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Your Board Candidates

In the candidate application, we required candidates to attend a Board meeting, to collect 20 Owner signatures supporting their candidacy and to attend a Board Candidate Information Session.

EMILY AMANN

“I have high expectations for results. Confident in my ability to produce, I do the work necessary to tilt odds so the best will happen.

Attended Board Meeting? Yes

Collected Signatures? Yes

Attended Board Candidate Information Session? Yes

1. Why do you believe Owners should choose you to represent them?

I believe in the significance of the Human Condition. As a Shared population, it is essential for collaboration and cooperation to coexist in order to Thrive.

I serve the WSGC community as a Front-End Clerk (Cashier), of which I love. I believe that the relationships I maintain with both Owners and Employees offer unique insights unparalleled. As a Board Director, I will work daily to ensure that communication channels are open on both ends, policy accurately reflects Owner feedback within the framework of Policy Governance, and results portray the amalgam of the whole.

2. What skills and experience do you bring to the position of Board Director?

Prior to moving to Madison, I had worked with the Teach for America-Chicago team, wherein I bridged the connection between neighborhood and community needs and my endeavors in curriculum innovation, strategy, and networking partnerships and the needs of the future scope of the education landscape in Chicago.

I can offer you three years of experience as the founding environmental science educator and science department team lead for UNO Major Hector P. Garcia High School, motivating both students and adults to create data-driven solutions to self- and team- assigned issues of interest. While at UNO, I leveraged resources and relationships to build a rooftop community garden complete with environmentally-conscious curriculum across grade levels and content areas. Financed by a $100,000 grant from AT&T, with training and support from Honeywell’s Green Boot Camp for Educators, I was able to foster community support and partner with neighborhood initiatives to maximize health and wellness- (as well as environmental-) based initiatives to maximize impact on students and their families.

This experience led me to the financial industry, where at MassMutual I continued my work empowering low-income individuals and families to build portfolios that would secure assets for an array of immediate and future needs.

I have an educational perspective shaped both by the medical sciences and the heuristics of science communication via social and mass media, with majors in Genetics and Science Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I have excellent project-management skills, communicate succinctly and effectively, strategize non-linearly, and maintain an honest eye for detail, all of which should make me an ideal candidate for this opening.

3. WSGC is founded on the seven International Cooperative Principles. Please choose one of the principles and describe how you think the Board can encourage and foster that in our Cooperative.

The WSGC was founded to fill a need identified by the Madison community in 1974. Much has changed since then, and to continue to meet the current needs of this new and changing Madison landscape, Policy (7) Concern for the Community should be of focus.

Indeed, development at new sites has provided access to a service, but does not necessarily adequately incorporate the needs of the surrounding community. To better identify, understand, and accomplish positive ends, the Board must work by entering and engaging in the community, rather than operate with an ‘open door’ mindset. That said, I’m quite certain local neighborhoods, schools, nonprofits and businesses would respond to a door knock. Grassroots efforts often require a different approach.

 

TREVOR BYNOE

“I’m interested in helping the Co-op explore creative strategies for promoting equitable opportunities within our community while remaining financially prosperous.”

Attended Board Meeting? Yes

Collected Signatures? Yes

Attended Board Candidate Information Session? Yes

1. Why do you believe Owners should choose you to represent them?

Since moving to Madison last summer, I’ve become a loyal customer of the Co-op and am thoroughly impressed by its ability to effectively balance profitable operations with a strong commitment to sustainability, community building and philanthropy. As a relative newcomer to the Co-op and to Madison, I’m confident that I could bring a unique perspective to the Board’s work around Co-op strategy and governance. As a finance and accounting professional with over 13 years of experience in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, I am also very interested in serving on the Board’s Finance Committee and believe that I could offer valuable insight and analysis regarding the financial sustainability of major Co-op initiatives and strategies.

2. What skills and experience do you bring to the position of Board Director?

I’m excited to leverage my skills and experience in for-profit and nonprofit finance and accounting on the Board to help ensure that the Co-op remains well-positioned for sustained success and growth.

I currently work for the City of Madison’s Finance Department, where I am helping to lead the rollout of a citywide performance management system that will instill more transparency and inter-agency collaboration into City operations, and support resource allocation decisions with more reliable data and analysis.

