Friday, June 22, 2007

Common Ground Co-operative Appeal for Board Members and Staff

Common Ground Co-operative, Toronto, Ontario is seeking volunteer board members who are successful innovators and who have a wide range of community contacts. We place high value on skills and experience in small business development, social enterprise and fundraising. We also are on the lookout for candidates, with similar assets to these, for a paid full-time Executive Director position in the near future. Prospective board members should have a good understanding of board governance, especially with regard to co-operatives.

Common Ground is a non-profit charitable organization that supports four thriving social enterprises, organized as food sector business partnerships among people with intellectual challenges in Toronto. This unique model of employment, established over the past decade, engages more than fifty people with challenges as long-term business partners, income earners, and registered owners and operators of a food catering company called Lemon & Allspice Cookery and three snack bars, known as the Coffee Sheds. They are assisted by job coaches who are paid by the Co-op. Our website is www.commongroundco-op.ca.

Why Common Ground makes this special appeal
Common Ground has been the grateful recipient over the past nine years of extensive in-kind and volunteer support of community agencies, and people associated with them, who have traditionally provided programmes to people with intellectual challenges. Staff and families who have been associated with the agencies testify to the value of what Common Ground is doing. We are now seeking to diversify our eleven-person board by adding people from other sectors of the community who have strong ties to the co-operative and social economy movements and want to help ensure that marginalized groups have access to the new approaches to employment that are being developed.

It is crucial that we seek out and find people who are familiar with the world of small business, and social enterprise and the kind of empowerment that comes to any group when they are given the opportunity to make decisions and have some control over their workplaces and their lives. New perspectives are especially important in light of Common Ground’s plans to expand its work through replication of this alternative model of employment.

Contact Carolyn Lemon at carolynlemon@sympatico.ca if you, or someone you know, finds our Co-op’s future development an attractive prospect.

Circulation of this announcement within the groups and organizations that you represent will be appreciated.

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