Meet Your 2020 Board Candidates!

It’s election season! Voting is the single most influential thing you can do as a KCFC member-owner because the Board of Directors are the stewards who govern this business that you own. Member-owners will be sent an e-mail ballot through Helios. If you don’t receive your ballot, make sure to check old email accounts and your spam folder. If you still haven’t received it, e-mail president@kcfc.coop to request another ballot.

This year, we have TEN candidates running for the KCFC Board of Directors, and six open seats. Each of the candidates is elected for a term of three years. In voting, you should evaluate the skills, past experience, and perspectives that each candidate offers KCFC. Get to know the candidates running for your Board below.

Here’s a link to their stump speech video: https://www.facebook.com/KensingtonCommFoodCoop/videos/984277735320734

 

Becky Brown

Store issues of particular interest:
1. Programs/Availability for low income members
2.
Events for Families/Children
3. Marketing of the above

1. Tell us about yourself and your personal/professional background, including relevant experience, leadership positions and passions.
I have a graduate degree in nonprofit management (arts administration) from Drexel; I wrote my thesis on the
relationship between nonprofits and mission-driven for-profits that operate much like nonprofits. Most recently, I
was the academic and volunteer coordinator/development assistant at Rock to the Future (RTTF). I have worked at
the National Constitution Center, Partners for Sacred Places, and was a high school English teacher.

2. Describe your involvement with KCFC, including how long you have been a member-owner and any ways you have volunteered (if applicable).
I have been a member since December 2019; we moved into the apartment upstairs in September 2019. I have
attended some meetings in that time.

3. Why should you be elected to the KCFC Board of Directors? What unique skills or insights do you bring?
I should be elected to the Board because I’m passionate about KCFC’s success. My positions at RTTF as
development assistant and volunteer coordinator provided me with experience in grant writing, fundraising, event
planning and volunteer training/coordination. I’m comfortable speaking publicly and excellent at multitasking. The
knowledge I gained writing my thesis makes me uniquely qualified to navigate the challenges KCFC faces as a
for-profit governed similarly to a nonprofit.

Ruth Brown

Store issues of particular interest: 
1. Member communications and engagement
2.
Instore food information/education   
3.
Promotional initiatives (including onsite events)  

1. Tell us about yourself and your personal/professional background, including relevant experience, leadership positions and passions.
I’ve lived in Northern Liberties and then South Kensington, parts of our service area, for more than 30 years. Professional experience has included stage management, dance company management, experimental theater management, baking and cooking, graphic design, print production management, and print and web proofreading, editing, and writing. (I seem to have a talent for reinventing myself professionally!) I’ve been president of my local library’s (Rodriguez) Friend’ group for 4 years.
Food scarcity in this country is an outrage; addressing that is one of causes. Two years ago, I contacted Philabundance and held a food drive on my own; I collected more than 400 pounds of food. Post-COVID, I intend to volunteer with Philabundance. Literacy is also important to me: To that end, I’m a member of my local elementary school’s (Moffett) Friends group.

2. Describe your involvement with KCFC, including how long you have been a member-owner and any ways you have volunteered (if applicable).
I’m currently serving my first term as a Board member and am the Volunteer Coordinator. I served on the General Manager Hiring Committee (and love that I had the first screening call with Mike Richards, who sounded great from the beginning). Before that, I was an active member of the Membership & Marketing Committee. I’ve tabled quite a bit for the co-op over the years and enjoy doing so; also volunteered at the summer beer garden. Additionally, I did most of the writing to update our website; have more recently written blog posts and edited GM’s letters. Before the store opened, I was a shopper at the co-op’s Marketplace at Circle Thrift. 

3. Why should you be elected to the KCFC Board of Directors? What unique skills or insights do you bring?
I feel that I’ve contributed to the Board in my first term and would like to continue to do so. Having made a conscious effort to eat more healthfully a few years ago, I’m interested in helping to shape the direction of the co-op, specifically as it addresses healthy eating. I’m a good communicator; have no fear of dealing with varying opinions, which I think is important in a board setting. (I’m also known to play devil’s advocate, which can be helpful.) Additionally, my stage management background trained me well in looking for solutions, mediating, organization, and leadership. And, having worked in advertising for years, I understand it (and have experience with writing to suit specific audiences).

