Port Townsend Food Co-op Board Elections

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

Board Elections

2017 Board Election Results

Online and paper ballots were counted Tuesday, May 16th, following the close of the election period. 331 valid ballots were cast in the election.

In 2017 three candidates ran for three available seats on the board. Two seats are for full, three-year terms. The third seat is for a one-year term, filling a vacancy left by a board member who resigned mid term. The candidate who received the fewest votes will be elected to the two-year term.

The following candidates have been elected to The Food Co-op’s Board of Directors.

Lisa Barclay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 year term (299 votes)

Luisa Karoura . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 year term (281 votes)

Julie Brown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  1 year term (259 votes)



2017 Candidate Profiles

The candidates were asked 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 (see page 11 of the Candidate Information Packet), which are you most interested in serving on, and what skills and experience do you bring to that work?

Lisa Barclay

Lisa BI first ran for the board because I was impressed by what a great store we have, truly amazing in such a small town. Then I got to better know our staff, and the next time I ran, I could add to my reasons that I wanted to support such a great staff. Now I’m running for a final time and I can add one more reason—I’ve come to see the importance of cooperatives, as both an alternative form of commerce and a beacon of hope in a world where democracy has taken some hard hits lately.

I’ve enjoyed my four years on the board. I discovered I have a bit of a knack for this kind of work, and I believe I can contribute a little more before I retire. As chair of the Member Engagement Committee, I helped put on the annual meeting the past three years, celebrating our local farmers and cooperatives. This year, Monica (le Roux) and I passed the member engagement torch to a new board crew, and as the newly minted Board Cultivation Committee, we’re concentrating on how to keep the board working at its best. We currently have a hard working and collaborative board, but in co-ops, board members come and go, and board cohesion and cooperative knowledge takes work to maintain.

I’m also on the Governance Committee, which helps keep board work moving smoothly by writing and revising policies and procedures. Finally, I’m on the Product Research Committee, which, as the name suggests, checks out products and their ingredients—for instance, whether or not products might have GMO ingredients. (The PRC is not a board committee, but board members can be on it.) I would love to remain on all three of those committees. In addition, I’m also the board secretary, which means I answer letters to the board as well as help with other writing and editing matters. I’m perhaps most proud of helping to put out last year’s summer issue of The Commons, which focused on our local farmers.

I am an inveterate organizer, a skill I put to use on another board before I joined the Co-op’s. The CEO of a river-rafting company was near retirement but reluctant to let go. In addition, he and the company vice president could not see eye to eye on how the company should be run, to the point that they were no longer speaking. I helped smooth the transition by writing up a plan to transfer power that was fair to both, which they agreed to and which has helped pull the company through.

Serving on the board is a surprising amount of work but also very satisfying, because I feel I’m contributing to a good cause. I’d like to continue for one more term so that I can help ensure that the Coop board functions well not just now but into the future.

Julie Brown

Julie B 1I would like to serve on the Board of Directors because I very much enjoy shopping at the Co-op and being in the homey atmosphere that it provides. I’m passionate about the strong mission to uphold the health of our community and our greater world. Being an important gathering place with loads of good food and vibrant energy from the local farms and artisans, the Co-op helps foster ties that strengthen the community and sustainable land practices. And I believe this can do wonders in the way of fighting climate change and creating ripples that will influence the way people think about our socio-economic system. Therefore, I would like to play a part in finding creative ways to further strengthen these community bonds, and nourishing our future generation with good quality, accessible food.

My main interest lies in collaborating with local community members to bring more informative and fun activities to the Co-op in order to expand our impact. I also am very passionate about children and education, and would love to bring in more events/ programs that are geared toward youth and their parents, whom are the most influential teachers of our next generation. I currently work at Fort Worden as a Wedding Coordinator and also part-time at Better Living Through Coffee as a manager/barista. Previously, I have worked as an office director in Japan for an English school and have taught classes with mothers and children from the age of 1.5 years old. Through these experiences, I have come to develop teamwork, event planning skills, unique perspectives, and organizational skills. For example, I could picture coordinating something like a small, informal class that is offered for children during a time of the day when it is most convenient for parents to shop. We would base our classes and times off of a survey conducted with our members. And through a program like this, kids could learn about pertinent Co-op topics and parents could shop in peace.

In this way, I am most attracted to the Cooperative Connections committee, and finding new ways to tell the Food Co-op’s story. I am most familiar with Japanese style cuisines, being primarily raised in Japan, and I am intrigued by the ancient ways that pertain to each culture’s cuisine. I would love to organize more events that celebrate food and wisdom of different cultures. My favorite saying in Japanese is “Onko chi shin” which means something like, “keep the traditions simmering in the pan, but also start slicing up some new traditions with your own knowledge.” I try to abide by this rule, and I am excited to learn about new philosophies surrounding food, its power to gather a crowd around the table!

Luisa Karoura

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 election for the Board of Directors is the simplest way to effect change in the store that you own. By voting for the candidate(s) who most nearly match your vision for The Food Co-op, you participate in the direction that we take as a community-owned organization. We urge you to participate in the election each year so that your voice may be heard.

A good way to get even more involved is to run to serve as board member.  The Food Co-op relies on good leadership – people who can work effectively together to help guide the organization toward its full potential. While diverse interests, experiences, and skills are useful in board members, the ability to listen and to work well with others is key.