PT Food Co-op

The Food Co-op, 414 Kearney Street, Port Townsend, 98368
Port Townsend
Phone: (360) 385-2883

Meet Board Candidate Lia Karoura

We asked board candidates to respond to the following questions in their candidate statements: 1) Why would you like to serve on the Board of Directors? 2) What experiences have you had contributing to other successful group efforts? 3) Of the current standing committees, which are Governance, Board Cultivation, Cooperative Connections, and Elections, which are you most interested in serving on, and what skills and experience do you bring to that work? 

Luisa 12_2016I was appointed as an interim Board Member in October. I have enjoyed serving on The Food Co-op Board and working with the Governance Committee and would like to continue on in this capacity. I would also be interested in working with the Cooperative Connections Committee to further member engagement. I believe that the cooperative business structure is a vital social safety net, a great way to practice democratic decision-making, and a necessary bridge between capitalism and equitable socioeconomic systems. As a cooperative, we have the opportunity to redefine the concept of ownership to include shared accountability for a common resource, instead of continuing to shape our lives around acquiring private goods only attainable through personal wealth. Since I am part of a generation in which many of us will likely never be able to purchase a home, I am very excited about the co-op movement. As an elected Board Member, I would work to expand the influence of co-ops in our community, advocating for cooperative housing and more worker co-ops.

Most of my day-to-day life involves some group effort. I share a house, a car, an office space, a fitness center, and most of my meals with other people who are not directly related to me. This has allowed me access to a much higher quality of life than I would have had otherwise. In order to manage these relationships, I’ve worked hard to build my communication skills and learn to listen with empathy. As a part of The Port Townsend CoLab catalyst team I have experience with collaboratively managing and operating a co-working office space as a shared resource. I understand the necessity of building an inclusive culture, developing community norms, and balancing equality with expediency. I first became interested in governance as an elections monitor in Afghanistan, where I had to enforce and evaluate certain aspects of elections law. This experience has proven very beneficial during my interim appointment to The Food Co-op Board.

My primary career is in business development, sales and marketing and I have worked closely with several farms in Jefferson and Kitsap Counties, including Red Dog Farm, Finnriver Farm and Cidery, and Bainbridge Vineyards. I am also interested in the social justice issues surrounding food. I have lived in many places with limited food access; I have been homeless; I have been unable to purchase food, and I have been on food stamps. These experiences have made me very aware of the importance of food access. In Port Townsend we have access to healthy food through many channels, one of them our small farmers. I am very proud to be part of a cooperative that considers food access an important issue and that supports small farms and other organizations working to expand access to healthy food. I am interested in continuing to learn and participate in cooperative governance while working to improve accessibility at our co-op.

Voting in The Food Co-op’s 2017 Board Election will be open from 12:00 noon on Monday May 1st through 9:00pm on Sunday May 14th. For complete election information, including all of the candidate profiles, visit http://foodcoop.coop/about/board-elections/

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