1) Please tell us about your current co-op involvement. Name(s) of co-op(s) you belong to. How long you’ve been a member?
South Philly Food Co-op, 1 year
2) What roles have you served in co-ops, nonprofits, or other membership organizations (Board, staff, etc.)?
I’ve chaired communications and outreach committees with 350Philly, the Sustainable Business Network, and the South Philly Food Co-op. I am a volunteer recruitment coordinator in South Philly with Reclaim Philadelphia’s campaign to elect Kendra Brooks & Nic O’Rourke to City Council At-Large and a democratic committee person in the 39th ward.
3) Why are cooperatives important to you and to the Philadelphia area?
I am passionate about our ability as a society to reclaim power and assert our own destiny. For too long, systems have funneled wealth and power up to a small group of Owners on the backs of working class folks. The principles that ground co-operative businesses are integral to the broader retooling of capitalism towards an economy that actually WORKS for us instead of against us. I love that cooperatives bring democracy to business. And as the poorest largest city in America, the expansion of cooperatives here has the potential to bring greater equity and abundance to Philadelphians in the form of both community and economic well-being.
4) Please check the following areas in which you have experience: (I’ve placed 1-3 Xs next to each category based on my experience and level of confidence in each arena)
- Group process and decision-making X
- Meeting facilitation X
- Public speaking X
- Writing newsletter articles XXX
- Accounting or finances X
- Project management XX
- Wiki or website editing XX
- Nonprofit organization experience X
- Volunteer programs XX
- Business or retail experience XXX
5) How will your experience, skills or unique perspectives strengthen the PACA Board?
In Spring 2018, I completed the YIP Board Prep Program and became involved with the South Philly Food Co-op. I spent a year tabling at events, organizing a pub crawl, supporting their social media, and playing a key role in manifesting their “Final Fundraising Party” at BOK this past Spring. I can strengthen the work of PACA by direct support of their work and communicating our work to others. As a daughter of factory-workers and foster parents, I am deeply connected to the struggles of low- and middle- income folks, and have a deep empathy for individuals from all walks of life. As a triple-major undergrad at Temple University in Urban Studies, Environmental Science, and Economics, I am passionate about the intersections between People, Planet, and Profit and the implementation of systems that understand their nested reality and do not sacrifice long-term ecological or societal well-being for short-term financial gain. I am excited about the future of PACA and the broader implementation of cooperative principles to use business as a force for good. I am a "people person" and look forward to deepening roots and building bridges with like-minded folks, and expanding awareness to those that are not yet entirely like-minded 😉
6) Where do you see PACA in 5 years?
I hope that PACA is thriving because the community of Philly cooperatives has dramatically expanded across sectors due to advocacy for local policies that support co-ops as well as broader education of the general public and entreprenuers/business owners about the benefits of cooperatives.
7) As you think about the three primary board roles—ambassador, advocate, and asker—in which role(s) do you think you will want to be most active? I see myself as a person who easily wears many hats and someone interested in being a part of PACA in a dynamic organic way. As with most folks, I am most comfortable in the Ambassador Role (making friends and building relationships) but am not shy about making the ask when and where appropriate. I would say I am more of an ambassador/advocate than a hardline asker but I am very open to building my skills here and making the ask for fundraising efforts! I am not unfamiliar with it raising funds and donations; I just would not currently rank myself at expert-status for big dollar asks:)