2014 Board Candidates

We have 9 candidates for 5 seats! Below are the candidate's photos and statements. Incumbents have their years of service in parentheses. Member-owners may vote for 0-5 candidates only.

You may print the ballot (pdf file), or copies are available in-store at the election ballot box, next to Customer Service. Ballots may also be mailed to: BOD election, Belfast Coop, 123 High St., Belfast 04915. Voting ends at 8pm on Sunday, March 23, the date of this year's Annual Meeting.

Candidates need to be selected on at least 25% of the ballots cast to be elected, and there need to be at least 10% of eligible member-owners ballots cast (357 ballots) for the election to be valid. All adult members whose membership accounts are current are eligible to vote.


Nixie Bombardier

As the produce buyer and assistant manager/member, I take a lot of pride in what I do, the co-op and the amazing little community that exists here in the heart of the midcoast. Pride that does not stop when I punch the clock and go home for the night. As a new member of the board, I would be bringing a fresh, proactive perspective, one that works closely with the customers, other worker/members, local farms in our community, as well as one that is compassionate, honest and fair. I would bring along with me strong communication, listening and mediation skills.

What is your experience working collaboratively in a group?
I have had many years of working collaboratively in groups in the workforce, from assistant management at my current position, to organizing with individuals at other jobs creating plans for maintenance schedules,  achieving deadlines and problem solving. I enjoy working with groups, hearing a large amount of opinions and coming to the best possible solution.

How would you like to see the role of the Belfast Co-op in the community grow over time?
I would love to see the co-op continue to grow within the community, to not only offer hard to find products in a trustworthy nature but also foster a place for community. I would also like to see the co-op become a place where the members feel they can have more of a voice and have more involvement in that regard.

Paige Katharine Brown

As a young member of this community, I believe it is my responsibility to help maintain its heart, the co-op. Both my professional and volunteer-based advocacy skills fit well with the duties of a board member. I have experience with public relations, communications, administrative organization along with the knowledge and understanding of institution and the principles of local sustainability. I care wholly about the concerns and welfare of my fellow members and it is my goal to act in their best interest while maintaining the integrity of the organization.

What is your experience working collaboratively in a group?
My experience in operating collaboratively within an organization has been to observe the strengths and weaknesses of the group and to accommodate and withdraw accordingly. My skills complement and accompany those whose strengths lie in public outreach, assertive diplomacy and task delegation.

How would you like to see the role of the Belfast Co-op in the community grow over time?
I would like to see the Co-op evolve by further promotion and diversity of Maine-made product. I believe this will lead an advantageous progression that will expand the benefit for member/owners as well as merchants. In turn, this will increase the number of memberships, and create a more widespread community.

Jeanne Gail, PhD   (2009-2014)

The two main reasons why I joined the Board of the Belfast Co-op were to inspire the Co-op to offer healthy food and encourage healthy lifestyle via the co-operative business model, and to help plan how the Co-op evolves in the future. I'm a professionally-trained medical scientist (Ph.D. biochemistry), well-informed with a wide range of interests, such as nutrition. I am concerned about our future—ecologically, economically, and politically, and want the Co-op and our region to be forward-focused, reality-based, and, especially, resilient.

What is your experience working collaboratively in a group?
I have very little experience in groups, except for the Belfast Co-op Board.

How would you like to see the role of the Belfast Co-op in the community grow over time?
I dream of the Co-op being the "anchor" co-operative store in town. In other words, like the department store at the end of the mall, but instead, the stimulus for other co-operatives. I would like to see a co-op based free medical clinic, a co-operative "mercantile" or general/department store with low prices so folks wouldn't "have to" drive to Walmart. I envision the Co-op being a distributor, and have spin-offs in outlying communities when auto fuel gets scarce. For now, I'd like the Co-op to concentrate on healthy food, not just "organic, non-GMO" knock-offs of everything that's in Hannaford.


Betsy Garrold   (2012-2014)

Having already served for two years on the board, first as a staff representative and later as a board-appointed at-large member representative, I feel that I am uniquely qualified to help the Co-op move forward toward being an organization which is more responsive to all of its stakeholders; members, staff and customers. I have served on many boards and hold a certificate as a meeting facilitator. These skills along with my deep commitment to the cooperative principles are the reason I wish to serve another term on the board.

What is your experience working collaboratively in a group?
Having been a political activist since my adolescence I appreciate that cooperatives are organized in a horizontal way. Hierarchy is avoided and all points of view are validated. This lends itself to a more robust organization and a more deliberative decision making process. These are good things in my experience.

How would you like to see the role of the Belfast Co-op in the community grow over time?
I would like to see the co-op reach out and foster the development of other cooperative business ventures in this area. The cooperative business model is the way of the future. The experience and knowledge that we hold as an institution can be put to good use in this way.


