Community Food Co-Op
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Board Candidate: Kate Goldman

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?

I am excited about the possibility of being a part of the Co-op board, because I am excited about the Community Food Co-op overall and its purpose and missions. As a member of the Co-op and a former employee of seven years, I have gained an ever-growing appreciation for the Co-op’s dedication to food justice and social justice. I would love to be a part of the governing body that helps the Co-op navigate big picture changes, so that the Co-op can continue to grow and help our community grow. As a business owner, I often have to collaborate with contractors who also work with my clients, manage my own financials, and make big decisions that will affect my business long-term. Being comfortable with handling tasks like these make me a great candidate for the Co-op board, as I understand it will take great collaboration, a foundation in business financials, and the ability to make big decisions as a group if we as a board will successfully support and guide the Co-op.

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 been passionate about cultivating an exemplary workplace at the Community Food Co-op in my seven years as an employee. I belonged to a very cohesive team when I started working at the Co-op bakery, then I had the opportunity to help manage my own fantastic team in the Bakery Café. Because the physical location of the Bakery Café was separate from the rest of the Co-op, it was important for us, as managers, to ensure that our team felt included in the information sharing and activities amongst the rest of the staff. My last major project at the Co-op was co-creating the curbside grocery program. This program was born out of necessity for our staff and members’ safety. It took an immense amount of care and focus to ensure our team felt cared for and safe in a time of such uncertainty.

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

The time I spent working for the Four Seasons gave me numerous opportunities to learn from cultures other than my own and opened my mind up to how to successfully manage a culturally diverse team. I appreciated my experience living on Lana’i in Hawaii, in part, because it was my first time living as a minority for an extended period. I had to listen, learn, and be open to being fully immersed in such a culturally rich experience.

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

The Co-op is incredible for so many reasons, but it stands out to me in its ability to make community connections. Everything from the small farmers and makers the Co-op buys from, to the diverse staff they employ, to the people they send food donations to and the classes they offer—it is really incredible the impact that a not-for-profit grocery store can have on its community and beyond.

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

As a room service assistant manager, a spa assistant manager, a bar manager, and a small business owner, I have had many roles over the years where reading financial statements has been part of my life. I most recently, pre-pandemic, sat in the Co-op’s Open Book Management meetings each week and had to discuss our department’s financials.

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 have experience with the consensus process, as I was a member of the Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority. I held positions such as New Member Coordinator and Philanthropy Chair and was responsible for managing the subcommittees that accompanied those positions. We were an active organization that participated in and organized events supporting Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society. Our organization held plenty of votes and voting-related discussions during my four years in the group.

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

I am a founding member of Her Connection Hub, a women’s co-working space downtown. I work daily with business women and leaders in the community and collaborate often to build our businesses and enrich our personal lives.

Describe any business or entrepreneurial experience you have.

I have had many businesses since living here in Whatcom County. I was a partner in a medical cannabis farm for four years and was responsible for the sellable yield and daily care-taking of the garden. I co-owned a business called CG Hempley’s Apothecary. We sold natural wellness products and specialized in selling CBD as it was becoming a household name. I co-owned The Artic Fox, an ice cream sandwich production and retail business. I currently own Goldman Guest Experience, a vacation rental consulting company, where I help vacation property owners maximize their return on investment by elevating the guest experience to create loyal return guests that leave 5-star reviews.

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

I think the MAC sounds like an interesting committee, and I would enjoy being a face of the board for the community. I am able to be diplomatic, I am a good listener, and I would be able to view issues from many points of view, not just my own. I think it is important for the board to hear from the staff and community in order to make good decisions that impact both.
  
 

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