Elect Your New Board Members ❦ Invite to Annual Meeting of Owners ❦ MN Food Share March Campaign ❦ Virtual Classes ❦ Spring Cleaning with Essential Oils... and much more
It’s Time to Elect Your New Board Members
Ballots must reach the Co-op by 7:00 PM Monday, April 19, 2021
We are unable to offer voting during the virtual annual meeting
Yes, it’s that time again— time to elect your new Co-op Board Members! This year there are four open seats on the Board of Directors.
Just what do Board members do for the Co-op? A vital, efficient, and effective Board of Directors is necessary to provide guidance and leadership to keep the Co-op healthy, active, productive, and responsive to Owners’ needs. The Board employs the principles of policy governance to focus on big-picture issues to evaluate and help plan for the future of the Co-op without managing day-to-day operations.
Use the ballot (below) to select your choices for open Board Member positions. Ballots must reach the Co-op by Monday, April 19th. One vote per Owner number, please. We will have a ballot box at the front of the store, or you can choose to mail your ballot. New Board members will be announced during the Virtual Annual Meeting.
We asked each candidate about their interest in becoming a Co-op Board member (see answers below). Information on each candidate, along with ballots, are also available in-store.
- Why would you like to serve on the Board of Directors of Natural Harvest Food Co-op?
- Describe any volunteer or paid experiences relevant to your service as a co-op board member. What skills or experience will you bring to the board?
- What opportunities & challenges do you see in the future of Natural Harvest Food Co-op?
- Other comments.
If you have any questions about the election or what the Board does please contact your Board Members at email@example.com.
- I served a short term last year and really enjoyed being part of the Board of Directors. I love that we all share similar interests in healthy lifestyle options for our families and supporting local businesses.
- As a former employee of the Co-op I understand some of the day to day work that it takes to keep the Co-op going. I am also a small business owner of a bookkeeping company of 10 years and have been in the financial industry for 20+ years. I believe in sustainability and supporting local businesses and keeping our families healthy by supplying and educating them with healthy, organic options.
- Covid has certainly been a challenge and will continue to be this coming year. I think it takes work to keep everything going and everyone safe and healthy. When things return to normal we will have the awesome opportunity to open up classes again and to continue to serve, gather and teach our community.
- Being an owner/customer is so rewarding. The smell and layout and everything about the Co-op is so inviting and I am proud to be part of it.
- I have primarily shopped at Co-ops since 2003. I love the ambiance of my shopping experiences, the availability of whole food products and non-food items that resonate with my lifestyle, the expertise of staff to assist me in finding healing remedies, the availability of a hot deli, the enriching offerings of classes, and being part of the Co-op community – a group that gives back to their community. I am ready to be more involved and bring the voices of my rural area to the Board of Directors.
- My father suffered a massive ischemic stroke at age 59 in June 2012. The stroke left him permanently disabled, unable to work and not able to care for himself or this home. Upon hospital discharge in September 2012, I brought him home to his house, moved in and became his 24-7 care provider. In addition to providing hands-on care; I coordinated all of his therapy and medical appointments, provided transportation to and from all of those appointments, managed his household and property, and did all of the necessary shopping. I did this completely unpaid until all of his assets were spent down and he qualified for waivered services through St. Louis County. Through my Dad’s stroke journey and my caregiver role, I have also organized a local “Stroke Walk” team for several years to raise money for the Minnesota Stroke Association. In the last 8 ½ years, I have learned and become skilled in providing the holistic care that my father needs in order to stay in his home while participating in continued therapeutic services. I have met countless stroke survivors, caregivers, families, and healing professionals over the years. I feel that my experiences can bring the needs of those populations to the attention of the Co-op community.
- I have been a Co-op member for longer than I can remember in St. Paul/Minneapolis, Duluth, and now Virginia. I would really like to see the “Food Access for All” program that the Duluth Whole Foods Co-op utilizes come to Virginia. I feel this would help make the Co-op community more appealing and accessible for everyone. Then, the challenge would be getting that information out to a broader base of people.
