Sunday, September 15, 2013

Board Candidate: Kitty Koppelman

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: Kitty Koppleman

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

I’ve been a Co-op staff member since 1987. I love the Co-op and what we’ve done over the past several decades.  I want to expand and enhance that work in a volunteer capacity by serving on the Board.

     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?

As a Co-op staff member, I’ve worked in the areas of merchandising, finance, capital planning, newsletter, hiring, and technology. I’ve served as a bookkeeper, buyer, and project coordinator for many years and I’ve developed dozens of systems and coordinated numerous complex and critical projects that are integral to the Co-op’s operations. I’ve written and presented training documents that have been used to train staff in consensus decision-making and collective management. I was involved extensively in the project to open the Eastside store, and have served on countless committees consisting of staff, board, and the general membership.

I enjoy breaking down seemingly difficult and complicated projects into realistic and attainable tasks in ways that include input and involvement from the broadest spectrum of participants. I have the unique perspective of a long-time staff member, bringing practical considerations that will help the Board to navigate inevitable challenges. I’ve also worked as a volunteer with Stonewall Youth, Olympia Film Society, CIELO, and TULIP.

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?

Our Co-op is a trusted source of delicious, impeccable, sustainably-produced real food, favoring locally produced products and supporting global food security and justice. We are an essential community hub and exceptional participatory workplace. I would like us to maintain those qualities, but I believe we can improve our efforts to educate and include a broader segment of the community in all of our activities.

The Co-op’s Low-Income Membership has been hugely successful and makes the Co-op’s offerings accessible to thousands of low income members. TULIP Credit Union is another great resource that helps build access. I worked on visioning and developing both of those programs. I’d like to see the Co-op engage in more projects like these, creating programs that remove barriers to participation in all of our activities. I would also like to see the relationship between the Staff and Board strengthened and improved.

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

I think we should continue to pursue expansion to include a downtown location. I’d like to see the Co-op expand our use of technology to help us carry out our activities and meet our mission. I’d like for us to become more engaged in anti-oppression work and education in the broader community. I’d like to see us do more in the realm of educating other workplaces in collective management.