1. Why are you interested in running for this particular board?
I grew up being dragged to the co-op by my mom, buying bulk peanut butter and veggies I probably didn't much care for. Over the years, like so many other things that require a little bit of maturity to appreciate, I came to understand and admire what the co-op model has to offer: good, quality food and health products, and a socially responsible approach. I have been a member of the Hampden Park Co-op for 12 years, and I want to give back to the community I appreciate.
2. Can you responsibly commit to meeting the term and expected workload required by this role?
3. What opportunities or challenges do you see in the future of the co-op?
With the completion of the University Avenue Light Rail, we will see some change to our neighborhood. The details of course are not entirely clear, but it should mean growth and probably some demographic shifts as well. Growing those changes will be a challenge for the next 3-5 years. Additionally, co-ops around the cities are expanding, as are non-co-op model natural food stores. Whether or not we will see more direct competition from close at hand remains to be seen.
4. In your opinion, what is the role of the co-op in the community?
To promote good food and good community.
5. Choosing one of our Strategic Priorities listed on page 5 of this package, describe how our board could help drive that priority.
"Physical improvements to our store" is listed as a long term goal in the matrix. It is a big challenge to accomplish this in a financially responsible way. To work our way through physical improvements, we have to be careful. We must view all potential improvements with an eye to the future, but also through the lense of a Return On Investment analysis. Any proposed improvement must be vetted and shown to be financially sustainable. We absolutely must embrace change, in fact we should be agents of change, but we must do so with all appropriate care.
6. Describe any professional or volunteer experience you've had that would provide insight of skills on the board, including having served on a board or governing committee.
I am the co-owner of a small architecture firm that specializes in food related building design. We started this company 3 years ago, but we each have a long history of designing food buildings of all sorts, including commercial kitchens, food distribution centers, grocery stores and co-ops. We started the business because we are passionate about good quality food. Additionally, we started a second company that designs specialized produce cooling equipment for small scale vegetable farmers that greatly improves quality and shelf life of locally grown produce. Our prototype equipment is currently at East Henderson Farm for testing.
7. Tell us about your favorite co-op food, and how do you like to enjoy or share it?
I love this question. I am an avid bread baker, and buy all of my ingredients at the co-op. I love that I can buy in bulk, and purchase only what I need, ensuring I am always baking with fresh ingredients. As we approach fall, we enter what is my favorite time of year to bake bread, but baking bread at Christmas time is the best of all. I will often bake about 20 loaves of various breads on Christmas day, and drive around to friends and neighbor's houses and leave them with a loaf or two. It leads to a long day of visiting friends and having great conversation. It is hard to beat a thick slice of fresh bread with a bowl of hearty soup.
8. Where are the 5 places we can find you in a given week?
- At my office
- St Anthony Park Lutheran Church
- Home, doing yard work, housework or remodeling
- Visiting a client, potential client or farm
- Back home, taking a nap or enjoying some social media.