An excuse I’m often given for why people don’t vote in the Servus Board of Director elections is that “There was no one running in my [insert geographic region here]”. This is an understandable reaction given how our provincial and federal elections work. Where are the ridings? Who represents my interests? Who will speak for my urban/rural perspective?
The answer is: everybody.
At Servus, directors are elected as at-large directors. At-large is defined on Wikipedia as:
A designation for members of a governing body who are elected or appointed to represent the whole membership of the body, rather than a subset of that membership.
And this is truly how we behave. We have Directors from Drayton Valley, Red Deer, Spruce Grove, Edmonton, Lloydminster, Calgary, Okotoks, Red Deer, Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Medicine Hat, and St. Albert. But we all represent the communities from Fort McMurray to Lethbridge, Lloydminster to Grande Cache.
Part of how we accomplish the goal of representing all of you is our community council program. We have groups of members providing us with advice about local communities across Alberta. We have these councils in Blackfalds, Legal, Bow Island, Lloydminster, Crowsnest Pass, Medicine Hat, Delburne-Elnora, Okotoks, Devon, Ponoka, Drayton Valley, Red Deer, Fort Saskatchewan, Rimbey-Bentley, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, High River, Spruce Grove-Stony Plain, Innisfail, St. Paul, Lac La Biche-Plamondon, Sylvan Lake, Lacombe, Three Hills, Lamont County, and Leduc. We try to have a board member at every community council meeting, even if our board members have to travel long distances to do so.
Travel is also part of our mandate as directors. We travel thousands of kilometers every year attending meetings, visiting branches and speaking at events across the province. We get out to meet as many members as possible and often meet and chat with members one-on-one when they reach out.
So what if you don’t have someone running from your geographical region? Reach out to a board member or candidate regardless of where they’re from and connect. You’ll see that every one of these people has a passion for your credit union and will be happy to represent you as we make decisions.
What if? Vote for the best candidate and you can be sure that they will do as much as possible for you regardless of where you’re from.
'Till next time, up up and away!
This article is part of a series. You can read the whole series at http://twentyfivetwenty.ca.