You do need to be a member. Cost is $75 and it lasts a lifetime. The dinner is truly awesome and costs $5 (with tix in advance, $15 day of the meeting). It will be held next Tuesday, October 6, from 6-8 p.m. at??Augsburg College, 720 22nd Ave., Christensen Center Commons, 3rd Floor.??
- Describe your experience with cooperatives. My wife and I have been members and employees of Seward Co-op, and we have lived in Seward Neighborhood for 30 years. I am a former editor and publisher of the co-op???s earlier newsletter, ???Whole Wheat News.??? I served on Seward Co-op???s board of directors in the ???90s and helped plan for the last new store on west Franklin Avenue. We have shopped almost exclusively at Seward for 30 years. We were also active in Seward Cooperative Daycare when we were raising our daughter.
- Summarize your business experience.??I have many years of business experience both in running my own successful computer consulting business (PF Hyper, based in Seward Neighborhood) and in sitting on the co-op???s board of directors during the last expansion to a new store. I have tracked budgets, allocated resources and planned major projects.
- ??What do you believe are the primary challenges facing the co-op today, and how can you help Seward Co-op to meet those challenges???I believe the primary challenge facing the co-op and all small businesses today is a national???and global???economy in disarray. As the problems with mortgages and foreclosures play out over the next few years, the co-op must budget its resources carefully and watch for trends and falling profits. The board must stay vigilant as to how this is affecting our sales and the bottom line. I believe education is a key component in keeping our current members shopping at the co-op and in securing new members. The co-op currently does an excellent job with education and should continue this progress. We should look for ways to reach out beyond current membership and start conversations about sustainable agriculture, organics, and cooperative economics. We should also expand this discussion to the health care issue, as good nutrition is intrinsically linked to good health. The Internet is an excellent tool for education, and I have experience both with web develop- ment and social networking. ??Finally, we need to support the community we live in. Seward Co-op is already doing this well with the Seward Co-op Community Fund, the Eat Local initiative, and donations to the Groveland Food Shelf among other efforts. These efforts should be continued and expanded during this current economic downturn to even better meet our mission of sustaining a healthy community.??
- Why do you want to serve on Seward Co-op???s Board of Directors???Simply put, as a longtime Seward resident???including raising my daughter here and now shopping at the co-op with my three grandsons???I have a very personal interest in Seward Co-op continuing as a strong and viable busi- ness. I think I have skills and ideas that will help in this process.??
- How could the co-op better serve its members???The best way for the co-op to serve its members is to stay healthy and in- crease efficiencies to provide our food at competitive prices. A healthy and committed board will greatly aid in this effort. I would like to be a member of that board.