Community Food Co-Op
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Board Candidate: Adrienne Renz

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

As a longtime Co-op member turned employee and now, hopefully, Board Director, I have a broad level of understanding of the food cooperative and grocery industries as well as our Co-op’s unique assets and barriers. I hope to apply that insight to the Board to help strengthen our Co-op, so it will remain a community asset for years to come.

Choose one of the seven goals of the Co-op strategic plan and briefly talk about what interests you and what you could contribute to its development.

I have worked tirelessly on all of these aspects over the last ten years of my employment with the Co-op, but one that I see as needing some focused work is Healthy Food Access. We need to continue to find innovative ways to meet the needs of the community while also maintaining our commitments to product quality and sourcing. Also, given the impact of the pandemic on essential workers like the Co-op staff, I would like to emphasize the goal of providing an exemplary workplace. We strive for an open and engaged workforce, in support of each other and the community.

Think about a situation that demonstrates your ability to create a climate that values cultural diversity. How would you encourage sharing different perspectives?

As a former mediator, exploring differing perspectives and searching for common ground is fundamental to how I try to approach matters. I am committed to the belief that the more perspectives at the table, the better the ultimate outcome and solution.

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

It is well loved in the community. It has some very committed staff. It offers a community experience and connection in its customer service that is not present in other corporate grocery stores.

Describe any experience you have in reading and understanding financial statements.

I was the Co-op’s General Manager for the last three years and read and reported on financial statements regularly in addition to interpreting them for staff, so they could understand what story the numbers were telling. I was on the Co-op leadership team prior to that and viewed financials weekly. Otherwise, I have tracked and reported on federal and state grant funding and managed inventory programs and sales, all of which required financial projection, assessment, and reconciliation.

Describe the experience, skills, or knowledge you have working with any or all of the following:

Cooperatives; policy governance; consensus process, non-profit or for-profit boards; a group that used active member participation to achieve its goals.

I would rate myself as highly skilled in this area:
•    Community Food Co-op – 10 years
•    Development of the Drug Free Communities Committee – 3 years
•    Womencare Shelter – 4 years
o    Volunteer, employee, and later, board member
o    A collective and consensus-based nonprofit

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

My primary connection with the community is through the Co-op and our affiliates. I have a lot of connections within the community that span a large number of organizations and agencies from farm supporters, food access agencies, business communities, farmworker advocates, and so on.

Describe any business or entrepreneurial experience you have.

I have a vast amount of business experience from creating the brand that is the Community Food Co-op at this time, addressing the financial performance of the Community Food Co-op, and writing pilot program grants for a number of organizations to assess a better way of generating jobs, providing access to services, and empowering communities to make the change they want to see in strengthening their community.

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

I think I could be an asset for the Board Development Committee (BDC) as the Board discusses the plan for monitoring and strategizing over the next several years, but I also know that I have a strong track record with the Member Affairs Committee (MAC) and have thoughts on how to utilize their commitment to gather member input.

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