vote for the board! click for info

2015 Board of Directors Poster

Board of Directors Elections 2015
election held October 15 – November 15

Click here for Ballot PDF

Four candidates for the 2015 Board elections were received by the Sept 10 deadline. We realize that having one candidate per position is less than ideal. We strive to always having contested elections although we don’t have that this year, we are committed to running the election as prescribed by the bylaws article 3 section 4 which states “elections shall be held annually.”

The Board is researching and gathering feedback on reasons for the current low interest in running for the Co-op Board, and we welcome your opinion. Let us know at ofcboard@olympiafood.coop any thoughts you might have on the state of board elections.

Candidates were asked to answer the following questions:

1. Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?
2. What general abilities and skills would you bring to the Board?
3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
4. What else would you like to share?

Eric Mapes

1. Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?
The Co-op plays an important role in the Olympia community, making good food more accessible, providing living-wage jobs, and promoting social justice. The Co-op’s growth and prosperity over the last four decades demonstrates that a business model driven more by values than profit can succeed. I feel fortunate to have the Co-op in my neighborhood and want to do my part to keep it both economically viable and true to the Mission Statement.

2. What general abilities and skills would you bring to the Board?
I am committed to our consensus-based process, and have the skills to participate effectively in it. Having served as an elected member of the Co-op Board from 2009 to 2012, and as an appointed member since February of this year, I have experience with the Board’s process and understand the issues the Co-op currently faces. With a B.A. from the Evergreen State College and a J.D. from the University of Washington law school, I have developed strong written and oral communication skills. I am a licensed attorney and spent more than two years doing legal research and writing at the state Court of Appeals, so I have a good understanding of Washington law. I also spent about five years living and teaching in Japan, an experience that helped me appreciate the difficulties visible minorities face here.

3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
I see the Co-op not only as a welcoming place for all people to access good food, but as a force for positive change in Olympia and the world. In terms of specific goals for the near future, I see the Co-op developing a workable, financially sound plan to expand our retail and warehouse space, investing in alternative energy systems to power our operations, and implementing a system to foster increased member input and involvement. I would also like the Co-op to revisit the issue of selling locally-produced beer and wine: I believe we can meet member demand for these products, strengthen our business, and support local producers in a way that both respects the needs of people suffering from alcohol addiction and preserves our working-member cashier system.

4. What else would you like to share?
After I moved to Olympia in 1994, I worked as a cheese packager at the Westside store for many years. The Co-op both nourished me and inspired me to imagine a better world- the working member discount allowed me to enjoy a quality of life I could not otherwise have afforded, and seeing the Co-op function inspired me to think critically about the injustice in our economic system. I will always be grateful. I humbly thank you for allowing me to serve as a director of this amazing organization, and would be honored to have your vote again.

Marc Hartung

1. Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?
I want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors so that I may contribute to sustainable, and accessible, healthy food in my community. I am passionate about food and believe that it is the cornerstone of health. I am also passionate about social justice, open communication and collaborative processes. I would like to help the Co-op continue to move forward as a leader in the community in providing healthy affordable food, and applying anti oppressive practices in an open and inclusive manner.

2. What general abilities and skills would you bring to the Board?
I am familiar with consensus decision making and non-violent communication and I am committed to continuing to examine my place in our community through an anti oppression model. I do not shy away from struggle or discomfort. I believe these qualities will serve my position on the board by allowing me to facilitate moving forward in addressing difficult issues with both self and community awareness. I have experience working in logistics and I am skilled at seeing things from many different perspectives, asking a lot of questions, and working towards efficient solutions where necessary. I am insatiably curious and always eager to learn and contribute.

3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
I envision the Co-op growing and evolving with the needs of the community as it pertains to maintaining or increasing access to food as well as increasing awareness within our community of discrimination and oppression that continue to permeate our culture. I believe that the Board of Directors exists to ensure that the Co-op remains a safe place that exists primarily to serve the whole community as well as its employees.