Jeff Carpineta

Store issues of particular interest: 
1. Business / Financial Planning
2. Stakeholder Relationships and Fundraising
3. Business Modeling / Customer Experience including COVID-19 protocols

1. Tell us about yourself and your personal/professional background, including relevant experience, leadership positions and passions.
A current and 10 year KCFC Board member, I live in East Kensington down the street from Co-op. My background is in real estate and community organizing. The real estate work over a decade has a focus on clients who are interested incommunity building and creative endeavors, helping many first-time buyers, sellers, local businesses and community projects achieve their dreams. The community work is all volunteer – serving on the Board of KCFC (question #2), and the local neighborhood civic association EKNA, as well as green space preservation and gardening across the city. Nutritional healing or management/prevention of disease with natural foods is personal for me since being diagnosed with MS over 10 years ago. Native wildflower gardening is a love – currently studying Ecological Gardening at Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware. Lovely spaces for community gathering and art/music are big in my heart as is playing piano.

2. Describe your involvement with KCFC, including how long you have been a member-owner and any ways you have volunteered (if applicable).
I co-founded KCFC over 10 years ago with neighbor Lena Helen and have served on the Board continuously doing a mix of professional and also very hands-on work. I’ve done fundraising for the Co-op, authored the initial business plan, led the site search, helped select the architects, and represented the Co-op to City agencies, councilpersons, other neighborhood groups and organizations. Some hands-on work included help with the building demolition, security, emergency responses, and designing/building KCFC’s beer garden. Have organized or attended over a thousand committee, task force, and one-on-one meetings for KCFC including panel discussions conferences and trainings. This year I started a Covid-19 Taskforce working with our GM to assist him in planning/navigating the operation of the store. during the pandemic. We connected with a nurse epidemiologist and rapidly implemented a dozen safety protocols at the store to help keep the KCFC staff and community safe.

3. Why should you be elected to the KCFC Board of Directors? What unique skills or insights do you bring?
I’ve been serving the project for over a decade (see Question #2), and have a store of knowledge to share with all Board members, especially new leaders as they arrive. There may be half a dozen new Board members in 2020. To govern effectively (and efficiently) in the second year of store operation, the mostly new Board has to have the knowledge immediately available to them of all prior and current efforts, decisions, problems, solutions, legal and finance matters. KCFC’s strategic direction and challenges, what’s worked and what hasn’t, has to be candidly seen along with the inspiration for what we can accomplish in the next few years. I look forward to sharing with the new team and seeing KCFC continue to serve in our community life here – life that is likely to remain changed by the reality of COVID for the next two years.

Jeff Carpenter


Store issues of particular interest: 
1. Design
2.
Marketing/Events 
3.
Fundraising

1. Tell us about yourself and your personal/professional background, including relevant experience, leadership positions and passions.
I have been in the neighborhood for 9 years. I’ve raised money for EKNA. I started Arcadia Commons, a non-profit that’s created three green spaces: Emerald Gardens, Kern Park and The Huntingdon Emerald (still very much a work-in-progress). I like to solve problems. When we discovered two empty lots owned by a similar organization that went defunct in the 80’s, we searched many different ways to get them, and the Attorney General brought action in the Court of Common Pleas that awarded us title. We then discovered the deed stolen by fraud, and we went to the courts for over two years and won. We prepared a 27-page report on that deed fraudster’s many different crimes, and the District Attorney’s task force said it was the most comprehensive they had ever seen. I invested in the Co-op early, and I would like to help in any way that I can.

2. Describe your involvement with KCFC, including how long you have been a member-owner and any ways you have volunteered (if applicable).
I have been a KCFC member for many years… I’m just a little earlier than the 200th member. I volunteered my help early on with the building. There was an old billboard that was an eyesore, so I painted a new one for KCFC – you can see the painting hanging in the store by the entrance. I did a few other bits of building and designing and then, when the real construction was about to begin, I made a loan to the Co-op… all the money I could put my hands on at the time.

3. Why should you be elected to the KCFC Board of Directors? What unique skills or insights do you bring?
I’ve had some experience with projects like this, both in founding three community organizations, and running a for-profit business with 80 employees. I am an artist and an architect, and I hope I can help with the design and marketing of our Co-op. I’ve done some successful fundraising and hope to do more. I’ve seen the way things bend here in East Kensington for a while, and I can walk that tightrope with some confidence.  

Chris Coffey

Store issues of particular interest: 
1. Community engagement
2. Sourcing local food production as much as possible
3. Sustainable operations

