How the Board Works

Your Board of Directors steers the path of EACM toward the future. The board is made up of nine owners just like you, chosen by annual election. This is where the true power of co-op ownership comes into play. Unlike corporations, co-op board elections are democratically run — owners all have an equal vote. Board members serve staggered 3-year terms.

Owners, elect your Board!

VOTE FOR YOUR BOARD

How to vote

  1. Read the candidates’ statements.
  2. Pick up your ballot in the store, or print here
  3. Vote for up to five candidates.
    Place your ballot inside a sealed envelope, write your name or owner number on the outside.
    Ballots cannot be counted without identification on the outside of the envelope. Ballots will be separated from envelope prior to counting to ensure confidentiality.
  4. Return your ballot to the co-op by 5/29.
Andy Emborsky

Board endorsed*


Why are you interested in serving on the board?
Community co-ops provide a necessary and vital role in assuring quality, fair trade and environmentally sound products are available and have a place in the market.

Co-op/community organization experience
I am a member of numerous area cooperatives, and I volunteer with a number of other organizations. The importance of having invested, local, membership on the board and as directors cannot be overstated. A solid connection to the community is vital to the success and future of any cooperative market.

Professional experience and relevant skills
As an attorney, almost none of my professional skills will be relevant. All kidding aside, I have 15 years of experience working with people, who come with unique circumstances and varied backgrounds. I expect I will be able to put this to good use.

What unique skill, personal quality or perspective will you bring to the board?
Clearly, my sense of humor.

What is your vision for the future of the co-op?
Why are you passionate about its mission?
To continue to increase community access to local foods. It is important to have invested, local, membership on the board and as directors. A solid connection to the community is vital to the success and future of any cooperative market.

Favorite Food
Tacos. Best culinary invention of all time, hands down.

Michael Jason

Incumbent/board endorsed*


Why are you interested in serving on the board? I feel that the co-op has already established a significant presence within our community. The co-op’s continued development into an even more integral part is important to me. Having a local place like to co-op with its culture and value to East Aurora is much more than having just another grocery option. The commitment to local growers and clean food options sets the co-op apart as unique. The friendly and helpful staff further differentiate it!

Co-op/community organization experience Over the past 20+ years I have worked with many associations and community organizations as part of my position in management consulting. I have both led and been part of teams that have delivered consulting and feedback to boards and Sr. leadership alike.

Professional experience and relevant skills What unique skill, personal quality or perspective will you bring to the board? Much of my professional experience has been working with organizations to better understand employee engagement and to develop strategies to better align organizations with their people. Analyzing data and problem solving are particular interests/strengths of mine.

What is your vision for the future of the co-op? Why are you passionate about its mission? Growth of the co-op without compromise to the culture along with promotion of healthy eating/living. A leadership approach that allows for the co-op to grow and develop into what the community requires. I start most of my days at the co-op for coffee and breakfast, returning as needed throughout the day. The environment and variety/quality of nutrition options is unmatched here in East Aurora. Seeing the customer/owner base grow, as well as my own children becoming frequent visitors makes me feel that the co-op’s mission is taking hold.

Favorite Food Is coffee a food??

Tom Ruhland

Incumbent/Board endorsed*


Why are you interested in serving on the board?
Since moving to East Aurora, my wife’s hometown, in 2012, I have seen the EA Co-op get established. I want to use my business experience and leadership skills to help with the Co-op’s continued growth and influence within the community. I feel strongly about the purpose of the EA co-op and want to actively participate in maintaining and growing the business for long term success.

Co-op/community organization experience
I’ve been part of the EACM Board of Directors since May 2018, and I have enjoyed working with the BOD members and overcoming challenges the past year. I look forward to continuing to work for the EACM.

Professional experience and relevant skills
What unique skill, personal quality or perspective will you bring to the board?
Information System & Technology Leader with 25 years of experience developing, supporting and managing applications across various platforms to deliver solutions to worldwide business functional groups. I am able to approach and tackle complex issues and problems into systemic steps for developing a future roadmap and long-term solutions.