4. What else would you like to share?
I graduated from The Evergreen State College with a BS emphasizing pre-medical studies, medical sociology and ethics. I have two children and I love getting out into the wilderness with them to foster their love and stewardship of our earth. I currently work part time as a care-taker, and volunteer at the Olympia Free Clinic while pursuing a career in healthcare.

Sam Green

1. Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?
I want to serve on the Co-op’s Board of Directors to ensure that the cooperative continues to effectively serve its members, empower its workers, and reach out to the greater Olympia community. The Co-op is not only a great resource for food and groceries, but living proof that people can use the cooperative model in an empowering and relevant way. I fully understand that our Co-op’s success is only possible because of the hard work of its volunteer members, staff collective, and Board of Directors. With this recognition, I am offering my time and my hard work to ensure that this great project we call the Oly Food Co-op continues to thrive.

2. What general abilities and skills would you bring to the Board?
I will bring years of experience in non-profit management, industry knowledge in cooperative development, and a solid understanding of community organizing to my work on the Board of Directors and for the overall cooperative. As a union organizer, I learned the importance of bringing people together, addressing the needs of our economic lives, and looking to our principles for guidance. Later, as a chief administrative officer for a labor union, I learned the skills of financial stewardship, accountable communication, membership engagement, strategic planning, and project management. These experiences will play directly into my ability to serve on the Board as a resource and as a cooperator. Most recently, I oversee the finances for a small local building company, and work part time as a cooperative development specialist with a non-profit, here in Olympia. These experiences have offered me the ability to hone my financial management skills and dig deeper into how cooperatives succeed and flourish.

3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
I envision the Olympia Food Cooperative as an engine for not only meeting our community’s need of food, but for providing great jobs and connecting us with great farmers. Further, I want to see the cooperative as a resource for new cooperative endeavors and small-scale, added-value food projects. I want our Co-op to be a model of how consumer cooperatives may financially succeed while sticking to their principles and fulfilling their mission.

4. What else would you like to share?
I am really excited to see how our Co-op grows and changes in the coming few years. Being born and raised in greater Oly, I have always admired the way the Food Co-op overcame challenges to emerge stronger. It is my hope that whoever is elected to the Board will embrace these exciting times, navigate the unforeseen challenges, and keep our cooperative committed to its mission.

David Coppley

1. Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?
Co-ops changed my life. Growing up a jaded, cynical kid, exposure to the cooperative model in my young adult years provided me with an opportunity to try to do something better than the status-quo for which I held such contempt. Some twenty or so years later, I have had the good fortune to work in a number of cooperative organizations—from national retails chains, to tiny non-hierarchical collectives. Throughout my career, which has included a variety of positions in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, I have always strived to champion the values and ethics we built in the co-ops. While my current employment in as a bike-promoting, youth engaging, all around do-gooder is very rewarding, I miss co-ops. So just toss me a vote, why don’t you, and together we can keep making this community of ours even better.

2. What general abilities and skills would you bring to the Board?
Well over a decade of retail experience, including approximately 7 years in cooperatives. I have worked in a variety of capacities in food cooperatives, doing everything from writing the paychecks to scraping the raisins off the floor. Extensive professional program management experience (about 10 years), with a focus of cooperative, volunteer-based workforces. I know how to keep a group productive and inclusive while having a good time. Public engagement – I am a confident, engaging speaker and active listener. Experience leading/supporting effective and inclusive meetings. I am a big idea person. I love to creatively envision, and have enough knowledge and experience to produce ideas that are achievable and relevant. My tofu salad is pretty bad-ass. Just sayin’.

3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
I think the Olympia Food Co-op is doing pretty damn well as it is. My vision will come after I have had the opportunity to hear the interests and concerns of staff, volunteers, and patrons which make up our happy little community.

4. What else would you like to share?
Edward Abbey once said, “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.” If you are reading this, you obviously give a damn. So do I. Let’s keep making things better . . . together. I promise I am not as pretentious as my verbiage may imply. I am a pragmatist at heart and will get things done!