I am running for a 2019 seat on the Lexington Co-op Board of Directors. I became an owner of the Co-op in 1990 and through 2003 served as a director and then Board President. It was a pivotal era as we worked our way through rough financial challenges to a successful three million dollar expansion.
Food has always been at the center of my Sicilian-American family as it is in so many of your homes. Sharing a meal is an act of love and welcoming—no greater sign shows that we care about each others wellbeing.
In the 90s I became increasingly aware of how food production affects all beings and our environment. Every dollar we spend on food affects not just ourselves, but a global network of producers and their communities.
Cooperative democracy ensures that we who benefit from a business have a voice in determining the impact that business has. That sets us apart from every other conventional grocery store. We are more than a store—we are a community empowered to build a world that reflects our shared values.
As Board President I led the development and adoption of Policy Governance, a system still practiced by the Board today. Combined with the fuel of passionate owners and dedicated staff, we were able to realize our vision of greater community impact by expanding into the Elmwood store.
More recently I served as Chair of the UB Professional Staff Senate and as the Convener of SUNY Campus Governance Leaders. I repeatedly called upon Co-op experience in building consensus, hearing all voices, navigating policy, improving fiscal stewardship, and increasing value delivered to constituents.
We are once again experiencing challenging financials amidst a changing marketplace, while growing to meet the needs of our expanding community. I hope that my experience having previously helped lead the Co-op to profitability and expansion, and through my governance at UB and SUNY, make me a candidate worthy of your vote. I would be honored to help facilitate our continuing evolution.