Members can vote in person at the Annual Member Meeting on Saturday, November 5th, held at the State College Friends School from 4-6:30pm. If you are not able to attend, you may vote using online form (click orange button below).
All voting will end on Saturday, November 5th at 5pm.
Board candidates will be announced at the Annual Meeting.
This year, we have a slate of 6 candidates for 6 board positions.
Why vote, since the election is uncontested this year?
It's a good question, we've got answers.
- Because the level of voting let's the board know what level of mandate they have from the owners to do this work. If you believe in these candidates and the work they have been doing on your behalf at your co-op, then let them know by giving them your vote.
- Are their some candidates for the board you enthusiastically support and others you have concerns or doubts about? You can send the board a message about this as well - simply vote for the candidates you feel you can proudly support and leave blank the box next to the candidates you don't know or have less confidence in.
- The final tally of votes for each candidate is a message to your board, even if all candidates are guaranteed a seat this time around due to the number of candidates.
2016 Board of Director Candidates
I believe that climate change and the sustainability of our species is the challenge of our time. Food is something we all need and todays agribusiness model has proven that it is not a sustainable model. I believe local coops like Friends and Farmers are going to be the answer to a brave new future. We should be setting an example to the rest of the world here in our community.
I have many years of experience working with people in a variety of avenues. In particular my background in facilitation, strategic planning, and my current position as an associate director at the Sustainability Institute at Penn State would be great assets to the Coop.
I think the biggest challenges facing F&F is to convince the public of the ongoing issues with food and sustainability and help them change to a new model of doing and thinking. This includes both the consumer and the farmers. It will be a tough uphill battle on both ends as we try to live in an economic system that is designed to work against this approach.
I believe that good people together that are empowered to make decisions for themselves can be a very powerful thing. I like that people feel they have a say in what goes on and that makes all the difference.
I have served on the PA Recreation and Parks board as a community member. I did not chair or sit on any committees at that time."
I received my Bachelor of Science in Agroecology from PSU. During my studies, I traveled to Ghana and Brazil to study agricultural sustainability. I have worked on farms in Pennsylvania, Maine, and Spain. I am currently finishing my Master of Science in Agroecology from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and ISARA-Lyon, having spent time in Norway, Germany, and France studying sustainable food systems, and immersing myself in their food cultures. In Norway, I was a member of a grain cooperative, and contributed to a government project that sought to increase local food consumption in public institutions.
The big roadblocks that I see for the cooperative are awareness. I’d love to see increased community outreach through workshops, seminars, a newsletter and communal meals. I’d love to contribute my passions for cooking and fermenting to these types of events.
One of the most valuable aspects of the cooperative model is the sense of community that comes with a membership. Not just with the greater State College community, but a sense of kinship among the members.
I grew up in State College, and like the prodigal son, I left and have returned to serve the community. It's important for me to contribute to the continued development of F&F to promote community support for our local producers. For a town that wouldn’t exist without the university formerly known as the Farmers’ High School, an all-local grocery store is long overdue, and I hope to play a role in bringing that vision to fruition.
I was appointed to the board in January of 2016 in part for my fundraising experience. In addition, my business management and financial skill sets were previously underrepresented on the board. It has been an exciting year of learning about the organization and helping shape its direction.
The strategic business planning phase we are in right now is highly dynamic. The coop appeals to my passions for business and for eating local, healthy foods, and complements perfectly my fundraising role with the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), providing valuable networking opportunities for Friends & Farmers.
I hope to continue my work on the board for the next three years, as we continue our membership campaign and make further progress toward the establishment of a physical store similar to East End Food Cooperative in Pittsburgh. Please consider voting for me in the upcoming elections!
I have been a supporter of the cooperative movement since serving on the Board of Our Store Food Co-op (State College) during the 1980's. I would like to see a retail store food co-op succeed here. I have been a manager of a retail food cooperative (Connecticut) and thus have insight that I feel would be helpful as we progress. With further experience in running a business (Bullwinkle's Bakery) and as a farmer selling at farmers markets and to restaurants, I can offer a unique perspective that would be beneficial. As a developmental coordinator for Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative (TOG) I have experience creating win/win relationships with growers, suppliers, and retailers. The challenges that face us are daunting, yet with an engaged membership and a focused Board of Directors, much can be accomplished. One specific issue is how to grow the membership so that it is feasible to open a brick and mortar storefront. Adequately capitalizing the cooperative and building a business plan that will define our aspirations are two other difficult undertakings. Honestly, there are no quick and easy ways to address these issues, and to pretend that I could address and express my 'solutions' in the space provided here in this forum would be disingenuous. Suffice it to say I need to learn more about where Friends and Farmers is now, understand the strengths of the board members and determine how I can compliment their attributes. An engaged membership is PARAMOUNT to our success. This is the key.
Cooperatives help create a more intertwined, and interactive, community. Cooperatives help strengthen community ties, and help keep resources locally. They can foster the establishment of additional cooperative ventures, and should educate and inform about cooperative principals. I served on the Board of Our Store, State College's last coop, in the late 1970(s); four years on the Board of Directors of the Cooperative Playschool in SC in the early 1990(s); as cuisine chairman for the Arts Festival from 1991-1993; and was a co-founder of Bullwinkle's Bakery, which was formed as a cooperative in SC in 1980. I was a member of the interim F&F board until 2014. Currently, I am a volunteer tax preparer with VITA of Centre County.
I have a background as a Certified Working Chef and a long-time Purchasing Director for a local hospitality company. Over the years we established many fruitful relationships with local growers and vendors, promoting their businesses and ours. This position also handled inventories, budgets and forecasts, and helped generate P&L statements. I feel this background can benefit F&F greatly. Coops are a business, and must stay mindful of that fact.
The benefits of the cooperative do not easily translate to the consumer side of the economic equation. The hardest task for F&F is educating residents, in a transient town, that the economic aspect of a store is only part of the equation, and that the interests of F&F dovetail with best interests of their families and of their community.