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 27th from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Holy Spirit Church Basement at 1845 Hartranft St.
Arrival and check-in will take place between 6 and 6:30 p.m., and food will be generously provided by Chipotle.
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.
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
Below are the names and photos of the candidates presented alphabetically with their answers to the three questions posed on the nomination form:
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.
Nathaniel Cauldwell (member since 2013)
I've become accustomed to trusting stores and brands when shopping, but I always think I should do more research on what I'm feeding my children. I can't wait to be able to shop at the Co-op because I feel I'll be able to inherently trust the products on the shelves. Or, perhaps a little less optimistic, I feel that as a member-owner the product research for our store will become a part of my life so I will be more knowledgable about the particular products we sell.
After joining the Co-op I volunteered as soon as I felt I could put my skills to use. I helped with the transition to the current web platform, NationBuilder, and after the transition I helped out with NationBuilder and any other requests whenever needed. A few months later I helped re-form the IT Committee and have co-chaired it since.
I work as a web developer/database administrator and I have fun doing that. I like to solve problems with technology and I like to aggregate data and build reports that are meaningful to the people reading them. I hope these are skills that will be useful to the board.
Jose Garcia (member since 2012)
The Co-op is important to me because I want quality, fairly priced food that is local. In all the ways that South Philly has improved in the last few years having a place to get the food choices the Co-op would provide is not among them. Being a part of a community that has a say in what we can buy and eat is important to me.
I believe my experience as an architect will help the Co-op board in the same ways that I current help the real estate committee: by bringing a grounded and practical eye to the table.
Leigh Goldenberg (member since 2011)
My husband and I moved to Passyunk Square in 2007, looking for a neighborhood that offered the conveniences we’d grown accustomed to in New York City. While we love all the restaurant options popping up and don’t mind riding our bikes to a variety of grocery stores, we joined the Co-op early on to support a comprehensive grocery option that supported our local community.
Soon after becoming members, I joined the programs and events committee. I like rolling up my sleeves and organizing parties, so this seemed like a good fit! I was quickly appointed chair, and have worked with a fabulous group of fellow volunteers on the 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 in recent years, 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 will make me a strong board member.
With the Co-op, I’ve found much more than what will be a great grocery shopping option for my family. I've also formed network of people that make our community the place we will raise our daughter and call home for many years!
Carolyn Huckabay (member since 2012)
Over the seven years I’ve lived in South Philly, it’s become increasingly important for me to get involved with community measures that will have a lasting impact on the neighborhood I intend to call home for years to come. That’s why my husband and I signed up as founding member-owners of the South Philly Food Co-op; it’s why I’ve dedicated my time to promoting the Co-op’s work through the Marketing and Communications Committee; and it’s why I’d be thrilled to become a member of its Board.
As a member-turned-co-chair of the Marketing/Communications Committee, I’ve worked with an amazing group of volunteers to spread the word about the Co-op to the public, the press, community partners and other stakeholders. My professional background in journalism, public relations and communications lends itself well to this work of telling the story of the Co-op in an authentic way. And as we inch closer to finding our perfect location, marketing and communications are going to play an even more crucial role – from in-store branding and developing relationships with high-level members of the media to planning the store’s grand opening. I’d look forward to the opportunity to make sure the Board stays well connected to this important work as well as that of our other hard-working committees.
In short, I love South Philadelphia, I’m dedicated to making it an even better place to live – and I envision a community grocery store as the perfect way to bring residents together for that common cause.
Emily Kohlhas (member since 2012)
Food is our lifeline. It keeps us alive, holds our societies together, and forms the basis of our relationship with the earth. To me, it's incredibly important to take responsibility for the things I put in my body, from a nutritional, ecological, and social perspective. The Co-op represents this commitment. I want to have a say in the types of products I have the ability to purchase and consume, and I hope to support a community of people who feel the same way.
I have been an active member of the Co-op since 2012, and have helped to organize many successful events including two Garden Tours and a series of educational programs.
My experience in the local food system (as well as expertise in the fields of communications, marketing, operations, customer service, farming, and food retail) gives me a well-rounded perspective on the standards we should seek to establish as our organization transitions from community group to profitable grocery store. I am looking forward to the opportunity to have a more significant positive impact on the growth of the Co-op in the years to come.
Dana Mitchell (member since 2012)
The Co-op is important to me because of the community that has developed around it. Even without a store we have been able to strengthen our community bonds through activities like The Garden Tour, workshops, and soup swaps.
I have been involved with the Co-op since 2012 as an active member of the Outreach Committee, most recently as the chairperson.
In my professional life I am a Project Manager, and I feel that my organizational and team leading skills would be an asset to the Board.