Governance & Board of Directors

Our 2018-2019 Board from left to right: Janice Johnson, GROWMARK, Inc. (Treasurer); Maureen Gillespie, The Co-operators; Laura Toombs (Youth Director), Ag Energy Co-operative; Hugh Nelson, Y's Owl MacLure Co-operative Centre; Crystal McNerney, CHF Canada Ontario Region (Secretary); Joel Lalonde (Chair), Central 1 Credit Union; Michelle Vieira (Vice-Chair), Ag Energy Co-operative; Sally Miller, Canadian Worker Co-op Federation; Erin Morgan (Executive Director, OCA). Not pictured: Jennifer Woodhouse, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative. 

Like all co-operatives, OCA is structured democratically; the power to govern and direct the co-operative rests in the hands of our Member-Owners, and not its shareholders, as in a traditional business corporation.

Board members are elected from within our membership by the Voting Members of the organization, at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Directors are elected for a three-year term, with the exception of the Youth Director who is elected for a one-year term. Vacancies, when they occur mid-term, may be filled by the Board and the positions ratified at the next AGM. Directors also participate in various OCA committees and working groups.

The Board has the statutory power and obligation as granted to them by our co-operative’s bylaws and the Ontario Co-operative Corporations Act. The Board’s primary mandate is to set and monitor the strategic direction of the co-operative, not to provide or oversee operational support and guidance. The Board works with an approved budget and is accountable to the membership.

OCA’s Board consists of nine Directors. Five of these positions are designated seats for members who contribute $50,000 or more in annual dues. There are three Table Officers, including the Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer, who are appointed by the Board. One position is designated to a Youth (25 years of age or under). 


Becoming a member of the Board of Directors at OCA is an opportunity for representatives from our Member-Owner organizations to contribute their knowledge, energy and commitment to the well-being of Ontario’s co-operatives and credit unions.

Your involvement will provide deeper and broader experiences in the co-operative sector, and an appreciation of the benefits of collaboration, when co-operatives, credit unions and sector stakeholders work together to achieve shared goals.

Becoming a Board Director is a win-win! OCA benefits from your experience, expertise, skills and passion. Your organization benefits from the professional development and enhanced skills, experience and knowledge that you will gain by being on the Board, and helping to shape the strategic direction and governance of the organization.

For more information on how to become a Director, view our Board Nomination Package, or contact Jennifer, our Member Relations Manager, at 1-888.745.5521 x22.