election results for your Board of Directors!

the election results are in!

thank you to all who voted for your Board of Directors!

In order of most votes, here are the selections

Desdra Dawning, 3 year term
Raven Redbone, 3 year term
Jaime Rossman, 3 year term
Jim Hutcheon, 2 year term
Casey Hook, 1 year term

for more information on their statements, scroll below

Thank you for your participation!

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election held October 15 – November 15, 2016

Ballot boxes are set up at both stores!
Westside’s box is found next to the calendars
Eastside’s box is in front of the registers

click here for ballot PDF

Scroll below for candidates and their thoughts…

Your vote is your voice: use it to help shape the future of the Co-op. These elections have been decided by 1–30 votes in the recent past. One vote — YOUR vote — can make a difference! Voting changes the future, from budgets to boycotts to the overall trajectory of the organization. Who you choose influences your Co-op! By casting a vote, you participate in 39 years of tradition, and help us to continue to drive our mission and values by selecting members of our community to serve the Co-op on your behalf.

The Board of Directors is the elected body that represents the membership by establishing policies, overseeing the operating and capital budgets, approving plans and recommendations, and setting general guidelines for the staff collective and working members. The Board holds ultimate legal responsibility for the operations and actions of the Co-op.

Use your vote to make sure our Directors represent your vision for the future of our cooperative! Every year we have three positions open for a 3-year term. This year, we have two additional positions open due to resignations. The term lengths for election this year are: three 3-year terms, one 2-year term, and one 1-year term. We have 5 positions open on our Board this year and 8 candidates!

Vote for 5 candidates

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 will you bring to the Board?
  3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
  4. What else would you like to share?

Caleb Baldwin

1.  Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?
I want to be on the Board of Directors because I want to serve the needs of the membership, and respond to any needs or concerns they may have. I am a people person and a problem solver. I am also a good listener. Another reason I would like to be on the Board of Directors can be summed up in one word: EXPANSION. We love our eastside Co-op, but the store opened in 1994 and was converted from an RV store. It has served us well, but I have talked to many members, a lot of whom have come through my volunteer cashier line, and most have expressed the same feelings. They convey that it’s time to design and build something with bigger aisles, an expanded deli, more parking, etc. I would love to hear more input on this if I am elected. I know that Board Members are not the only ones that are involved in this big decision, but I would like to be as involved as possible.

2. What general abilities and skills will you bring to the Board?
First of all, I know the Co-op and the community very well. I was born at St. Peter’s Hospital in Olympia in 1989, and have lived here my entire life. I began at the Co-op as a produce volunteer three years ago. About six months after that, I transitioned to cashiering. I love being upfront, being able to greet people, and help them answer questions and concerns. My whole career up until now has focused on public service and volunteering, including serving on the Lacey Park Board, and a Community Service Officer for the City of Lacey. I also spend 20 hours a week taking care of a wonderful young man with cerebral palsy. I think my people skills, and all of the skills I’ve learned in serving my community thus far will help me as a Board Member.

3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
As I stated before, I envision an expanded Co-op. One we build from scratch where more than two carts can fit down an aisle. I also think I envision a lot more of the same great service the Co-op has been providing since 1977: Quality, local, organic food, at reasonable prices. I also envision us focusing on recruiting more superb working members, without whom we most certainly could not survive.

4. What else would you like to share?
I promise that if elected I will take anyone’s call on any issue, and fight hard for every single member so that we can become the best Co-op possible. Thank you for reading my plans for the Co-op and I cordially ask for your vote.

Dylan Brooks

1. Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?
The reason I would like to be on the Board is that ever since I moved here, over a year ago, and learned of the Co-op I have been impressed with its organizational model. I am a strong believer in worker control on the job and I feel that organizations like the Olympia Food Co-op is one example of how that might look, and it is important to have examples that people can look to and learn from even as the Co-op learns how to do these things better.

2. What general abilities and skills will you bring to the Board?
My abilities and skills include research, both academic and also in regards to labor organizing. I have some skill at using Microsoft Office, as well as Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. I am the secretary of the Olympia Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World which requires me to keep track of our books, maintain our member database, attend our branch meeting once a month, as well as other meetings. I am good at mediating situations with an eye towards what is right. I use email a lot and maintain several email accounts as well as oversee two listservs at the moment, so I am proficient at keeping up with emails. In my capacity as an organizer I am much stronger on the paperwork side of things. That may sound odd but in general I like meetings and such. The process of how these things work has always been of interest to me.

3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
My vision for the Co-op is for it to enhance and increase its focus on the community in terms of its worker-run model and what this means. My vision would be to focus on, “support efforts to foster a socially and economically egalitarian society.” In my experience so far I feel that the community knows less about this aspect of the Co-op and I would seek to bring this to the forefront.

4. What else would you like to share?
The only other thing I would like to share is my interest and passion lies with helping the poor and working class and I think that the Co-op is a good vehicle for this. Not only in the food and services it provides but also in its worker run model, which can and should be a model for the whole community.

