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.
The election of the Board of Directors will take place at the Spring General Membership meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, May 25th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the East Passyunk Community Recreation Center, 1025 Mifflin Street.
Arrival and check-in will take place between 6 and 6:30 p.m.
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.
Prior to 30 days before the election, absentee ballots will be available to be downloaded and printed. The absentee ballots can be mailed in and must be received by 5:00pm on the day before the election.
Mail your ballot to:
South Philly Food Co-op
PO Box 31506
Philadelphia, PA 19147
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Leadership 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 2016 Nominees
Below are the names and statements of the candidates presented alphabetically by last name.
Jessica Calter (member since 2011)
The Coop is important to me because I believe that South Philly should have a community owned grocery store. The 660 some memberowners and dedicated volunteer committee and board members who make up the Coop are very important to me. I am consistently impressed by the caliber and dedication of the people working on The Coop and I am proud to work alongside them.
I have been a member owner since 2011 and board member since 2014. I was elected President of the Board in 2015. I have been an active member of the Real Estate and Operations committees and I am a former cochair and chair of those committees respectively.
I have enjoyed many Coop events over the years and have also attended, volunteered and sponsored the Garden Tour.
I believe that my skills in business strategy, economic and community development, as well as fundraising and communications all serve the Coop. In addition, I have attended the CDS Consulting Cooperative Board Development 102 program as well as Coop Cafe sessions. But most importantly I think my dedication to organization and determination to open our member-owner grocery store is my best qualification.
Angel D’Ippolito (member since 2012)
The Co-op is important to me, first and foremost, because of the community building efforts of a diverse group of member-owners. The people involved with the Co-op are intelligent, mindful, pragmatic, respectful, interesting, and varied in their fields of expertise. Getting to work with these people to help build upon the dream of a community grocery store makes South Philly one of the best reasons to live here.
I am a current board member at the end of my first term and am seeking re-election. I have been on the real estate committee since it was formed and have chaired it for several years. I now have the pleasure of co-chairing it with Jose Garcia. I'm a real estate attorney by trade and in the process of getting my MBA. I think this balance of business and real estate law experience offers a serious perspective about the viability of possible locations. My business and legal skill-set will strengthen the Co-op's negotiating position when we find ourselves with a viable location.
Allison Fritz (member since 2010)
I am a 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 served as its president until June of 2015. I am a current board member and chair the Operations Committee. We have made tremendous strides together and I believe that my continued board service will be a valuable as secure we a physical location and reach our membership goals.
For me, the Co-op has become so much more than a grocery store. It represents a powerful vision and a collective commitment to values that I am proud to see reflected in my community. The project has meant different things to me over the years. Everything from, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a store where I can buy local kale and dates in bulk?” to “We’re opening a store that will create jobs, support the local producer economy, and allow me to do my shopping closer to home.” Now as the mother of a 2 year old, my involvement is charged by the lessons and values I hope to pass on – in this case, a way of organizing with friends, neighbors, and strangers around a communal need. When we have a location, and the co-op is part of our daily lives in a different way, it will impact the way he learns about and values food, community, and ownership.
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.
Anna Kiesel (member since 2011)
The South Philly Food Co-op is important to me because it would not only give our community access to fresh and local food, but it would also serve to bring the community together since it is a member-owned grocery store model. I have volunteered with the Co-op for over 5 years now, all 5 years served on the Operations Committee and 2 years served on the Board, with 1 of those years as Treasurer. My professional experience and education are in business, with concentrations in Finance, Operations, and Marketing. Working in the banking industry allowed me to work closely with numerous small businesses within varying industries and gain an understanding on various factors, both internal and external, that can affect a company's success. I believe that my background and experiences will strengthen the Co-op and the Board as we move to secure a store, look to secure start-up financing, and work towards opening a successfully operating small business.
Matt Stern (member since 2012)
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 of the 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 the cooperative economy, the SPFC can build connections across communities and serve as an example to other co-ops in the Philadelphia area.
I initially volunteered with the Co-op by supporting the first “Story of Self…” training. Soon afterwards I joined the Program and Events Committee and volunteered at tabling events. For the past two years I’ve served on the Co-op’s Board.
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; studied how to support sustainable and equitable urban communities; and served as a program manager launching large initiatives and bringing them to maturity. I’m a co-founder of the Brewers’ Co-op of Philadelphia and recently started working for the Energy Co-op, as their Electricity Program Manager. I feel that my diverse skills and co-op experience will continue to be an asset to the Board as it leads the Co-op through the momentous achievement of opening a physical location.
Katy Travaline (member since 2012)
I am working to open the South Philly Food Co-op because I believe the cooperative model is essential to a healthy, sustainable, and equitable food system.
Eager to make the Co-op a reality, my husband and I joined the Co-op and I started volunteering at tabling events in 2012. Passionate about spreading the word, I have served as the Speakers Bureau Manager since 2012 and, more generally, on the Outreach/Member Services Committee since 2015. I was particularly active in helping to coordinate the Co-op’s 2015 Garden Tour.
I am deeply committed to, and have years of experience in, community outreach, including partnership building and maintenance; planning and managing events; fundraising; program awareness; and volunteer recruitment efforts. Involved in food and environmental issues in the City of Philadelphia for the last decade, I bring to the Co-op a wealth of relevant knowledge and the ability to connect to city residents, government officials, businesses, and non-profit organizations. For example, in the process of developing and teaching college courses, such as 'Sustainable Food Systems' and 'Cities and Sustainability,' I sought out food producers and distributors as well as city officials and brought them to the classroom. I enjoy using my skills in research, writing, and community outreach, particularly when it is in the name of food and environmental justice. As a Co-op board member, I will represent South Philly as a whole, but I will also bring much-needed representation to residents west of Broad Street.
Emily Wyner (member since 2014)
Four days after moving to the neighborhood, I went to my first South Philly Food Co-op general membership meeting. From that point on, I knew this was an organization to which -- and with which -- I was deeply dedicated. Coming to the table (all puns intended!) with passionate experience in food justice organizing, I felt energized to join forces with a community of neighbors who share a common vision: to open a member-owned, cooperative grocery store that makes good food available at a fair price to the residents of South Philadelphia.
I joined the Marketing and Communications Committee in summer 2014 and have been delighted to serve as its Co-Chair since this past fall. I played a key role in conceptualizing and publishing the “Dating Spaces” blog series, and since becoming Co-Chair, have helped design and implement more effective workflows and management processes for the Committee. Moreover, I have promoted numerous Co-op initiatives and events through email and social media communications. Outside of the Co-op, I work at a large public health institute, where I lead mission-driven business integration initiatives and have honed my skills in strategic, organization-wide thinking and planning.
The South Philly Food Co-op has provided me an avenue to express my values and deepen my connection with a community I am proud to call home. Joining the Board is my opportunity to give back to the Co-op, and I look forward to the opportunity to do so.