by Sue Ann Rybak
The Weavers Way Co-op board of directors has announced that Jon Roesser, the co-op ‘s former human resources director, will become Weavers Way’s permanent general manager.
Roesser, 45, of Cheltenham, has served as interim general manager since Glenn Bergman, Weavers Way’s former general manager, left in June to become the executive director of the hunger-relief organization Philabundance.
“I’m honored our board of directors has selected me to serve as our co-op’s next general manager,” he said. “These are exciting times at Weavers Way, and I look forward to leading the co-op as we continue to serve our communities and look for new ways we can grow the cooperative economy in Philadelphia.”
Before coming to Weavers Way in 2008, Roesser worked at Adecco Corporation, a global human resources services company, for 13 years. He performed a variety of roles at the company including serving as the director of Adecco’s six-branch Philadelphia region.
Weavers Way Board member Laura Morris Siena said the co-op assisted by a consultant from Cooperative Development Services, did a nationwide search before the Weavers Way Board decided unanimously to offer Roesser the appointment.
Siena, who chaired the search committee, said that after going through a very rigorous search process that included member surveys about the kind of qualities and experiences the general manager should have as well as multiple interviews with the board and the staff, the committee picked Roesser.
When asked why the board decided to ultimately hire Roesser to fill the position, she recalled the “Acre of Diamonds” speech by Russell Conwell, founder of Temple University. The speech offers several life lessons, including finding the riches of life (diamonds) in one’s own backyard.
“That’s how I felt about Jon,” said Siena, a longtime resident of Mt. Airy. “The more and more we got to know him as a candidate – I thought ‘Well, this is our own little Acre of Diamonds.’
“He has tremendous interpersonal skills,” she explained. “He has a way of setting people at ease and establishing trust with people.”
She added, he is totally committed to the co-operative model. She said his experience, attitude and enthusiasm will be invaluable as the co-op faces the transitions that lie ahead.
“It’s not going to be news to you that the big challenge to the co-op in the next year is going to be the new market in Chestnut Hill,” Siena said. “He has really been on top of stragetizing about how we are going to meet that challenge.”
When the Local asked Roesser if he was worried about increased competition from Fresh Market, he replied:“We feel really confident that we have a good plan for keeping our shoppers. Whenever you have a competitor who comes into your marketplace, you just have to bring your “A” game, which means providing the best customer service and making sure that the food we provide and create is delicious.”