MEC is Canada’s go-to place for outdoor gear, know-how and inspiration: a large retail cooperative with over 5.4 million members nationally, $462 million in annual revenue, a global supply chain, more than 2,500 employees, 22 stores across Canada, and a gear-packed website.
As a retail co-op, MEC is owned by its members and is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors elected by the membership. Our goal is strong and balanced leadership, and our nominations process helps us get there.
Who we’re looking for
In 2020, MEC members will elect four candidates to MEC’s Board (three will serve for a three-year term, and the candidate that places fourth will serve for a one-year term). MEC is looking for candidates who have significant experience in areas relevant to MEC’s business. This needs to be coupled with a deep commitment to MEC’s values and purpose, to inspire and enable all Canadians to enjoy active outdoor lifestyles. Candidates will ideally be able to contribute insight and innovation at the board table, provide diversity of thought and experiences, and demonstrate an understanding of governance norms.
MEC is a complex and growing organization that is committed to improving its diversity and inclusion efforts. We have heard your feedback and know that ethnic and cultural diversity on the board level is important to you, our members. We too recognize the benefits. Bringing a variety of thoughts and lived experiences to the boardroom is critical for improved governance, greater innovation, deeper insight and better decision-making.
Though we recognize diversity encompasses many facets, we are actively working to increase ethnic and cultural diversity on our Board, as well as maintain a gender balance.
MEC conducts all nomination and election processes as prescribed under the Co-op’s Rules. MEC’s Nominations Committee supports the delivery of the Board’s mandate in the areas of board elections and candidate nominations. The Committee is composed of three board members and two members-at-large. The inclusion of members-at-large promotes objectivity and allows for a wider spectrum of perspectives throughout the process.
To maintain a firm foundation for corporate governance, it is imperative to regularly review the composition of our Board of Directors to ensure it is made up of committed individuals, who collectively have the required characteristics, skills, experience and leadership abilities required to carry out the roles and responsibilities of the board.
All election procedures are monitored by the Co-op’s independent election auditor.
To help drive business success in this rapidly changing, digital world, we need guidance from capable experts and passionate people who shared the Co-op’s values – people who collectively have the desired criteria based on the Board’s required skills in the coming years. These needs are determined by an assessment of the current Board composite.
Knowing this, in 2013 the Board proposed new Rules that would, among other things, mean that the Board must indicate to members which election candidates most closely fulfill the Board’s identified needs. These new Rules were approved by 91% of voters in the 2013 MEC election. In a normal year with three vacancies, the Board must recommend between four and nine candidates.
Purposeful board composition or actively recruiting recommended candidates allows us to find great candidates who share MEC’s values and can contribute their wisdom and experience – but who might not have traditionally put themselves forward for election. The Board will be able to indicate to members the candidates who would be best equipped to contribute to the overall composition and abilities of the Board most effectively. Members, however, will be able to choose between all eligible candidates on the ballot.
Diversity and inclusion
Over the past few years, we have been stating our diversity aims in the Nominee Criteria and proactively seeking candidates from diverse backgrounds. Despite this, we have not achieved significant change in effectively reaching candidates from diverse ethnic and cultural groups, who are able to contribute to the overall composition and skills of the Board.
We appreciate that significant change may not be achieved in the first years of this proactive approach. However, we believe these efforts are laying the groundwork needed to help us achieve greater board diversity over the coming years.
To advance our commitment to board diversity, our Nominations Committee is working with WATSON Advisors Inc. our independent election consultant, to actively increase the diversity of the pool of candidates considered for recommendation.
Call for nominations
The nominations period for the 2020 election is now closed.
|Call for nominations begins||November 1, 2019|
|Deadline to submit nominations and acceptance of nomination||January 10, 2020|
|Screening process including interviews and Nomination Committee and Board review||November 2019 – January 2020|
|Nominees confirmed as candidates||February 2020|
|2020 Election begins||April 23, 2020|
|2020 Election finishes||May 21, 2020|
|2020 AGM||June 23, 2020|