Describe your occupational and community involvement. I am currently a self-employed certified nutritionist and health coach at Healing With Nutrition (HealingwithHolisticNutrition.com). I spend most of my time either coaching clients to greater health through dietary protocols, or publishing nutrition related information on my iPhone app “Health Tip of the Day” and my ezine “Health Tips Weekly.” My approach to preventative wellness is contingent upon consuming healthy, organic foods – a natural fit with Weaver Street Market’s products and goals.
My previous occupations include 21 years of self-employment with my investment real estate company (Best Properties) where I bought, sold, upgraded, renovated and managed single-family homes, duplexes, and some commercial property for both long-term rentals and resale.
Prior to operating my real estate business I was a Financial Analyst with Metropolitan and Baron Financial (10 years) with primary responsibilities of marketing, producing and presenting comprehensive financial plans for physicians including budget analysis and investment strategies. At that time I also marketed various investment and insurance products, including mutual funds, insurance, stocks, options, annuities, real estate limited partnerships, and business insurance.
I am an active member of Pleasant Green United Methodist Church and I play guitar and sing in the Praise Band. I am also a tutor at Orange High School specializing in SAT preparation. I homeschooled my 2 oldest children for 6 years both of whom are now Duke University graduates, and coached my daughter in the National Spelling Bee.
In the past, I have designed and facilitated educational school group tours of our small farm exhibiting over 200 exotic animals ranging from Alpacas to Wallabies. We have also provided homes to distressed and unwanted animals of all kinds for 30 years. I developed a holistic dietary anti-cancer protocol for my cancer dog, which has kept her alive for 7 years past her official 6-month prognosis.
Why do you want to serve on the Board of Directors? I would like to remain on the Weaver Street Board of Directors because natural and organic foods are the primary tools I use to promote preventative wellness, and the more I can understand and take an active role in the success of the businesses that provide these goods from suppliers to consumers, the better I will be able to help people acquire the products they need to improve their health.
I am excited about the focus and direction Weaver Street is taking, and I want to continue to play an active role in the implementation of Weaver Street’s long-term developmental plans. While a bit of my educational and employment training have followed strong capitalistic models, (where stockholders receive the monetary benefits of corporate success), I find the co-op model of mutual collaboration for the good of all extremely appealing and consistent with holistic concepts. The co-op business model makes sense to me, because there is no conflict of interest between consumers and stockholders in delivering the best products possible.
I love that the co-op model by definition reflects the values of it’s owners, especially regarding the issues of environmental awareness (i.e. focus on deceasing waste and using alternative energy sources), sourcing foods locally (to reduce transport cost and increase freshness) and adding vibrancy to downtown areas. There are so few opportunities in this world to have your opinion heard and to have an active voice in governing, that I relish the opportunity to have an effect on the institution that provides my family’s (and my community’s) food.
What experience do you have with Weaver Street Market, cooperatives, or small community-minded businesses? I have been a consumer owner representative on the Weaver Street Board of Directors for 4 years. In that time, my understanding of the complexities involved in running a co-operative business has increased exponentially, as has my respect for the dedicated and hard-working people at Weaver Street who serve our community on a daily basis by ensuring the availability of healthy foods.
What experience, skills or perspective will you bring to the board? I bring a unique combination of business experience and holistic nutrition practice to the table. My business experience is a strong asset since it’s important to understand the rules of the game you are playing in a competitive commercial environment, even while attempting to change them. My holistic nutrition training reminds me to be compassionate towards all creatures and the environment, and to move gently in the world considering the needs of all.
I currently hold the office of Treasurer on the Board. I feel it is my personal responsibility to make sure that every dollar controlled by the board is spent wisely, as are operational expenses for the co-op as a whole. The major complaint from most people regarding organic and natural foods is the cost, and the main reason I was motivated to join the Board of Directors originally was to understand why organic foods cost so much.
As a result of my board experience, I now see that food costs are much more complicated than I previously thought. Providing quality goods, fair labor practices, and environmentally sensitive products does indeed cost more.
I am encouraged, however, that Weaver Street is working diligently towards its long-term goal of providing organic goods at conventionally grown prices. In the meantime, my personal challenge while participating within the co-op is to do everything I can, using the business and nutritional experience I have, to ensure the highest quality foods are available at the lowest possible prices with the smallest carbon footprint.
Include anything else about yourself you may like others to know. Two thoughts arise for me as my term of service on the board nears completion. The first is how very grateful I am for the opportunity to participate, learn and grow with Weaver Street during the last 4 years. The second is how sad it would be for this experience to be over. Therefore, it is my sincerest wish to be able to continue serving on the Weaver Street Board of Directors.