What is your vision for the future of the co-op?
Why are you passionate about its mission?
The quality of the food, the origin of the food from local organic resources and the overall health that it provides to people and families. I’ve always been interested in a healthy lifestyle and I have a passion for cooking and enjoying good food.
My vision for our EA Co-op is to be a trusted and integral piece of our community, providing healthy choices, convenience and affordable food. I would like to see the co-op grow and be embraced by our entire community.

Favorite Food Homemade Tacos TexMex Style with homemade guacamole!

Brian Russ

Board endorsed*


Why are you interested in serving on the board? I feel the co-op is an incredible community asset and want to support its progress and success moving forward.

Co-op/community organization experience
As superintendent I engage with a number of community organizations including Boys and Girls Club, Kiwanis, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce and East Aurora Educational Foundation. We work together to create opportunities for our students both inside the classroom and within the greater community.

Professional experience and relevant skills: what unique skill, personal quality or perspective will you bring to the board?
I have worked with the Board of Education for the past 15 years. I am very familiar with the board process and have a good understanding of my role as board member.

What is your vision for the future of the co-op? Why are you passionate about its mission?
Staying true to the mission and vision as the guiding force for all decisions that are made. Looking at a long range plan that is forward thinking, supports reasonable growth and reflects the changing needs of the community.
The co-op speaks to my desire and I believe the desire of the greater community to be engaged with an organization that provides high quality products that promote a balanced and healthy life style.

Favorite Food Pizza

Robert Slawinowski

Board endorsed*


Why are you interested in serving on the board?
As a 25 year resident of East Aurora and very close next door neighbor to the co-op I would be very interested in providing assistance for the continued success that the co-op has currently gone through.

Co-op/community organization experience
While not directly involved with a food co-op I have been involved with many cooperative community partnerships with education and business in my role as Academic Dean at Erie Community College.

Professional experience and relevant skills: what unique skill, personal quality or perspective will you bring to the board?
I worked for 28 years at Erie Community college 5 as a full time instructor in the management Engineering Technology Curriculum and 23 as an Academic Dean Administrator for Technology and Business administration programs. I have been involved in managing and delegating many projects involving curriculum development, secondary school and business partnerships by developing short and long term planning initiatives.

What is your vision for the future of the co-op?
To assist with maintaining and enhancing an environment at the coop that promotes product quality, cost effectiveness, marketing development and customer satisfaction on a variety of levels.

Why are you passionate about its mission?
As indicated I have lived in East Aurora for 25 years and have been a member of the coop since its inception. I have seen and experienced first hand the quality of food delivered by the coop providing products that help maintain a healthy life style and being a partner and advocate for the development and prosperity of the village of East Aurora.

Favorite Food Pizza (healthy version of course)

Robert Slawinowski

Board endorsed*


Why are you interested in serving on the board?
As a 25 year resident of East Aurora and very close next door neighbor to the co-op I would be very interested in providing assistance for the continued success that the co-op has currently gone through.

Co-op/community organization experience
While not directly involved with a food co-op I have been involved with many cooperative community partnerships with education and business in my role as Academic Dean at Erie Community College.

Professional experience and relevant skills: what unique skill, personal quality or perspective will you bring to the board?
I worked for 28 years at Erie Community college 5 as a full time instructor in the management Engineering Technology Curriculum and 23 as an Academic Dean Administrator for Technology and Business administration programs. I have been involved in managing and delegating many projects involving curriculum development, secondary school and business partnerships by developing short and long term planning initiatives.

What is your vision for the future of the co-op?
To assist with maintaining and enhancing an environment at the coop that promotes product quality, cost effectiveness, marketing development and customer satisfaction on a variety of levels.

