Guest post: “Why I Ran” – from Modo’s Board Chair, William Azaroff
William Azaroff, is the current chair of Modo’s volunteer board of directors and the Executive Lead of Member Experience & Community Engagement at Vancity.
If you’re a Modo member, are interested in co-ops, mobility, the sharing economy, transportation issues in our local communities, and getting some good board experience, consider running for the Modo co-op board. It’s an opportunity I wouldn’t trade for anything.
In 2013, I was looking for a board to join. I had worked at Vancity for eight years, had progressed in my career, and wanted a significant board experience. I also wanted an opportunity to learn about a community-based organization and help out in a meaningful way.
That year, I attended the Modo AGM, and immediately knew I had found an organization where I wanted to invest my time. I had joined Modo in 2011, first through the Vancity business membership, then as a personal member.
There were a few reasons why I was interested in the Modo board. I love the concept of carsharing, because after years of being a two-car household, my wife and I are able to share one car for our family and still access a variety of cars when we needed them. I have been a self-professed co-op geek for several years – I had lived in a housing co-op where I had been Treasurer; while I worked at Vancity, a financial co-operative, I went to Bologna, Italy to learn about their thriving and innovative co-op sector; and I have belonged to many, many co-ops in my life. I liked that Modo was a strong brand that has a significant opportunity to become a household name, and a key part of the local transportation and mobility infrastructure.
I had a whole year to think about it, until the next election season started, but I did not waver in my desire to run for the board. As a strong believer in the power of co-ops, it was a fun challenge to stand for election (my first since high school) and see if I possessed the skills and attributes that the members wanted to represent them on the board, through the democratic process.
I made a video with my family and stood for election – and I have been so happy with that choice. I have only grown more proud of Modo, have experienced a co-op from a governance point of view, have enjoyed the camaraderie and working relationship with my fabulous board colleagues, and have watched Modo continue to flourish and grow. It has been a real honour to have been able to chair the board for three years, which isn’t something I had done before. My highlights include hiring our new CEO, Patrick Nangle, in 2016, building new partnerships and amalgamating with other carsharing co-ops in BC, helping people understand carsharing and opt-in to this way of utilizing cars, and gaining a deeper understanding of transportation issues and the fascinating future of mobility.
This year our Annual General meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 and nominations for board members will close on Sunday, March 4th. We have four positions open on our Board of Directors this year. All shareholding members are eligible to run for election as a director, subject to your place of residence.