Why did you join the Dill Pickle? How have you participated as an owner?
I joined the Dill Pickle because a neighbor working the cash register welcomed me to be part of what this community is building together around good food-- and because I hold cooperation as a viable and urgently necessary alternative to the exploitation, extraction, and inequity of our capitalist economy.
I began participating through our Hands-On Owner program in 2012 to earn a grocery discount and have since served a full three-year term on our Board of Directors, two as Secretary and chair of the Policy Committee.
Why do you wish to serve on DPFC Board of Directors?
I’m seeking re-election to continue to center our shared cooperative values in governance, and to maintain continuity of leadership and institutional knowledge on the board during these fragile first years of operating in our new store. The co-op has invested heavily in my training and development, and I’d like to continue to pay that forward in service to our ownership.
Elevating a staff voice to the board level within our consumer co-op is a step toward formalizing worker representation in democratic governance-- and I plan to further that effort by developing a roadmap for our transition to a multi-stakeholder model.
What perspectives, skills, experiences, or affiliations do you hope to bring to board leadership?
I bring six years of staff experience on the co-op’s leadership team and three years of board service spanning a capital campaign and store expansion. I’m practiced in holding fiduciary duty, directing through policy governance, and building consensus.
I’m committed to advancing the solidarity economy and was recently accepted into the Cooperative Leaders & Scholars Institute of the National Cooperative Business Association, bringing a big-picture movement perspective and network of cross-sector support to our work at the Dill Pickle.
I also serve on the board of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and bring strong working relationships with representatives from our 35+ member schools, churches, and local organizations.
In light of our recent expansion, how might the co-op open its doors wider to prospective new owners and community members?
We can grow our community partnerships, deepen our commitment to local hiring and retention, increase multilingual service, expand our needs-based ownership and discount programs, continue to broaden our product selection, and refocus on providing value for working class families and long-term residents.
Internally, we must continue to engage in critical conversations around gentrification and displacement in our neighborhood, solidify our understanding of food justice as grounded in racial and economic justice, and commit resources to development at all levels toward becoming an increasingly diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization.