Elections

It’s Election time! This year Members may vote for up to 5 candidates. There are three seats up for re-election and two vacancies. Typically, the board fills vacancies through an appointment process that is very time consuming. Given that there are two vacancies going into the election, and the board’s interest to look for opportunities to increase democracy and member voice, the board decided to fill the two vacancies through the process of the election. It achieves the mutual goal of (1) making if more efficient for the board and (2) maximizing democracy and member involvement.

When?
Saturday, October 27th through 9 PM EST Sunday, November 30th.

Members can vote online at voting.eastendfood.coop

  • Click on the “Ballot” tab at the top of the page.
  • You will be required to log in to vote.
  • Your login is your Member Number. You can find your Member Number on the back of your Member Card. Remove the leading 4 and zeros as well as the last digit. Example: 4 00000 16989 7 = 16989
  • Your password is your last name + your 5 digit zip code. Names are all lowercase with no hyphens, spaces, or special characters. Examples: Joe Smith, Jr. = smith12345, Jane O’Rochester = orochester12345, John Weaver-Cooperator = weavercooperator12345
  • Once you log in, you will be prompted to provide an email address.
  • After submitting your email address, you will receive a voting notification email with a link directly to the ballot. The link is good for 24 hours, after that you’ll need to login again.
  • You may select up to 5 candidates; please be sure not to select more than 5.

Members can vote in person at the Customer Service desk.

  • The primary member should present a photo ID at Customer Service.
  • Customer service will look up your membership in the database and print you a ballot with your name and member number already printed on it.
  • Place your ballot in the box located at the Customer Service desk.

A few things to remember:

  • We can only accept one ballot per membership number.
  • If a household has a membership, only one vote is allowed from that household. If there are multiple votes from one membership number, ALL will be disqualified.
  • Do not allow anyone else to fill in your ballot or deposit it in the ballot box for you.
  • Proxy voting is not allowed per the East End Food Co-op Bylaws and Policies.

Candidates

Sam Applefield
Sam Applefield
What is your experience as a member, volunteer or staff member of EEFC? I have been a member of the East End Food Co-op for nearly two years, and am a frequent shopper.

What experiences have you had with other co-operatives or non-profit organizations? I have studied co-operatives through the Master’s in Food Studies Program at Chatham University, where I also interned with the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council. I have also worked in both community and international development.

What experience and skills or unique perspectives would you bring to the EEFC Board? One of my greatest strengths is in building strong relationships. I built on this strength by studying group dynamics and engaging in a wide range of facilitation experiences. This combination will help me be an effective board member.

What do you think are some important short-term goals for EEFC? Some important short term goals include increasing sourcing from local producers, expanding and diversifying co-op membership, and developing more robust community relationships.

What do you think are some important long-term goals for EEFC? Long term goals for the EEFC might include expanding to a larger or secondary space, engaging more deeply with members, developing strategic relationships with partner organizations.

Describe your vision for EEFC five years from now. In five years, I would like to see increased numbers of more engaged members at the EEFC, with expanded programming offered and more engagement with other grocers in the area.

Why do you want to be on the Board of Directors?
I want to most effectively utilize the knowledge I gained through Master’s in Food Studies program, am passionate about the potential for cooperative businesses, and am a good communicator who would make an effective board member.

Karen Bernard
Karen Bernard
What is your experience as a member, volunteer or staff member of EEFC? Member since 1986, Volunteer (1986-87), Board Member – Education committee & VP (1987-90), Staff Member- grocery & book buyer (1989-91), Volunteer (2007-09), Staff Member (book buyer, 2009-18); edited The Co-operator; herbs & supplements, Committee Member – Member-Owner Participation (2018).

What experiences have you had with other co-operatives or non-profit organizations? Co-founder – Pittsburgh Community Deathcare, Facilitator – Death Cafes, Mediator + Coach – Pittsburgh Mediation Center/Center for Victims, Facilitator – YWCA Center for Race Relations

What experience and skills or unique perspectives would you bring to the EEFC Board? I’ve been involved with EEFC for a long time, in various ways, so I bring a multi-faceted perspective and a familiarity with the community. Also, having paid attention to food, farming and related issues for most of my life (+ read a lot), I have a solid frame of reference on these subjects. My MA in Culture & Spirituality focused on food, and I’ve taught Food & Mindfulness at Pitt.

What do you think are some important short-term goals for EEFC? Continuing to foster transparency and member participation; Continuing to form and support committees; Hiring a general manager.

What do you think are some important long-term goals for EEFC? We need to build strong community bonds and focus on local food security—which could involve, among other things, closer ties with farmers and distributors, a warehouse, community kitchen….

Describe your vision for EEFC five years from now. Growth according to members’ vision: A volunteer program? Involvement w/ neighborhood development? I want to help cultivate better communication and more co-operative governance at every level of our organization. And we need better parking, a loading dock, more space….

Why do you want to be on the Board of Directors?
I love our Co-op and am deeply committed. What we have is special and I want us to continue to thrive—as a community as well as a store. To me, food is sacred. There is no more important work than protecting our food supply and making sure all have access to clean, affordable food.

