Governance

AGM2016

Our third Annual General Meeting took place on March 3, 2016 at Erskine Presbyterian Church in the Strathcona neighbourhood with 90 owners present.

Who is The Mustard Seed?

The Mustard Seed is made up of over 2,100 co-op owners. If you are not already, please consider becoming an owner today!

We have some particularly hard working owners who have collectively volunteered thousands of hours for The Mustard Seed, in particular on our Board of Directors. In addition, we have a fantastic staff team, led by our General Manager Carol Hartmann, that oversees the general day to day running of the store.

Annual General Meetings & Board Meetings

Mustard Seed Annual General Meetings take place every year in late February/early March and are a great way to meet other owners and hear how what our Co-op has been up to. A notice of the AGM will be given to all owners via email ahead of time, including an AGM package at least 10 days before the meeting.

The Board also meets monthly, generally on the third Monday of the month. Meetings are shown on the calendar on our website. Owners are welcome to come to the monthly board meeting but are asked to contact the Secretary first to confirm the location, especially if you would like some time on the agenda. Owners are also welcome to contact the Board with specific questions, etc. with the follow email: board@mustardseed.coop.

Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation

The Mustard Seed Co-operative Inc. was established on November 23, 2012 under the Co-operative Corporations Act of Ontario. Read our Articles of Incorporation.

Our Co-operative’s bylaws were developed by the Board during 2012/2013 based on owner input and reflect our co-op’s vision. Read the General Bylaws of the Mustard Seed Co-operative.

Read our Governance Policies.

The Mustard Seed Co-op Donations Policy – 2016

Our Current Board of Directors

The Mustard Seed Co-op’s Board has guided the development of the Co-op through the various stages of development. Board member elections are held at each Annual General Meeting. Below are brief bios of The Mustard Seed’s current Board of Directors:

Jenna Anderson 

Jenna Anderson is a Brand Manager at a local brewery in Guelph, Ontario. She completed her BA at the University of Ottawa and holds a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations. Jenna has spent her career working in a variety of marketing roles at three different breweries and is immensely passionate about marketing and beer. Jenna is a Hatha yoga teacher who practices yoga the same way she lives her life, sustainably. As a new member to the community, Jenna brings a fresh perspective along with creativity, can-do attitude and community spirit that would benefit The Mustard Seed.

Dave Carson 

Dave is keen to see the Mustard Seed sustain and grow the local food system in Hamilton. Since retiring as a Director of Consulting at CGI in 2011, Dave has focused his time on improving local resilience through various local organizations including Dundas in Transition and Environment Hamilton. He has helped develop local food system capacity through implementing and operating the Dundas Good Food Box program and the Community Garden at St Mark’s, for the past 4 years. As a member and Chair of the City’s Food Security Advisory Committee, Dave has helped develop the Food Charter and other policies for the City of Hamilton.

Dave believes his professional experience in strategic planning, project management, process and systems analysis, and budget management can help assist the Mustard Seed in developing business goals and plans and monitoring operations towards enabling sustainable growth.  As a retired person, Dave has the time and capacity to serve the Board well.

Brad Coughlan

Brad is a Hamilton native that firmly believes in sustainable local business. He is an HR professional that strives to promote empowerment and engagement in all aspects of his career and volunteer work. Brad has a Masters degree in Human Resources from the University of Manchester in England and an Honors BA in Labour Studies from McMaster University. He is currently an HR Manager at the YMCA of Hamilton-Burlington-Brantford, and Interim General Manager at the Flamborough YMCA.

Brad sat on the Hamilton HIVE committee planning HIVEX 2014.  Having already contributed to developing HR policy at the Co-op, Brad feels there is no better place to continue his involvement in Hamilton’s development than with the Mustard Seed Board. While not a good cook, Brad is widely recognized as a great eater that loves to try new foods!

Emma Cubitt   – 2nd term

Emma was the driving force and visionary behind The Mustard Seed Co-op where she has been involved with every aspect of developing the Co-op’s vision, business plan, and community networks. Emma chaired the Sourcing Team which connected the Co-op with hundreds of local producers. She has planned many of the events at the Co-op including the annual Seedling Sale and summer festivals. She was the original communications and social media lead for the Co-op and in recent years has provided guidance to marketing efforts. Most recently, Emma has overseen the development of the Producer Profiles that you will soon see throughout the store. She offers the board unsurpassed commitment to the success of the Co-op.

As a professional architect and Associate at Invizij Architects, Emma brings professional experience in running a successful business, including financial management and the importance of robust organization and systems. She is keen to continue to serve the Co-op ownership by providing experienced leadership on the Board.

Graham Cubitt   President, The Mustard Seed Co-op, 2nd term

Raised on a farm outside Creemore, Graham’s passion for agriculture, food, and environmental sustainability runs deep.  Having led the Mustard Seed as President since its inception, Graham oversaw the Co-op’s initial business plan development, including capitalizing the business with owner and community loans.  Graham’s professional responsibility developing affordable housing at Indwell provides experience for undertaking significant capital-intensive and complex projects.  

