In August of 2021, Trish Redalieu joined the City Market leadership team from Green Mountain Transit, where she served as the Human Resources Director from 2012 to 2021. She was drawn to City Market’s commitment to support and strengthen our local community. We recently sat down with Trish to hear about what she’s excited about in her first year as part of the team. Check out our conversation below!
What’s something you didn’t know about the Co-op before you became our Director of People and Culture?
My sister has been a Co-op Member since she’s been in Vermont. She always raved about it, but beyond what she shared with me, I didn’t know much. When the South End store opened in 2017, I was working a half a mile from there. I was so impressed with the store on my first visit. I wasn’t familiar with the concept of a Co-op, to be honest. When I learned a little more about what a co-op is, I began to more fully understand all the work we do to support the community, the education we provide, and the various ways in which we support the community. I thought the concept of community ownership was great, so I joined. For instance, I was always impressed with our Rally for Change program, but I didn’t completely understand the impact that it had on the community. When I took on the role here and learned more about our impact, I was grateful to be a part of it.
What makes the Co-op different from other organizations that you’ve worked with?
I’ve always been attracted to organizations with a social mission. I have a long career in public transit, which has a social mission in that it provides a service that people wouldn’t otherwise have. I think for me what makes the Co-op different from other organizations is that there’s a larger sense of community. There’s a willingness to listen and to learn from others that I found different from working in government. Working in government, processes can be very structured and limited. One of the things I had to get used to at the Co-op was the collaborative nature of the work. It’s much more collaborative.
What are you most looking forward to as you continue in this role?
I see a lot of opportunities to continue to build on how we live out our core competencies and Co-op values. These components of the Co-op are so important. I’m looking forward to being a stronger contributor to our Co-op values.I’m also looking forward to improving efficiency in the People & Culture department itself. A lot of our work is driven by paper, and paper is somewhat antithetical to our broader ethos. I’m looking forward to reducing our reliance on paper processes because it’ll make everyone’s lives better here. Simpler digital processes will allow us to focus more deeply on our Co-op values work.
What has been your biggest challenge in this role so far?
I think for the first six months, I didn’t really understand how all our departments integrate. It’s one thing to know what different departments and individuals do at the Co-op, and another thing entirely to understand how they all come together. It took me a long time to understand the intricacies of that integration and coordination.
Beyond that, a lot of the critical work in People and Culture relates to compliance. That work is incredibly important. We need to get the documentation in, make sure people get paid. But at the same time, we have to keep in mind the bigger picture. We have to keep a focus on our mission – what we call the Global Ends. So that’s starting to come together.
I love to wander around the store and look at the local products and the educational pieces in the store. When you think of it as a grocery store, you only see it as that. But when you think of it as a Co-op, you see a lot more about what’s going on. I appreciate seeing how all of those pieces come together to make a real difference for our community.
Fun question: What is your favorite sandwich or hot bar item?
I love the breakfast sandwiches. When they started serving them again, it was like fair week. I was like “Oh! The sandwiches are back!”.
What is your favorite Co-op memory so far?
I loved unloading the COTS trees for our COTS Tree Sale. It was so great to see everyone come down. There was a call to action and people from all across the Co-op came together and did it. The whole experience was friendly, with everyone working together. Also, I really appreciated the opportunity to able to contribute to COTS and their mission in such a hands-on way. Seeing that impact is fantastic. That’s what I love about this place.