Sunday, September 15, 2013

Board Candidate: Desdra Dawning

Hot off the press: previews of our 2013 candidates for the Board of Directors! You'll also find the information below in the October-November newsletter, along with your ballot. Voting runs from October 15th - November 15th. In addition to choosing four new Board members, you'll also have an opportunity to vote on four proposed changes to the Co-op's bylaws.

Want to know more about the candidates? Mark your calendar for the Annual Meeting! October 27th, from 1-4 pm at the Olympia Ballroom. Great food, candidate speeches and the first round of member discussion on recent research into whether the Co-op should change our legal status (currently, we are a not-for-profit under RCW 24.03.) We look forward to seeing you there!

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Board Candidate: Desdra Dawning

1.    Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors? 

     I have been a volunteer member for over two years, working as a Courtesy Clerk, helping with Special Projects (tabling for and attending the Co-op Conversation and No GMO March, reorganizing the Eastside bulletin board, reminder-calling new volunteers), writing and photographing for the newsletter, and serving on the newsletter committee. I now have clearer insights into what the Co-op means to this community, its challenges and potential future. I see cooperative businesses such as the Co-op, and the principles they uphold, as key to future sustainability and conscious stewardship of the earth.  Being on the Board is an excellent way for me to serve my Co-op further, working to help it grow, prosper and ensure its longevity.

     What general abilities would you bring to the Board?   What specific abilities and experiences would you offer to help provide direction in dealing with the Co-ops challenges? 

     I have good people skills in communication and problem-solving. I have the ability to see both sides of any issue and skills in helping resolve conflicts. I am a good listener and appreciate the diversity of our membership. I have a Master's in English, with strong writing skills (I write for a local alternative newspaper). I am a retired educator (have taught pre-school through college) and highly value an educated and creative citizenry as key to conscious human evolution. I have the ability to help the Olympia community understand the values upon which the Co-op stands ( community outreach). In the Olympia community, I have worked on fund-raising for SideWalk (homelessness advocacy) and the YMCA, and have created my own business, Loving Hands Pet Care.
     What do you see as current strengths of the Co-op that you would like to see maintained?  What would you like to see changed? 

     The Co-op creates the vision and holds the space in our community for compassionate, fair, intelligent participation in life, not only in Olympia, but globally. It offers good, clean, socially-conscious products to our community. It shows us how to live a more conscious life than what the status-quo offers. What could be stronger than that? Sometimes, however, I see financial fear and contraction enter Co-op affairs. I would like to see that healed so we can move forward gracefully and effectively, becoming an even stronger force in our community.

     What vision do you have for the Co-op for the next five years? 

     Since the Co-op Conversation, we--the Membership, the Staff Collective and the Board--have developed a vision and plan for expansion for both markets which will give us newer, cleaner and roomier shopping areas plus expanded warehouse space and parking. Understanding that in working with the consensus process projects often take a little longer to accomplish, I also see a growing commitment from our membership to move forward with plans we have already agreed to. I would like to be part of seeing this happen. Already a vital part of our region, I would like to see the Co-op become even more inclusive, bringing in those from our community who have less voice and, as our brothers and sisters, are even more in need.

     Other comments 

     This Co-op is one of the major reasons I uprooted myself from my home in Arizona and moved to Olympia. It nurtures my spirit in ways that go well beyond the good food on the shelves. I wish to be a participant in making sure that it continues to be a strong and vibrant part of this community for many years to come!