Prior to moving to Madison and joining the City, I was fortunate to serve as Finance Director for Hot Bread Kitchen, a nonprofit in East Harlem focused on workforce development and business incubation for underrepresented food entrepreneurs. HBK operates a full-scale commercial bakery and trains low-income women to become professional bakers and then places them in full-time positions with benefits. As Finance Director, I managed all aspects of financial performance and accounting for both the the bakery and programs, and worked closely with the organization’s executive team and Board on a multitude of financial and strategic initiatives.

I have also worked in a variety of analytical roles in public accounting, mergers and acquisitions consulting, corporate finance and public education, and each of those experiences strengthened my ability to work effectively in diverse teams and to adapt quickly to changing organizational needs.

3. WSGC is founded on the seven International Cooperative Principles. Please choose one of the principles and describe how you think the Board can encourage and foster that in our Cooperative.

Concern for the Community: As a thriving Madison business that owes the majority of its success to Madison’s residents, I think it’s critical that the Co-op is continuously exploring creative ways to leverage its clout and resources for the good of the community. Disparities in wealth and quality of living continue to grow in our area, and it is incumbent upon forward-thinking institutions like the Co-op to lead the charge in providing more inclusive and equitable opportunities for all of our City’s residents. The Board can play a key role in ensuring that the Co-op’s philanthropic efforts are being appropriately targeted towards addressing the most critical issues affecting our community, while also exploring new ways that the Co-op can mobilize its resources (e.g., capital, collective know-how and willpower of Owners, etc.) to effect positive change in the Madison area.

Trevor Bynoe's Linkedin

 

MICHAEL CHRONISTER

“I support the mission of Willy Street Co-op and will work to sustain its success.”

Attended Board Meeting? Yes

Collected Signatures? Yes

Attended Board Candidate Information Session? Yes

1. Why do you believe Owners should choose you to represent them?

The Willy Street Co-op has a strong mission statement and ends policies. I believe in these policies and feel as a member of the Board of Directors I can help the Co-op attain the goals that have been laid out.

As a long time Madison resident I have seen the changes taking place in our city and within our Co-op. In order to sustain the Co-op in changing times we need to stay focused on the mission.

2. What skills and experience do you bring to the position of Board Director?

I have extensive knowledge of cooperatives having worked at the UW Center for Cooperatives doing research on the economic impact of cooperatives throughout the country. I am very familiar with the form and function of cooperative boards and also of policy governance, which is the model that Willy Street Co-op uses. I was a founding member of the Dane Cooperative Alliance that was forming to foster cooperation among co-ops throughout southern Wisconsin. The goal of this group was to combine resources and knowledge to further expand the cooperative structure as a viable business model. Ultimately the alliance did not take root but by working on its formation I learned a great deal about group decision making and working with a diverse group having many differing opinions and goals.

3. WSGC is founded on the seven International Cooperative Principles. Please choose one of the principles and describe how you think the Board can encourage and foster that in our Cooperative.

Cooperative Principle number 2 is Democratic Owner Control. At Willy Street Co-op this is accomplished through elections for the Board of the Directors by owners with each owner number receiving one vote.
Democratic elections are a cornerstone of this country yet most eligible voters do not take the time to choose their representatives. The Co-op is no different. Only about 8% of owners participate in the election for their Board of Directors and other referendum or bylaw changes. I think the Co-op can do better and if elected will work to raise our owner participation rates.

 

STEVE FINE

“The Coop is a major catalyst for good and I know the wisdom, and experience I have gained as a father, coach, organization & business [25-word limit reached]“

Attended Board Meeting? Yes

Collected Signatures? Yes

Attended Board Candidate Information Session? Yes

1. Why do you believe Owners should choose you to represent them?

My hope is that members will recognize the value of the experience, creativity, knowledge, energy and awareness that I would be contributing if elected.

I am a father, grandfather and husband, which has taught me the power and importance of listening, discussion, negotiation and compromise. Joining Willy Street was first on our ToDos when arriving in Madison in 1987, to continue shopping cooperatively and eating healthy as we did in Stevens Point.

As part of the Stevens Point Area Food Co-op community, I was involved in its growth and relocation, volunteering and serving on the board of directors for one year.

Additional board experience came facilitating the transition from a state entity to centralized administration with the national organization of ManKind Project, during which I served as president-steward.

