Greetings! Please allow me your vote for the following reasons:
I have been a Co-op Food Store employee since 1994, starting at the Hanover Co-op as Manager of the ‘B.I.N.’ Department (Bulk, International, & Natural Foods).
I have been an active part of much Co-op growth since, first as a Co-op Merchandiser at the start of the Lebanon Co-op in 1997. In 2014 I became the Co-op’s Category Management Coordinator and also became the Co-op’s liaison to the National Co-op Grocers, a 148 food co-op co-operative with over 200 stores in 38 states and combined annual sales of nearly $2 billion and over 1.3 million consumer-owners.
While I have been on the Board for the past 3 years, I have also served for 2 previous terms between 2003-2009.
Being somewhat ‘unique’ as a Co-op Staff/Board member (up to 2 staff can serve), I am a “Board member with Staff experience”. My experience as outlined above, combined with my 25 years-long dedication to our Co-op’s success, is why I want to continue to serve.
Co-op Directors, working together as we have for the past 3 years in a co-operative relationship with Co-op Members, Management, and Staff, is the demonstrated way to ensure our Co-ops continued success in serving you, our members!
The work of the Board needs to continue on many fronts. Member engagement (dialogue, education, understanding) is critical. A strong financial foundation is a business necessity. Being a champion for local growers/producers needs to continue at the high level it has been at. Providing a continued and expanded level of service to fulfil our member’s needs. These are areas I wish to continue to be involved with.
While being a part of significant, co-operative change over the past 25 years, the challenges our Co-op faces will not go away any time soon. The regional food market industry is changing ever so drastically. My desire to encourage members to think of the Co-op first when making their shopping decisions as much as possible, is key to our Co-op’s continued success and longevity!
Thank you for your vote!
Q & A with Edwin
What interests you about serving on the Co-op’s Board of Directors?
Being involved in and contributing to discussions at different levels of a co-operative business. Working with other co-operators to better our Co-op Food Stores and be able to continue all the Greater Good the Co-op provides well into the future.
Please describe any experience you may have serving on a board, committee or community group.
I previously was a Co-op Director from 2013-2019. I started my third Co-op Director term in 2016. During this time I have been involved with various committees including by-law/policy committees, election committees, etc.
Please describe any experience or skills that will help you be an effective board member.
Listening is one of the most important skills I use, as it allows me to better understand other points of view. Along with my long term, grocery retail experience, these two skills I offer are most important relative to being an effective Board member. I am very familiar with the Policy Governance operating style the Board currently uses. I have been working for the Co-op for 25 years now, starting as a Dept. Manager in 1994, was a Co-op Merchandiser from 1997-2013, and I am now the Co-op's Category Management Coordinator, Holiday Merchandiser, and National Co-op Grocers liaison since about 2014.
What opportunities and challenges do you see for the Co-op?
The opportunities involve developing the ability of the Co-op to provide more goods and services, especially any new types, that our members want. Co-ops from around the world are involved in many different types of member services. It would be good to find any additional ways to serve our demographically changing membership. The biggest challenge I see involves the Co-op being part of a fast-changing and very competitive regional food retail market. How and where Co-op members (owners) chose to spend their food dollars has greatly impacted our Co-op for many years now. Our Co-op has joined with over 180 food co-ops from across the country to access the benefits of combining our food purchasing power as a direct way to stay competitive. While there is more work to be done, my goal is to support an active Board/Membership dialogue and to also urge members to think local first! By thinking of the Co-op first, all the Greater Good that our Co-op does in and for our surrounding communities will continue to be possible.