1. Tell us about yourself and your personal/professional background, including relevant experience, leadership positions and passions.
I grew up in Albany, NY, but migrated to these slightly more humid parts about 12 years ago. This city has really grown me, and I’m convinced it’s comprised of some of the best people around. I work for a nonprofit called Community Integrated Services; I am our Assistant Director of Business Development. As an agency, we have a singular focus of helping people with disabilities obtain and retain employment, and our mission is well-rooted in fostering equality and community, which really resonates with me. I aim to support folks with significant barriers and, in doing so, partner with businesses in the community to help the latter meet their workforce needs, and the former to identify ways in which we can tap into their talents (we all have a personal genius about us) in order to contribute to community and foster self-determination. Everyone contributing to community sets us up for success. My experience here has ranged from helping a client build a beekeeping business, to running agency Quality Management, service coordination, and, more recently, striving for best practice when it comes to creative employment solutions.
Being involved in nonprofit management for a number of years has really helped me understand – maybe even thrive in – the creativity it takes to sustain an organization’s operations. I look a lot at braided funding strategies, building teams, and non-traditional solutions to arrays of challenges. I think of all of these as more-or-less co-equal, with perhaps team building ahead by a hair because that’s what’s going to make the rest happen.
Outside of work, I focus a lot of my free time on music production. Admittedly, it’s sort of left field, experimental electronic stuff, but it’s a passion. Well, at least a hobby. Ultimately, I guess I’m a fan of the meticulous and anything that relies on attention to detail and embracing the minutiae, which has apparently translated to a handful of hobbies across the years.

2. Describe your involvement with KCFC, including how long you have been a member-owner and any ways you have volunteered (if applicable).
I’ve been a member-owner for just under a year, and frequent often. I’ve enjoyed a bunch of the events on the café side, and love seeing the ways in which these build and curate community. If able to serve on the board, I’d look forward to being able to contribute my time and efforts to help keep it moving.

3. Why should you be elected to the KCFC Board of Directors? What unique skills or insights do you bring?
Well, I guess I’d like to be elected so that I can contribute what I can. And I wish I could say I was an expert at any singular thing, but I’m not; however, I do have a lot accrued experience in areas that I think would be helpful. At work I feel at my best when I’m considering systems, planning, operations, and otherwise nerding out on data to help inform and drive best practices and advance our service delivery models, and hopefully that’s something I can bring to the table here, too.

Lou Cruz

Store issues of particular interest:
1. Outreach to community
2. Fiscal stability
3. Members activities

1. Tell us about yourself and your personal/professional background, including relevant experience, leadership positions and passions.
As a 2nd gen. cuban, born and raised in North Phila to Cuban immigrants parents escaping communism it instilled deep community roots in me. Married, with two teenage boys.  This past year we celebrated our 30th year  of business as general contractors specializing in civil construction as well as multi trade projects (was part of team that built both the new Eagles stadium and Phillies ballpark) served as Commissioner for Mayor Street on tax reform as well as child literacy commission. Was president of Phila Hispanic Chamber Commerce, served on norris square board of directors for 15 years……..as: president , secretary and treasurer….was chair of housing committee koz….as well founded several committee’s for small contractors development.

    • .2. Describe your involvement with KCFC, including how long you have been a member-owner and any ways you have volunteered (if applicable).

    I have only been a member for a year but believe in concept and am here to serve.

  • 3. Why should you be elected to the KCFC Board of Directors? What unique skills or insights do you bring?I bring strong ties to connecting communities and desire to help KCFC continue to grow and expand client base through out neighborhood as well as understand finance and business administration.

 

Carol Macrini

Store issues of particular interest:
1. Improve exterior signage and make the parking lot and exterior more welcoming and attractive.
2. Research affordable advertising options and design the advertising materials.
3. Being a good neighbor, connecting with surrounding businesses.

1. Tell us about yourself and your personal/professional background, including relevant experience, leadership positions and passions.
As a professional graphic designer, I bring extensive hands-on experience with branding, project management, and print and web design. I utilized my excellent organizational skills and responsiveness to lead large teams of designers, photographers, and illustrators. I’ve also served on a planning and zoning board and have deep experience with landscape and building design.

2. Describe your involvement with KCFC, including how long you have been a member-owner and any ways you have volunteered (if applicable).
I’ve been a member/owner for the past 2 years. I participated in the pre-opening Marketing Committee, and currently design social media artwork, flyers, and advertising for the store. In addition, I’ve created exterior signage and advertising campaign proposals for the building. I’ve volunteered at a table event and an exterior cleanup day.

3. Why should you be elected to the KCFC Board of Directors? What unique skills or insights do you bring?
I live just a few blocks from the store, shop local as much as possible, and love living in Kensington. I bring a newcomer’s perspective of the local consumer experience and the increasingly competitive environment facing KCFC. Prior to quarantine, I voluntarily picked up litter and maintained street trees for several blocks around my home. During this work I’ve chatted with many old-timers and newbies, gaining a good sense of the commonalities shared by these divergent demographics.  

