Sunday, September 15, 2013

Board Candidate: Micheal Snow

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: Micheal Snow

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

As a member and dedicated patron I have an interest in knowing more about how our Co-op runs and I wish to contribute my skills and knowledge in whatever ways I can to see it flourish. I have visited? Learned about? food co-ops all over the country, and spoken with representatives from many of them. I believe OFC is an amazing and unique place that is always challenging itself and others to go past the confines of perceived possibilities for food cooperatives. I want to become a more informed member who takes on the responsibility of problem solving any organizational, financial, and social quandaries the Co-op might confront.

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?

For the last five years I have worked in collectively managed businesses.  As a member of the Flaming Eggplant, a student-run, cooperatively managed restaurant at the Evergreen State College, I developed experience in finance, conflict resolution process, organizational structure and consensus decision-making. Currently I am a worker-owner of the newly formed New Moon Cooperative and a founding member of the Black Moon Collective. As a student I visited and worked at the CECOSESOLA Cooperative in Venezuela, one of the largest and longest-lived cooperatives in the world. I worked on a committee of Coop board and staff members and community members to facilitate an exchange between CECOSESOLA and the Olympia Food Co-op. We also organized a conference on cooperatives in Olympia where CECOSESOLA members and others shared their experience and knowledge. I would like to continue to pursue the lessons we all learned from that process.

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?

From my perspective, the strengths of the Co-op lie in its commitment to the mission statement, and to providing services with those strong values always present. The Co-op is committed to avoiding the ever-so-prevalent green-washing tendency of the natural foods world, and working hard to be an organization that makes real impacts with its decisions and services.

I would like to see is the Co-op form deeper relationships with other cooperatives and socially driven economic enterprises, and support their development.

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

I would like to see the Coop participate in the formation of a structured regional movement towards a larger cooperative/social economy.