Introducing our new General Manager: Allan Broom


On behalf of the member-owners of our Co-op, your Board of Directors is pleased to announce the hiring of Allan Broom as the Co-op’s new General Manager, effective June 1, 2016.

Allan brings to the General Manager position his broad experience in marketing, sales, operations and financial management as well as online business development. Allan has worked as a senior executive in various industries, including retail consumer products, tourism, green energy, and equipment manufacturing. As a leader, he is recognized for strategic planning and his ability to guide change in diverse cultural, political and business environments.

Allan is excited about taking on the challenges of his new role: “As a business leader, my focus has always been the triple bottom line of environmental, social, and financial sustainability. I look forward to guiding the Co-op’s transition to the new store and supporting a vibrant workplace for our employees and an improved experience for our members.”

Allan will assume responsibility of all of the Co-op’s operational activities, including oversight of the Nelson Commons development – working closely with Project Managers Russell Precious and Deirdrie Lang.

Search Process

The Board used a thorough process in its search for a new GM and struck a Search Committee in the fall of 2015. The Committee was aided by a human resources specialist with CDS Consulting Co-op – the leading consultancy for retail food co-ops in North America. Staff – from front-line clerks to senior managers – participated in the interview process.

It was truly a cooperative experience to have had a total of 19 staff participate in this process. Their enthusiastic engagement and thoughtful input helped give the Board the assurance it needed that Allan was the ideal candidate for the job.

Over 30 staff also participated in the early stages of the search process through a leadership survey developed by the board. The survey invited staff to offer input on the following questions:

  1. What do you think are the most important qualities in a leader at the Co-op?
  2. What are the current strengths in the leadership at the Co-op?
  3. What are some of the ways in which the leadership at the Co-op can improve?

The answers to these questions aided the Board in drafting a new and improved job description for the General Manager position and supported us in knowing what to look for in a leader. With a field of very strong candidates, the Board faced a challenging decision in selecting just one of them to lead the organization – in the end, the Board’s decision to hire Allan was unanimous.

About Allan Broom

Allan has a strong connection to the Kootenays, with his family having lived continuously in the area since the early part of the 20th century. He relocated to Nelson from Vancouver in 2015 to take part in the area’s mountain lifestyle and to be closer to family.

Allan is well versed in adapting to different cultures and communities. He previously worked in Romania at SC Green Synergy SRL, where he provided ongoing management consulting services related to import, distribution and commercialization of merchandise. The company’s portfolio included a chain of branded retail stores in Bucharest and an online store servicing the entire Romanian market.

For much of his career, Allan worked with Voith Paper Inc. where he led a team of 74 employees through the relocation of the company’s headquarters from Vancouver to Germany. Allan was responsible for a USD$105M international business portfolio with profits of USD$16M

We are confident that Allan will adapt to our unique Co-op culture very well. Please join the Board in graciously welcoming Allan to the Kootenay Co-op!

Thank you to Paul Kelly

The Board would like to thank all of the candidates who applied for the position and would especially like to extend its gratitude to Paul Kelly, who served as the Co-op’s Acting General Manager for the last 12 months. As you all know, Paul was first hired in 2014 as the Co-op’s Grocery Manager and not long after, at the request of the Board, stepped into the role of Acting GM with a whole lot of enthusiasm. His commitment to supporting the Co-op in this past year has been unwavering. Paul has played a significant role in helping transform internal systems at the Co-op to prepare us for the move into our new store this fall. Paul will continue as the Co-op’s Assistant General Manager. Don’t hesitate to take a moment to thank Paul for his commitment to our Co-op.

In Co-operation,

Jon Steinman

Board President