What do you love about BriarPatch Food Co-Op?

What don’t I love about Briarpatch? I moved to Grass Valley in September 2019 and when asking locals where to go for good organic food I was quickly directed to BriarPatch. Shopping and visiting with friends at BriarPatch starts from the moment I pull into the parking lot. I enjoy the eclectic people I see coming and going, all the families that come together to shop. When I enter the store I feel the hard work that goes into maintaining the warm and well stocked aisles. All, not just a few, but all of the employees I interact with have been friendly, knowledgeable and professional. I have yet to have a negative experience. I also enjoy BriarPatch as a place for relaxation and companionship with friends. With all this, it is the knowledge that the food I am going to purchase (especially fresh food) is organic and locally sourced which is most important to me. The produce is always diverse and fresh (Japanese yams!), the dairy aisle has wonderful choices (CoCoYo and some of the freshest milk I have ever had!) and I always leave with something from the delicious prepared food section. Thank you for all you have done to maintain such a wonderful local resource!  

Why are you running for the BriarPatch Food Co-op Board?

Growing up in Venice, CA in the 1960s and 1970s started me out early as an environmentalist. In the 3rd grade I remember getting a ribbon for a painting of a boat on the ocean and all the orange smog floating around it. I am sure the ribbon was not for my painting talent! I have been involved in the three R’s for several decades (refurbish, reuse, recycle). As soon as I came to live in Grass Valley I knew it was going to be my home for many years. I believe my life experience and work experience of 25+ years in sales and negotiation could be valuable not only for the routine duties of all Board Members, but also as BriarPatch looks to potentially expand where my contract negotiation skills could come in service. And service really is the word for me at this point in my life. I am primarily retired, and want to give back to the community I live in. There are many volunteer opportunities I have explored, and continue to explore as I move forward. I believe being a Board Member will bring me a sense of camaraderie and will be a position I will excel at. I have participated on one other Board in the past called Talk Out Ministries where I served as Treasurer. Most of my volunteer work has been done with teens and the environment (Destination Imagination, battery recycle program, food pick up and drop off for homeless shelters, long term care facilities and more). 

Why will you make a good Board Director?

I believe a good board member has the work experience and temperament to listen to all people objectively, look at the desired goals of the business and, working within the Board itself and the community at large, to help provide solutions. My life has been varied and at 60 I am patient, good-natured and interested in service. I am detail oriented and have a strong background in business and contract negotiation. I am a strong entrepreneur having started and operated two successful businesses as sole proprietor. Running a business allowed me to learn customer service, innovative services, P/L, maintaining a working office, etc. My main business for many years, Sherman Negotiators, was dreamed up when a large former customer of mine needed to make a purchase and did not have the background to know all the ways savings could be achieved. At the time there were no group purchasing organizations and when I came on site to this 15,000 employee healthcare organization, after four days I was immediately able to save the organization over $450,000. The CIO called me a ¬∑miracle worker. Of course there was nothing miraculous about it, I had just learned many ways the industry during my time as a National Account Manager in Information Technology Sales. The second business I began was a passion of mine, creating beautiful jewelry out of Swarovski crystal. I began selling my creations in Los Angeles in the 1980s and never stopped. While working full time I also held the front case at Nordstrom in San Francisco (as well as several dozen other Nordstrom stores, Saks Fifth Avenue). I also believe that being a Board Member would be good for me personally. I am ready to be involved in the community and offer my services.