The election of the Board of Directors will take place at the Spring General Membership Meeting, which will be held on Saturday, May 20th from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the block of our new store location at 2031 S. Juniper Street. (Rain date: Sunday, May 21st).
Article 5 Section 4 of the South Philly Food Co-op Bylaws states:
Elections. The election of the Board of Directors shall take place at the Spring Meeting of the membership. All voting for Directors shall be by written ballot. Notice of the election, including the names of the candidates, the Board positions being filled, and an absentee ballot shall be made available to all Shareholding Members at least thirty (30) days before the meeting at which the election will occur. A candidate for the Board of Directors must be a member of the Co-op in good standing and must submit an application form. Applications must be submitted to the secretary or his or her designee sixty (60) days prior to the Spring Meeting of the membership. Board member positions will be filled according to those who receive the most votes for vacant positions. In the event of a tie, there shall be a run-off among the Shareholding Members present at the meeting.
There are six (6) Director seats up for election to a two-year term. Voters will be asked to select their top 6 choices from the nominees below.
If you are unable to vote in person at the Spring General Membership Meeting, you may print and mail an absentee ballot to the Co-op, according to the instructions in the linked PDF below. Ballots must be received by Friday, May 19th.
Who is eligible to vote for the Board of Directors?
According to Article 4, Section 5 of the bylaws, each Shareholding Member in good standing shall have one and only one vote upon any single matter. The Shareholding Member may designate a member of his or her Household to vote in his or her place.
What does "in good standing" mean?
In order to be "in good standing" members have to be paid up on their equity according to their membership agreement. That means either having your full $200 equity paid up or being up-to-date on your payments according to your payment plan.
How do I know if I'm up to date on my payments?
If you've received your share certificate in the mail or at a previous General Membership Meeting then you have paid off your entire $200 equity. If you're currently making payments or aren't sure you've received a share certificate, you can email email@example.com and ask.
If there are multiple people in my member-owner household, do we each get a vote?
Nope. Only one vote per member-owner household. You can talk it over as a household and make selections that everyone agrees to or just designate one person to make the decision on everyone's behalf. Whatever works for you!
If you receive multiple votes from a the same member-owner household, what will happen?
The Elections Committee will only count the LATEST vote that comes in and discard earlier votes. If you mail in a ballot then someone else in your household mails on in, whichever one we collect later will be counted. If you mail in a ballot before the election then you or another member of your household come to the meeting and vote in person, only the in-person vote will be counted.
Meet the 2017 Nominees
Below are the names and statements of the candidates presented alphabetically by last name.
Nathaniel Cauldwell (member since 2013)
My family joined the co-op 4 years ago and shortly after becoming a member-owner I joined my first committee to assist with the transition to our current CRM/CMS platform, NationBuilder. A few months later I assisted with the (re)creation of the IT committee, and 2 years ago was elected to my first term on the Board of Directors. I continue to be involved with the co-op for the same reasons I joined - to know more about the products on the shelves, and to be part of a group that hopes to have a positive influence in our community.
Jose Garcia (member since 2012)
I want to have the ability to purchase locally sourced, quality, and fairly priced foods while also enriching our community. My involvement in the committees and board were enriched by my experience as an architect and as a member of the community.
Leigh Goldenberg (member since 2011)
My husband and I joined the Co-op early on to support a comprehensive grocery option that supported our local community.
Upon becoming a member, I joined the programs and events committee and was appointed chair soon thereafter. I worked with a committed group of fellow volunteers on dozens of recruitment, educational, and community building events that brought us over 400 members during my tenure. Most notably, we took the annual Garden Tour to a new level, seeing over $12,000 raised and 200 attendees in 2014.
Outside of the Co-op, I have a background in marketing and communications, community engagement, and overall administration of mission-driven businesses in both the for-profit sector and non-profit arts world. My experience with the Co-op, passion for the mission, and exposure to a variety of Philadelphia connections make me an effective board member.
Now that we're in the home stretch of opening the store, I'm excited to continue fundraising, engaging our community, and spreading the word about what will be a tremendous addition to our neighborhood. My family and I look forward to shopping alongside you!
Carolyn Huckabay (member since 2012)
From the start, I’ve been drawn to the South Philly Food Co-op because of its mission to unify our community – it’ll be a place where neighbors can come together and rally around a common cause: healthy, local, sustainably produced, fairly priced food. (I work for the healthy food access nonprofit The Food Trust, so this concept is close to my heart.)
But in our current political climate, the Co-op becomes a lot more than just a store: It represents democracy, people-powered enterprise, food justice, and the harnessing of South Philly’s combined purchasing power to keep our local economy not only afloat but thriving.
This is what keeps me deeply involved with the Co-op, of which I’ve been a member-owner and active committee volunteer since 2012. My background in journalism, public relations and communications has lent itself well to serving on the Co-op’s Marketing and Communications Committee; co-chairing that committee for two years to help spearhead two successful membership drives; and joining the Board of Directors in 2015. I believe our Co-op community is strengthened by a diversity of backgrounds and skill sets, and as a “doer” with a deep understanding of local and national media relations, social media strategy and grassroots approaches to digital marketing, I will continue to spread public awareness of the Co-op’s mission if re-elected.
At the end of the day, the Co-op remains a place where I’ll join my neighbors to celebrate our amazing community; I look forward to the opportunity to continue this rewarding work!
Emily Kohlhas (member since 2012)
To me, cooperatives are the most fundamental articulation of freedom within modern day society. Corralled into silos and closed off from others behind closed front doors, held captive by television and smartphone screens, we so easily become willing pawns in a game played by national and international corporate interests. But by opening our doors, getting to know our neighbors, and becoming involved with our community, I believe we can take back our sovereignty. I joined the South Philly Food Co-op because I want to understand the consequences of the supply chain I support with my purchases. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to opt out of the mindless industrial food system. I’d much rather put a face to food!
From 2012-2015, I was a member of the Programs & Events Committee, designing a series of educational events around food justice and the supply chain. I become a member of the Board of Directors in 2015. As a marketing and communications professional, I am committed to teasing out the Co-op story, ensuring that we as a community are unified behind our vision and mission. My experience in the food and produce industry provides a much needed dose of realism as our conversation about a grocery store turns from vision to reality. I’m looking forward to serving our community for another term as we get settled in our digs and make some important decisions about who we are.
Ana Ramos (member since 2015)
Growing up in the Dominican Republic, I never thought that we were “poor”. We had good food in our yards. I later realized that not everyone eats as well as we did and that our food system is broken. The South Philly Food Co-op is important to me because I see it as a way to directly address that broken food system.
My involvement with the Co-op has been minimal. To be completely transparent, I found it difficult to be in a room where I was one the only people of color. I am interested in joining the board because want to work to make the Co-op more diverse, not just racially or ethnically diverse, but I also economically diverse. I am also interested in learning how a cooperative grocery store works.
I will strengthen the board by sharing my experience of food retail. My family has owned bodegas in Philadelphia since 1996 and I have worked in the food environment professionally for the last 5.5 years. I think that my marketing background and connections with several businesses and organizations will help the co-op potentially reach new members.
The South Philly Food Co-Op will give me the opportunity to learn how this business model can work for the community. It will give me the opportunity to reach people that might not be aware of the co-op and allow me to plant a seed for a space that offers good, sustainable food, at a fair price for ALL.