PCC’s 2019 Board Candidates
This article was originally published in June 2019
A core cooperative principle is democratic member control, which means that members can participate in making certain decisions for the co-op. One of the ways this comes to life for our co-op is through our Annual Election when members can vote for candidates to serve on PCC’s Board of Trustees (“Board”). Candidates are elected for a three-year term.
PCC has been a part of my life since moving here 16 years ago. We were fortunate to settle near the old Seward Park PCC. My kids have now outgrown the free fruit, but when they were little, they enjoyed it on every trip. I appreciate PCC’s curated selection and the fact that I do not have to worry about anything that my kids pick up. Thought and care has gone into everything on the shelves. I want my kids to have the healthiest options possible, and PCC provides that.
Why do you want to serve on the PCC Board of Trustees? I want to serve because I am grateful to have PCC in my community. I believe in what PCC is doing and want to see that continue. I believe that I have a set of skills that can be helpful to PCC as it continues to grow and flourish, and I am honored to be considered for PCC’s board.
In your view, what differentiates PCC from other businesses? PCC’s co-op model and its focus on the triple bottom line are its sources of differentiation:
1. Because PCC does not have to answer to traditional investors, PCC can focus on the things that are important to its members — namely a hyper-local focus and commitment to developing sustainable, natural and organic product supply chains with an emphasis on fostering direct, personal relationships with local suppliers.
2. PCC is a leader in advocacy in the industry and is able to provide members with the highest-quality food and product offerings. The knock-on effect of this is that standards are raised across the industry, thereby improving offerings and selection for shoppers who do not have the benefit of having a PCC in their community or who cannot afford to shop at PCC on an exclusive basis. This is true social justice work.
3. PCC’s financial autonomy allows it to be agile in its decision-making. It also enables PCC to experiment with new items and operational changes, keep what works and jettison the rest. Other grocery stores can offer similar products, but they will always fall short because they have other masters and constituents they need to serve.
What experiences, skills and/or perspectives will you bring to the Board? I bring strong finance and operations experience combined with a passion for PCC’s mission and values. I have 20+ years of experience in business management and strategic decision-making. I am currently chief financial officer at the Seattle Art Museum with previous senior finance and consulting roles in multiple industries including technology and consumer products.
From my seat in finance, I have a unique vantage point and can see into every area of the business. My perspective goes beyond the numbers to really understand the key business drivers and develop strategies to help an organization achieve its goals. In for-profit settings, this has meant developing strategies to optimize customer adoption and retention, market share and financial performance. In nonprofit settings, this has entailed allocating resources to best serve the organization’s mission and developing financial and operational strategies to ensure its ability to deliver on its mission in the future.
I feel very fortunate to have had the Seward Park and now Columbia City PCCs near me. I would like other communities to similarly benefit from having a PCC close by them, so continued growth while staying true to PCC’s values is tremendously important. I would like to help enable PCC to continue its important work.
I am a business leader who has worked as a chief financial officer for community banks over the past 20 years. My business experience includes supporting the boards and board committees of the organizations I have worked for. I have also been a volunteer board member for nonprofit organizations in our community. As a result of working with boards over many years, I have a keen interest in the role of boards and board governance. If elected to the PCC Board of Trustees, I commit to support the mission of PCC and to represent the interests of PCC’s membership for its continued success.
Why do you want to serve on the PCC Board of Trustees? I am passionate about PCC’s commitment to good food and its mission of operating on a triple bottom line. I strongly believe that a balanced approach to running any business is important and that while a business needs to be financially strong to survive, there are other factors and responsibilities that are important in measuring a business’ success. I applaud PCC for its focus on sustainability and I would like to bring my business experience to help PCC further its goals and commitment to economic, social and environmental responsibility. I also appreciate PCC’s values and its support of community-based organizations. As a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, I am interested in working with businesses such as PCC who are focused on what can be done to improve and sustain our environment and support a healthy community for our next generations.
In your view, what differentiates PCC from other businesses? PCC is unique when compared to other businesses because it is a consumer cooperative that focuses on the interest of its members and not just on financial gain. It is organized to be both profitable and to focus on environmental and social responsibility. I believe that PCC’s focus on sustainability through its commitment to a triple bottom line differentiates it from other businesses who may be more profit driven. While PCC must be successful from a financial perspective, this success allows it to focus on all of its responsibilities. In my opinion, PCC also differentiates itself through having a great culture for its employees (who are also members) to work in. When I go to a PCC store, it is clear to me that employees are happy and engaged.
What experiences, skills and/or perspectives will you bring to the Board?
I will bring my background and experience as an executive and CFO who has worked extensively with for-profit organizations and has volunteered my time to board work with nonprofit organizations. I have been involved at the executive management level as the CFO in the management and oversight of the finances of the businesses I have worked for over the past 20 years, and have many years of experience working with and supporting boards and board committees from the staff perspective. I believe that my experience with the boards of these organizations has given me a deep understanding of board governance and the responsibilities of the board. I am a leader who is comfortable making business decisions and I enjoy working in a team-oriented and collaborative environment. I have strong values and it is important to me to be involved in organizations with demonstrated high integrity and similar values.
I am honored to stand for election to the PCC Board of Trustees. If elected, I am committed to being an accountable board member and will contribute fully to the important responsibilities of representing members, running a successful co-op, planning for the future and most importantly, making decisions that uphold PCC’s values and mission.
Why do you want to serve on the PCC Board of Trustees? As a passionate foodie, home cook and career retailer, I believe in the PCC mission to give people in our communities access to healthy food, support local producers, and protect the environment through building a strong business. PCC is a beloved brand and is growing significantly, becoming more complex and facing new competition and changing consumer shopping habits. I would like to join the Board of Trustees to bring my enthusiasm and business experience to represent the members, help navigate the new competitive landscape, and to ensure that PCC continues to thrive into the future.
In your view, what differentiates PCC from other businesses? PCC is the authentic and most trusted grocer carrying a broad selection of organic and locally sourced healthy food, and leads the way in setting standards and sustainable business practices. As a co-op, PCC operates with a longer-term view and is driven by its mission. Success is defined by more than just the bottom-line profit but also encompasses the impact on members, the environment and the community. PCC is an organization of members who own a piece of the company, have shared values, believe in PCC’s mission and do not view it as just a place to work or shop. PCC’s members and employees expect the co-op to lead in setting standards, be transparent in all aspects of the business, and be a vital advocate for the community.
What experiences, skills and/or perspectives will you bring to the Board? I believe my experience as a merchandising and marketing executive for two startup companies and REI Co-op, as well as what I have learned serving on both for-profit and nonprofit boards, has prepared me to take on the responsibilities of a trustee. I have a good understanding of the unique qualities of a cooperative business model, especially the need to balance business results and growth with the mission and values of the company. I have many years of experience developing strategy in support of a company vision, managing expense budgets, monitoring performance compared to goals, and hiring and evaluating teams. I have been recognized by my peers and fellow board members for working collaboratively, building strong relationships, future thinking, making good decisions, and for understanding the customer and brand.