The Board represents and acts on the behalf of the Co-op’s owners, whose votes imply trust that the Board is representing their interests. Board members are elected to three-year terms or less* and approximately one-third of the Board is up for election each year during a period that includes the Annual Meeting. More about the Board and the current Directors on the Board of Director’s page.
Voting for the 2020 Board candidates begins Sunday, March 1st, 2020 at the Annual Meeting and continues to run for 21 days, if quorum is not reached the vote will be extended. Owners may vote for up to six board candidates or abstain: One owner, one ballot. Any questions or issues about voting please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
David Balicki has worked in the finance and corporate banking industry for over 27 years, holding various positions in management, curriculum development, and training. He is currently a branch manager for Bangor Savings Bank. For the past three years he has brought his skills in finance, problem solving, interpersonal team building, and facilitation to the Belfast Co-op’s BOD. He has held the office of Board Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee since June of 2019. He also currently serves as a board member of the Maine Eco School in Unity. David envisions a future where the Co-op remains the intellectual, spiritual, and educational pillar of the Belfast community food source. A future where the Co-op will continue to ensure a locally grown and sustained marketplace for the greater community beyond its members. He views the Co-op as a place that can provide the greatest hands on education for the next generation of consumers. In this challenging and ever changing technological environment, David sees the Co-op as one of the pillars of a healthy community, along with the YMCA and the Belfast Free Library. He would like to continue his work on the Board because ensuring a healthy community in which to raise his sons is a top priority for him.
Kate Hanson has been committed to learning about how people can work together more cooperatively and successfully for over forty years. This work has taken many forms of service: on the boards of a shelter for survivors of domestic violence and a rape crisis center, as the Chairperson of the UNH President’s Commission on the Status of Women, and additional boards and committees. At the University of New Hampshire, she taught organizational development, nonprofit management, interpersonal conflict resolution methods, and group facilitation skills. Kate is currently serving as an interim member of the Belfast Co-op’s Board of Directors where she also is on both the Owner Engagement and Board Development Committees. She is also working with long-time co-op owners on the Co-op’s history project.
Kate’s vision for the future of the Co-op blends her respect for the history of this organization with a realization that the principles upon which the Co-op works must have practices that reflect changing buying habits, market forces, and organizational structures. She hopes that all visions for the Co-op are shared and developed by the owners, the local producers, and the larger community to make sure that the future reflects the best ideas possible. This kind of collaborative planning will demand an ongoing process of engagement and perspective-sharing. In many ways, the Co-op models how to create successful community as it continues to clarify what that means and how to achieve it. This has been the central interest of her working life.
John Krueger is excited to have the opportunity to bring his skills, particularly those gleaned from his 11 years on the Board of MOFGA, to the Belfast Co-op Board of Directors. Before his board term ended, he worked with MOFGA on developing mission/vision, governance, and strategic plans. John also has significant financial and management skills obtained from his career as a Maine DEP Scientist and Division Director and then as Laboratory Director at the State of Maine Health Laboratory. He has served for 23 years as a Selectman for the town of Liberty, 3 years as a School Board Directors at SAD#3, and chairs the UU Church Finance Committee.
John would like to assure that the Co-op’s values and Global Ends Statement continue to gain traction in the future and that others can learn from the Co-op’s success. He would like to see a more awakened society that will value how the Co-op supports sustainable agriculture and illuminates the interdependence between a healthy environment, local foods/commodity production, and thriving communities. He sees the concepts of member and community ownership as allowing the Co-op to grow financially and serves as a standard for democratically governed cooperative commerce.
Matt McConnell has had experience in many industries and businesses over the last twenty-five years ranging from military service to General Electric to small business owner. He has worked at both start-ups and large companies with responsibilities ranging from ownership to tactical to strategic. During his career, he has gained a breadth of experience in operations, sales, marketing, and finance including five years working at a family-owned dairy processor in Northern California. Most importantly Matt has gained an appreciation working with people from a variety of backgrounds. He currently owns and operates On the Road, a small business in Warren.
It was during his time in Minneapolis, managing two independent branches of a division of GE, that he and his family first became regular co-op shoppers. Today, over fifteen years later, eating healthy, local food and supporting local growers and producers has become a big part of their family life. Matt is looking to serve on the Belfast Co-op Board because he would like to see a Co-op that supports the next generation of producers and farmers and remains an integral part of Belfast’s unique community. He sees an important aspect of the Co-op’s future as profitably growing and supporting the community while helping shape the future of Belfast.
Liz Moore hails from Stockton Springs Maine and has been coming to the Belfast Co-op ever since she was a baby. She still has fond memories of the Castle play-place at the front of the store. She worked at the Belfast Co-op from August 2016 until March 2020 as a Stocker, Trainer, Promotions Assistant, Marketing Assistant and a Produce Stocker. She recently resigned in order to pursue a full time career as an Artist, and is thrilled to start this new chapter of her life. She has experience serving on the Co-op’s Personnel Policy Committee being a vocal advocate for workers rights, and holds the needs of the workers and the community at large very dearly. Liz currently lives in Stockton Springs with her Fiancee Quinlan Fraser, who is currently employed at the Co-op and her cat Dany who is currently unemployed. Liz holds the values of the Co-op very dear. She feels that in this day and age, the competitive consumer driven market encourages a corporate atmosphere and she believes it is more important than ever that the Co-op differentiates itself and conducts itself as a moral beacon in the community.
Buck Sawyer has a long history with natural foods and community building, from founding one of the first vegetarian organic restaurants in Boston, to writing a cookbook for Nasoya Tofu, to renovating an apartment building in Belfast in order to provide affordable housing for men being released from the re-entry center. Buck has been a real estate broker covering the Maine coastal region from Portland to Acadia for the past 25 years; his agency is Moon Harbor Realty. Keeping good karma for all is the guiding principle of his business. He is a firm believer in egalitarian society, sustainable food sources, minimizing carbon footprint, and cooperative living. In the future, he would like to see the Co-op move to a larger facility, with solar power, while maintaining the social fabric treasured by so many members. He would also like to see the Co-op establish cooperative housing, promote shared solar array sites for members, sponsor ZipCars, and perhaps even purchase the Colonial Theatre.
Buck is passionate about the Co-op because he sees it as the central nexus of progressive energy in Belfast. It is a source of nourishment for the body and soul, a boon to members, a beacon to visitors, and a glowing manifestation of respect for the planet and its citizens. He feels it is now his turn to help keep the Co-op strong and expand the services it can provide.
This election is not contested. For a duly-called vote to be valid, ten percent (10%) of members in good standing must take part. Our current count of member-owners in good standing is 4,080; therefore we will need 408 member-owners to cast their ballots. Candidates must receive a number of votes equal to at least 25% of the total ballots cast to be declared elected.
*Six candidates are running for seven open seats; four of which are three-year terms, two of which are two-year terms, and one of which is a one-year term. In accordance with the Belfast Co-op Bylaws, among the winning candidates, the top vote-getters will be elected to the longer terms.
The election and addition of six director candidates would bring the total number of directors to eleven. If the one vacant staff-reserved seat is filled, it will bring the total number of directors on the board to twelve, one less than the maximum number allowed by the bylaws.