 George Mavrogeorgis
George Mavrogeorgis
What is your experience as a member, volunteer or staff member of EEFC?
I have experience as a member of the EEFC and that has been extremely positive. I have many friends that I’ve made as a result of my membership there, have good relations with the staff and believe the store has been a positive influence in my life.

What experiences have you had with other co-operatives or non-profit organizations? I’ve worked with the Carnegie Museum in the past but most of my work experience is as a procurement consultant or as a self employed person. I’ve changed and evolved a great deal in my career and see this as something I can bring a lot to.

What experience and skills or unique perspectives would you bring to the EEFC Board? Knowledge of Pittsburgh neighborhoods and the real estate market here which I think would be useful in the event of any considered expansion. Years of professional procurement experience. Graduate degree in environmental systems management.

What do you think are some important short-term goals for EEFC? Make the member discount system more efficient and effective. Provide more creative incentives to members. Prioritize the water filtration system replacement. Update dining area.

What do you think are some important long-term goals for EEFC? Additional location if financially feasible. I genuinely believe there are Pittsburgh neighborhoods that would greatly benefit from an EEFC location. Support of volunteerism.

Describe your vision for EEFC five years from now. Thriving cafe/dining component that is profitable and robust.

Why do you want to be on the Board of Directors?
I believe I can help. A board member I know and respect recommended I consider it.

Corwin Parker
Corwin Parker
What is your experience as a member, volunteer or staff member of EEFC?
Wife and I joined last December when we moved from DC to Pittsburgh. Me and my service dog Piper are there almost every week; we love it!

What experiences have you had with other co-operatives or non-profit organizations? I was the Director of an MS Charity called YPAC (Young Professionals Accelerating the Cure)(Boston 2007-2011), YMCA Big Brother (RI), Best Buddies(TX),Dedham Food Pantry, MS Society.

What experience and skills or unique perspectives would you bring to the EEFC Board? 12 years in hotel sales, worked on events with dining for up to 500 people. Diagnosed with MS in 2013 and eats/cooks all organic for health (have seen huge improvement!), I rely on the Co-op for my health and would be lost without it!

What do you think are some important short-term goals for EEFC? More exposure, expansion, better service and pricing standards. Interaction with the local community, driving health in Pittsburgh.

What do you think are some important long-term goals for EEFC? Financial stability, continued growth, advocacy for health and organic practices. Continue to be foremost advisers for organic and sustainable living in the city.

Describe your vision for EEFC five years from now. Growth, more vendors, more members, bigger footprint in city of Pittsburgh…second location?

Why do you want to be on the Board of Directors?
Living and organic, healthy and active lifestyle became more than just a good idea when I was diagnosed with MS. Organic food and changing my eating habits have turned my life around and I want to share all that I have learned with others!

William Warnock (Incumbent)
William Warnock (Incumbent)
What is your experience as a member, volunteer or staff member of EEFC?
Overall my experience has been positive as a member- shopper and a member of the board.

What experiences have you had with other co-operatives or non-profit organizations? I currently work with Red Lantern Bike Shop, which gives out free bikes to children as well as performs free bike repairs.

What experience and skills or unique perspectives would you bring to the EEFC Board? Currently I am a board member (Treasurer). I have been employed in positions of managerial/operations positions and prior experience with the facilitation and operation of a club, which I was a member that followed similar governance practices.

What do you think are some important short-term goals for EEFC? Reducing board turn over, hiring a GM, forecasting for future hurdles both fiscally and operationally.

What do you think are some important long-term goals for EEFC? Increase of efforts in local communities that are under served, push for more diversity in our store, continued demonstration of board transparency, continuing on a path of positive net income, harboring relations with local suppliers.

Describe your vision for EEFC five years from now. I hope that the co-op continues on a path to find a better location that further increases our ability to control costs or increase sales via more walk-in traffic.

Why do you want to be on the Board of Directors?
As a board member I have seen an enormous amount of turn over in directors. This slows progress towards goals and decreases continuity of the board. I am and continue to be passionate about sustainability, local ag, and environmental preservation.

Eva Barinas
Eva Barinas
What is your experience as a member, volunteer or staff member of EEFC? I have been a member of the Co-op for several years both under my own name, most recently and previously in a former partnership with the Beal family. I also have a savings account with the credit union. I shop weekly as a family member.

What experiences have you had with other co-operatives or non-profit organizations? My professional background is in outdoor education and for the past few years I have been Grow Pittsburgh’s School Garden Program Manager. These experiences have had me working as a nonprofit employee for nearly 15 years.

What experience and skills or unique perspectives would you bring to the EEFC Board? I have experience working in uplifting, employee centered organizations, as well as experience in working with our communities concerning food sovereignty and healthful education. I hope to share those skills.

What do you think are some important short-term goals for EEFC? Supporting the Co-op and members and creating a space where we are organized and can actually carry out tasks that are aligned with what a Co-op is defined as being.

