Board Elections 2017: The Candidates

All the candidates have provided written answers to a series of questions, which can be read by clicking on the names below. The candidates have also recorded video statements, which can be viewed on the online ballot. (Login required.)

Hilary Baum

 1. What is your current Weavers Way shopping frequency? Describe your involvement in Weavers Way committees, projects and activities.

My husband and I moved to Philly in 2019 and I joined the Weavers Way Board a short time later.  Since then, I have been a devoted shopper, spending about 80% of our food dollars at our stores and farm. I participate on the Board’s Farm Task Force, Equity, and Leadership committees. I also serve as board liaison to the Plastic Reduction Task Force. 

2. Describe your experience with overseeing a business or organization’s budget and financial performance.

I have run my own consulting and food companies, and served on the board of Hawthorne Valley Farm, a multimillion-dollar farm, retail and education organization. My Weavers Way board service has added enormously to my experience with financials, especially as we deliberate the feasibility of expanding to Germantown.

3. What do you perceive to be the long- and short-term challenges facing Weavers Way, and how should we address them?

Competition for the wallets, hearts and minds of food shoppers will always be one of our challenges; to succeed, we must seek solutions that embrace community, diversity, equity, inclusion and the environment.  Immediate challenges include dealing with supply chain issues, inflation, overcrowding in Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill, and our probable expansion to Germantown —all while maintaining a healthy balance sheet, committing to provide fair wages and good benefits for our staff, and respecting the planet.

4. What volunteer or professional experiences have you had that will help you strengthen the Weavers Way Board?

I have experience in many different aspects of the food system as a professional, volunteer and advocate.  My passion for regional food systems and my understanding of food from production and distribution to marketing and waste adds a valuable perspective to the Board, as does my interest in ensuring that our governing policies reflect our values as a co-op.

 

Joshua Bloom

1. What is your current Weavers Way shopping frequency? Describe your involvement in Weavers Way committees, projects and activities.

I’m in our stores (all three of them!) a little too often – three or four times per week. (It was hard to shop once a week during the height of the pandemic.) I do about 90% of my grocery (and pet food) shopping at the Co-op. I currently chair the Farms Strategy Task Force, which is working to make our farms financially sustainable. I also co-chair the new Cooperative Funeral Service member committee, which is working to provide information and green alternatives for end-of-life care.

2. Describe your experience with overseeing a business or organization’s budget and financial performance.

I previously served on the Weavers Way board, including two years as board president; it was an honor to serve, and I loved doing it. During this period, we made the strategic decision to expand to Ambler, which has strengthened the Co-op’s financial position, especially during the pandemic. I believe deeply in this community-owned enterprise.

3. What do you perceive to be the long- and short-term challenges facing Weavers Way, and how should we address them?

We are entering the next phase of our evolution with a planned expansion to Germantown. Our leaders must assure this expansion supports the Germantown community and strengthens the Co-op in the process. We have other challenges, too: We need to accelerate our progress on diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels, from membership to leadership. And we need to increase wages prudently, as we face upward pressure on pricing (inflation in the cost of goods) and downward pressure on margins (increased operational costs).

4. What volunteer or professional experiences have you had that will help you strengthen the Weavers Way Board?

 Professionally, I work with communities across the country to revitalize their downtowns and neighborhood business districts, and to help strengthen small businesses. My work has been a lifelong passion.

Kristin Haskin-Simms

1. What is your current Weavers Way shopping frequency? Describe your involvement in Weavers Way committees, projects and activities.

I shop at Weavers Way at least two to three times a week. I divide my shopping between the Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill stores.

2. Describe your experience with overseeing a business or organization’s budget and financial performance.

I have been self-employed for over 20 years, running two businesses during that time. I currently manage many construction and rehabilitation projects.

3. What do you perceive to be the long- and short-term challenges facing Weavers Way, and how should we address them?

I believe affordable healthy food options are always going to be an issue, especially for families who live in food deserts. I believe the Co-op should identify key community leaders (the ones who really do the work) in underserved communities and make them Weavers Way ambassadors. The Co-op can help them and help the families in their communities by providing them with tools and resources. In addition, there are makers and small businesses within these same communities who could always use more accounts and opportunities to sell. It would be great if there were mentors or a program that could help these small businesses to grow.

4. What volunteer or professional experiences have you had that will help you strengthen the Weavers Way Board?

I currently serve on two boards: I’m the chair of community outreach for West Mt. Airy Neighbors, and a member of the board of Mt. Airy Baseball. Previously, I served on the board of Greenwoods Charter School. I’m also a co-founder of Germantown United CDC.

 

De’Janiera Little

 1. What is your current Weavers Way shopping frequency? Describe your involvement in Weavers Way committees, projects and activities.

I have served as board secretary since last year. I have previously served the Weavers Way community as a board liaison on the Racial Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and currently serve as a board liaison on Food Moxie’s Board of Directors. I utilize my organizational skills to facilitate meetings and organize events for the Co-op. It’s been a wonderful learning experience.

2. Describe your experience with overseeing a business or organization’s budget and financial performance.

Previously, I worked as a bookkeeper for a property management company.  My responsibilities included, but were not limited to, accounts payable and receivable, monthly reconciliations and other areas of financial oversight. I have used that transferable skill set to further my knowledge and understanding of the Co-op’s financial reports.  With this expanded knowledge, I ask pertinent questions as well as provide insight relevant to the Co-op’s operations.

3. What do you perceive to be the long- and short-term challenges facing Weavers Way, and how should we address them?

Currently, it’s important we support management while we work toward keeping the organization financially stable. We also need to be strategic in finding new opportunities to grow our organization. Doing that will increase our financial stability and community inclusion by honoring our commitment to diversity and equity. 

4. What volunteer or professional experiences have you had that will help you strengthen the Weavers Way Board?

I hold an MBA and a Master’s in organizational development and leadership. I worked with a large public service organization for over 25 years. I serve on several committees that are targeted at health, risk management and etiquette, to name a few.  I have previously been an animal advocate at Philadelphia’s animal shelter.  My current and previous community service experience compliments my role on the Weavers Way Board.