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 with signatures of at least 10% of current membership or twenty-five (25) signatures, whichever is smaller. Applications must be submitted to the secretary 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.
The election of the Board of Directors will take place on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 6:30pm. The location of the meeting will be PEP Community Room,1200 South Broad Street (entrance on Federal Street). There are seven (7) Director seats up for election to a two-year term. Voters will be asked to select their top 7 choices from the nominees below. This will leave one vacancy among the class of directors that is up for election in 2015.
To vote by mail, use this link to download a copy of the ballot. Absentee ballots must be received by Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 5:00pm.
Mail your ballot to:
South Philly Food Co-op
PO Box 31506
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Below are the names and photos of the candidates presented alphabetically with their answers to the three questions posed on the nomination form:
Also on the ballot is an amendment to the Co-op bylaws removing the requirement for gathering signatures in order to be a nominee for the board. Change would be to remove the struck through parts below.
5.4 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 with signatures of at least 10% of current membership or twenty-five (25) signatures, whichever is smaller. Applications must be submitted to the secretary or his or her designee, as approved by the Board, 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. Notwithstanding the foregoing language of Section 5.4, for all Board elections taking place prior to the opening of the SPFC retail location, each candidate for the Board of Directors need only obtain fifteen signatures from current member-owners to be eligible to run for the Board of Directors.
Members will be asked to vote to Approve or Deny this change.
The Co-op is important to me because of connections that it created among neighbors in my South Philadelphia neighborhood. I know that with the addition of more members and the opening of the grocery store as a hub in the community, these connections will only increase and deepen.
I am a proud member of the Co-op and I want to give my service to making it a success. For the last 2 years I have served on the Real Estate and Operations Committees. I was recently appointed as co-chair of the Real Estate Committee.
I feel that I bring a wide range of skills and expertise to the board. In my professional life, I have over a decade of experience in non-profit management with expertise in marketing, fundraising, strategic planning, and financial management. In my current position with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) I have gained experience in the world of economic development including real estate development and financing. I have significant fundraising experience having most recently come from a position with the Arden Theatre Company successfully running a $5.8 million capital campaign for the renovation of the Hamilton Family Arts Center. In addition, I am active in the community and serve as Board Treasurer for the Friends of Manton Street Park and Community Garden and I also serve on the Finance Committee of the Dickinson Square West Civic Association. I am also a member of the Board of Good Company Group, an accelerator for social impact startups.
Co-op members are a veritable melting pot of people with a common goal of working together to build a business. The resulting community building and blending of talents to accomplish that goal is inspiring to me. My experiences thus far with the Co-op have renewed my love for South Philly.
I joined the Real Estate Committee (“REC”) at its inception. I am a real estate/business attorney, so it made perfect sense that the REC was my first foray into volunteering with the Co-Op. While the REC was in a lull, I co-organized the 2013 Spring General Meeting. Since then, things have really heated up in the REC. I am now a co-Chair of the REC. We have done so much work in the REC that I can’ fit in my 250 words here. I am also a member of the Negotiations Task Force which is tasked with negotiating business terms for a potential store lease. I attend quite a few meetings per month on behalf of the Co-Op and value every minute of it.
I am a real estate/business attorney. We are at a special and important time in our Co-Op’s history. My experience in negotiating commercial leases and understanding business provides important knowledge and insight into negotiations that the Co-Op will be undertaking in the next two years. Beyond that, I fully understand and am committed to the dedication necessary to be on a “working board,” as I am also a board member of the Passyunk Square Civic Association.
I am a proud founding member of the South Philly Food Co-op, served as chair of the Steering Committee since its inception in April 2010, was elected to the first Board of Directors, and have served as its president since June of 2011. I’ve also been a member of the Real Estate and Operations Committees. We have made tremendous strides together and I am excited to be a part of the next phase of our development as we reach our membership goals and secure a physical location.
For me, the Co-op has become so much more than a grocery store. It represents several years of my life, new friends and connections in my neighborhood, and a new and vibrant community of people that did not exist before. It is exciting to think about our diverse community coming together, sharing and learning from each other while striving to reach this common goal. I am fortunate to have been a part of this from the beginning and it has been an experience that has changed me forever.
