*Update: Voting for the 2022 Board of Directors ended March 20th.
UPDATE 3/26/22: The election has concluded and the results have been ratified
The election for the Co-op’s 2022 Board of Directors is complete—with 685 votes cast by Co-op Owners. Thank you to everyone who voted to ensure that the democratic structure of the Co-op
All candidates will serve on the Board starting in April. Collin Thompson, Edward Sheridan, Elaine Mack, Ernie Cooper, and Kristin Clements will serve three-year terms. Buck Sawyer will serve a two-year term. Michael Damico will serve a one-year term.
The new Board members join continuing members John Krueger, Charles Pattavina, Sasha Breus, Susan Cutting, and Valerie Tate. Everyone is looking forward to a productive and collaborative year for the Board as it works to support the Co-op in its vital work for our community.
The Board also wishes to wholeheartedly thank Matt McConnell and Stephen Brimley for their dedication and service on the Board. They will be missed.
Click here to find out more about the Co-op’s Board of Directors
Voting for the 2022 Board candidates begins
Sunday, March 6th, 2022 at the end of the Annual Meeting.
Scroll Down to Meet The 2022 Candidates!
Owners may vote for up to seven board candidates or abstain: One owner, one ballot. The election will run from March 6th, 2022 until March 20th, 2022, if a quorum is not reached the vote will be extended.
Owners may fill out a paper ballot in the Co-op or they may vote online. The link for online voting will be emailed after the end of the Annual Meeting. If you have not received an email invite to vote: please vote via the paper ballot in-store AND/OR make sure your Owner account has the correct email address at Customer Service.
Any questions or issues about voting please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are pleased to introduce you to the 2022 Belfast Co-op Board Candidates!
Kristin Clements feels very passionate about food security and community access to locally grown, organic food. I recently moved to Belfast from Bar Harbor and while living on MDI, I would often drive to the Belfast Co-op for their superior selection. The Co-op was one of the deciding factors in buying a house and moving to Belfast.
I own my own photography business now, I previously worked for 5 years as a gardener on MDI, growing flowers, fruit, and vegetables. I purchased my house in Belfast with the plan to work towards homesteading and creating a safe space to share with my community. I think eating locally and organically should be accessible to everyone, not just a privilege for those with money. I’m looking to get more involved with my Belfast community and think this would be a great way to meet local people and advocate for my neighbors. I’m college educated and enjoyed studying critical thinking and communication alongside my degree courses. I am a good listener and am always trying to practice empathy and objective understanding of others’ experiences and ideas.
I’m 33 and feel I have a good understanding of what my generation and those younger than me value and expect from their local farms and Co-op. I went to almost all of the weekly Town Hall meetings in Bar Harbor while I lived there, participating and communicating frequently with the Board. I was the President of the LGBTQ+ club for a year when I was a student at Belmont University and worked closely with members to advocate for our rights on campus. I also helped reinstate a closed chapter of the NPPA (National Press Photographers Association) club while I was a student at Western Kentucky University and served as president for my last year there. I enjoy talking to people and coming up with creative solutions for everyday problems.
My motivation for serving on the Board is both to meet and get involved with the Belfast community, as well as to listen and speak up for community members. I would love to offer creative and visual ideas for the store itself, if applicable, and represent an LGBTQ+ voice on the Board.
I think the Co-op can continue offering more locally made products, think of ways to make things financially accessible to all, and continue with community outreach.
Late last year, Ernie Cooper was honored to be appointed to fill a vacancy on the Co-op Board. That appointment is a temporary one, however, and I am now seeking support from Co-op member-owners for election to a full term on the Board. I previously served as a member of the Co-op Board in the years 2017 through 2020, much of that time as Board Treasurer and Chair of the Board Finance Committee. In that capacity, I was involved in consideration and adoption of policy changes that strengthened the Co-op’s financial foundation.
I have long believed in the importance of the cooperative business model as an alternative to for-profit corporate commerce, and in the importance of food co-ops as sources of healthy, affordable, local, and organic food. So it was an easy choice for my wife Lisa and me to become member-owners of the Belfast Co-op as among the first things we did upon moving here a little over seven years ago. We previously lived in the Washington, DC, area, where I worked as an attorney in the DC office of a large Boston-based law firm. Law was a second career for me, following more than two decades as an administrator and instructor at community colleges in Illinois and California. I am currently retired.
It’s easy to see that the Belfast Co-op is not just a great place to shop, but is also an important and beloved community institution. Despite significant challenges, the Co-op has come through the pandemic-related troubles of the past couple of years with a solid financial foundation and strong connections with both the membership and the community. There is much still to be done, however, to ensure the flourishing of the Co-op in the times ahead.
