People trying to understand resident ownership sometimes ask, “But, do people have the capability to own and manage their communities?”
After working with co-op leaders for going on three decades and in literally hundreds of communities, I can say that every community has an amazing array of talent.
I just finished reading a Loan Request from a new co-op which I won’t name because the leaders haven’t given me permission to share their names and backgrounds.
Here is the list from the Credit Memo:
- President: 40+ years of experience in the granite industry, including 26 years owning his own business.
- Vice President: 25 years with two food production companies, currently working for county mental health service.
- Treasurer: 30+ years of experience is sales, customer relations and management.
- Secretary: Small business owner of U-Haul store.
- Director: 30 years of experience as a construction supervisor, and 5 years of experience in the auto industry; has served on non-profit Boards.
- Director: 20 years of construction experience, including 10 years doing municipal (water, electric, sewer) projects.
We’ve worked with accountants, civil engineers, homemakers, teachers, restaurant workers and secretaries. One of the most gifted at community relations was a fellow who worked at the town transfer station.
There’s the talent and experience and then there’s simple dedication and emotional intelligence. In my experience, there’s a depth of all four in ROCs.
There’s a lot more leadership capacity in the world than ever gets tapped.