From the Board of Directors

Dear Owners,

The Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors is pleased to announce the candidates for consumer-owner representation on the Board.  Each person running for the board has expressed a commitment to serving the members of the co-op, and we couldn’t be more excited by the talent they bring to this year’s election.

The DCM will hold its 2017 Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 5. Please plan to attend to learn more about this year’s developments and meet the Board candidates. Members who wish to submit non-binding agenda items for the Annual Meeting must do so by Friday, October 27th by emailing annualmeeting@durham.coop.

Since our last Annual Meeting, the co-op has seen continued growth in sales. Members continue to show their support as customers, enjoying the DCM community and a variety of dinners, festivals, and other gatherings (such as the popular $3 dinners!).  None of this is possible without the engagement and commitment of you, our Owners.  Thank you for all you bring to the table!

Sincerely,
The Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors

How to Vote

Each owner may vote for up to three candidates for the Board using the paper ballots available in the store between Monday, October 23rd and Wednesday, November 8.  If you are planning on attending the Annual Meeting, you may vote there as well. Ballots must be deposited in the Ballot Box in store by the end of the day on November 8th.

Ballots are available at the register. There is only one vote per ownership share, and the vote must be cast by the primary owner on the account. That means the owner on the account may vote, but not the “additional shopper.” The primary contact for a Business Ownership may vote, but the employees listed under the account may not.

Candidates

Three consumer owner seats are open on the Board this year. Five candidates have expressed an interest to stand for election and have completed the requirements established by the Elections and Nominating Committee.  The candidates include:

Jack Hill

Why do you want to serve on the Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors?

I believe in DCM as a tool for building equity (both knowledge and financial) while simultaneously creating a sustainable food system, equitable workplace, and safe community space. While attending board meetings as an observer over the past year, I have come to appreciate the governance work that the board does to ensure that the general manager operates within our policies. If elected, I would look forward to being able to participate fully at board meeting. I am particularly excited to serve at this time in DCM’s history as we mature as an organization.

What skills, experience or training do you bring to the Board?

I have attended CBL Foundations for (Co-op) Board Leadership training, and several DCM board meetings. My skills that are relevant to the co-op are: critical thinking, identifying needs for improvement, deconstructing arguments, and puns.

What experience do you have with cooperatives, grocery stores, financing, construction or business operations?

I am the current Treasurer for the Internet Hosting Co-operative, and past treasurer of Techserv (briding the digital devide by refurbishing and donating computers to community organizations that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them) at Drexel University. I work for Duke Libraries on the digital repository, and the diversity, equity, and inclusion council.

What else would you like the DCM members to know about you?

I’m a Durham native who is passionate about vegetarian cooking with cumin, free software, books, trains, arugula, tea, and strongly-typed lazy functional programming languages.

Beth Hopping

Why do you want to serve on the Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors?

As a food systems consultant, I believe I have relevant skills and knowledge to offer and will bring a unique perspective to the Board. The Co-op’s mission to welcome everyone in our community and increase access to healthy, affordable food resonates strongly with my values. I am also interested in continuing to learn about the inner workings of a cooperatively owned grocery store, which will enhance my work in community food systems.

What skills, experience or training do you bring to the Board?

I am a co-founder of Food Insight Group, a food systems consulting firm based in Durham, and have a PhD in Nutrition Intervention & Policy from UNC Chapel Hill. My work spans many aspects of community food systems, including school food, local value chains, and equitable economic development through food. Equity and social justice in the food system are central to my work, and I have attended multiple anti-racism trainings through the Racial Equity Institute.

What experience do you have with cooperatives, grocery stores, financing, construction or business operations?

I have worked with farmers, food distributors, and grocery retailers, including the Durham Co-op, on a variety of projects aiming to improve local food systems and healthy food access. I have also worked with Self-Help’s Healthy Food Systems lending team to support their food system financing work nationally. In addition, my dissertation focused on the perceived meanings and values around local food in rural North Carolinian communities.

What else would you like the DCM members to know about you?

I live near the Co-op with my partner, Julia, and our dog, Wally. When we’re not shopping at the Co-op, we like to play outside, garden, and explore North Carolina. I am very passionate about my work and hope to contribute to the Durham Co-op in as many ways as I can. I believe strongly in the positive potential of community ownership, and I think Durham is an ideal place to continue evolving this model.

Drew Peng

Why do you want to serve on the Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors?

I would like to serve on the board of the Co-op because of my passion for self-sustaining, local organizations that serve and build the community. I have been an owner and board member of DCM since before the doors opened, dating back to 2011, and currently serve as board president. I was involved in building the foundations of the Co-op and joining the original board members to develop the store’s strategy, site selection, business plan, and fundraising. I am running to serve my final term as a Co-op board member. The store is well on its way to lasting success, and while we have strengthened our capabilities as a board over the last year, there is more work to be done! I look forward to continuing our efforts to build and maintain a robust board that supports the amazing store management and staff and works diligently to promote our ends and cooperative values.

