Community Food Co-Op
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Board Candidate: Richard Rogers

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?

While I have only lived in Bellingham for less than two years, I have been dedicated to an organic and nutritious diet while being an advocate and consumer of local farming for 20+ years. I believe partnering with local farmers is vital to our community's critical healthy food supply and to the financial longevity of our farming community.  As a recently retired software sales executive, I bring strong business expertise in working with vendors, partners, customers, and colleagues. I now look forward to using these skills to give back to my new community and contribute to the Community Food Coop's goals.

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 am most interested in the Co-op's Community Engagement goal. Leveraging the power of partnerships within our community can have extraordinary impact in helping an organization achieve its goals. With my experience in developing partnerships, I could help the Co-op continue to expand its community engagement and partnerships.

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

In my career, I had the opportunity to work in global roles where I interacted on a daily basis with people, customers, partners, and colleagues from all over the world. One experience was managing a global and collaborative team consisting of men and women from India, Spain, England, Australia, and Germany to service an even more greatly diverse customer base. I would encourage sharing different perspectives by striving to always be kind and respectful—these are universal characteristics valued by all cultures.

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

I believe the Co-op's greatest strength is in its name, "Community."  It was created solely for its community, operated by its community, and largely supplied by its community. It will only require one visit to a Community Food Co-op store to see and feel the difference in the quality and service from the other options in this county.

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

During my career, I found the need to read hundreds of financial statements released from the companies I worked for, was selling to, or partnering with. I am comfortable reading financial statements.

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 extensive experience in leading or participating in consensus-driven solutions, including leading problem-solving workshops using the design thinking method.

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

My wife and I became Co-op members shortly after moving to Bellingham in 2020. We are also active members of the Washington Trails Association and worked the Mt Baker trails for the WTA. I am eager to serve on the Co-op Board to further deepen my connections to the Bellingham community!

Describe any business or entrepreneurial experience you have.

I have 30+ years of business experience in the software industry in various roles including sales, partnerships, and management. I have worked for companies ranging from a 10-person startup called Dralasoft to SAP, the 4th largest software company in the world with over 100,000 employees.

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

I look forward to leveraging my experience working with customers, with consensus-led decision making, and in management to contribute to the Member Affairs Committee (MAC).

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