1. Why are cooperatives in general and Weavers Way in particular important to you?
Weavers Way offers an economic and social pathway for collaboration that is especially appealing to folks looking for connection and community. It is of particular importance to me, new to Philadelphia, because it is a socially responsible food co-op that fosters the local economy and nurtures relationships between patrons, staff, volunteers, and producers.
2. How will your experience, skills, and unique perspectives strengthen the Co-op Board?
I have worked in different aspects of the food business (food and beverage production, marketing, farmers market and CSA management and governance, restaurant purchasing), participated in building the regional food systems movement as an organizer, educator and advocate, and have much board experience.
3. What do you perceive to be the long- and short-term challenges facing Weavers Way and how would you address them?
Continuous efforts to strengthen connections and build loyalties between our members, our stores and the larger community will always be our challenge; studying our shoppers and our competition an on-going task. Short term we can provide more information on our in-house labels, add energy to the Ambler store with some redesign, and communicate how to navigate parking challenges while we find long term solutions.
4. What volunteer experiences have you had with other cooperatives or organizations?
I have been a board member of the Hawthorne Valley Association, which oversees a biodynamic farm, its dairy, bakery and fermented foods production, educational programs, and retail operations; chair, Purple Circle Parent Cooperative Day Care Center; Food Systems Network NYC founding director; president, Public Market Partners/Baum Forum; American Sustainable Business Council, program manager; Grow NYC/Greenmarket governance committee.
5. How can Board members better represent the opinions of the membership?
Being an active Co-op member is the key to effective representation: serving on committees, working shifts, participating in co-op and greater community events, and actively soliciting opinions from fellow members.