Durham Co-op Owners!

We invite you to participate in shaping the future of our Co-op by voting for new Board Members! The Board exists so the Durham Co-op Market can achieve the most for its Owners and the Durham community! Our Co-op is built by Durham and dedicated to serving Durham. Take a few minutes to learn about this year’s Board Candidates, then vote for up to three candidates by Wednesday, November 7th at 9pm. 


Board Candidates

Summer Alston

My interest in the Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors relates to my professional work in Economic Development in Durham, and my education as an Urban Planner. I have observed the philosophy of dignified treatment for all people displayed by store management and staff, and I am heartened by the Co-op’s commitment to thoughtful and innovative employment practices that help individuals gain valuable, scalable job skills. I would be happy to contribute to any organization with these values as part of its mission.

I previously served two terms on the board of directors of Preservation North Carolina where I gained experience in board governance and dynamics that I believe are beneficial. Throughout high school and college I worked as a cashier, deli clerk, vendor receiver, and assistant customer service manager for local grocery chains. I learned a great deal about the grocery business, store management, and especially customer service; skills which I use and take pride in to this day.

In my personal life I am mom of two small children. My husband and I are on a slow quest to better health and healthier eating habits for us and our kids. As we see it, being a co-op member family can only aid us on our journey. Thank you for your consideration.

Thomas Beckett

I wish to serve the Durham Co-­‐op Market on its Board of Directors to help ensure our store’s continued vitality and success in the community. Our co-­‐op provides healthy food for its shoppers &an honest livelihood for its employees, through a sustainable, ethical business model. Our co-­‐op is owned and democratically controlled by those consumers and workers alike. As a Director my primary focus would be to provide stewardship for these ends. Moving forward I would like to see Durham Co-­‐op Market expand its operations and extend its benefit to a larger slice of Durham. We have created something very special in this co-­‐op. Let’s share it widely.

I previously served four years on the Board of the Hendersonville Community Co-­‐op, during its successful capital campaign and store expansion. That was a tremendous learning experience, leading me to a better understanding of co-­‐op governance roles and practices. Currently I am a Director of Shared Capital Cooperative, a cooperative of co-­‐ops that lends to its members nationally. (DCM is a member and borrower of Shared Capital Cooperative and nominated me as a candidate for that board seat. I would not participate in discussion or voting of any matters involving Shared Capital as a DCM Director, and vice versa.) I am also a community member of the board of Weaver Community Housing Association, an affordable housing cooperative in Carrboro. This country has a large and diverse cooperative community and I am fortunate to have met and learned from brilliant cooperators of every stripe.

In a previous career I practiced law serving small businesses, startups, and nonprofits. This led me to an interest in cooperatives, and eventually to co-­‐found and manage Carolina Common Enterprise, a cooperative development center serving North Carolina. My work as a professional cooperative business developer involves helping people start and grow cooperative businesses of all types, particularly in economically marginalized communities. Part of this includes studying the grocery industry and the lack of access to healthy groceries in many parts of rural North Carolina. My organization is in part a public interest law firm through which I continue to practice as a cooperative business attorney.

My family joined Durham Co-­‐op Market after moving back to Durham from several years in the mountains, shortly before the new store opened. In addition to being a co-­‐op enthusiast, I love to cook (and eat). You have probably seen me in the store, sometimes with my crazy kids, asI am a loyal and frequent shopper. Sometimes I play guitar or other musical instruments as long as no one can hear me. Having lived in Durham for the better part of four decades, I love our city. One of our slogans is, “Co-­ops Build a Better World.” I believe that our cooperative is building a better Durham.

Amelia Freeman-Lynde

Amelia Freeman-Lynde has served on the DCM board for the past three years, and hopes to have the opportunity to represent you again. In addition to committee work, she has served as the Board Secretary and Vice President. Being part of the Board has been a wonderful opportunity to learn more about cooperative business and engage with local food systems while being mindful of the growth and change that Durham is experiencing.

Amelia is the owner of Freeman’s Creative, a craft supply store in the Lakewood Shopping Center, and brings her perspective as a small business owner to the table. In her business and personal life, Amelia is interested in sustainability and community building. She enjoys handcrafts, gardening, and keeps a small flock of backyard chickens in West Durham. Bulk Foods and Ice Cream are her favorite sections of the Co-op.

