The time is coming to vote for your board! As an owner, you have the opportunity and responsibility to vote for our Board of Directors, an important governing body of the Co-op.
KCFC Board Elections - 2017
Voting in the election for the Board of Directors is one way to effect change in the store that you own. By voting for the candidates who most nearly match your vision for KCFC, you participate in the direction that we take as a community-owned organization. We urge you to participate in the election each year so that your voice may be heard.
When and where can I make this vote happen?
Voting in KCFC’s 2017 Board Election will begin in-person at the KCFC Community Meeting & Groundbreaking Celebration taking place on Saturday, May 6th at 12:30 pm. Here, member-owners will hear stump speeches from the candidates about their vision for KCFC to earn your vote.
Online voting will open following the event and conclude on Saturday, May 20. Member-owners who did not vote in-person will receive an automated email from Helios with a unique link to cast their vote.
In 2017, we have six candidates for five available board seats. All spots are for full three-year terms. To learn more, contact the Elections Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.650.7286.
Meet the Candidates!
Come by and meet the candidates on April 25 at Kensington Quarters. KCFC gets a portion of the proceeds from that night's special drink sales. Click here for more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1860194887575197/
The candidates were asked to respond to the following questions in their candidate statements:
1) Tell us about yourself and your personal/professional background, including relevant experience, leadership
positions and passions.
2) Describe your involvement with KCFC, including how long you have been a member-owner and any ways you have volunteered (if applicable)
3) Why should you be elected to the KCFC Board of Directors? What unique skills or insights do you bring?
After graduating with a math and economics degree from Haverford College, I decided to join the AmeriCorps VISTA program and came to work at NKCDC in economic development. Working under former NKCDC co-worker and fellow KCFC member Henry Pyatt, I was fascinated with the cooperative business model as a way to create truly community-serving businesses and provide economic justice. I have since gone on to become the commercial corridor manager for Frankford Ave & Front St. I specialize in financing, zoning, arts, and cooperative development. Over the last year I have also facilitated a study group through PACA’s 20 Book Clubs → 20 Cooperative Businesses program to explore forming a tool library in Kensington, and launched the River Wards Sound Collective, a cooperative association for entrepreneurs in the music industry. I am a new homeowner in the 19134 zip code and can most often be found hiking at local preserves, enjoying live music at an open mic, or drinking coffee on my porch with my dog, Twiggy Smalls.
After following the project for two years through my work at NKCDC, I became a KCFC member-owner in Spring 2016. I have volunteered as an interim board member since October 2016 and became Treasurer in December. I have also been assisting with bookkeeping responsibilities as our General Manager gets acclimated.
My job gives me a unique knowledge of commercial development in the Kensington neighborhood. I have familiarity assisting small businesses throughout the start-up process and through that work have made a lot of relationships within the community. My background in cooperative development also means I understand the challenges unique to co-op governance and how to work with various perspectives towards a shared vision. I believe in the cooperative model, our mission, and am excited to see this project come to fruition and get our doors open.
Kae’s top cooperative interests:
1. Economic justice
2. Democratic governance
3. Food access
I’ve lived in the area that KCFC will serve for more than 30 years, having spent a decade in Northern Liberties starting in the mid-’80s, and then buying a house in Kensington South in 1992 that I still call home. I’m currently a freelance copyeditor, having been a lighting designer, stage manager, dance company manager, pastry chef, and graphic designer. Stage manager and manager of a dance company were leadership positions that required working with others. I’ve found that I’m a good listener and mediator, and can get things done even in the face of differing opinions, as I know how important it is to separate the personal and professional when dealing with conflict. Direct communication is important to me. These skills have served me well in my current volunteer roles: president of the Friends of Rodriguez Library (6th & Girard) and member of the Friends of Moffett School.