 

Nadia Schafer

Store issues of particular interest:
1.    Reducing food container waste / bulk bins
2.    Supporting local farmers
3.    Providing access to healthy, fresh food for Kensington neighbors

1. Tell us about yourself and your personal/professional background, including relevant experience, leadership positions and passions.
I’ve lived in the neighborhood since 2010 and like to frequent and promote the local small businesses that make the Riverwards great. For work, I serve as the Project Manager of my non-profit organization’s supports for our 9th Grade Success Network, a network of eight high schools working on best practices to support the on-time promotion rate of 9th graders. In addition to general project leadership, I provide coaching and technical assistance to high school administrators and teachers in using data more effectively to identify and address student needs. I love spreadsheets and the power of using data to identify trends, inform practices, and ultimately make better decisions. In addition, I have an interest in branding, design, high-quality customer experiences, business, sustainability, and planning to meet targeted goals. I consider myself a strong listener with an ability to ask thoughtful questions and bring new ideas to the table. I’d love to bring my project management, data analysis, and critical thinking skills to use for KCFC, along with my passion for the store and our neighborhood.

2. Describe your involvement with KCFC, including how long you have been a member-owner and any ways you have volunteered (if applicable).
I’ve been a member of KCFC since 2011 – the early days! I’ve always been drawn to the idea of creating our own grocery store that supports local farmers, reduces food packaging waste, makes organic options more accessible, and addresses the need to provide fresh, healthy food to our community. I was considerably involved with the production of Kensington Gardens, the beer garden we held one summer in the KCFC parking lot to spread the word about KCFC and fundraise start-up dollars. In addition, I volunteered multiple times with the “marketplace” initiative when we sold food to each other on the upper level of Circle of Hope, which happens to be my home church. I have also participated in the Member Loan Campaign and tabled for KCFC at WXPNfest.

3. Why should you be elected to the KCFC Board of Directors? What unique skills or insights do you bring?
I think I would bring to the table a significant level of thoughtfulness and passion for the store to improve, along with the project management, project planning, and evaluation skills to help make that happen. Collaboration is also something I enjoy and value, and would look forward to working with fellow Board members and their diverse skillsets. I’m extremely organized and diligent, and value productive meeting spaces with clear objectives and action items. After considering running for the Board for a few months, I applied and was accepted to Young Involved Philadelphia’s Board Prep Program. Although the spring cohort was delayed to the fall due to the coronavirus, I am looking forward to receiving training on how to best serve on a Board, including more in-depth knowledge on strategic planning, legal & ethical responsibility, fundraising, and financial management. I take the possibility of serving as a Board Member very seriously and am funding the cost of the Board Prep Program myself. Overall I think I have a lot to offer the Board, and would appreciate the opportunity to serve in this way.

Marc Shackelford-Rowell

Store issues of particular interest:
1.
Member Engagement
2.
Accessibility for Low Income Households
3.
Food Waste

1. Tell us about yourself and your personal/professional background, including relevant experience, leadership positions and passions.
My name is Marc, but all my friends call me Marc. I’m a North Philadelphia native and I’ve been a resident of KENSINGTON for almost 2 years. I’ve had various jobs in sustainability. The most recent being a solar installer for Solar States and a site
manager for Bennett Compost. I like to read books and ride bicycles far places when I’m not doing things related to sustainability.

2. Describe your involvement with KCFC, including how long you have been a member-owner and any ways you have volunteered (if applicable).
I’ve been a member of KCFC for a little over a year. While I haven’t had a chance to volunteer at KCFC yet, I’ve connected with people who work there on a few different occasions where I was able to share my questions, concerns and insights.

3. Why should you be elected to the KCFC Board of Directors? What unique skills or insights do you bring?
I was blessed to be born poor, become educated, and communicate with diverse groups of people. Stakeholder engagement is a strength of mine because of my life experiences and time spent studying complex adaptive systems at Arizona State University. If elected to the Board of Directors I will work earnestly to making members feel like their member/owner fees was the best investment they’ve ever made! 

Harry Simons

Store issues of particular interest:
1.    Maintain stock levels
2.    Remove products that are beyond expiration date
3.    Find ways to expand product selection

1. Tell us about yourself and your personal/professional background, including relevant experience, leadership positions and passions.
I moved back to the Fishtown/Old Richmond community three years ago. I retired from the corporate world in 2014 and have been a realtor since. I start off each day with a 6-mile walk. I use the bicycle as a form of transportation and love my coffee shop.

2. Describe your involvement with KCFC, including how long you have been a member-owner and any ways you have volunteered (if applicable).
 I joined soon after opening and shop there on an average of twice a week.

3. Why should you be elected to the KCFC Board of Directors? What unique skills or insights do you bring?
 I owned my own business for 14 years. I was the president of the Netherlands America Association in the Delaware Valley (NAADV) for 3 years and presided over the Board meetings.

 

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