Graham has been involved with all areas of the Co-op’s development, including the Operations Management Team.  He offers his unwavering commitment to the Co-op, combined with steady leadership and diverse skills to provide critical continuity for the Co-op.  Graham has the vision, perspective, and capacity to help the Co-op achieve continued success.

Charles Newell

Charles recently moved to Hamilton from Waterloo and Ottawa prior to that. He holds an MBA in Accounting, a Bachelor of Mathematics, and is nearing completion of his accounting designation. He has both private and public sector professional experience, including roles in Information Technology and with the Federal Government.

Charles has been an active volunteer with the Mustard Seed.  As the current acting Chair of the Finance Team, Charles has helped develop the path towards financial sustainability. He is keen to combine his education, experience, and background to further build on the recent success of the Co-op and oversee its continued growth through serving on the Board.

Karen McLaughlin

Karen is an author and food educator with a MSc in nutrition. A long-time Hamilton resident, Karen has over 15 years’ experience in the food and nutrition field. She is a Community Kitchen Facilitator at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market and has delivered educational programs for a wide variety of local organizations, including the Hamilton Public Library and Mohawk College, and is a regular volunteer with the Good Food Box program.

Karen joined the Mustard Seed Sourcing action team in 2012, helping set the Co-op’s sourcing priorities and supplier networks.  She is currently a Kitchen Action Team member, and has a passion for seeing the Co-op make healthy, affordable, and local food accessible to all Hamiltonians.

Mary Ellen Scanlon, Secretary, The Mustard Seed Co-op

Mary Ellen is a owner, shopper and volunteer at Mustard Seed because she believes that the Co-op is a transformative presence in our community. Mary Ellen retired recently after a career in strategic planning and project management. As a professional Planner and senior advisor at the Ministry of the Environment, she managed over 100 grants for large and small projects. Her non-profit experience includes leadership roles in local and provincial level organizations.

Mary Ellen’s work on Great Lakes water quality sparked an interest in the environmental impacts of agriculture and food production, prompting further studies in sustainable food systems.  In 2013, she completed a college program in Sustainable Local Food including courses in food systems, policy and enterprises. . Mary Ellen’s non-profit experience includes a major board restructuring at Ontario Nature as it moved to a policy governance model.  Mary Ellen offers her time and wisdom to the Mustard Seed Board with particular skills in project management & evaluation, grant writing, strategic planning, and board governance. She and her husband live in Hamilton just steps from their garden in Victoria Park.

Rowan Shirkie

Rowan is a dedicated Seedling, having eagerly participated in The Mustard Seed Co-­op from early Sourcing Team and construction work bees through weekly Local Bounty Bags packing.  But Rowan offers more: professional communication skills in traditional and new media; the capabilities of an entrepreneur and project developer; practical experience of how cooperative principles are put into action. With an MA in Communications (Simon Fraser University), and a 30­ year work history in public, private, and corporate domains, Rowan has actively taken up citizen responsibilities and served organizations both on the front lines and with strategic direction.

Rowan has seasoned but undaunted enthusiasm for the principles of co­-operation and social justice.  His strengths lie in building owner engagement and participation in the Co-­op. He looks forward to increasing regular sales to owners, brand advocacy, forming strong community bonds, and deepening volunteer resources. Rowan offers his network of Niagara Region food producers, entrepreneurs, and advocates in aid of supply chain management for the Co-op. Rowan’s good sense of humour helps realize the importance of good process.

Mary Lou Tanner,  Chair & Vice-President, The Mustard Seed Co-op

Mary Lou Tanner is the Director of Planning and Building for Burlington and has worked in municipal management and leadership for over 25 years.  Mary Lou was previously with the City of Hamilton, authoring downtown and waterfront plans including Putting People First and Setting Sail.  Her current role balances the needs of Niagara’s farming community with the needs for urban growth – addressing both city building and farm sustainability.  Mary Lou works closely with Niagara Region’s farmers to understand their needs related to planning policy, government relations, and the economics of farming.

Mary Lou has strong roots in Hamilton’s non-profit community with board membership in Phoenix Place, Interval House, and YWCA Hamilton.   Mary Lou brings to the Mustard Seed leadership her strong support for democratic decision-making, passion for farmers and their economic sustainability, and a commitment to the long-term viability of the Co-op.  Mary Lou loves include golf, dogs, board governance, politics, and Hamilton.

Nearly 200 member-households attended our first-ever Annual General Meeting on April 16, 2014.

Nearly 200 owner-households attended our first-ever Annual General Meeting on April 16, 2014.

Our second Annual General Meeting on Feb 24, 2015 at the Hamilton Public Library - Central Branch - with around 150 members present

Our second Annual General Meeting on Feb 24, 2015 at the Hamilton Public Library – Central Branch – with over 100 owners present

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