General Manager’s Report

by Jamie Lewis

This will be the last article I write for the Co-op newsletter as I am moving on from my position as General Manager. I want to give you some information about the management transition process and what you might expect going forward.

How Will the General Manager Role Look Going Forward?

During my time at the store there was a single manager, the General Manager, with the combined duties of what in a larger store would be a management team. Since we are such a small store that model seemingly made sense, and yet it placed a lot of roles and responsibilities on one individual. The position combined general operations, financial, human resources, and floor manager duties into one. Quite a few hats to wear to be sure! From my understanding there have been several different management structures at the Co-op over the years, including at one point a collective.

Upon making the difficult decision to leave and upon thoughtful consideration, I and the Board agreed on moving forward with a plan for a new co-management model consisting of a Floor Manager and an Administrative Manager. The two roles share responsibilities for finance, human re-sources, staff evaluations and relations. They also both report to and are liaisons to the Board.

This will have the benefit of shared duties and responsibilities as well as having, however small, a management team that can support each other. Without drilling down into the minutiae of every aspect of each job description I will outline the basic points.

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Floor Manager Role

The Floor Manager provides store employee supervision and covers all aspects of daily operations including buying, receiving, customer service, and staff support. I am pleased that we were able to successfully hire from within for this position by hiring Jezebel Crow for the Floor Manager job.

About Jezebel Crow

I have been working at the Plainfield Co-op since August 2015. I started on the Cinderella Shift, which is what the weekend closing shifts were known as once upon a time. I moved on to mostly produce shifts, loving working with the local farmers and real, healthy food. I start- ed buying for the Herb department, then took on Cheese, Coffee, Bakery, and eventually Produce. As other departments opened, I took them on, so now I buy for Refrigerated, Dairy, and Meat. When Jamie announced that he was stepping down as the General Manager, I said I would be happy to step up and facilitate the operation of the store.

When I am not at the Co-op, I live out in the woods in a cabin I built by hand. I keep chickens, goats, mules, and dogs. I read voraciously and study astrology and mycology.

Administrative Manager Role

The Administrative Manager handles such duties as payroll, vendor payments, employee onboarding, banking, keeping up to date with insurance, taxes, etc. Stanzi Scribner (as of the writing of this article) was recently hired for the Administrative Manager job.

About Stanzi Scribner

I started at the Co-op as a Sub back in the fall of 2018, and once we switched to only curbside pickup during COVID, I started working regular shifts 3 days/week. I enjoyed having regular shifts here and learned so many different things. When Peter asked me if I was interested in becoming a permanent/regular employee, of course I accepted. I continued as a cashier, training in various areas of the Co-op so I could be as useful as possible and cover in any area if needed, but I still felt like I wanted more from my job here. When the Administrative Assistant position was brought to my attention, I jumped at the chance and in September of 2021, I was promoted. Since then, I’ve loved having a new perspective, working more behind the scenes and making sure payroll is processed every 2 weeks, vendors are getting paid weekly, and that we have the supplies we need for the store (among other things). Of course, when I saw the Administrative Manager position come up, I couldn’t resist applying for it as well, furthering my career and taking on even more responsibility than I’ve had here in the past. I am so excited for this opportunity to work alongside Jezebel as co-managers, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for the Co-op.

Closing Thoughts

Jezebel and Stanzi are experienced, tenured and valuable members of our staff. I can say with confidence that they will make a great team and I believe will do well serving as Co-managers. Through my remaining time at the Co-op I will continue to work with and train both of them in their new roles.

I have learned so much in my time working at the Co-op. I have also had the plea- sure of meeting and working with many wonderful, bright and interesting people – employees, members and all.

I appreciate and am grateful for the opportunity and experience. It truly is the people that make and will continue to make this place special and successful into the future.