One of the major milestones in a co-op's development is hiring a Project Manager and we're bringing one on right now!
Please welcome Wynston Estis to your Co-op!
Wynston is a consultant with CDS Consulting Co-op (CDS CC) who has expertise in project management, merchandising, retail department performance and operational improvement. She works for co-ops as interim general manager and project manager, helping them through transitions in management and project oversight. In our case, she brings construction and project management experience from her oversight of the Willy Street Co-op's (Madison) expansion into a second store which is similar work to our stage - overseeing all the moving parts of design and construction of our store. She has also been active with our Site & Architecture team, partnering with freshArc on our store design as she brings real-world operational experience to that process. Wynston knows how to manage and run a natural foods grocery store and that knowledge base is critical to have on our team now.
The Board is beginning the transition work of moving from a "working board" where we are "hands on" to being a governing board where we'll need to be "hands out, eyes in". Bringing Wynston on board is our chance to begin governance of someone. We'll be working to build the framework for her success and ours and later will apply that same governance model to our general manager. It's a challenging process for us to be sure. We've been hands on and very actively involved for so long. And it will need to be a gradual process as well - the Board is by no means off the hook for work right now! But we're slowly learning to pass the baton.
As natural food retailing gains a foothold in more communities, Wynston thinks that co-ops need to do more of what they’re good at: engagement and innovation. But not at the sacrifice of good retail systems.
“We can be unique in our communities, but we can’t put that ahead of offering our customers premier service. We can and should be the best in the marketplace,” she said. “This is good work, and fun work, with a huge impact on the bottom line.”
Wynston is working remotely yet but was in town recently for a Board meeting and attended our Bistro Campagne Mixer where she said a few words. Have a listen and get to know her: