General manager of the Davis Food Co-op, Eric Stromberg, was asked to resign by the board of directors and will take a permanent leave starting March 22. This will end Stromberg’s 14 years of employment at the Davis Food Co-op.
“[The Board of Directors for the Davis Food Co-Op] decided to exercise an option under the General Manager contract for separation without cause,” said a memo issued to the Davis Food Co-op members and shoppers by Stacie Frerichs, board president and the entire Davis Food Co-op Board of Directors.
The board made this decision following closed meetings.
“[This was a] very deliberate process and [we] thoroughly considered all information available to [them] before making a decision. We feel our decision was made in the best interest of … the Co-op members … However, for legal reasons, we cannot discuss personnel matters publicly,” Frerichs said.
The management team at the Davis Food Co-op is expecting a smooth transition according to Julie Cross, marketing and education director for the Davis Food Co-op.
“While change is always difficult, the Co-op has a very strong management team. We expect to carry on business as usual during this transition,” Cross said.
Beth Tausczik, the current store manager will fill the role of interim general manager while the search for a new general manager takes place.
“The board is confident in Beth’s ability to lead the Davis Food Co-op during this transition and is confident in all our staff’s ability to maintain great customer service and efficient operations,” Frerichs said.
The Co-op has not expressed any concerns with Tausczik filling this position. According to Cross, Tausczik has been with the Co-op for over 25 years, and has been their store manager for the last 12 years.
The board has formed a task force to conduct a national search for a new general manager. Frerichs said this search will be a topic of discussion at upcoming meetings.
According to Cross, the search will be a lengthy process and done nationwide.
A few members of the Food Co-op expressed their disbelief at the request issued for Stromberg’s resignation.
Bruce Walters, a member of the Food Co-op since 1995 said he liked the direction the Co-op had taken under Stromberg.
“I can’t believe that the board would want to get rid of him, I just hope that I still receive the same great service now that he is gone,” Walters said.
An employee at the Food Co-op who wished to remain anonymous had a similar line of thinking.
“I feel that what happened to Eric [Stromberg] wasn’t fair, I think he was a really great person to be around and made working at the Co-op a fun place to be … I just don’t know why they would get rid of him like that,” the employee said.
The next meeting of the Food Co-op Board of Directors will be April 7 at 7 p.m. in the Co-op Teaching Kitchen.