Voting ends tomorrow, November 6th, 2019! If you are an owner, please take a few minutes to vote for this year’s board candidates!
Owners get to vote and elections for Board of Directors are happening now! If you are an owner at the Durham Co-op Market, we invite you to take part in helping shape what the Co-op cares about and how those goals are accomplished by voting for our board candidates.
Voting is welcome to all Durham Co-op Owners. Please select up to three candidates for three seats on the Board of Directors. Voting is open from Sunday, October 20th, 2019 to Wednesday, November 6th, 2019. Read about the board candidates below.
- Why do you want to serve on the Durham co-op Market Board of Directors? I have thoroughly enjoyed my three year term on the Board of Directors and have learned a tremendous amount through the actual experience as well as extensive training. As a result, I believe I will be able to contribute even more in my second term.
Being on the board has been an amazing opportunity to continue working with others who have shared values, who want to work together to ensure the Durham Co-op Market and the Durham community as a whole continue to thrive. It has been an honor to represent my fellow owners of the co-op, many of whom I am also proud to call friends and still more that I look forward knowing better in the future. I have also been proud to be a part of an organization that gives back to low income members of the community through the Food for All Program, as well as consciously striving to ensure that there are food options available at affordable prices.
My life has changed a great deal in the last three years. I am now married to a fellow Durham Co-op Market Owner (and our engagement photos were taken at the co-op!) and one year ago, I quit my job in IT in order to focus on a new career in art. Working for myself, from home, provides more flexibility, allowing me to devote even more time to my work on the board.
- What skills, experience or training do you bring to the Board? I have a bachelor’s in computer science from Duke University and worked for 18 years in software development and IT at IBM and Duke, respectively. While I now primarily consider myself to be an artist, I am no stranger to the math and analysis that are associated with my fiduciary responsibility as a board director. I am also serving my second term as the Treasurer of the Durham FM Association (an amateur radio 501c3). Recently, I served a two year term as a board member for a cooperative Internet service provider, HCoop. Previously, I served on the steering committee for the Triangle Linux Users Group.
- What experience do you have with cooperatives, grocery stores, financing, construction or business operations? My first experience with co-ops was over 25 years ago, when I was, at 18, the youngest member of Womancraft, an artists’ cooperative, which was then in Chapel Hill, NC. I delighted in helping customers during my weekly shifts and my jewelry and botanical paintings were available for sale there. I learned a lot about business and the politics of working with 60 other women with diverse backgrounds and idiosyncrasies. Perhaps more importantly, I learned a great deal about the needs of our customers.
- What else would you like the Co-op members to know about you? I still love cheese.
- Why do you want to serve on the Durham co-op Market Board of Directors? The Bull City first gored my heart when I moved here from Atlanta in 2002 to study engineering – over the ensuing four years, I never left more than a week or two at a time, and after moving to DC for work the pull back to piedmont was constant. I saw Durham’s growth only stroboscopically during frequent return visits before finally moving back in 2014. I’ve had the privilege to live in, work in, and visit some crown-jewel cities, and I’ve extensively traveled the country, and to my mind Durham is the best Town in America. I’d be happy to give back in some small part by serving on the board of – with all apologies to messieurs Harris, Teeter, and Bezos – the Best Town’s Best Store.
- What skills, experience or training do you bring to the Board? I consult with community banks and credit unions, and thus like to think I have more than a passing competency in the grubby matters of finance, accounting, governance, business operations, and dollars-and-cents that tend to matter more than we would like in establishing and sustaining community institutions.
- What experience do you have with cooperatives, grocery stores, financing, construction or business operations? Aside from my first job bagging groceries at Kroger when I was 15, my grocery experience is limited to that of a consumer filling in the gaps of what’s available at market and through a subscription. I do, however, have deep experience with finance, accounting, and commercial credit.
