Community Food Co-Op
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Board Candidate: Philip Buriphil buri board candidate

What skills and qualities uniquely qualify you for the Board of Directors, and why do you want to run for the Board? 

I have been a member of the Community Food Co-op since my wife, Darcie, and I moved to Bellingham in 1995. Twenty-two years—and three kids later—I was delighted to return to the Board and give back to the Co-op I love. We raised our kids on organic food, and as they now go out in the world as adults, I want to help the next generation of families support local farmers and respect our planet. The Co-op stands as a vital alternative to an economy bent on maximizing profit regardless of the consequences.

Choose one of the six Co-op strategic plan goals and briefly explain why it interests you and what you could contribute to its development.

As stated in the Co-op’s Healthy Food Access goal, "Healthy food is a right, not a privilege.” As a nation, we have traded volume and convenience for quality and sustainability. Feeding a family on a tight budget is difficult, especially when the cheapest alternatives are processed factory foods. By supporting local farmers and focusing our attention on underserved markets and groups, the Co-op can help everyone eat healthy food, not just those with time and money.

What do you believe are the Co-op’s greatest strengths?

The Co-op’s greatest strength is its members. Grocery stores have come and gone, but the Co-op stands as a center for healthy, local, and organic food.

Describe your experience reading and understanding financial statements.

Twelve years on the Board and 13 years as a small-business owner has given me a good working knowledge of finance and financial statements.

Describe your experience, skills, or knowledge working with any or all of the following: cooperatives, policy governance, nonprofit or for-profit boards, or groups that use active member participation to achieve their goals.

I have experience with all of these, both as a Board director and as a lawyer.

Describe your connections with the community, including volunteer work, if applicable.

I am a founding member of the Bellingham Community Chamber Orchestra and volunteer with LAW Advocates, providing legal advice to indigent clients.

Describe your business experience.

I have been in private law practice for 22 years and advise small businesses.

Describe your background with and commitment to organic and natural foods.

I have been a Co-op member since 1995, and am a faithful customer of the Bellingham Farmers Market unless the weather is really, really crappy.

What committee/s are you most interested in serving on and what skills and experience would you bring?

I will gladly serve on any committee. My favorites include Board Development and Finance.


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