2020 BOARD ELECTION

 

Be part of the democratic process. Shape YOUR store!


 

HOW TO VOTE

1. Read the candidates’ statements. Below or in the online voting platform (button below.)
2. Login securely. 

Your voter ID is your owner number, preceded by “0” to reach five digits. (i.e. “85” becomes “00085”)

Your password is your last name, excluding apostrophes where applicable.

3. VOTE! Voting ends October 13 at 11:59pm.

Questions: call 716-655-2667 or email [email protected]

JOIN THE

ANNUAL MEETING!

October 13, 7-8:00pm

In a live Zoom meeting, the board of directors and general manager will provide a rundown of 2019, give a peek into running a grocery store during a pandemic(!), and answer your questions about the past, present and future.

Stay informed! 

REGISTER HERE

2020 CANDIDATES

Bethany Markovich
Incumbent

Why are you interested in serving on the co-op’s board?
 I have now been a member of the BOD for two years and feel that I am contributing to the growth of our store and the East Aurora community in a meaningful way. I have learned so much already and hope I can continue to be a part of the forward momentum. The co-op has a need for member owners to step up and be a part of the governance of the organization. I have the time and the desire to see our hard work continue to prosper and develop into a truly successful business and anchor of the East Aurora community.

Describe your experience with cooperatives.
I’ve now spent two years getting to know the cooperative model through my time on the EACM board of directors. I currently serve as the board Secretary. It is a unique governance model that I feel is serving us well and my current experience allows me to contribute to the board activity immediately.

Professional experience and relevant skills  What unique skill, personal quality or perspective will you bring to the board?
I have been a quality engineer in some capacity for almost 10 years. A quality product is one that satisfies the wants and needs of the customer. The co-op is offering a product and a service to our community and we need to be sure we are listening to our customers and community and providing them what they need. I hope to use my experience to help the co-op to grow and be a successful organization.

What is your vision for the future of our cooperative? What makes you passionate about the co-op and/or our mission?

Most immediately, I would like to see the co-op become financially stable and resolve the ongoing conflicts that remain from the construction phase. As a member, these issues seem to be the most persistent. Long term, my hope is that the co-op will continue to build our community presence, be a driving force in our local food movement, and be an anchor store on East Aurora’s Main St. I’m very proud of the fact that I joined the Coop back in 2010, when the co-op was just an idea on paper. I believed in the mission and goals to bring a thriving grocery to the East Aurora community and I want to make sure that we are building a business to last for the next generation. I’m so proud of how far we’ve come and realize that the work is not over.

Favorite Food  Blueberries, especially in pancakes! 

Lesley Carlson

 

Why are you interested in serving on the co-op’s board?
In the short time that EACM has been open it has become a vital part of our community, and certainly for my family. I want to help the market thrive.

Describe your experience with cooperatives.
I have been an active volunteer in my communities, primarily by tutoring, being a Girl Scout leader, and volunteering with PTA/PTO’s. My most relevant experience was with our daughters’ cooperative preschool, Cedar Lane Nursery School, which has professional teachers and parent-led governance and classroom assistance. In five years, I was board president, secretary, and in charge of parent education. In all these roles I had to educate members in the co-op mission and work with their concerns, including during a program expansion in which we went from one multi-age classroom to three age-distinct classes.

Professional experience and relevant skills  What unique skill, personal quality or perspective will you bring to the board?
I have been fortunate to have a varied career that has allowed me to see for-profit and nonprofit organizations from many angles. Most relevantly, I managed Finance and Operations for the National Democratic Institute office in Belgrade, Serbia, and helped found Carbonfund.org Foundation with my husband, as Director of Human Resources, Finance, and Administration. I parlayed that experience into starting a website, akin to TurboTax, for nonprofit annual multi-state registrations. While my partners and I sold the business, I definitely learned the challenges of starting and running a business, trying to provide a good product with good customer service while watching the bottom line. I love taking on new challenges, studying them, and seeing them through.

What is your vision for the future of our cooperative? What makes you passionate about the co-op and/or our mission?

East Aurora is a community rooted in preserving positive, wholesome traditions of the past while learning and growing. EACM has become integral to our community as the place it can trust for quality, sourcing, and variety. I depend upon it so much that I find myself at the Co-op most days. In the near term we should look to financial stability through continued growth in membership and customer base. What are the barriers to membership and shopping? In what progression should we address them? In the longer term, I would like to see EACM be the local expert on sustainability, offering classes and zero-waste products, and promoting the growth of local suppliers. I mostly would like to see EACM as a true Southtowns destination.

Favorite Food I have two — dark chocolate and roasted root vegetables (not eaten together.)

Tonya Draegert Hall

 

Why are you interested in serving on the co-op’s board?
I am a lifelong resident of East Aurora. I love my hometown and I am thrilled to have the Co-Op as part of it. I am looking in ways to actively engage with my community on a more personal level, and since I am very passionate about our coop, this opportunity seemed like a win-win!

Describe your experience with cooperatives.
I do not have any experience with coops other than being a proud member owner and frequent patron. I do, however, have experience with various organizations around town, I am a member of the American Legion Post 326 and I volunteer with Aktion Club ( a branch of Kiwanis), where my favorite event to help host is the Annual Halloween Party!

Professional experience and relevant skills  What unique skill, personal quality or perspective will you bring to the board?
As a local business owner, I understand the importance of being a pillar in your community. I have spent my career serving others. Listening, learning and providing guidance to help my clients get the best results. My line of work is all about time management, prioritizing and pulling off large scale events, most times in a matter of days. My attention to detail and my ability to cater to others could serve the board well.

What is your vision for the future of our cooperative? What makes you passionate about the co-op and/or our mission?

My mission for the coop is to continue to see growth and watch it become a staple in our beautiful community. I couldn’t imagine life in East Aurora without its Coop! Not only have I become a member owner because of the great products I can purchase and support several small business and farms, but I also became a member because of the sense of community within the coop itself, I have made several friendships with both members and employees and I always look forward to stopping in and saying “Hello!”

I believe in the Coop’s core mission to “create a vibrant, healthy community in the Southtowns by providing access to fresh, local and wholesome foods to all.” I am so lucky to have a place where I can shop for organic, farm-to-table and healthy foods. I am always excited after my trip, because I know I will be cooking a healthy and sustainable meal for my family. And, as a local business owner myself, I love the fact that the coop is here to support local farmers and producers. Supporting local businesses has always been a priority to me. When we invest in our neighbors, we are investing in ourselves, too!

Favorite Food  Tacos! They are so versatile and irresistible!