Doing what I can to ensure the continued health and vitality of the Co-op is important work, and doing that work is what attracted me to join the Board in the first place. My experience with the Co-op Board, both in past years and in the past few months, has confirmed that being an active, committed, contributing member of the Board is perhaps the most important community service I can undertake. I thank Co-op member-owners for their consideration of electing me to continue on the Board to provide that service.
Michael Damico thinks it’s important that people are afforded the ability to buy from local farmers, to sustain the farmers as well as the residents eating their food. This is why the co-op plays such an important role in the community.
Growing up, my father owned an Italian delicatessen, where we made a lot of our own products to serve to the public in our small, tight-knit neighborhood. From that time, my passion for good, local food has been strong. I later became a licensed master plumber with my own contracting company, equipping me with the skills to address any construction-related issues concerning the co-op, as well as giving me the know-how to run projects of any scale from beginning to end.
With my wife being a pescatarian and a natural health enthusiast, I have followed suit to a large part. I have a knowledge of natural foods and supplements that I can bring to the board. My motivation for serving is to become more a part of the Belfast community and get to know my neighbors, as well as to further the farm-to-table movement and to help local farmers, especially in today’s economy. I would like to see the co-op grow in size and product offerings, incorporating more vegetarian “meat” options.
Way back in 2000, Patricia Kaplan and her husband Alan moved to Montville from Massachusetts. One of the attractions of course was Belfast and its funky vibe, especially the Co-op, we felt we were stepping back in time to the good old days, the friendly staff who appeared to love their work. The Co-op at that time had creaky wooden floors and sky-high wooden shelving, we fell in love with the place. On another visit to the area, we stood on the corner of High and Main and watched a real live Shriners parade, the little vehicles buzzing back and forth, we were sold, hook, line, and sinker. We lived in Montville until 2005 when we moved to Belmont, I now reside in Belfast. I believe the mission to be one of inclusivity and offering excellent produce and products not found at the local supermarket.
Currently, I am a Contemplative Clinical Practitioner at Inward Grace and have had a long career in the social work field. I believe I would bring a perspective of appealing to all people, building relationships within all of Waldo County, and to continue building community involvement across all age groups. Find ways to bring back a place for creativity to grow and prosper.
I believe I would bring a new, yet seasoned voice. I see my strength to build connections with and within the staff. I also envision food as not only sustenance, it is surely a way we relate with others. Can you envision dozens of tables set out in a circle, in the Coop parking lot (or perhaps City Park) offering a free community dinner, through donated produce and farm products with the purpose to join together folks, launching a connection platform to bring everyone together, there would be music of course. I believe I’m an idea person who thinks outside of the box and can roll up her sleeves, much needed in these times. . .yes?
A growing community presence expanding beyond offering excellent produce and products, a place where one feels welcomed, important, and needed.
Elaine Mack has a longstanding interest in natural, whole, local foods, with a background of 7 years of experience in working in a health food store in Chicago. In living abroad in the Middle East, Far East, South America, and Europe, I met the challenges and rewards of eating healthily in these vastly differing regions.
After moving to Maine in 2018, I found it to be a great place for finding high-quality locally grown and produced organic and non-organic food products. Currently, I use locally sourced ingredients in the making of the crackers I sell at the United Farmers Market of Maine.
I feel strongly that locally sourced, natural whole foods should be more available to the general public, regardless of race, income, or socioeconomic status. In relation to this, I would love to see an expansion of the Co-op and improvement in the number of products offered, including lower-cost options. High-quality local and natural foods are for all, not solely for high-income residents of Belfast or summer tourists.
PJ Moody is extremely passionate about local, organic, healthy, and reasonably priced food for everyone! I volunteered for many years at a large soup kitchen in lower Manhattan and I also taught several
adult Ed classes about budgeting, the benefit of bulk buying, and healthy meal prep. As a charge nurse in a level one trauma center, I have been exposed to people who have had very little to eat or have been eating so much empty processed foods that they are actually malnourished; so very sad. I raised 4 children and managed to never serve boxed or processed foods. I may have the only children in the US that never saw SpaghettiOs until they were in high school!! And I believe this contributed to them all being very healthy and continuing to all eat a very clean diet!!
My motivation for wanting to serve on the Co-op board is to offer my experiences for whatever needs they may serve. I am 57 and fully retired so I have an abundance of free time to offer.
As far as a long-term vision I would have to say that I would like to see empty shelves, not from a supply chain issue, but because everyone is buying local healthy foods!!
Thank you for all your consideration.
Two years of service on the board has shown Buck Sawyer the inner workings required to keep our coop relevant and healthy for decades to come. I am a real estate broker, former health food cafe owner in Boston in 1971, former tofu salesman and product developer for Nasoya 1981, and have lived in various communes and countercultural environments.