Desdra Dawning

1. Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?
I have served on the Olympia Food Co-op Board for almost two years as an appointee. During this time, I have come to more clearly understand how our particular Co-op functions and I now recognize the value of a strong and yet flexible Board. While I came into this position with a love and appreciation for our Co-op, my gratitude for its presence in Olympia has grown even stronger. My primary motivation as a Board of Directors member has been, and continues to be, to ensure the health and on-going continuity of Olympia Food Co-op well into the future. I would very much like to continue my service to both our Co-op community and the larger Olympia community.

2. What general abilities and skills will you bring to the Board?
I have always greatly valued the cooperative movement and what the Cooperative Principles stand for. I have written many articles for our Co-op Newsletter. Being on the Board has taught me about consensus, and the value of its process. Working on many committees and task forces, I have developed a friendly, working relationship with Staff Collective members, and Working Members, and have a deeper understanding of the inner workings of Olympia Food Co-op. I would like to continue my work on these committees and task forces.

3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
I see the Olympia Food Co-op as a thriving part of the Olympia community, serving us all not only with good healthy food and other products, but as a vanguard for social justice and a sustainable local economy. No other grocery store anywhere offers this. I see us growing in membership and I trust that conscious decisions will continue to be made as we make the necessary expansion changes that will allow us to more effectively continue to serve our region. I see us in a larger facility with plenty of parking, and perhaps even eventually a downtown presence. And I see the Staff Collective, Working Members, and Board of Directors working gracefully together to ensure the health and well-being of all Olympia Food Co-op members. I also see more enthusiastic involvement from the greater Olympia Food Co-op membership.

4. What else would you like to share?
From the beginning of my time as an Olympia Food Co-op Board of Directors member, I have experienced personally the terrible division and deep emotional divides that have developed from the boycott of Israel products and the ensuing lawsuit. While I support the boycott for its political message to the current government of Israel, I am also deeply concerned about the shut-down of communication that the lawsuit brought with it. As an Olympia Food Co-op Board member, I see my position as one that represents all Olympia Food Co-op Members, and would like to work toward some sort of reconciliation, both among Staff Collective and Board of Directors members, and with our larger Olympia Food Co-op membership. How that can be accomplished, I am not sure, but I feel that it is imperative that we somehow take steps to heal these wounds through open dialogue and whatever other measures we can muster. If we can’t bring peace to the Co-op, how can we possibly expect to bring peace to the larger world?

Mardi Halvorsen

1. Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?
I want to run for the Board of Directors because I believe in the Co-op as community. I put my money where my mouth is, both in what I eat and figuratively. I walk the walk, or at least try.

2. What general abilities and skills will you bring to the Board?
The abilities that I have equal my skills, jack of all trades, master of many, including creative reuse (I sew and sell up-cycled coffee filters sewn from fabrics that are reused, obtained primarily from the Free Store), I’m a yogi (500 hours trained), and a pet sitter (small business owner.) I’ve lived in Olympia since 2014.

3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
My vision for the Co-op is to bottle that terrific Co-op smell and sell it! Just kidding! Seriously, I would keep the good things good and really, it’s all good. I’ve spent most of my working life in customer service and I am so inspired by all the staff I have the honor to work with at the Co-op. Olympia and the Food Co-op are the embodiment of everything I try to live. It only took my moving here to finally find my perfect partner in Douglas Goslin, long time Co-op working member and my Co-op community. With Douglas’ encouragement I began my volunteer career with the Co-op in early 2015. This summer, my daughter began volunteering with me. Family communication and cooperation are values I strive to live and to teach. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute back to a community and dare I say, family that has empowered me in my life here in Olympia.

Casey Hook

1. Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?
Having basically grown up in the Co-op I value it and its impact on the community a great deal. I want to help the Co-op to grow and flourish. I am also preparing for a masters in nonprofit administration at Evergreen and think that a term with the Co-op Board would provide useful experience.

2. What general abilities and skills will you bring to the Board?
I have strong communication skills and am good at collaborating. I am good with and enjoy math. I have a lot of energy and passion about the well-being of the Co-op.

3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
I would like to see the Co-op someday grow to compete meaningfully with the big box grocery stores in Olympia. People should have access to better food than they generally offer, and the Co-op will need to grow to offer that. From a more reasonable/short term perspective, I think it is high time we have another branch. I also like the idea of helping to provide more ready access to good food for Evergreen students, perhaps a grocery truck that could show up regularly on campus.

Jim Hutcheon

1. Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?
I have been a working member, volunteering in produce, for almost 5 years. This has given me a chance to see one facet of the Co-op. My volunteer experience has also nurtured in me the desire to give back more to the Co-op. I feel that my experience and skills would enable me to contribute in a meaningful way to the Board of Directors.

2. What general abilities and skills will you bring to the Board?
I am organized, analytical, and a good communicator. I have a lot of practical experience motivating people. In addition to my work as a biology professor, I have organized field work in foreign countries. In addition to basic administrative skills, I have worked with funders, organized volunteers, interacted with local stakeholders, organized budgets, and supplied field staff with food and resources.

3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
My vision is for the Co-op to keep creatively finding ways to fulfill its mission. Although all of the goals of the Co-op are important, I am particularly interested in the first two goals: Provide information about food; make good food accessible to more people.

