Meet The Board Candidates!
Three seats are open on the Willy Street Co-op Board of Directors. Make sure to vote by Tuesday, August 17th at 6:00pm. Your ballot is below! Candidates were given a 450 total word limit.
Statements are listed alphabetically; (I)=Incumbent.There are four candidates.
1. What skills or abilities will you bring to the Board of Directors in any of the following areas: finances, communications, short-/long-term planning, or cooperatives? Feel free to add other qualities you would bring to the Board.
I have been a consultant to non-profit Boards, in strategic planning, leadership development and governance, for over a decade. I understand Board roles and procedures. I am also a trainer and presenter, providing education and skill building to diverse audiences. My experience is outlined on my website: www.superiornonprofits.com.
In addition to being a planner and facilitator, I am also adept at coalition building and collaboration, helping groups see common ground and work together to achieve more than they could on their own. I readily grasp the big picture and can devise a workable, measurable plan for getting there.
I have many years of retail experience, including four with Magic Mill Natural Foods, so have some understanding of what it takes to run this type of business.
Above all, I have a passion for good food, promotion of local, sustainable agriculture and community involvement. Follow me on Twitter to learn more: http://twitter.com/SuperiorNonprof.
2. What leadership positions have you held and what have you accomplished in those positions?
A year ago, I started my own consulting business. In doing this, I have had to develop a business plan, marketing plan, and budget. I made use of all my connections to build a presence in my community and develop a client list. This has been the biggest test of my “leadership” abilities so far!
3. Please describe your experience with, and approach to, group decision making processes. What do you think makes for good group process and what are some of the challenges?
Most of the decision making processes that I have been involved with have been consensus-based. A key to this process is providing sufficient information in a timely manner. There are situations where it is appropriate to delegate decision making to a smaller group or an individual, provided they are given guidelines within which to operate. In either case, a balance must be struck between ensuring all viewpoints are heard and making timely decisions. Discussion should be encouraged, but limits set. One challenge in any decision making process is a reluctance to risk failure.
4. What do you think are the major issues the Co-op’s Board needs to address over the next five years? How will you use your skills to contribute to addressing those issues?
The top issue will be the opening of the westside location. This will require good, clear communications at all levels, and a structure in place to address conflicts. Another issue that the Coop may need to address is food security—the increasing number of Dane County residents without steady access to food. How should a Coop be a part of the solution?
5. How would you help to encourage greater Owner involvement in elections, Owner forums and meetings?
As the Coop has grown, it has been hard to maintain the small community feel of its earlier days. But there are some steps that could revive involvement by Owners: Online forums where member comments could be made to the group as a whole for discussion. Inviting Owners to join committees of the Board for specific projects or ongoing policy discussions. Sharing minutes immediately after each Board meeting. Making a tshirt or hat that says “WSGC Board Member” for Board members to wear when they shop, to encourage other members to stop and chat.