And the Nominees are...

Ballots will be available very soon, so get to know your Nominees for the KCFC board!


 

Danilo Ghiotto

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1. Why is KCFC important to you?

Local food, for locals, by locals, and community, community, community

2. How will your experience, skills, or unique perspectives strengthen the Co-op Board?

I have worked in food service and have volunteered for various organizations I try to be active in the community, I also am pragmatic, business minded and believe that for an organization to not only survive, but to thrive it needs to be profitable to sustain itself through the leaner times.

3. What is your vision for the future of KCFC ?

A thriving business that helps its' members, save money on good quality diverse foods.

4. What volunteer experiences have you had with other cooperatives or organizations?

I help out with EKNA, Habitat for Humanity and The US Airways Do Crew when I can. I am also on the US Airways Do Crew steering committee (volunteer wing)

5. Is there any other personal information you would like to share, i.e. family, hobbies, work experience, special talents, etc.?

I am interested in remodeling houses, building businesses, Food cultivation and preparation, party planning. I love numbers. I love the community we are building in East Kensington, and the Co-Op is a perfect example of this and I want to do my part in making it happen.

 

Colleen Watts
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1. Why is KCFC important to you?

The community aspect for sure. Getting to know my neighbors who have the same goals in mind has been great. Also, being a part of an initiative in which the neighbors themselves are investing in and improving the community is awesome.

2. How will your experience, skills, or unique perspectives strengthen the Co-op Board?

It's really important to me that everyone has access to healthy foods that are appropriate for them and their families. Professionally, I work at Philabundance (the area's food bank) on food access and community engagement (crucial to co-ops of course) is a big part of my job. In addition, my experience heading up the Marketplace committee last year as well as a stint heading up the Grocery Operations team would be valuable due to the understanding I have about how we get food to our members and the community.

3. What is your vision for the future of KCFC?

I see KCFC being a community hub, where folks not only come to do their food shopping but also come to engage with their neighbors and gain access to local resources.

4. What volunteer experiences have you had with other cooperatives or organizations?

I came to my day job through regular volunteering with Philabundance's Fresh For All program which distributes fresh fruits and vegetables to those who need them.

5. Is there any other personal information you would like to share, i.e. family, hobbies, work experience, special talents, etc.?

Prior to coming to the non-profit world, I worked in advertising and marketing for many years so I would say that an understanding of marketing and communications as well as project management are special skills that I have. I'm also active in the Philadelphia Women's Culinary Guild, which is a group of women who work in the food industry. The group helps to support two women every year who are entering the culinary field. Finally, I have a Baking and Pastry Diploma from the Art Institute of Philadelphia. To say that I'm passionate about food is an understatement!

Reed Davaz McGowan
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1. Why is KCFC important to you?

Since moving to Philadelphia in 2007, I have been frustrated by the lack of access to quality, healthy food, particularly in North Philadelphia. In order to buy healthy food, one has to go outside of the neighborhood. I feel that KCFC is working to change that in a way that also positively builds community. When I went to the members’ meeting, I got excited about KCFC’s mission as well as felt that I was surrounded by new friends.

2. How will your experience, skills, or unique perspectives strengthen the Co-op Board?

Through my professional and Board of Directors experiences, I have substantial experience with resource development, marketing and communications and strategic planning. I have worked in North Philadelphia’s Latino community, focusing on food production and access issues, too. My participation in collaborative management structures in several organizations may also be helpful for a primarily working board.

3. What is your vision for the future of KCFC?

I would like to see KCFC as as thriving, inclusive food access point for families throughout its surrounding neighborhoods. I believe that the store would be a place to not only purchase foods, but for connections to education and activities around health living, too. KCFC can be a positive change, built by its members.

4. What volunteer experiences have you had with other cooperatives or organizations?

In addition to being on boards, I was a volunteer coordinator for a nonprofit performing arts center in Eugene, Oregon. I started as a volunteer and then took on a staff position leading other volunteers. I have also participated in many coalitions as a volunteer, focused on community change related to youth.

5. Is there any other personal information you would like to share, i.e. family, hobbies, work experience, special talents, etc.?

I live in Fishtown with my husband and our dog Pork Chop. My husband and mom are both chefs, so I’ve grown up appreciating food and how it brings people together. I’m a grant writer, a graphic designer and I love to cook and host dinner parties. I speak/write Spanish too. (Please see attached resume for additional professional, academic and volunteer experience.)

 

Nicole Haines

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1. Why is KCFC important to you?

I have long been passionate about local, sustainable and nutritious quality food. The cooperative will make this food readily available and accessible to our community, a resource that we desperately need. I am also committed to the sustainability of our environment and building on this vibrant Kensington community.

2. How will your experience, skills, or unique perspectives strengthen the Co-op Board?

I currently own and operate a dog walking/pet sitting business based here in Fishtown/NoLibs and was a health care administrator in my previous life. My experiences as both a small business owner and a manager have provided me with expertise in leadership, strategic planning, marketing/development, team-building and personnel management. I also hold certification in holistic health counseling, which gives me additional insight into the nutritional aspects of our mission and vision.

3. What is your vision for the future of KCFC?

As a former resident of Mt Airy and member of Weavers Way, I witnessed first-hand how a cooperative can help sustain a community. I envision KCFC as beacon to the Kensington Community, helping create a sustainable local economy, enhancing community outreach and development, and making this neighborhood the best that it can be.

4. What volunteer experiences have you had with other cooperatives or organizations?

I was a working member of Weaver's Way. I am currently a volunteer at ACCT Philly, providing much needed companionship to the shelter animals there. I have been a volunteer with PAWS, the Schuylkill Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation, and Philabundance. I am the chairperson for First Unitarian's Social Justice Ministry Team, focusing on the area of Food Justice, which is very much in line with the cooperative's values.

5. Is there any other personal information you would like to share, i.e. family, hobbies, work experience, special talents, etc.?

My partner, Jodi, and I recently moved to the Fishtown neighborhood. I (obviously) LOVE animals. We are vegans and love to experiment with gourmet vegan dishes. I am an avid gardener and nature lover. And if I'm not caring for pups, cooking or gardening, you might find me running, reading or practicing yoga.

Gail Szczesniak
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Two KCFC goals that stand out to me are being community driven and providing healthy food and food products. I appreciate fresh, quality food that is reasonably priced. Much of my life has been centered on food - holding a degree in Food Service Administration and working in restaurants, as well as baking and catering. One thing I know is that food brings people together – sharing meals, recipes and ideas, or just getting to know the people at the coffee shop or local market. I am presently on the GO Team, and volunteer at the Buyer’s Club. I want to be involved with the growth of the coop and help to establish a store for the people in our community.

I have lived in rural communities for much of my life and understand the importance of relationships and developing them. I have volunteered in community and church groups including, Summer Recreation Programs, service learning projects, as well as holding board member positions at the local youth center and my church. One of the great things about Philadelphia is the neighborhoods. I know my neighbors and some of their family members and can walk to many of my friend’s homes. I also like being able to walk to neighborhood businesses.

I moved to Philly about three years ago to be close to my family. I am a member of Circle of Hope and teach at Wissahickon Charter School.

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