What do you love about BriarPatch Food Co-Op?
What I love about the Briarpatch, and feel that friends and others love too, is that it embodies a sense of community so important in these wild times. I love walking into a store greeted by smiles, where you can look others in the eye and be met with friendly gazes, and where people hug and stop to catch up. I love that we’re a mission-driven and value-driven organization. We follow our ends policies, meaning we always consider our effect on the social good, the environment and future generations, along with our fiscal responsibility when making decisions. Whether swagger or tip-toe, we do our best to always walk our talk. I love that we love our local small farmers and we find every way we can to help them out. It costs more but it does our community better when we buy their beautiful organic produce. Keeping these hard working folks going and viable is so important to the vibrancy and resiliency of our community. I love that we have a membership that feels its worth investing some of our profits back into the community by supporting so many of our incredible nonprofits. We contribute generously to numerous causes including homelessness, social equity, the arts, and the future of food and this planet. I love the diversity and character of our staff on all levels. Good quality folk that make us the nationally recognized coop that we are. I love that we take care of them by paying competitive wages plus a strong benefits package, and use an open book management system to empower them to continuously improve the organization. I love that we respond to our members needs… at least to those that leave comment cards at customer service. Lastly, I love that it’s our store, we own it.
Why are you running for the BriarPatch Food Co-op Board?
I’m running for re-election to the Board of Directors to ensure the Briarpatch remains a thriving community hub and continues to make a positive impact in the future. We live in socially, culturally and economically turbulent times and as strong as we are as a coop we are also facing many challenges. We have committed to being a good employer and are already beginning to increase payroll to meet the the $15 an hour minimum wage before the 2023 deadline, while maintaining lower margins on products, and facing a decline in sales growth. For many businesses this would spell disaster, however we have an excellent management team with a strong strategic plan and working alongside experienced board members I believe we can steward the Briarpatch through these uncertain times and continue our success. It’s also important to me that we preserve our historic values and legacy, while adapting to these changing times. We need to continue to support our existing local farmers and food makers while encouraging new ones to come online. We need to continue to lend a hand to the many local nonprofits that we support whether through dollars and volunteers. We need to continue to offer high quality, healthy food to our members and find ways to make it more accessible to those less fortunate. We need to continue to offer information and education to our community so that people make better choices on how we take care of our precious planet. Our coop is one of the most influential organizations making a positive impact in our community and beyond, and I would like to continue working on the board to see us remain so in the future.
Why will you make a good Board Director?
I’ll make a good Board Director because I have the current fortune of serving on the board and can draw on all the experience, insight and education that this brings. I’m deeply appreciative of attending the Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) conferences and partaking in workshops with cooperatives across the country, mingling with other store managers and board directors, learning from their successes and mistakes, which helps provide an understanding of how to navigate the challenges and opportunities we will face in the future. Also, having two plus years of board experience has offered intimate insight into the people, processes and planning that this organization has intentionally developed over the years and with that understanding I know how to best help move and shape the momentum of the organization that will amplify rather than disrupt its future. Secondly, as a community advocate I have dedicated hundreds of hours to the common good and have had the good fortune of serving on other local boards and committees such as: the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance, the Nevada County Arts Council, the Advisory Board of Nevada County Crown, and the Food Policy Steering committee. This has provided me not only with board experience, but also insight into multiple perspectives of our local community that I believe make a valuable contribution when considering how we interact with our greater community and what direction we plan on moving in the future. Lastly, I believe that I’ll make a good board director because I do love the Briarpatch, the people that work there, the people and community it supports, and its members.