Community Food Co-Op
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Board Candidate: James ErbJames Erb Board Candidate Photo

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

I am a highly motivated, organized professional committed to serving our community. I have excellent oral and written communication skills. I work well as part of a team. My professional experience has provided me a strong foundation to serve on the Board and contribute my expertise in areas related to legal oversight and personnel. I am also familiar with the governance of non‐profit corporations. I am interested in running for a position on the Board to give back to my community and help contribute to the continuing success of the Co‐op. My wife and I have been members since shortly after we moved to Whatcom County. The Co‐op is a terrific organization.

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

I am interested in several of the goals stated in the Co‐op strategic plan including, for example, Stewardship and Advocacy. I really enjoy communicating with members of our community. I would appreciate the opportunity to work with members to support positive change on issues important to our community including EDI, homelessness, poverty, and food insecurity.

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

I was fortunate to grow up in a diverse community in New York. I attended college and law school in Florida. I learned at an early age to value diversity, and I strongly believe that the diversity of our country is one of its greatest strengths.

I would encourage the sharing of different perspectives in two ways. First, I would make space for individuals from different cultures and those with different perspectives to share their views and opinions. Second, I would be an ally to those individuals from different cultures who are advocating for positive change.

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

Over the years, we have patronized each of the three locations and always have a positive experience. I have consistently been impressed by the excellent customer service provided by the staff at the Co‐op. The Board and the General Manager deserve much credit for fostering what appears to be an excellent work environment.

Describe your experience reading and understanding financial statements. 

I have experience reading and understanding financial statements based on my previous and current experience serving on the board of directors for two non‐profit organizations. 

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 serving on the board of a non‐profit corporation. That experience has provided me the opportunity to learn more about policy governance and building consensus.

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

I have been an active member of our community since my wife and I relocated here in 2007. I have volunteered with several local organizations, the school district, and Law Advocates. I am a member of the local Bar Association. I have also run for local political office twice, once in 2018 and again in 2020.

Describe any business or entrepreneurial experience you have. 

I have spent my entire professional career in public service working on behalf of state, tribal, and local governments. However, I also have ample experience working in the retail and hospitality industries. Therefore, I greatly respect for the individual employees, including staff and management, that make the Co‐op thrive.

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

I am interested in the Members Affairs Committee and the Finance Committee. However, I would be happy to serve in any role that is helpful to the Board and the organization.


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