2017 Board of Representatives Election

#

There are SIX (6) candidates running for FOUR (4) terms: three (3) full three-year terms and one (1) partial term. The three candidates with the highest vote totals will receive three-year terms. The candidate with the fourth-highest vote total will receive a partial term.

You will need to know your Member Name and Member Number to vote.

You may vote for up to FOUR candidates. Please review the candidate profiles below and CLICK HERE when you are ready to cast your vote.


The TPSS Board Election will close at 10:00 PM on November 27, 2017.




Candidate Profiles


Click on any picture to view the Candidate's answers.
Anderson_Robert Brown_Patrick Curran_Diane
Eddy_Julia Frank_Adam Lowen_Susanne




Candidate Name: Robert Anderson


1. Why are you interested in serving on the Board?

As a current vice president of the Co-op Board, I am aware of many issues facing us that may impact the continued viability of our Co-op. Issues such as the redevelopment of the city parking lot bordering the Co-op property and the search for a new general manager present challenges, and the solutions will impact the Co-op for years to come. Management of these and other issues requires steady, experienced and continuing leadership to resolve issues and continue the growth of TPSS.

2. What experience or involvement have you had with the TPSS Food Co-op or other cooperative enterprises or Boards of Directors?

A desire to serve is necessary for members of the Board of Representatives; also critical is the knowledge and experience to serve capably. As I noted, I currently serve on the Co-op’s Board of Representatives and previously served on the Board subcommittee, the Audit and Finance Committee. I twice undertook price surveys of representative products from TPSS and two local competitors and reported to the Board and Committee. Additionally, I have served on the boards of a school and day care center and a small manufacturing firm. These experiences have prepared me for making sensible business decisions within financial and practical realities. I have served on and chaired many leadership teams, including numerous committees and appointments within the school system, and I supervised over 50 student services professionals dedicated to ensuring educational opportunity for troubled and underserved students. Additionally, within many positions I was involved with personnel and budgeting issues. As a member and former Chair of the Takoma Park Ethics Commission, I deliberated with colleagues to reach consensus opinions on ethical issues brought before the Commission.

3. What skills, qualities, formal training, education, or professional or volunteer experience would you bring that directly contribute to the mission of the TPSS Food Co-op?

The TPSS Co-op Mission Statement: Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op promotes healthful living by offering wholesome food, high quality products, and community resources in clean, friendly grocery stores…that you can own! Central to our mission is cooperation - between and among management, members, community and the Board. My training and experience as an educator, licensed psychologist, business owner and volunteer have all been in the service of others. Formal training, work and volunteer experiences have strengthened my understanding of the group process and the recognition that goals are met through cooperation, not confrontation. Experience mediating conflicts between others, facilitating meetings and coordinating projects has helped me to develop skills that build on similarities, enhance relationships and move events successfully ahead through collaborative efforts. Continuing my work on the Board of Representatives to further the success of TPSS requires such skills.

4. What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND INFORMATION: Co-ops provide education and training for their members and staff so that they can contribute effectively to the success of the co-op. They also inform the public about the nature and benefits of cooperation. The cooperative movement is dependent upon the knowledge of the community, and individuals and communities gain power and self-sufficiency through education. Awareness of co-operative principles underlies our success. Through the educative process, flowing from our principle of Education, Training, and Information, people can gain information and resources to help them make healthier choices for themselves and their families and communities. Additionally, as members of the larger co-operative movement, TPSS can and should learn from other co-ops to sustain and grow our own store and further the knowledge of our community.

5. Is there anything else you’d like to share or address?

TPSS continues in a phase of uncertainty with the redevelopment of the City lot. We currently lease from the City parking spaces and an area for our trash, recycling and storage. Going forward, it is critical that Representatives be knowledgeable and creative throughout this redevelopment, in addition to being drawn to serve. Experienced stewardship at this time will ensure continued the growth and vitality of TPSS.

Back to Candidates



Candidate Name: Patrick Brown


1. Why are you interested in serving on the Board?

Have been a satisfied TPSS Co-op customer for years and want to serve and give back to the community by investing my time and energy in helping this organization succeed.

2. What experience or involvement have you had with the TPSS Food Co-op or other cooperative enterprises or Boards of Directors?

Elected to TPSS Co-op board in 2015 - was able to serve on the Board for only 1 year (of 3 year term) due to a 12 month assignment abroad.

Also a member of the REI and Greenbelt Co-Ops, Credit Unions, and Farm Credit - a Cooperative Bank.

Appointed member of the Montgomery County Agricultural Advisory Committee for 7 years Crafted inputs to the County Council regarding Ag and Food related community issues and legislative/regulation proposals.

3. What skills, qualities, formal training, education, or professional or volunteer experience would you bring that directly contribute to the mission of the TPSS Food Co-op?

I have a Project Management degree, and work as a professional Project Manager to achieve goals by applying best management practices, tools and judgment.