From my professional life I bring both project management and fundraising experience, which I believe have been invaluable to the Co-op so far. I also bring knowledge of co-op development process, connections to the larger co-op community both in Philadelphia and across the country, and a proven willingness to learn, work, and spend the time necessary to govern and advance the South Philly Food Co-op.
To me, the South Philly Food Co-op represents the community members’ desire to improve our local food system. Since food awareness and nutrition have become a national concern, I believe that it’s important for South Philly residents to have easy access to quality foods, with the added benefit of obtaining easy access to local foods and improving the local economy.
I’ve been a member and a volunteer on the Co-op’s Operations Committee for about 3 years, but have also helped with the Membership and Member Loan Committees. I joined when we had only 50 members and have watched the Co-op grow to approx. 540 members to date. In addition to typical Operations responsibilities, which have included things from researching finance options to helping write our Business Plan, helping establish the Shop South Philly program and the ‘Coffee with the Co-op’ series have been my favorite tasks to date. There’s something really special about standing in front of a South Philly coffee shop on a warm (sometimes not so warm) spring morning and describing the Co-op to residents and sharing a mutual excitement for the vision of a food Co-op in South Philly.
My day job is in finance where I spend my hours analyzing the financial performances of numerous business clients that have included food co-ops and grocery stores. To date, my business knowledge has allowed me to add a financial institution’s perspective to the Operations Committee and believe it will add similar value to the Co-op Board.
After almost four years volunteering and serving on the committees and the Board of Directors of the Co-op, the Co-op is still important to me for the same reason it always was: it’s our vision for a place in our neighborhood where members of our community can get to know one another and shop for high quality food. After all this time, though, and seeing our community work together to come so far, it means something new to me, too: it’s a near-reality that we started together and I that I know we’ll all finish together.
I attended the first organizational meeting at SPOAC in 2010, began serving on the legal/finance committee shortly thereafter, was the primary drafter of the Co-op’s Bylaws, and was a member of our first elected board of directors, which I have had the privilege of serving on since we incorporated as a co-op. I also chair and am the board liaison to the Legal Committee and the Member Loan Committee.
My perspectives as a lawyer help the Co-op spot potential legal issues that might arise and deal with complex problems and regulatory hurdles that the Co-op needs to address to open. More important, I’m a lifelong food co-op member and shopper, and, although I don’t think it’s unique in this group, I have a very strong drive to see our community and our neighborhood succeed now that I have a young daughter I intend to raise in South Philly.
I believe in cooperatives, locally-based economies, being community oriented and civically minded, and in healthy accessible food. I believe the South Philly Food Co-op brings all this and more to our South Philly Neighborhoods, and is a huge benefit because of that.
I served on the Membership Committee for over a year; coordinated the gardens for the first two Annual Garden Tours; and have served on the Board for 2 years, currently as Secretary and Board Liaison to the Leadership Committee.
I believe that commitment and dedication to the Co-op and the Co-op Board are first and foremost to being a good Board member. I promise to continue to bring that commitment and what I have learned over the past 2 years serving on the Board into this next term, which will see the Co-op through an exciting transition.
In my opinion the South Philly Food Co-op is an influential step in the direction of South Philly’s economic development, food sources and community. Our neighborhood is one most rapidly changing and diverse areas of the city. It is a place of disparate food realities, in which Top Chefs can work blocks away from low-income communities. Through the power of food and principles inherent to co-ops, I believe the Co-op can build connections across communities and serve as an example to other co-ops across the Philadelphia area.
I first volunteered with the Co-op by supporting the first “Story of Self…” training. Soon afterwards I joined the Program and Events Committee and have volunteered at a number of tabling events. I also brew beer, ride bikes and spend time with friends that I’ve met through the Co-op.
My first job in high school was at a supermarket. To this day, it is one of my longest and most significant job experiences. I will never forget what it is like to work in a grocery store. Since then I have worked as a community organizer, rallying individuals around a common goal; studied how to support sustainable and equitable urban communities; served as a project manager launching large initiatives and bringing them to maturity; and completed Young Involved Philadelphia’s non-profit Board Prep Program. I feel that these diverse skills and experiences will be an asset to the Co-op Board as it leads the Co-op through the momentous achievement of opening a physical location.