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?
I 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.
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/