member-owners, people you pass during daily shopping ventures who are an integral part of what keeps the Co-op ticking. You also have a chance to become more familiar with the inner workings and to gain knowledge and expertise. You can take a more active role in helping to define and grow GreenStar; with involvement you can directly influence your shopping experience.

Due to unforeseen and pleasant circumstance, I am ending my short-but-sweet service as an at-large member. There is currently an opening on the Governance committee vacated by me. Grab it quick, while you have a chance; this was a great opportunity and these are great people to work with and get to know. A year was far too short and I would have liked to stay on and do more.

I would like to encourage others who are looking for a work opportunity at GreenStar to consider an at-large seat, perhaps as a first step toward becoming a Council Member. For one evening per month (regular attendance is important and required) you can step out of your shopper hat and become an active part of your co-op. Currently, at-large seats are available on the Governance, Membership, and Personnel Committees. To learn more about joining, contact Governance Committee Chair Dan Hoffman at 607.273.1323 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it of get more information and an apply online.