KelLee Grey

As a child, my mother and I were involved in our local co-op. From her, I learned the importance of participating in a co-op and to stepping forward to serve. I have shopped and been a member since my arrival in Maine. A couple times, I have worked as the human resource manager. I decided when my services were no longer needed, I would volunteer to be on the BOD because I believe in its' values and ideals. I have worked on multiple non-profit BOD and feel my prior experience as secretary, bookkeeper, facilitator, and counselor, would be an asset.

What is your experience working collaboratively in a group?
I was member of a board for an established child care center. We planned and worked with the staff to apply and qualify for national accreditation. This was a two year process with a three year forward planning. I have worked on various committees and groups within businesses and social connections planning events, meals and fundraising.

How would you like to see the role of the Belfast Co-op in the community grow over time?
There is much expertise in the Co-op through the employees and the board. I would like to see these people reach out to our community and share their knowledge. Skills are being lost because we are not teaching one another. Another point would be to create a program increasing the membership enrollment.


Matthew Hogan

I want to serve on the board of directors for the Belfast Co-op because I would like help direct the future of the Co-op and I believe it would help me gain a better understanding and appreciation of what it takes to keep the Co-op running. We must learn to protect ourselves from a form of pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis that happens by sanding too much drywall, thus remaining electroencephalographically charged. But before engaging in floccinaucinihilpilification in reaction to this candidacy, just remember that institutionalized counterrevolutionaries are currently engaged in uncharacteristically internationalist counterinsurgencies, with the multidimensionality and straightforwardness of an anthropomorphic gecko.

What is your experience working collaboratively in a group?
I have worked with the Brown County Democrats in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and I also served as Student Council Treasurer then Vice President for Chelsea Public High School.

How would you like to see the role of the Belfast Co-op in the community grow over time?
I will not speculate on an expanded role for the Belfast Co-op in the community, as I believe the day-to-day managers and workers in the co-op have a better understanding of these issues, and I would like to receive further input from these individuals before I formalize my position.


Alessandra Martinelli

I have been a member since I moved to Belfast with my family in November, 2010. I began work at the Co-op as a cashier, faithfully working behind the counter, only leaving to have a third child. The concept of voting with your money strikes a chord with me. By supporting the ventures of people within the community, state, and bio-region we can keep the money closer and our bodies fresher and healthier. The Co-op can be at the center of all this by being a distribution center. I also hope to represent the younger members of the Co-op.

What is your experience working collaboratively in a group?
I am actively designing and running a homeschool co-open program for children ages 3-9 with a number of other families. In university I planned, designed and recruited individuals for educational spring break programs.

How would you like to see the role of the Belfast Co-op in the community grow over time?
My deepest interests, adding to all the great work the co-open already does, lay in competitive pricing for staple items, ie. rice, green and frozen veggies, coffee. But also teaching people to make staples from more basic, inexpensive items, ie. buy flour to make bread, buy in bulk and freeze yourself for convenience items.


Bindy Pendleton   (2002-2014)

Served on the Board since '02, President since '08. I feel the Co-op is a big asset to the health of the community – physically, mentally, emotionally and economically. Like any valuable asset it needs tending, cultivation and attention. I intend to provide Board consistency and passing on of organizational experience to newer directors.

What is your experience working collaboratively in a group?
Serving the past 12 years as a director on the Board with a variety of personalities in a variety of situations has given me lots of experience working collaboratively. My past professional experience as a Nurse-midwife required collaborative relationships between individuals, couples, multiple service providers, and institutions.

How would you like to see the role of the Belfast Co-op in the community grow over time?
I see the Co-op continue to expand it's efforts in outreach, eduction, and collaboration with individuals, producers, organizations, and businesses interested in creating a more sustainable resilient and just food system for all. Additionally, serve as a resource and example of a successful co-operative, encouraging other cooperative enterprises.

Jerry Savitz   (1991-2014)

I've been a coop board member since the early 90's. I have a business background, having owned a restaurant in Belfast for over 25 years. It is this experience that would be useful to the coop. I also have an occasional good idea. The coop plays an important part in our community. With your vote I hope I contribute to the future of the coop.

What is your experience working collaboratively in a group?
I enjoy working collaboratively to achieve goals. I've served on the Boards of Coastal Mountain Land Trust and the Belfast Maskers. I've run my own business for most of my life and find it productive and effective to address problems by working through consensus.

How would you like to see the role of the Belfast Co-op in the community grow over time?
I feel that the Coop is the heart and soul of Belfast and that trustworthiness is one of its strengths. By taking part in community efforts such as promoting our area through the Chamber and Our Town we help build a strong, thoughtful, vibrant community. Providing safe, healthy food choices in a comfortable, friendly setting along with a community outreach component is a worthy goal for the Co-op.