Tyler Jenkins

Hi there, I’m Tyler Jenkins, and I’m running for re-election for the Durham Coop Market Board of Directors. I have been building relationships with the co-op’s workers, board members, and consumer members over the years, and have had the privilege of watching the store develop with the city of Durham over most of the last decade. I have served as the Treasurer of the Board for the last 2 years as it has moved from a start-up to a fully functioning grocery store, and am excited to see this place continue to grow in both its revenue and its ideals.

One of the key pieces of support I can continue to provide is keeping a mind on the cooperative principles of this store as it continues to develop. Our co-op employs more than 20 people with lives, families, needs, desires that can be at least partially met by ownership and employment at the co-op. I have served this co-op and the Durham community since 2014 as a board member of this store and as a developer of democratic workplaces and local food systems for a local non-profit, NC State University, as a farmer, and with my free time.

I want to see this cooperative market take the next step to having a profound impact in the community through sound leadership and expanded opportunity for its members – workers and consumers. I’d be eager to serve for another term to ensure continuity on the board and preparation for stabilizing ourselves in the community.

Jan Martell

I am applying for a seat on the Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors because as a member/owner and customer, I want to know more about the why and how of the operation of the store. I have interpreted the invitation to apply as meaning that the Board is interested in the perspective of its rank and file members and considers this a valuable collaboration.

If the Board is only seeking members with business and finance experience, I may fall short. I am semi-retired from my career as a freelance graphic designer spending most of my working life as a sole proprietor. I have an artist’s temperament and never had much of a head for business, so currently live an extremely modest subsistence lifestyle.

What I can bring to this position is a deep concern for local sustainability, and a commitment to fair labor practices and democratic decision making. Small local businesses, community involvement, and cooperatives are the wave of the future, if we are going to have one! I am always looking for ways to help Durham become more healthy, resilient and vibrant, and ensure that these benefits are shared broadly across our community. I consider DCM to be part of this wave, which is why I became a member.

I joined the Durham Intergalactic Food Conspiracy when it first opened on Duke Campus so many decades ago. I am
also a member of the North Carolina Green Party, and an editor of Triangle Free Press, a local news monthly that has a
rack in the store.

Julian Xie 

Hey y’all, I would love to serve as one of your Board members so that we can solidify Durham Co-op Market as an inclusive community center that makes justice, health, and sustainability front and center. Durham Co-op Market is my home, and I want to make it home for more people. I’ve been a Durham Co-op owner since April 2016, and am a dual-degree student in the Duke Schools of Medicine and Public Policy. My mission is to become a physician-advocate building a better food system. You’ll find me every Thursday for $3 Dinner, so you can count on my being there to listen to your needs, ideas, and feedback as shoppers, owners, employees, or neighbors.

I bring to the Board my experience in building connections among Durham residents and organizations to link local food to people who need it. At Duke Med, I founded a student organization called Root Causes to bridge the healthcare and sustainable food communities through service, policy advocacy, and education. Our projects include the Duke Outpatient Clinic Fresh Produce Program (a clinic food distribution program), a community garden at Durham Rescue Mission, and a home produce delivery and cooking education for patients with chronic illnesses. We fundraise, and purchase wholesale local food and supplies to serve our patients and clients. These projects have given me and my team opportunities to operate like a small entrepreneurial nonprofit.

I also work part-time for the Duke World Food Policy Center, and am on the Durham Farm and Food Network coordinating council. Through these organizations, we’ve been working on making healthy food accessible to the nearly 1 in 5 Durham residents who are food insecure. We’ve also been envisioning how to keep more of our dollars in North Carolina to support farmers and food producers who are restoring our environment, and paying living wages to workers. My hope is to help every one of my patients achieve their basic needs, and I’ll apply this big picture thinking, data analysis skill, and client engagement experiences to my leadership within the Durham Co-op Board.

I hope you’ll vote for me so I can bring your voices to the table and represent the Durham Co-op community. I’d love to have a conversation – please feel free to reach out at julian.xie@duke.edu, chat at a $3 Dinner, play music with me, or attend the Annual Owner Meeting!

Click HERE to vote now!