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The Last Year Was Even Better

By Dave Watson

When I was just a young buck I asked my dad which one of his birthdays had been his best. He always answered the same way: the last one. I always thought there was no way he could be telling me the truth! But now I have to wonder.

As I prepare for my last board meeting after six years of committees and serving as the board secretary, I review the agenda one last time and make sure I have the minutes from the last meeting, the reports, and the discussion materials in hand. I wonder what could top this enjoyable experience. I got to work with like-minded folks contributing to the well-being of a co-op grocery that helps to set this town apart from others. Amazingly, the work got done in a low stress, respectful manner as we repeatedly asked ourselves, “what is best for New Leaf Market?” Skilled facilitators and consensus decision-making guaranteed that new board members were allowed to grow into the process with equal opportunity to be heard and to find their own fit. Not to mention General Manager Larrane Hartridge, who I was delighted to see receive a special recognition at our annual meeting for her total commitment to this expansion and the daily operation of the co-op.

Tonight I will look around the table and realize not only do I care deeply about the welfare of the co-op but also about everyone who sits with me. We are most wealthy when we place ourselves in a position to make new friends and sustain the rich network of relationships and experiences that support us. It is also true, that as we turn a corner, “light and truth break into our lives in astonishing ways at unexpected times and places.”

I am more puzzled than anyone about what the future will bring to our community and society in general, but I know the cooperative principles upon which all co-ops are founded is the foundation of choice for all enterprise and struggle.

Dad was right. The last year was the best.

2014 Business of the Year2014 Locally Owned Business of the Year