- My wife and I have been owners for a few years and we enjoy all the staff and ethics and the atmosphere of Natural Harvest. We have always been a family that has a deep respect and connection to the northern woods. I’ve been an avid hunter and fisherman since I was a child. We have raised our son to love the these gifts that nature provides. Local farm raised is ethical, the integrity of the animal is upheld and purchasing from them feels right. As do fair trade products. Natural Harvest excels in these areas.
- I am a natural leader and I very much enjoy people and helping guide them to do a good job- the first time. I oversee many people at my job and have done so for many years. I respect workers who are honest and come directly to me for issues or questions. I firmly believe in an open line of communication with my co-workers and people who I am in charge of. I will always do my best to come straight to the person, face to face, and work out ideas and issues. I promise this to anyone I know and work with. Honesty, integrity and an open line of communication are integral in every part of my life.
- To be part of a “movement” of organic food and sustainability harvested meat and ingredients is near and dear to me. I have always believed what you put in your body is intimate and should be clean of chemicals and harvested in an ethical manner. Give back to nature, respect her and her gifts and she will provide for you in turn. This belief, this movement, takes work and time. We have to fight to keep this movement fresh in the public eye. I do not shy away from challenges. My belief in Natural Harvest is connected deeply to my ethical goals for life.
- I feel we are very lucky to have this level of quality and selection in our region. I would be very honored to serve on the board of directors of a store that is part of my family in so many ways.
- I would like to participate in maintaining a valuable community resource that contributes to a healthy lifestyle for myself, family and community.
- My diverse work experience has given me a strong background in grant management, non-profit administration and financial management.
- One of the biggest challenges will be to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive market. Big box retailers continue to increase offerings of organic food and wellness products making it difficult to attract future customers that are able to achieve one stop shopping on a tight household budget.
- I look forward to assisting in developing systems and processes to ensure that our Co-op is here and thriving for our community to enjoy.
- It aligns with my cooking, nutrition, entertaining and healthy lifestyle interests and my thoughts on investing in the health of a community. I am interested in generating enthusiasm for owners and patrons to take ownership of their own health and that of their families through proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. I believe I have experience and skills that would be of value to the board of Natural Harvest Food Co-op.
- I have 15 years of non-profit experience. In just the last 3 years I was the ED at Families Helping Families in Cedar Rapids, an organization serving Iowa’s children in foster care, and most recently worked as Operations Coordinator at the African American Museum of Iowa. Through March 2021, I serve as the VP of the board at Central Furniture Rescue, an organization providing basic, essential furniture and housewares for people transitioning out of homelessness in Cedar Rapids. I have experience in grant writing, donor development, volunteer coordination, fundraising and event management, and public speaking.
- Since I am new to the area, I don’t know that I can sufficiently identify challenges, or even opportunities. A challenge might be that co-op products are cost-prohibitive for some. I am hopeful that the co-op is or could be a cornerstone of the community through education, advocacy and teaching, and that we are or will be a driver for economic growth. I believe this can be achieved through strong partnerships with businesses, farmers, growers, organizations and schools who share similar values and vision. I would look forward to discussing ways to accomplish these things, as well as addressing food insecurity issues.
- I’m always grateful for opportunities to use my experience and skills in ways that help a community. I am excited to learn about the development and past successes of Natural Harvest Food Co-op and help identify ways to adapt to the effects of the global pandemic and other developments of 2020 while fulfilling our mission.
- I believe the Natural Harvest Food Co-op to be an essential part of what makes this area a great community. To me the Co-op is more than a grocery store. The mission to provide natural, organic, local foods with a consciousness of animal welfare and environmental impact is important to me. I would like to be part of the board with the intention of creating the experience of community connection for as many people as possible.
- I am a professional counselor and have worked in our community in education, non-profit, disability and currently clinical practice. I believe my connection and commitment to supporting the needs of others brings a unique perspective. Programs like community education/classes and the round-up program, are a large part of my reason for wanting to join the board. I will be committed to continuing and building on these types of programs.
- I think the potential challenge is competition from new and existing grocery stores in our area. Local grocery stores are doing a better job carrying organic products. I believe this makes growing membership and a sense of community even more important.
- I appreciate your time to read my responses and thank you if you choose to give me your vote.