What do you think are some important long-term goals for EEFC? Continuing to form a supportive culture and relationship with community members. Long-term successes that we identify over time that are aligned with our view and mission.

Describe your vision for EEFC five years from now. I would love to see the Co-op weave it’s resources and existence in having a strong present diverse community where people can gather for more than just the food on the shelves but come as participants, sharing, and make a proud example of cooperative.

Why do you want to be on the Board of Directors?
I’ve been interested in serving on a board for sometime and have been looking for another organization that has values inline with my own.

Julie Inman
Julie Inman
What is your experience as a member, volunteer or staff member of EEFC?
The co-op is a place where I can come to achieve and sustain personal health and wellness. It also serves my mission of supporting planet-friendly businesses and local farms. Most of all, it’s a place I can trust.

What experiences have you had with other co-operatives or non-profit organizations? I have experience in non-profit with my work at PASA, a PA based sustainable agriculture organization, which I know the co-op is very familiar. I have not held a membership at any other co-op.

What experience and skills or unique perspectives would you bring to the EEFC Board? I am process oriented, so I bring a strong level of organization and planning. I also know both sides of the aisle – business owner and customer perspectives and needs.

What do you think are some important short-term goals for EEFC? Raise membership and awareness of the Co-op through strategic partnerships, marketing and events. Host cooking classes with recipes including local ingredients. Continue to educate the public on food awareness.

What do you think are some important long-term goals for EEFC? Compete in a challenging marketplace to achieve desired profitability, while still viewed as an authentic food business. To host an online food guide for local businesses.

Describe your vision for EEFC five years from now. . Perhaps a mentor to another food co-op development in a North or South Pittsburgh neighborhood. To also be the true leader in legitimacy of food origins and food quality. To bring in folks that are not food educated and make them food experts!

Why do you want to be on the Board of Directors?
I want to support the co-op in as many ways as I can. I’ve always wanted to but I couldn’t because my recent job was mostly traveling out of state. Now that I am rooted down again, I’d like to do everything I can to support the co-op’s success.

Larry Meadows Jr
Larry Meadows Jr
What is your experience as a member, volunteer or staff member of EEFC?
I am a customer and new member of EEFC. I previously worked with the Homewood Children’s Village (HCV) and utilized EEFC for lunch breaks and grocery shopping.

What experiences have you had with other co-operatives or non-profit organizations? I’ve been working with non-profit organizations for over 20 years to date, mostly with the National Urban League Young Professionals (National Board member). My immediate past job was Director of the Office of Child and Community Health with HCV.

What experience and skills or unique perspectives would you bring to the EEFC Board? My educational background is Accounting and I have an MBA. Also, my experience serving low income communities, knowledge of health and wellness practices, and relationships with numerous other organizations and elected officials in Pittsburgh.

What do you think are some important short-term goals for EEFC? I believe EEFC needs to better market it’s niche. Competing with Giant Eagle, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe, EEFC needs to let member-owners and community members know what makes EEFC different, and why residents should shop at EEFC versus the others.

What do you think are some important long-term goals for EEFC? I believe EEFC needs to build and maintain relationships with member-owners better. This will help not only maintain the current membership numbers, but build on it. If member-owners feel important, they will participate more and recruit others.

Describe your vision for EEFC five years from now. In five years, I would like to see a 20% increase in membership, more educational options for member-owners, and a conceptual plan to relocate to a larger, more convenient location.

Why do you want to be on the Board of Directors?
I believe in what EEFC stands for. I have been doing health and wellness consulting for over 10 years now, and EEFC is a perfect example of “You are what you eat.” Healthy! I am a believer in leading by example and I believe EEFC leads by example.

 Jona Reyes
Jona Reyes
What is your experience as a member, volunteer or staff member of EEFC?
As a daily shopper at EEFC I have had a wonderful experience, the staff has been helpful with products and guiding me around the store giving me information on the vendors and benefits of shopping local.

What experiences have you had with other co-operatives or non-profit organizations? I am actively involved in different non-profits from being the evangelist of my church Acts of Ekklesia to being a partner for the non-profit organization Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

What experience and skills or unique perspectives would you bring to the EEFC Board? I will bring to the board diversity, I am a young face which gives a different perspective, one that will help to shape the board to welcome a younger audience especially since millennials are leaning towards organic and natural living.

What do you think are some important short-term goals for EEFC? Some very important short term goals is to get more members involved in the functioning of the co-op and allowing members to fully embrace their role.

What do you think are some important long-term goals for EEFC? A long term goal is for the co-op to be able to serve the community and members more locally but still remaining to be cost efficient so that they see us as an important part of their shopping trip.

Describe your vision for EEFC five years from now. Five years from now I see the co-op being member run, I see the boardroom being lively with member suggestions and the store bringing in more inventory and finances allowing it to open another store to serve more members.

Why do you want to be on the Board of Directors?
I want to serve on the board because I have many suggestions and I know how important of a role the board plays in the functioning of the organization, I would love to have a say in how the organization is ran so that we can further excel.

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