What skills, experience or training do you bring to the Board?

My background is in corporate strategy, consumer packaged goods marketing, and finance and investing. I think it’s a highly relevant background for the increasingly competitive grocery marketplace, where having a clear identity, establishing customer loyalty, ensuring economic sustainability, and creating a sense of place are critical for survival and growth. As a board member of DCM for the last 6 years, I am experienced in the process and functions of the board, and have learned how to effectively use policy governance to accomplish our goal to be the best board we can possibly be.

What experience do you have with cooperatives, grocery stores, financing, construction or business operations?

As president over the last year, I have worked to ensure that we continue building the systems and processes for a well-functioning board that is accountable to all of our owners. I meet regularly with our awesome General Manager to ensure that we’re on the same page, and that the board is fully appraised of the Co-op’s developments. My experience with cooperatives started as a kid growing up in Chapel Hill and shopping at Weaver Street Market. Weaver Street is a shining example of the instrumental role co-ops can play in supporting and building a community. I worked at a well-known consumer brands company on the west coast and had the opportunity to create a short-lived product line sold in grocery stores across the country. Throughout my professional experiences, I have come to realize that people and culture are the bedrock for building anything sustainable and excellent. The tremendous growth of Durham is the tailwind at our backs, we just have to make sure that we continue growing our skills and culture to keep up!

What else would you like the DCM members to know about you?

My favorite food at the co-op is pulled pork bbq sandwiches, my favorite department is beer and wine.

Tonya Post

Why do you want to serve on the Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors?

I would like to serve on the Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors because I am interested in ensuring the cooperative buying power provides sustainable, more affordable healthy grocery options for a diverse community.

What skills, experience or training do you bring to the Board?

I have worked for non-profits for many years, including serving as an assistant to the Board at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle as part of my job there as Director of Programs.  Through that experience and my Masters of Public Administration, I have learned a lot about Board governance and processes.  I am dependable, timely, organized and have excellent follow through.

What experience do you have with cooperatives, grocery stores, financing, construction or business operations?

Working for and with the North Carolina food banks, I learned a lot about food systems.  I am familiar with many food assistance programs through government, food banks, and food pantries, which allows me to bring a holistic viewpoint of food from various socio-economic perspectives.  In several of my jobs, I have been responsible for operations including finances, budgeting, hiring, training, and facilities maintenance and improvement.  I have also started several programs from scratch which required the creation of manuals and policies.

What else would you like the DCM members to know about you?

I currently work for the East Durham Children’s Initiative.  I have a passion for health, which I share with the children at the EDCI LEAP Academy preschool where I am the Manager.  The children garden, try new healthy fruits and vegetables regularly, play outside daily, and learn about the bees in our two hives.

Leah Rutchick

Why do you want to serve on the Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors?

I’ve been a member of food co-operatives for over 30 years, starting when I lived in
Chicago. I deeply appreciate the connections with small farms and local food producers
that food co-ops make available, and want to support the success of the Durham Co-op
Market as both a grocery store and as a community meeting place. Joining the Board of
the Durham Co-op Market is a way to connect my experience of working with community
groups and my skills of administrative management.

What skills, experience or training do you bring to the Board?

The skills I bring to the DCM include financial, grants and program management from
working at Duke University for over 10 years. Primary organizer for a very large
Meetup.com group called Durham-centric Meetup. We explored arts and music events in
Durham as well as local festivals and neighborhood activities for over five years. This
successful experience led me to consider a startup business, and I now have a network of
friends and associates in the Downtown Durham entrepreneurial community. Finally, I
have web editing and web content writing skills, and am currently the creative lead in the
redesign of a Durham-based Meditation Community’s website.

What experience do you have with cooperatives, grocery stores, financing, construction or
business operations?

I have the following experience with Non-profit business: a Certificate of Non-profit
Business Management, Duke University Continuing Education Program; Member, Board of
Directors, Friends of the Durham Library, 6 years (3 rd term); Member, Advisory Committee
for Periodic Tables, a speaker series to promote a connection between scientists, their
research, and members of the general Triangle community, sponsored by Duke’s Science
and Society Initiative; Hands-on Start-up Business seminar/workshop, small-business
classes and workshops.

What else would you like the DCM members to know about you?

I’m eager to learn more about the business financials of a community grocery organization.
I love stepping up to challenges and learning new things. I’m committed to participating in
Durham’s growth, and in guarding its great tradition of neighborhoods and its generous spirit
that reaches across diversity. These local qualities made me feel immediately at home when
I moved here over 20 years ago. Due to my long involvement with people in the community
from many different sectors, I feel I am well suited to contribute to the outreach projects that
the Durham Co-op Market will lead.