Sunday, September 15, 2013

Board Candidate: Joshua Simpson

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: Joshua Simpson

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

I have always admired what the Co-op does for the Olympia community and its long tradition of helping to provide quality food to people while trying to foster an egalitarian society.  I want to make sure the Co-op never deviates from those goals while continuing to grow.

 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-op’s challenges?

I’m a graduate of the Masters in Teaching program at the Evergreen State College and one of the co-founders of Coffee Strong, a GI coffee house located right outside the gates of Fort Lewis.  I’m also currently a board member for GI Voice, which is the organization that runs Coffee Strong.  My time as a GI Voice board member and the president of Fort Lewis IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War) has given me plenty of experience in working in organizations that utilize effective consensus based decision making.

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’s main strength right now is its adherence to its mission statement and goals, even when it is facing strident opposition and threats.  I would like to see the Co-op board become more clear and direct about its actions with the staff and membership, while also including the staff and the Co-op’s diverse membership into the decisions and future goals of the Co-op. 

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

I envision the Co-op continuing to grow and hopefully expand into downtown Olympia when it becomes a feasible option.  I would also like to see the Co-op always continue to provide more and more local and cruelty free products to the Olympia community, while also boycotting products that are not conducive to developing a more “socially and economically egalitarian society”.  I would also want the Co-op to carry on in building and strengthening its relationships to local farmers and growers, with the intention of being able to better explain exactly where and how the food in the Co-op is grown and produced.

Other comments:

I feel that I continue to have a lot to offer the Co-op board. Furthermore, I’m excited about the possibility of furthering the experience of working with an amazing organization that has been operating for over 30 years.  I also am excited to transfer the knowledge and experience gained through being a Co-op board member to Coffee Strong and other social justice projects that I operate in the future.