Board Elections 2020

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.

Vote!

Voting is Sunday, October 18th – Wednesday, November 4th. Read candidate statements below and submit your vote either online or in-person at the store by ballot.

Vote online HERE.

Board Candidates

Chelsea Berg

Why do you want to serve on the Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors? I love the Co-op! I’ve been passionate about good food, access to healthy food, sustainable food systems, and the interconnectedness of food/culture/environment/economy for a LONG TIME. I think my passions, knowledge, and skill sets would well serve the Co-op community.
What skills, experience or training do you bring to the Board? Other than loving food, I’ve got a bachelor’s in Environmental Studies and a master’s in Environmental Science. Throughout my education, I got an inside look at food systems. I’ve visited slaughterhouses, farm-to-table chef workshops, environmental justice conferences, and all types of farms.
What experience do you have with cooperatives, grocery stores, financing, construction or business operations? During graduate school, I volunteered on organic farms, worked with community sponsored agriculture (CSA) groups, and conducted survey work for Local Foods Plymouth, a year-round on-line farmers’ market. I worked with their staff to identify organizational needs and decision opportunities. I created, administered, analyzed, and presented results from a consumer survey at their annual meeting.
What else would you like the Co-op members to know about you? Community is very important to me. I’ve cherished having the Co-op within walking distance of my home, and I’ve enjoyed meeting folks in line for $3 dinners. The conversations are always meaningful! Since I work as a scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency, that allows me to connect my vocation here in Durham directly back to food systems (and why the co-op is so amazing).
Over the last several years, I’ve been able to serve Durham via the Habitat For Humanity Repairs team. I served on the board for my church’s partnership with them for 2 years. Sadly, all volunteer efforts have halted due to Coronavirus. Many of the homes we worked on are owned by folks vulnerable to the worst parts of this virus, if they should catch it. Thus, I’m not sure when our partnership will resume. I miss the chance to serve Durham, but when life gives you lemons (more free time)- find ways to make lemonade for your people, right!? I’m excited to serve the Co-op community, if they want me!

John Bonvechio

Why do you want to serve on the Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors? We build our community by helping our neighbors, keeping dollars in our community, and supporting our local farmers and artisans. To me, co-ops like DCM, are models with a mission that not only aids our community but builds a better world. I hope to continue building the DCM into a pillar of Durham, where Durham-at-large, not only embraces our values as a Co-op but reflects them.

What skills, experience or training do you bring to the Board? Currently I work as a fundraiser for the University of North Carolina. I hope that my experiences in higher education advancement may overlap and enhance the DCM. I have extensive experience in managing alumni boards and moving them to make meaningful progress. My interests in non-profits, education, and socially focused organizations are why I hope to be a useful addition to the DCM Board. Additionally, I have had training in non-profit management and education in cooperative models.
What experience do you have with cooperatives, grocery stores, financing, construction or business operations? My first interest in co-ops was when I joined one in Maryland. It naturally aligned with my beliefs about supporting local businesses and our responsibilities to each other. To me it was clear co-ops are a better choice to most grocery stores. Currently, my job requires me to budget for many events, mailings, and other forms of fundraising activities. Obviously, I deal quite a bit with financing through philanthropy and the running of a foundation. These various experiences will hopefully prove fruitful for the DCM across various projects.
What else would you like the Co-op members to know about you? Think global, act local. If I want Durham to be a better place to live, I must work for that. Serving on this board is one way to help my community. My wife and I want to help Durham be a model community, and we strive to be active in helping our community. We also love to cook and enjoy exploring new flavors and local products.