4. What else would you like to share?
I have been a vegetarian for 35 years and involved with food co-ops nearly all my adult life. I have a long-standing commitment to the health of the individual, the community, and the planet. I believe strongly in the values set forth in the Olympia Food Co-op’s mission statement. Our food and our diet makes up a significant portion of most people’s monthly expenses and as such, I believe we all have a fundamental right to good and healthy food choices.

Raven Redbone

1. Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?
In becoming a Board Member of the Co-op, I would aid and add to the already support of the voices less heard in our world. I would like to bring and support the voices of Indigenous Peoples of the World, mainly focusing on our Northwest Tribal Nations here that we all live in their back yard. I would do my best to bring awareness of the Tribal Issues to the Co-op. In doing so, this will help in fostering stronger relations between the Co-op and the Indigenous Peoples of the World.

2. What general abilities and skills will you bring to the Board?
I will bring to the Co-op strong planning, organization and project management skills. I am an excellent communicator with the ability to bring groups together – an important skill when working on a consensus board. I also bring an innate understanding of the needs of our community, and have worked with many leaders, including Native Elders like Billy Frank Jr., City Hall, and Tibetan monks. My educational background includes a Bachelor of Science, Business Management and Marketing from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and a Master in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College. I bring many connections from the Olympia community as a volunteer for organizations such as CIELO Project/Radio Ranch, Olympia Food Co-op Terra Commons, KAOS Community Radio and Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR). I also host my own radio show on KAOS Radio, called “Make No Bones About It”, and I have been a Co-op volunteer for many years!

3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
I would like to be a part of the healing that the Co-op is already fostering in our community. It is my hope that in becoming a part of the Co-op Board I can support, aid, and foster deeper relationships between our community and our Tribal Nations. It is through working together we can heal the world first locally then globally.

4. What else would you like to share?
I was born in Akwesasne, New York, and also go by the name Raven Redbone. Before moving to Olympia, Washington I lived in many other places throughout the United States. I love Irish, Folk, Appalachia, classical and Native music. In 2014, I received an award from Censored News called “New Perspectives in Resistance in Radio.” As well as organizing many events in the community such as the Sunrise Ceremony, Indigenous Peoples Day, Educational Films about Indigenous Peoples Today, and I collect warmth for all of Indian Country as Executive Board Member of Goodthinking 4 All our Relations. I live in Olympia with my wife of 12 years, Paulette Frisina, and my 2 kids, Tekla Frisina age 11 and Nataani Frisina age 9, and let us not forget our cat Gaia who is 16!

Jaime Rossman

1. Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?
Our Co-op is an extraordinary community resource. We make great food available at fair prices, support local producers, strive for social justice, and employ nearly one hundred of our neighbors in living wage jobs with great benefits. The Co-op wouldn’t have this impact without the dedication of hundreds of volunteers. Over the years I’ve cashiered, counted ballots for Co-op elections, and provided childcare for a collective staff member. I’d like to join the Board of Directors to apply my professional skills and academic background to help keep the Co-op thriving for the next three years, and beyond.

2. What general abilities and skills will you bring to the Board?
I work as a Policy Advisor for the State. My responsibilities include research, economic impact analysis, budgeting, strategic planning, and program development and evaluation. I represent my agency on a number of boards and work groups, and served on the Board of Trustees when I was a student at Evergreen, so am familiar with the workings of complex organizations. I also have experience with consensus decision-making, serving on and then coordinating Evergreen’s Services and Activities Fee Allocation Board. I went back to Evergreen for a Masters of Public Administration, where my studies included nonprofit administration, strategic planning, and performance management. Combined, these skills will make me an asset as a member of the Board of Directors. I work effectively in groups, and am familiar and comfortable with the Co-op’s unique ways of doing things. I have years of experience developing and evaluating budgets, and helping organizations advance their missions through research, good planning, and adaptively responding to unforeseen issues as they arise.

3. What vision do you have for the Co-op?
The Co-op faces big challenges over the next decade. Rising costs of living have eroded the value of the Co-op’s pay structure. New sources of organic, even locally-produced, food threaten revenue growth. And collective staff members struggle to balance the day-to-day work of running the stores with the time-intensive and emotionally-weighty process of consensus decision-making. I don’t have a neat solution to these challenges, but I do envision a Co-op that treats them as realities and does the hard work needed to find paths forward. I believe I can help the Board work in partnership with the staff collective, working members, and the rest of the membership, to do just that.

4. What else would you like to share?
Beyond my skills and short-term vision, I would bring a passionate belief in, and commitment to, the Co-op’s mission. It is a continual struggle for the Co-op to honor all aspects of its mission. I’ve seen up-close and personally how hard it can be for the Co-op, and for each member in our organization, to balance these competing interests. But by maintaining a radical commitment to equitable decision-making, by doing so much good in our community while also taking courageous stands on issues of international importance, the Co-op truly lives its mission. I’m proud that my community has continued to sustain this dynamic organization for decades. As a Board member, I would be honored to help do the same.

click here for list of candidates PDF
vote at either store

click here for ballot PDF

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