- What else would you like the Co-op members to know about you? As a charter co-op member, I’d like to see continued emphasis on recent “impact growth” – the ability to use financial health, purchasing power, and a killer location to create greater engagement with co-op members and the broader Bull City. As a community institution, the Durham Co-op Market provides much more than always-delightful and occasionally-mystifying (daily navy beans!) monthly owner treats, and I’d be appreciative of an opportunity to use my modest skills to see that trajectory continue. If not selected for this position, I will happily enjoy my daily beans and devote more time to my hobbies of music and watch making.
- Why do you want to serve on the Durham co-op Market Board of Directors? I have been searching for an opportunity that allows me to put my knowledge and skills to use in serving the community, but also inspires me to learn and expand my understanding of our local businesses. The Durham Co-op offers just that, but also revolves around the essential idea of making healthy food accessible and affordable. I want to be a part of that so I am running for the Board to connect with the community, learn from past co-op successes, and use my own experiences to help the Co-op continue to grow and thrive.
- What skills, experience or training do you bring to the Board? As a non-profit developer of affordable housing, I have a background in finance, construction, and commercial real estate. I am extremely familiar with reviewing real estate and business operational documents as well as managing the real estate development process from site reconnaissance through operations. Prior to getting started in development, I earned a Masters in City and Regional Planning and have experience with land use and transportation planning, community development, and historic preservation. I also spent several years managing a legislative office in the Virginia General Assembly so I am very comfortable working with elected officials and governmental agencies.
- What experience do you have with cooperatives, grocery stores, financing, construction or business operations? As a project manager, my role in real estate development is to coordinate the financing, construction, and continued operation of residential and mixed-use communities. I have overseen the development of affordable housing communities in Raleigh and Chapel Hill and am currently managing the construction of transit-oriented affordable housing right here in downtown Durham. Prior to doing that, I originated investments in affordable housing all over the Southeast. I don’t have experience with cooperatives or grocery stores, but I am excited to bring my perspective to one.
- What else would you like the Co-op members to know about you? My wife and I have two young sons and we are passionate about sharing our love of food with them, including trying new foods at home as well as exploring Durham’s incredible offerings. I am an amateur BBQ aficionado and love experimenting with new methods, meats, and sides. My specialties include shredded pit beef, dry rubbed ribs, and smoked salmon. Finally, we are a big Durham Bulls family and try to attend at least 9 or 10 games a year.
- Why do you want to serve on the Durham co-op Market Board of Directors? I moved to Durham recently, but have long held an interest in our health, food, nutrition, and the way that our food systems support these. I believe that our food system is completely broken and is a driver of our environmental crisis, and would like to support any and all efforts towards creating a more equitable, just, nutritious, and sustainable food economy. I try to do my small part with my mostly vegetarian lifestyle, supporting farmers markets, and things like investing in backyard chickens and a coop, but would like to help on a larger scale.
- What skills, experience or training do you bring to the Board? I helped run my mother’s restaurant in Washington DC (Pansaari) which held cooking classes, brunches, spice education classes, and a chai bar. I worked closely with her on all aspects of her business and learned about the ways that a healthy food system can support a vibrant community. More relevantly I handled most of her accounting and other business needs, including payroll, hiring, and operations. I watched and learned as she sourced spices and goods from organic and women-run farms, paid her workers a fair and living wage, and promoted clean and simple food. I’m inspired and love how I see many of these same qualities in the Durham Co-op!
- What experience do you have with cooperatives, grocery stores, financing, construction or business operations? I have a background in technology with a penchant for building websites and apps. I graduated from Brown University with a BS in Computer Science, and worked at Google, Facebook, and Venmo as a software engineer. Now I am starting my own software company named Venga here in Durham. I also have a strong grasp of finances, economics and math, having grown up in a household where my father was an economist and the economics of world markets was a dinner-time conversation. I also have an independent and hardworking nature, and love to meet people!
- What else would you like the Co-op members to know about you? If elected I promise to take the position seriously, and attend all board meetings. In addition I will put in time to understand the responsibilities and history of the board and the co-op to make sure that I am fulfilling my duties as a member of the board, and that everyone’s voice is heard. Personally I would like to see more efforts aimed at galvanizing the community at large and educating them on the Co-op’s sustainability efforts, but as mentioned I aim to function mostly as a voice of the members at large. Thank you