We have our winners! Congratulations to our newest Board Members:
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As a long-time citizen of Maine and the Portland area, stepping into the role of Board Member for the Portland Food Co-op is of great interest to me. My roles in leading 3 different nonprofits over the last 12 years, at both a national and local level, give me a confidence that my participation on this board, would offer me an opportunity to bring wisdom and experience to the board in supporting and fulfilling its responsibilities in ensuring the organization continues to grow in its ability to meet the needs of members and increase its effectiveness within the community.
My experience includes working with a board consensus decision making model, strategic planning experience both as an ED and as a consultant , leadership development, employee engagement, grant writing and management, community relationship building, board recruitment and training, budget development, event planning, financial reporting and compliance.
I’ve sat on two boards and know first-hand that the commitment of board members is critical to a well-run organization and to the well-being of the executive director/general manager and staff.
I love the Portland Food Coop and what it does in this community. I believe in the co-op model for food access and distribution. As a vegan, the PFC is one of my go-to destinations for the kind of food I want to put in my body. Local, organic and grown and created with love. I’m always telling friends about the co-op.
Lastly, after living in Colorado for the last 3 years running a small community based nonprofit and now being back in Maine as my retirement years approach, I want to use my experience to engage with our local community and enjoy the work of creating partnerships that enrich PFC and the community at large.
I look forward to the opportunity to learn more about serving on this board.
Megan Banner Sutherland
Since being a Member-Owner and employee of the Portland Food Co-op since our doors opened on Congress Street, it has been incredible to see the transition from starting as a buying club to now being a community market. I find my work as the Grocery Manager very rewarding. On a daily basis I collaborate with local producers to bring in food that speaks to our mission of growing a healthier community and food system. I also get to hear from customers and Member-Owners about their concerns and aspirations of our store and the surrounding community. At the Co-op we strive to create an inclusive environment where people feel welcomed and invited to engage in dialogues about where their food comes from and how we decide what goes on our shelves. I’m running for the board because I feel able to represent the diverse needs and interests of our Member-Owners, employees, and local food producers. As a board member I will work hard to ensure the success of the Co-op while keeping in mind the larger environmental, social, and political contexts in which we operate. I look forward to furthering our vision and strengthening our plans for the future at the Co-op and in the community.
(While Megan Banner Sutherland is a staff member of the Co-op, she is also a Member-Owner. She is running for this Board seat as a Member-Owner and will represent all Member-Owners of the Co-op just as all other candidates.)
My experience advocating for sustainable, local and fair food systems goes back more than fifteen years. A native of Ohio, I attended Northwestern University, then moved to the White Earth Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota, where I spent 3 years helping to restore traditional food systems and stop the genetic engineering of wild rice. I then headed to Columbus, Ohio and helped to grow the urban agriculture program at the American Community Garden Association. From there I went to Washington, DC and spent nearly ten years as the National Deputy Organizing Director at Food & Water Watch. I was fortunate to be able to move to Portland in 2015 and now work as a senior strategist coaching progressive nonprofits.
I understand the hard work that goes into producing healthy food, and how important it is that the Co-op is a place where farmers can get a fair price for the food they produce. Our Co-op also helps keep our money local by supporting Maine producers who provide our community with food that is good for us and our environment. The experience I’ve gained working in diverse communities mobilizing people towards common goals will inform how I work with my fellow member-owners to help direct the growth and evolution of the Portland Food Co-op.
I would be honored to have the opportunity to put what I’ve learned organizing for sustainable, local and fair food systems to good use as we work towards our collective vision for a thriving Co-op.