I have an Agriculture degree (Horticulture – fruit and veg production and Ag economics and farm management). I am invested in providing access to healthy and quality products and services to the community. Served on Montgomery County Advisory Committee.

4. What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

‘Cooperation among Co-Ops’ is my favorite principal because it exemplifies the reasons Co-Ops exist, to provide stronger organizations to serve their communities thru cross relationships. This helps organizations maintain their independence and improve quality service to their members. Quality is what keeps members satisfied; cooperation among Co-Ops affirms and reinforces this principle.

5. Is there anything else you’d like to share or address?

Please consider my application and feel free to contact me if you have questions or need further information. Many Thanks.

Back to Candidates

Candidate Name: Diane Curran


1. Why are you interested in serving on the Board?

As a member of the Co‐op for over 30 years, I consider myself lucky to have such a wonderful grocery store within walking distance of my home. I want to use the skills I have developed in many years of practicing law, running a business, and serving on local nonprofit boards, to help the Coop thrive as a store and community institution. I especially want to serve now, when the City of Takoma Park is making important choices about the development of Takoma Junction that could affect the Co‐op’s ability to thrive here. I want to advocate for the Co‐op to its members, the broader community, and government decision‐makers in the City of Takoma Park, to ensure that the Co‐op continues to be recognized and valued as a vital community grocery store and institution.

2. What experience or involvement have you had with the TPSS Food Co-op or other cooperative enterprises or Boards of Directors?

I shop several times a week at the Co-op and I participate in the Membership Committee. I volunteered at the Co‐op when it was located on Sligo Avenue. And I was a founding member of the City Garden Co‐op, which is still thriving in the basement of a rowhouse in Washington, D.C.

3. What skills, qualities, formal training, education, or professional or volunteer experience would you bring that directly contribute to the mission of the TPSS Food Co-op?

As a partner in my law firm for about 30 years, I participated in annual budgeting, drafting and administering policies for running the law office, supervision of employees, and contract and lease drafting and negotiations. As an environmental litigator, I have experience with writing, advocacy, and problem‐solving. As a board member of several non‐profit organizations, I have participated in every aspect of organizational oversight, including policy‐making, budgeting, and fundraising. At my church, I co‐chaired a $200,000 capital campaign for a new elevator, which included budgeting, fundraising, selecting contractor bids, and acting as church liaison to the building contractor.

4. What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

Democratic Member Control is an especially meaningful principle for me. Since its founding, the Co‐op has offered products that many people want but are not found in other stores: bulk staples and herbs, high‐quality organic produce, and healthy food products. Member control makes the Co‐op especially responsive to consumer demand for these healthy products. By serving on the Board, democratically elected members can also set policies that make the Co‐op a good place to work, and a contributor to the community at large. I am excited about serving the Co‐op and the broader community as a Board member.

5. Is there anything else you’d like to share or address?

No.

Back to Candidates



Candidate Name: Julia Eddy


1. Why are you interested in serving on the Board?

TPSS was one of the reasons I knew I could live in the DC area 10 years ago. I have grown up in coop grocery stores. Wherever I go, I seek them out. I find comfort in them - the way they smell, the healthful familiar products, and the community connection I know I will find there. I also love coop businesses more broadly, I’m drawn to the acknowledgement of interdependence and care for the community and the embodiment of those values in that the people most impacted (the workers, consumers, or other businesses) have a role in directing the organization. I think I have a lot to give and get from being on the board. I’m very familiar with committee work and meetings, but have never been on a formal board. I’m thirsty to learn another angle on cooperative businesses, geek out about governance, and I’d like to be engaged in this important chapter in the coop’s legacy.

2. What experience or involvement have you had with the TPSS Food Co-op or other cooperative enterprises or Boards of Directors?

TPSS has been my regular grocery story for 10 years, I’ve attended a few member meetings, and I try to read all the email bulletins and take action when called to (like writing to the council about NDC). Outside of TPSS, I’m sort of a coop nut. I’ve been a part of grassroots coop projects (including one attempt to start a food coop), attended national and local conferences, and graduated from a 6-month Cooperative Leadership Institute. Over the last 2 years, I followed a dream of becoming a worker-owner in a cooperative. I worked for a small company that was exploring becoming worker-owned. Ultimately, I discovered the type of business (property management) wasn’t for me and the company wasn’t ready for conversion. But I learned a lot about myself and about necessary components of a healthy business - such as clear decision-making processes, conflict management, and worker-empowerment.

3. What skills, qualities, formal training, education, or professional or volunteer experience would you bring that directly contribute to the mission of the TPSS Food Co-op?

I pride myself on being a strong generalist (I know a little bit about a lot of things and am always curious to learn more). I feel comfortable interpreting charts and financial statements, and have experience with strategic planning processes. More so, I’m good at working in groups, listening first, asking for clarity to break down complexity into more manageable bites, thoughtfully planning, facilitating participatory meetings, and doing work that needs to be done (even when it’s not sexy or fun).

