We are a troubled and divided nation in 2017, and in difficult times people naturally turn to their cooperatives for help and inspiration. The Upper Valley is especially fortunate to have one of the nation’s oldest and strongest consumer cooperatives – truly an anchor institution in the community. However, the Co-op has never faced more urgent challenges in light of competitive pressures in the grocery industry, rampant cynicism in the culture, and the effect on food choices of the ever-growing income disparity in society. These times demand a Board of Directors that is especially dedicated, wise, and visionary.
If elected to the Board, I will not be the smartest or wisest person in the room – but I will be unsurpassed when it comes to enthusiasm for our cooperative and, indeed, for the cooperative movement generally. I previously served on the Board from 2003 to 2013; I hope people will interpret my interest in returning as evidence that no affiliation in my life has inspired and energized me more than my 20 years of membership in the Co-op.
The past year has been a reassuring one at the Co-op. We have a new general manager and a Board that has a renewed commitment to member engagement, transparency, and collaboration – even when the inevitable disagreements arise. I hope to add to the positive momentum and good spirit.
Few consumer co-ops aspire to do what ours does – to serve everyone in the community, rather than just wealthy people and/or natural food fans. Making good on that aspiration means striving, always, to earn the trust of members and future members. I am a striver; my day job involves fighting for New Hampshire’s residential utility customers. I would be honored by an opportunity to bring the same idealism and commitment to the work of the Board.