2018 Board Election

Get to know them a little before the election!

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RESULTS

The 2018 Open Harvest Board Election cycle started on Friday, October 19th and concluded on Thursday, November 1st. The ballots were tallied on Friday, November 2nd, 2018. Five candidates ran for five empty seats. These five candidates were elected for a new three year term. Results of the election are as follows:

CANDIDATE

VOTES

ELECTED

Jennifer Burianek 96 Yes
Aaron Druery 86 Yes
Sally Hillis 101 Yes
Skylar Mosby 95 Yes
Corey Rumann 93 Yes

VOTE BREAKDOWN

  • Total number of ballots cast: 119

  • Total number of valid ballots: 113

  • Invalid ballots: 6

    • No member number: 3

    • Invalid member number: 3


Board Candidates Q & A

Get to know your 2018 Board Candidates a little bit better!

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Aaron Druery | Owner for 2 Years

Why are you interested in serving on the Open Harvest Board of Directors?

I want to lend my natural and acquired skills to the co-op that I love, and have been coming to for 30 years.

What skills do you bring to a board of a $4+ million business? Describe any relevant business experience and/or positions of leadership.

I am the District Supervisor of greenways and conservation areas for the City of Lincoln. I manage 3,000 acres and a budget for the management of the area and equipment.

I studied permaculture and have a degree in Public Administration from Doane College. I also was on the leadership committee for my son's Cub Scout pack.

What do you feel are the primary challenges and/or opportunities facing Open Harvest, and how could you help to meet such challenges/opportunities?

Keep the co-op thriving financially and increase membership. Look ahead to a possible new location and remaining competitive.

 
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Corey Rumann | Owner for 6 Years

Why are you interested in serving on the Open Harvest Board of Directors?

We have been members of Open Harvest since we moved to Lincoln in 2012 and my two kids have literally grown-up at the Coop. Now, shopping at the Coop feels more like visiting family and friends than it does going to a grocery. I feel part of a community that not only supports local food growers but also advocates for sustainable lifestyles and practices. I have always tried to support local farmers and organic farming but being a member of the Coop has helped me understand how important community is in those efforts. Now, I would like to be more actively involved in that community and engaged in the process of supporting the Coop’s efforts. I strongly believe in Open Harvest's values and mission and would like to be a part of helping Open Harvest fulfill that mission.

What skills do you bring to a board of a $4+ million business? Describe any relevant business experience and/or positions of leadership.

My background is primarily in the areas of counseling and education so I do not have a great deal of what most people would describe as business experience. However, I have been in positions where I oversaw budget decisions (e.g., residence hall director; president of the Wyoming Counseling Association). Also, when I worked as a counselor at a community college in Wyoming I was elected to serve as the president of the professional staff organization. During my tenure as president I chaired a committee that was charged with designing and implementing a salary structure process for all professional staff positions at the college. That turned out to be a daunting process but it also taught me valuable lessons about budgetary processes. Finally, I have taken doctoral level courses in higher education finance but that is not my area of expertise.

What do you feel are the primary challenges and/or opportunities facing Open Harvest, and how could you help to meet such challenges/opportunities?

I believe the growing interest in buying organic foods is both a challenge and an opportunity for Open Harvest. It seems like most grocery chains are jumping on the organic food band wagon which creates challenges especially in terms of organic food costs and pricing. However, from my perspective, those larger food chains cannot offer the local products and family like environment in any way like Open Harvest can. Open Harvest’s commitment to local vendors and their customer service is definitely an opportunity in these increasingly competitive times. I believe my unique perspectives as a Coop member, a parent, a community member and a consumer would help Open Harvest build on those opportunities and effectively confront those challenges. I believe member recruitment would also be one of my strengths as a Board member.

 
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Skylar Mosby | Owner for 2 Years

Why are you interested in serving on the Open Harvest Board of Directors?

My grandma was the first person to bring me to Open Harvest. She has dietary restrictions and would bring me along to get her soy flour from the bulk bins. As a teenager I went vegan, and Open Harvest was there with rice milk and Tofutti. When I was in college, the co-op offered me my first job in my field. Open Harvest has been a staple in my life. It's a place where I feel I have a voice and can affect positive change.