I am excited about adapting the coop to provide new services to our members that reflect the spirit of cooperation that our co-op celebrates.
Edward Sheridan thinks Belfast Co-op has the right idea — make healthy food accessible to our members and the larger community, support our local farmers and seafood harvesters, and be a responsible employer. It promotes an alternative economic model which has taken root and flourished. We’re more than a store — we’re part of the fabric of Belfast. What’s not to like? Our outward appearance may change, but our principles and values remain unchanged. Let’s keep it going!
I’ve been an active member of food co-ops for more than 30 years. My wife Linda worked in co-op management for 15 years, and as general manager of Rising Tide in Damariscotta she orchestrated their first big expansion and relocation.
I’m familiar with nonprofit management and fundraising. I served as board chair for the Greenfield Area Community Land Trust, in western Mass., which created permanently affordable housing for moderate-income families. In Maine, I worked for a number of years in a development office as a grant writer for an educational nonprofit. These days I’m a craftsman and a business owner. I specialize in historic masonry and custom-designed Russian brick stoves for home heating.
I’m very committed to cooperatives, and I’ve always gravitated to this kind of community. When I decide to do something, I’m in with both feet. I have a lot of patience, and I like to see things through. And I enjoy working with groups of like-minded people towards a common goal.
I joined the board three years ago, to support the effort to expand and improve our operation, and I’ve served as board president for the past two. In a time of transition, I think continuity on the board is important, and that’s why I’m seeking a second term. I’ve served on board development and the expansion committee. During that time we’ve been carefully studying and debating the best way to move forward. My role has been to make sure that directors have the information they need to make a sound decision that will best serve our owners and ensure long-term growth. I’ve been part of successful transitions in other co-ops, and with everyone’s participation, I’m committed to helping us find the best path forward for our cooperative.
Belfast Co-op is well-established, successful, and growing. The market for local and organic food continues to expand. We’re at a point where we’re well-poised to expand. I’d like to see more and varied products, keeping the focus on local, and a larger and livelier deli and café. I’m committed to working with the board, management, and owners to find and implement the most viable option, which will keep the Co-op financially sound and fulfill our mission for years to come.
Barbara Sullivan is an artist and arts educator; I am both personable and resourceful and think outside of the box. I have fundraised for several non-profits, and I would bring those skills to the board of directors.
I want to serve on the board as a way of giving back to my new community, I recently moved to Lincolnville in 2021.
My vision for the co-op is to expand while keeping the existing in-town location and small food store feel. Simultaneously I think it is important to improve and update the structure to a more efficient and the safest possible working place for all. I believe in the mission of the Belfast Co-Op because it supports good healthy food as well as local farmers. I appreciate that one can buy greens at the Co-op most of the year in a simple re-usable plastic bag, rather than a hard plastic container. I also believe in the equitable prices for locally sourced foods.
For the majority of Collin Thompson‘s career, he has been involved in local agriculture, and as a result, has always viewed food cooperatives as a critical piece of the local food infrastructure of any community. Any time I visit a new place, one of the first things I seek out is their local food co-op, as it often indicates how vibrant and community-oriented a place is. This is exactly what I did when I was considering moving to Belfast about a year ago, and the co-op was a large reason why I felt this was a place worth settling into. Food and community have always been important to me, and the co-op is a perfect union of the two.
I have been involved with co-ops for many years – I began as an employee, working for my hometown co-op as a cleaner and in the produce and front-end departments. I have also been a vendor for multiple co-ops in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Maryland, having spent several years farming organic produce commercially in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. I was also fortunate to sit on the board of directors at the Marquette Food Co-op in northern Michigan shortly after the store went through a large expansion, increasing its involvement in and reliance on the community. I have a deep understanding of local food systems, having spent my entire career working in local and sustainable agriculture. Because I have extensive experience working specifically with food cooperatives, but also in closely related fields, I feel I would bring a unique and broad perspective to the board of directors. I would be excited to share what I have learned from my involvement with other stores, as well as learn what is important specifically to the Belfast Food Co-op.
It has always been very important to me to get involved with the community in which I live. Whether that is through the work I do or the time and energy I volunteer, I find it very rewarding to invest in a place and contribute to its betterment. Given the Belfast Co-op is such an important part of the Belfast community, joining the board of directors feels like a great way to invest in the place I call home.
The Belfast Co-op already is a critical component of the local economy, and I would love to see how the store can continue to develop. Whether that is through a store expansion, increased support to local producers through purchasing, dipping our toe back into outreach and education (Covid permitting), or continued investment in local organizations, there are countless ways that the Co-op can continue to use its influence in the community to do good. I would be thrilled to help define those objectives and help guide the store as its impact grows.