I became a member of KCFC in 2014. About a year later, I joined the Membership Committee and did a lot of tabling at events and at Marketplace, as well as volunteering at last summer’s beer garden. For a short time, I was part of the Inclusivity Committee, but decided my time and efforts for the co-op would be better directed elsewhere. Due to the fact that I’m an editor by trade, I’ve off and on reviewed email content before it went live. Additionally, I joined the KCFC website working group. I’ve helped to revamp the site architecture and am the lead on revising old copy and creating new copy for the site. Most recently, I was on the General Manager Hiring Committee.
I’ve long believed in co-ops; I was a member of Philly’s South Street Food Co-op in the 1970s. I’ve been a very active volunteer with KCFC for several years. I’m organized and detail oriented. I have good communication skills; no fear of dealing with varying opinions. Also, I get great satisfaction out of making sure that people I work with have what they need to produce results (from actors having props to librarians having programming). And, specific to the co-op, I live in the southern part of our service area, so could bring awareness to that area, which is lacking. Additionally, having begun to eat more heathfully a few years ago, I like to see others do the same. I’m very interested in helping to shape the direction of an organization that can source this for the immediate neighborhood, one that’s virtually a food desert.
Ruth’s top cooperative interests:
1. The community created by a co-op as members create and maintain it
2. Building a business for a neighborhood that helps all (not just members)
3. Offering a source for healthy foods and education about same
I’m currently a KCFC Board member and have been since the project started in 2008. My full time work is as a real estate agent with Solo Real Estate, a small, community minded company since the 1950s. That work brings together many skills: working with people, understanding financing, helping businesses find spaces and model their planning. In my volunteering life, I was blessed to serve as the President of East Kensington Neighbors Association (EKNA) where I’m still a board member. I’ve founded and continue to help other projects create or protect green space in East Kensington and across the city. My background was in writing, teaching photography and in music. Neighbors coming together to know each other, encouraging their own passions, and creating something together with big positive impact is very inspiring to me. I’m always learning from the community and the co-op work. It is deeply worth it.
Currently a Board member, I co-founded the project with Lena Helen (1st KCFC board president) who conceived of a neighborhood co-op in our neighborhood. She organized a trip to Weaver’s Way for neighbors. We formed a steering committee which grew into the first board. Nine years since then has brought hundreds of meetings, workshops, calls, and writing sessions in living rooms, on the street, and in City Hall with leaders, lenders, architects, contractors, and co-op market/finance/governance experts. I helped author the business plan and helped secure the store site - but there are hands-on days too: fixing cement, hanging signs and planting trees at the site. The commitment from the team is inspiring - to learn the project better, keep the energy going, and take KCFC closer to store opening.
Jeff’s top cooperative interests
1. Rebuilding local economy and providing jobs with community owned business
2. Using the food co-op (space and community) as a framework for increasing awareness about nutritional health/healing.
3. Ensuring that KCFC is a success, which helps the cooperative movement in the City, the region and across the nation.
I am a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, and have resided in Kensington proper since 2010 with my incredible wife Amanda Fury and two poorly-cloned dogs. After graduating from Temple University in 1995 with a degree in Film & Media Arts, I started MartNet, Philadelphia’s first open source internet service provider. A decade later I took over the family business in Mayfair, Schummer’s Super Service Center, and have been repairing automobiles ever since. In 2016 Amanda and I opened a second auto repair shop, Schummer’s of Kensington. I am an ASE Certified Master Mechanic and currently sit on the Board of the Service Station Dealers Federal Credit Union. In my spare time, I serve as Treasurer of the Board of Kingdom Builders Construction. I help lead Circle of Hope’s Urban Farm Network and steward the Frankford Avenue Garden down the street from KCFC.
I became a member-owner in 2010. I was site manager at Circle of Hope when KCFC started up Marketplace, using Circle’s upstairs space. More recently I served on the KCFC Board in 2014-2015, and I currently serve on the Inclusivity Committee, whose mission includes "find innovative ways to expand the meaning of ‘economic participation’ to make the coop accessible to people of all means." My heart is dedicated to including people from my neighborhood (19134) - one of the most impoverished in the nation - in our cooperative grocery store.