Why are you passionate about its mission?
As indicated I have lived in East Aurora for 25 years and have been a member of the coop since its inception. I have seen and experienced first hand the quality of food delivered by the coop providing products that help maintain a healthy life style and being a partner and advocate for the development and prosperity of the village of East Aurora.

Favorite Food Pizza (healthy version of course)

Robert Slawinowski

Board endorsed*


Why are you interested in serving on the board?
As a 25 year resident of East Aurora and very close next door neighbor to the co-op I would be very interested in providing assistance for the continued success that the co-op has currently gone through.

Co-op/community organization experience
While not directly involved with a food co-op I have been involved with many cooperative community partnerships with education and business in my role as Academic Dean at Erie Community College.

Professional experience and relevant skills: what unique skill, personal quality or perspective will you bring to the board?
I worked for 28 years at Erie Community college 5 as a full time instructor in the management Engineering Technology Curriculum and 23 as an Academic Dean Administrator for Technology and Business administration programs. I have been involved in managing and delegating many projects involving curriculum development, secondary school and business partnerships by developing short and long term planning initiatives.

What is your vision for the future of the co-op?
To assist with maintaining and enhancing an environment at the coop that promotes product quality, cost effectiveness, marketing development and customer satisfaction on a variety of levels.

Why are you passionate about its mission?
As indicated I have lived in East Aurora for 25 years and have been a member of the coop since its inception. I have seen and experienced first hand the quality of food delivered by the coop providing products that help maintain a healthy life style and being a partner and advocate for the development and prosperity of the village of East Aurora.

Favorite Food Pizza (healthy version of course)

Why does the Board exist?

Board members represent member-owners to ensure that their needs are met and support the General Manager to maintain the vision and ends of the co-op.

What does the Board do?

CREATES CO-OP POLICIES The board’s primary role is to oversee the direction of the co-op through EACM’s general manager through the creation of board policies. EACM employees, as directed by the GM, manage day-to-day operations like stocking, cooking, ordering, marketing, product selection and administrative duties.

ENVISIONS & EVALUATES The board conducts its ongoing work at monthly board meetings. At these meetings the board monitors policy compliance, understands the co-op’s finances, plans activities to engage owners, discusses the future and evaluates their work.

See for yourself! The best way to understand what the board does at the co-op is to attend a board meeting and see for yourself. Meeting information is to the right.

Board Meetings

Meetings are held from 6:30–9:30 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Boys and Girls Club of East Aurora.

Member-owners are welcome to attend regularly scheduled board meetings. If you are interested in attending, please contact us at [email protected] in advance of the meeting.

Meet the folks who govern the co-op on your behalf.

Theresa Bindig

Vice President | 2019

Theresa Bindig lives in East Aurora with her husband and three children. She is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist doing Nutrition Counseling/Consultation through her small private practice in JoyWheel Yoga and Wellness on Main Street East Aurora.

Gary Kimmel-Hurt

Board Member | 2019

Gary Kimmel-Hurt has recently retired from Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services of Buffalo, where he worked in fund development and also volunteered as a hospital advocate. He is the former owner of East Aurora Locksmith.

Andrew Layer

Board President | 2021

Andrew is an engineer at Moog and an EAHS graduate. He and his wife Holly have been members of the co-op since returning to Western New York four years ago. Andrew has held various engineering roles at General Electric and Moog over the past ten years. In addition to his technical background, he has an MBA from Indiana University with a concentration in strategic planning.

Bethany Markovich

Board Secretary | 2021

Michael McClaren

Board Member |  2020 

Dale Morris

Board Member | 2021

Tom Ruhland

Board Treasurer | 2021

Robyn Young

Board Member | 2021

East Aurora Co-op Market

EACM exists to create a vibrant, healthy community in the Southtowns by providing access to fresh, local and wholesome foods to everyone.

Open to Everyone 7am – 9pm DAILY 
591 Main Street, East Aurora NY 14052
PH: 716-655-COOP (2667)
Email: [email protected]