Sunday, September 15, 2013

Board Candidate: Mohamed El-Sokkary

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: Mohamed El-Sokkary

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

I have been a Co-Op member since 1993, when I moved from the Bay area in California. I have been a volunteer for the Co-Op for almost three years. I have enjoyed the atmosphere that the Co-Op provides both inside and outside . I believe in the Co-Op’s mission statement of providing good food and education for anyone who comes through those doors . It is here at the Co-Op  that I have been inspired to take on a new adventure in baking my gluten free cookies. I am aware that there are many support jobs that are crucial in the function of the Co-Op and being a board member would allow me to be a part of that important process.

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 have been an educator for more than a decade and it is here that I learned how to facilitate and support the goals of the whole Olympia school district, both in the classroom and out. I was in charge of working with some of the most difficult students in our area. It is not that they were difficult but they all come from backgrounds that made it a challenge to work with. I learned how to successfully work with them, their parents or grandparents and their community. The best part about my work with young people was establishing a deeper connection with the relationship in our community. Teaching young people about our local struggles and needs helped them identify who they are and when they were a part of that local support they became more aware of their surroundings and appreciated it more. I still remember my efforts back in 1993 when I took a group of young people to clean up the Garfield nature trail on a weekly basis and now the city of Olympia has a group of volunteers that are in charge of the clean up. I can take my work experience as an educator, coach and as a business owner to the board member position. I work well with others and I am a very positive team player even in the most negative difficult surroundings.

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 continues to provide good food at an affordable price for our community. I enjoy the local foods and support that our Co-ops give our local producer and farmers. The things that I would try to promote would be more education on where we get our food and build a stronger relationship between the farmers and our members.

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

My vision would be to grow in all the areas of the Co-Op’s mission statement. I would like to be able to promote the Co-Op beyond our local community so that other communities feel the love, healthy support that our Co-Op has for our people. This is a special place to shop, eat, hang out and socialize. It is great to meet people here for the first time, you can build many bridges here at the Co-Op and that makes me feel great about being a member of such a positive place. I have recently been interviewed twice for working as a staff at the Co-Op and was a finalist. I hope you can see my love for this place and my hopes in becoming a board member. I would love the opportunity to be in a position other than a volunteer to support the Co-Op and its mission.

Thank you,
Mohamed El-Sokkary