4. What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

Choosing a favorite principle feels like choosing the best season; the package of all 7 is what makes coops great. The principle that speaks to me most right now is Concern for the Community. I love that TPSS serves a vital community need (selling healthy products), while also making a broader impact based on community values. For example, the coop might prioritize organic, local, or companies that use minimal packaging based on member input.

5. Is there anything else you’d like to share or address?

Thanks to everyone who is reading this and engaging, even if you don’t vote for me :)

Back to Candidates



Candidate Name: Adam Frank


1. Why are you interested in serving on the Board?

I have been serving on the Board for the past three years, andI still have much to contribute to the Board and the Coop. I understand the current issues facing the Co-op, including the proposed development on the City lot and the search for a new General Manager. In terms of the proposed development, the Board has the difficult job of balancing the needs of its members with the ability of the store to survive during the potential construction as well as after any new building has been completed. I can provide the leadership necessary to help the Co-op navigate the challenges of this situation. I also want to continue my tenure with the Board in order to ensure that the employees are treated fairly and compensated fairly. It is essential thatManagement, the Board and the new Union are able to work together to help the employees, and the Co-op as a whole, grow and thrive.

2. What experience or involvement have you had with the TPSS Food Co-op or other cooperative enterprises or Boards of Directors?

I was a member of the TPSS Board of Representatives back in the 1990’s, including serving as President multiple times. During this time, we adopted Policy Governance as a way for the Board to carry out its activities. (Policy Governance means that the GM and the employees are in charge of running the store, and the Board passes clear, written policies to guide them.) I also was a part of the Move Committee that oversaw the Co-op transition from its old location on Sligo Avenue to its current location. Overall, my previous experience with the TPSS Board of Representatives and personal understanding of Co-op history gives me a unique perspective that will help the Co-op in its current challenges.

3. What skills, qualities, formal training, education, or professional or volunteer experience would you bring that directly contribute to the mission of the TPSS Food Co-op?

As an attorney, I understand the variety of legal issues related to running a business such as the Co-op. I have been running my own business for the last 17 years, so I have experience with accounting and financial matters. ,With my specialization as an immigration attorney, I have volunteered with both CASA of Maryland and Catholic Charities to help them with immigration programs that they have carried out to help those without the means to hire their own attorney.

4. What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

I appreciate all of the Principles, but especially appreciate the principle of democratic member control. Each owner in the Co-op gets a vote and each owner has a voice in how the Co-op is run. It is the responsibility of all members to choose Board Representatives who will ensure that the Co-op adheres to all of the Co-operative Principles.

5. Is there anything else you’d like to share or address?

 

Back to Candidates



Candidate Name: Susanne Lowen


1. Why are you interested in serving on the Board?

I believe the TPSS Co-op is the most valuable retail establishment in Takoma Park. As a community-controlled grocery store with direct access to its producers, TPSS Co-op does not rely on a complex, national food distribution network like the major grocery stores. The fact that we have a strong and thriving Co-op increases food security in our community. I feel strongly about the accountability of the Board to Co-op members and about members’ responsibility to be actively engaged in the Co-op. I’ve supported the Co-op as it has navigated through many transitions—the move from the Sligo Avenue location, the expansion to the Grubb Road location, the decision to sell meat and alcohol, the recent management transition and successful worker organizing drive, the Takoma Junction development issue, and more. The Co-op is an irreplaceable and precious community resource. I am committed to strengthening and protecting it.

2. What experience or involvement have you had with the TPSS Food Co-op or other cooperative enterprises or Boards of Directors?

• Close dealings with local farmers and distributors who supply the store. I understand how those businesses interface with the Co-op, from ordering to stocking to deliveries.
• Friendly relationships with a number of the frontline and back-of-the-house Co-op workers.
• Constructive working relationships with several of the members of the Board in contexts outside of the Co-op.
• Significant community engagement.
• Serve on the Board of an 81-acre land conservation LLC in which all decisions are made by consensus.
• Host of a Community Supported Agriculture member site.
• Formerly worked at the worker-owned and –managed Maryland Food Collective.


3. What skills, qualities, formal training, education, or professional or volunteer experience would you bring that directly contribute to the mission of the TPSS Food Co-op?

I bring skills ranging from soup kitchens and large event catering, to a 30-year career as a writer/editor in the labor movement. I worked extensively in defense of food and agricultural workers in the global arena. I am committed to supporting local and regional food sourcing, expanding markets for small producers, and promoting health and nutrition. I recently started a small cottage baking business producing long-fermented whole grain breads. Kitchen science in my passion.

4. What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

Concern for Community. The Co-op plays an integral role in the sustainability of our community by strengthening food security, promoting sound environmental practices, i.e. bulk goods, walkability, ethical/sustainable product sourcing, etc.

5. Is there anything else you’d like to share or address?

 

Back to Candidates



Please contact boardelections@tpss.coop with questions, comments or concerns.