Kim Ionescu

Why do you want to serve on the Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors? Hello, Co-op stakeholder! My name is Kim Ionescu and I am applying to the Board of the Durham Co-op Market. I want to serve on the Board of the Co-op because I believe that shared ownership is a tool that can be used in pursuit of equity, by sharing decision-making power, risk, and rewards. I grew up in Chapel Hill and my parents were member owners of Weaver Street in Carrboro, but as a child I didn’t understand how their business was different than other grocers – I thought it just offered different products – but now more than ever I believe that business models matter.
What skills, experience or training do you bring to the Board? I have lived in Durham since 2003, when I began a career in coffee with a post-college job as a barista at Blue Coffee Company on Ninth Street. I spent eleven years at Counter Culture Coffee, a wholesale coffee roasting company based here in Durham, where I held a variety of roles including customer support for grocery customers and coffee buying, and I now work for the Specialty Coffee Association, a non-profit membership organization for the coffee industry, as its Chief Sustainability Officer. I have served on a few boards and advisory councils in the coffee industry, as well as the board of SEEDS urban garden here in Durham, and I believe my strengths as a board member include my abilities to: navigate sustainability standards, facilitate discussions and conflicts of opinion between fellow board members, and take a long view of complex issues.
What experience do you have with cooperatives, grocery stores, financing, construction or business operations? As a coffee buyer at Counter Culture Coffee, I sourced coffee from a diverse array of coffee farmer cooperatives around the world, and it was that experience that led me to enthusiastically sign up to be an owner of the Durham Co-op Market when it was just an idea (Durham Central Market, in those days). Having learned from smallholder coffee farmers how participation in a cooperative can change their relationship to the global agricultural value chain they’re a small part of, I have become a staunch supporter of collective ownership and I now seek out products and services offered by cooperatives in various areas of my life. I believe that co-ops can serve as a bridge that links conscious consumption (make good choices!) to structures (why are there so many bad choices?). I do most of the grocery shopping for my family and pre-pandemic, I enjoyed bringing my daughters with me on weekly trips to the Co-op, where the older one would frequently ask me why I always wanted to go to this grocery store and I would bore her with a version of what I’ve written above about collective ownership.
What else would you like the Co-op members to know about you? I appreciate your consideration and look forward to meeting you at the annual meeting on November 1st!

Ben Sellers

Why do you want to serve on the Durham Co-op Market Board of Directors? Helping people connect with their food by understanding where it comes from and the impact it has on the world is my biggest passion. I see The Durham Co-op as a leader for this cause in our community, bringing people together to collectively address issues of health, community dissolution, and environmental degradation… on our own terms, in our own backyard. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown more than ever that our centralized food system and globalized economy are broken, or worse rigged against resiliency and community wellbeing. The pandemic is a vital crossroads for the Co-op, and I am motivated to help in any way I can as we move towards a world where more people are aware of the importance of local food and resilient economies.
What skills, experience or training do you bring to the Board? I am an engaged member of the local food system, a champion for farmers, and a passionate advocate for the Co-op. Through my work with Farmer Foodshare, I have helped the Co-op source local produce for its customers from across North Carolina, shortening the distance between field and grocery, and between farmers and their community. I’ve labored on organic farms in our surrounding counties and community gardens in our Durham neighborhoods. I’ve also worked for a sustainable apparel company, trying to make clothing less harmful to the environment. I have experience building relationships on behalf of organizations, storytelling, marketing, stakeholder engagement, and speak French, which may not seem vital for the Board… but never say never!
What experience do you have with cooperatives, grocery stores, financing, construction or business operations? I spent a couple of years at a management consulting company, helping businesses and large organizations strategize, implement and evaluate large-scale projects and strategic plans. While working on Farmer Foodshare’s produce distribution program, I worked with staff and managers at all of the organization’s grocery partners, including the Durham Co-op and Weaver Street Market.
What else would you like the Co-op members to know about you? I will bring an unfailing belief that the Co-op is a place for all people. Emphasizing relationships with partners in our community and farmers in our region will be a primary focus for me. And maybe above all, I am excited to get to meet more of the folks who make up the Co-op family. Thank you and I hope to represent our community on the Co-op Board soon!

Annual Meeting

Be sure to join us for this year’s online Annual Owners Meeting on Sunday, November 1st at 6:30pm. Learn more HERE.