Self-employed in a variety of industries, I have engaged a large stratum of our community, through profit and nonprofit entities. My awareness of people’s needs have grown along with the knowledge of how to serve those needs. I have had the opportunity to call upon businesses in Madison learning their hiring requirements and coaching employees on how to get and keep a job.

A certified life coach, my focus is on relationships with money, with our partner, and with our bodies. I have worked with servant leaders, business leaders, small groups and large classrooms. Each of these call for creativity in order to accomplish the objective at hand. I am a people person while cherishing my alone time to handle the details.

I like to kayak, swim and bike. I play in my garden and experiment in my kitchen. I maintain a little free library and an AirBnB site. And I’d like to serve on the board of directors of the Willy Street Grocery Co-op.

3. WSGC is founded on the seven International Cooperative Principles. Please choose one of the principles and describe how you think the Board can encourage and foster that in our Cooperative.

Recognizing and acting on our role as an integral part of the community is paramount to the vibrancy of a business. The relationships that we build through financial support not only serve community members, they also model behaviors that lead to a just and sustainable society.

The significant contribution that is made by Willy Street, each time a shopper is asked if they’d like a CHIP, is authentic and true to both our philosophy and principles, while influencing the world one question at a time. I truly love that the Community Reinvestment Fund is seeded with unclaimed dollars, it just feels right.

I would like to see both a more informed response from the cashiers about what CHIP supports as well as more visible opportunities to participate in CSW programs. This might mean simply providing a prominent space for CSW organizations to manage.

Steve Fine's Social Media

 

STEPHANIE RICKETTS

“Vote Ricketts for historical Willy Street Co-op knowledge, financial acumen, driven Boardleadership, and a commitment to Owner engagement and our cooperative democracy!”

Attended Board Meeting? Yes

Collected Signatures? Yes

Attended Board Candidate Information Session? Yes

1. Why do you believe Owners should choose you to represent them?

1 - I am a passionate supporter of cooperatives, especially our Willy Street Co-op. I believe in the power of cooperatives to bend food systems and economies toward justice and equity. I believe WSGC is a formidable force for good in our community, and it has the potential to do much more. It is the Board’s role to do the big strategic thinking to figure out how to make that happen. That requires electing Board members (like me!) who value and prioritize this work.

2- I am comfortable monitoring reports and financial statements, which is a big part of the Board’s work. Over the past year I have been trained on Co-op finances, building on my previous experience assisting the Board and Finance Committee in my role as Executive Assistant (2008-2015), as well as my work running a non-profit.

3- I have a deep well of historical knowledge that most candidates do not possess. For 7 years I served as Executive Assistant to the Board and GM, aiding in most aspects of the Board’s work. This is particularly useful when the Board has experienced huge turnover, particularly last year when 5 new Directors were elected to the Board. This year our Board President is stepping down, which leaves the longest tenure on the Board at —3 years. I bring valuable context to conversations and a longer view to policy monitoring than the average candidate.

4- I am an active and engaged Board member, who is just getting started! In my short tenure on the Board, I have chaired the Policy Committee, sat on the Board Development Committee, and am a champion for more Owner Engagement. This has begun with the monthly Board tabling sessions at each site, and I have plans for growing the Board’s outreach to owners and the community at large.

2. What skills and experience do you bring to the position of Board Director?

Financial acumen. Deep familiarity with the Cooperative principles and workings of WSGC. Group facilitation, public speaking, outreach, writing. Social media savvy. I am smart, capable and willing to work hard to make the Co-op successful.

3. WSGC is founded on the seven International Cooperative Principles. Please choose one of the principles and describe how you think the Board can encourage and foster that in our Cooperative.

Principle 2- Democratic Member Control Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate... My focus on Board/Owner engagement stems from my commitment to Principle 2. If you are reading this and voting in this year’s election, BRAVO! You are one of the —7-9% of Owners (if this election cycle is like the past 2 years) who are actively participating in your co-op’s democratic process. Democracy, as we see on all levels of government, needs to be cultivated, supported and actively encouraged, including here at WSGC. That means identifying and removing barriers to voting, reaching out to the community to build stronger connections between Owners and their cooperative, and growing the Board’s understanding of what Owners need, value and prioritize for our Co-op, so we can better represent and engage them in its governance.

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