Friends and neighbors describe me as cool-headed, business-minded, and knowledgeable about commerce and commercial buildings. I consider myself to be an invested resident of the Kensington area who is dedicated to building the local community. I see locally owned businesses as one tool to build community, and any cooperatively-owned business as an even greater tool. I'm a stubborn, Holy Mischief maker who wants to create sustainable economic alternatives within our Mega-Corporation dominated capitalist society. I also love food, real food, not that fake, unhealthy, over-processed salty sugary food they sell at the Save-a-Lot down the street from KCFC. I want to help make KCFC Great Again by including the voices of my neighbors as we prepare to open the store, and the dollars of my neighbors when we open the Greatest Cooperatively Owned Grocery Store Kensington has ever seen!
Nick’s top cooperative interests:
1. Food Justice / Food Access
2. Educating aspiring capitalists about Cooperative Economic Principles
3. Increasing the economic and cultural diversity of member-owner participation in American Co-ops and KCFC in particular.
I am dedicated to empowering people - as citizens, workers, consumers, and otherwise. Born and raised in the Philly suburbs, I have parlayed a variety of policy positions, including at the state House in Harrisburg, and legal training at Temple's Beasley School of Law, to work advancing equity, sustainability, and justice from the local level upward, currently as the legislative director for City Councilman At-Large Derek Green. I also serve as a committeeperson in the 18th Ward. I prepare healthy meals and ingest unhealthy amounts of news in, and cycle commute from, my residence in Fishtown.
I became a member-owner shortly before joining the board a few months ago, after having been professionally introduced to co-op development not long beforehand. At the encouragement of a former board member, I volunteered because I was interested in getting KCFC over the finish line to advance community engagement, to promote access to fresh, sustainable food, and to participate in a local control economic model. Since joining the board, I have liaised with elected officials and governmental agencies.
I believe in KCFC as a means of fostering community around quality food and fair commerce. As the son and former employee of a restaurant owner-cook, I take a customer service oriented approach to ownership. Having worked my way up from a bagger to a shift manager during six years working at a grocery store, I am familiar with the operations of food retail stores. And I am the literal instance of the proverbial guy in City Hall. It has been an honor to be on the board as it finalizes preparations for opening, and I hope to see it through to that goal.
Frank’s top cooperative interests:
1. Empowering people - as citizens, workers, consumers, and owners
2. Fostering community through shared spaces and experiences
3. Sustainability of food procurement
I am a local resident, wife and mother. My family lives mere blocks from the co-op and it was one of the many reasons we decided to buy our first home here. We hail from sunny Florida, and have been in Philly for a little over two years. I have a background in sales, marketing and event planning. I earned BA in English from the University of South Florida and am working towards my MS in Nonprofit Leadership at La Salle University. I am a stay-at-home mother to my lovely son Charlie who was born this past July. Funny story, we had to cancel volunteering for KCFC’s beer garden, because Charlie came a few weeks early. While in labor I kept saying, “But we have to volunteer tomorrow!” I am super in love with my 8 animals, and pretty much every animal I’ve ever met. I love a good laugh and could not be more excited for KCFC to open its doors!
I’ve only been a member for a short time, about a month, as my pregnant mind thought I had already signed up and turns out I had not. My husband and I volunteered to get the site together for the beer gardens this past summer. I was only able to make it once due to being very pregnant, but I sent him to represent the Savage Clan a few more times.
I should be elected because KCFC’s mission is so important and meaningful to me. It is where I live and want to spend my money. It is where I want to procure the nutrition for my family to keep us healthy and happy. I know the commitment to be a good board member and am willing and able to commit. I have taken a graduate level class on nonprofit boards and have the knowledge and knowhow to get the job done. I am super organized, have a great sense of humor and willing to do my best to make this board great.
Colleen’s top cooperative interests:
1. Neighborhood community involvement and betterment
2. Healthy food access
3. Local food and products
See more about the current board of directors and terms here: http://www.kcfc.coop/board_of_directors