While I no longer work for the co-op I would still love to be involved. Serving on the board would be an honor. I care deeply for the welfare of Open Harvest, the community it serves and the local farmers and producers that it supports. I believe that our store is a pillar of our community and represents an ideal to strive for.

To be honest, we live in dark times. It's important to never lose our dream for the future, especially now.

What skills do you bring to a board of a $4+ million business? Describe any relevant business experience and/or positions of leadership.

I am a graphic designer and I worked as a marketing assistant at Open Harvest for two years. During my time at Open Harvest I was lucky enough to attend two marketing conferences where I met other co-operators from around the country. These conferences gave me perspective on how we compare and contrast from other co-ops.

I believe I can bring a unique perspective to the board, being already familiar with the co-op's challenges, its history, and its operations. I also have insight into the co-op's branding and target audience.

What do you feel are the primary challenges and/or opportunities facing Open Harvest, and how could you help to meet such challenges/opportunities?

The grocery game is cut-throat with razor-thin margins, and new competitors have been popping consistently for the past 5-10 years. This challenge is not new. Open Harvest must continue to adapt and provide an excellent shopping experience.

I think our strength is actually our size; by being small we can pivot fast to fit the needs of our changing customer base. We have this opportunity to make big changes to enhance the customer experience and keep Open Harvest a vibrant community gathering place. If elected I will strive to always have fresh ideas for the board, and the co-op, about how we can stay competitive.

 
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Jennifer Burianek | Owner for 2 Years

Why are you interested in serving on the Open Harvest Board of Directors?

Through my past experience I have been drawn to the role that food plays in our lives. While I was in college I served as an AmeriCorps member. I remember the children from McPhee Elementary school stuffing apples in their backpacks to take home to their families while leaving packaged snacks on the table at the end of our after school program. I have a passion for local food and I have observed the change that happens when people have access to healthy foods. Local food can make our communities and our families stronger and healthier.

What skills do you bring to a board of a $4+ million business? Describe any relevant business experience and/or positions of leadership.

I have experience in project management including the development of budgets and proposals, fee negotiation, resource evaluation, budget and schedule management, project forecasting, client account management and project billing. I have enjoyed training in systems design, permiculture and project management.

I've had the opportunity to serve the community while engaged in AmeriCorps in Lincoln at which time I tutored students as well as developed and facilitated after and out of school sessions. I also developed and facilitated a junior master gardener camp for elementary aged children in Arvada Colorado.

While working for Ambient Energy a Sustainable Consulting firm I served on the Board as a staff representative.

As an adjunct faculty member at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design I was able to help shape and educate young designers about sustainable design.

What do you feel are the primary challenges and/or opportunities facing Open Harvest, and how could you help to meet such challenges/opportunities?

With Open Harvest’s limited store footprint it can be difficult to compete with the variety of products available at national health food stores. Additionally online purchasing provides a challenge to all small local stores, allowing people to avoid searching the isles for a product and instead click a button. All of this said, Open Harvest is a cornerstone of natural and local foods and has dedicated patrons. Further growing this community of patrons is a great opportunity that can help Open Harvest grow its reach and have an even larger impact on the health of the community physically and financially. To be most successful in developing goals and next steps we must focus on the customer/owner feedback. My experience in project management, ability to be detail oriented and systems focused will assist in analyzing this information and determining what opportunities to pursue next.

 
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Sally Hillis | Owner for 17 Years

Why are you interested in serving on the Open Harvest Board of Directors?

My interest in serving on the Open Harvest Board of Directors stems from my passion for good health. Knowing the factors influencing our well-being is a passion of mine. Research indicates that what we eat has the most significant impact on our overall health. Helping not only to continue the community’s access to healthy, local, nutritious food, but nurturing relationships with local growers to provide an abundant, steady nutritious food supply is of importance.

What skills do you bring to a board of a $4+ million business? Describe any relevant business experience and/or positions of leadership.

Business Experience: Owner/Manager of Hillis & Company for 30+ years; Various marketing/branding projects for large companies

Community Involvement: Prairie Pine Pals, Girl Scout leader and camp facilitator, Beattie Elementary Schools Gardens conceptualization/implementation, Farm-School conferences, various local boards

Education: PhD in Human Sciences, Dept of Nutrition and Health Sciences, UNL; Registered Dietitian; Licensed Medical Nutritional Therapist (LMNT), State of NE;State Certified Local Sub Teacher, LPS