Election Results 2019

Click here for the full results.

Thank you to all the candidates who ran and owners who voted!

About the Election

There are 4 Board of Directors seats open this year.
• 3 seats for a three-year term
• 1 seat for a one-year term

The three candidates with the highest number of votes will receive three-year terms. The candidate with the fourth highest number of votes will be seated for a one-year term.

The election is securely monitored by a third party company, Simply Voting. Results will be available no later than October 25, 2019.

How to Vote

There are three ways you can cast your vote:

  1. Online. Visit www.lexingtoncoop.simplyvoting.com
  2. By Mail Pick up a paper ballot in our stores
  3. In Store Vote in our stores when you meet the candidates!

To vote you will need your owner number and password.
Your password has either been emailed or mailed to you.

Need help? Email elections@lexington.coop or call Amanda 716.886.2667

Meet the Candidates

At the Elmwood Store:
October 12 | 11am-1pm

At the Hertel Store:
October 15 | 6-8pm
October 20 | 2-5pm Co-op Fair
Candidate statements at 3:30pm

Candidate Statements

All candidates were asked to answer the following four questions. All responses are printed as they were submitted.

1. Why do you want to serve on the Board?

2. Why are you passionate about the Co-op and its BIG Direction? BIG Direction: Our board created a set of ends statements, which define how the world will be better because of the Co-op’s values and work. We interpreted these values as “happy, knowledgeable people,” “local, sustainable food,” “co-op economy,” and “sustainability.” These values define our propose and guide our decisions., Through our everyday actions, we feel we are edging the world closer to our values.

3. What skills, experience, or training do you have that makes you a great candidate for the Lexington Co-op Board of Directors?

4. Please list all potential conflicts of interest you have with Lexington Co-op Markets. (ie. work for a competing business, do business with the Co-op, etc)

Additionally candidates were invited to attend a Board Meeting and a Policy Governance training. These events were optional, however, those who have attended have been noted.

Click on a candidate’s name below to read their statement!

Your 2019 Candidates


✔ Has attended a recent board meeting
✔ Has attended a policy governance training session

1. I have been a loyal Co-op owner/member and shopper since I moved to Buffalo nine years ago. Not only is the Co-op a great place to do grocery shopping, it is a great community resource. With two locations, the Co-op has an opportunity to expand its reach and become more ingrained with different parts of the community and different community members. As a Board Member, I want to continue to develop relationships with and educate the community as well as work towards increasing owners/members, loyalty, and involvement.

2. The B.I.G. Direction goals promote the vision for the community that I hope to see. Providing a venue where people can learn and access local, sustainable food is vital for our society. It is also the reason I spend so much time at the Co-op: I know I am providing the best possible options for my family with the support of a knowledgeable market.

3. I ran for the board two years ago and in that application, I stated the first reason I would be a great candidate for the Board of Directors is my intimate knowledge of the Lexington Cooperative and the products it carries. My family and I are at the Co-op at least twice per week and at times I have found myself answering fellow customers’ questions about where to find things 🙂
My background in business also makes me a good candidate for the Board of Directors. I worked in sales and marketing for six years and have been a program manager for the past four. I also went through the United Way Board Leadership Training and am a Board Member for my children’s day care center.
Finally, I am committed to the Lexington Co-op and to making it more than the best grocery store in Buffalo, but rather the best community resource for healthy, sustainable food.

4. N/A

✔ Incumbent since 1998
✔ Has attended a recent board meeting
✔ Has attended a policy governance training session
1. Member-owned cooperatives offer a hopeful model of how ordinary people can combine their resources to create a service for themselves as a group, that they could not provide individually.
As the most prominent consumer-owned Co-op in the region, Lexington Co-op serves as the leading edge of what I hope will become a more powerful community-based economic development movement.
I would like to see us create opportunities for those of our members who want to, to participate in our Co-op and the Co-op movement. I would like to see the Co-op generate more affordable options to serve members from a wider variety of incomes. I would us to “lead by example” and become more than “just another store”.
Finally, I would like to support fellow candidate Hope Hoetzer-Cook who has a knack of seeing important issues at Board meetings that I and other Board members just don’t notice.

2. Lexington Co-op aspires to develop a “Co-op in every community that wants one” be it another outlet of our Co-op or assisting another Co-op (East Aurora’s food Co-op).
Our expansion to Hertel involves risk and moves us outside of our comfort zone but I support the idea of our movement having a greater presence and impact in this region.
We want to meet our members needs and provide education regarding healthy food as well as the consumer-owned structure we are using to provide this wonderful store. We want to create a sustainable local food system that preserves the soil, cuts pesticide use and reduces our dependence on carbon fuels by cutting the miles our food has to travel to get to our plates. And finally, we want to create a thriving Co-op economy of worker, food, and housing Co-ops all creating meaningful jobs and a prosperous future for our region.

3. I consider myself a “Co-op Person” but my background includes an MBA from the University at Buffalo, and a Masters in Regional and Urban Planning from the London School of Economics. I am one of the organizers and continuing Board Member of the Buffalo Cooperative Federal Credit Union and previously served as a Community Representative on the Nickel City Housing Cooperative Board.

In the 1980s I gained administrative experience as Executive Director of Parkside Community Association in North Buffalo.

In the late 1990s I served as the first Executive Director of the Energy Cooperative of New York (now the Energy Co-op of America).

I have been involved with Policy Governance (the method we use to run this Co-op Board) since we first started using this technique and experienced the new store development process from the Board perspective when we expanded the Co-op onto Elmwood Ave in the early 2000s.

4. I also serve as a Board Member and Board Secretary of the Buffalo Cooperative Federal Credit Union.

1. I received an email asking me to run. So, I viewed the packet and determined I was eligible. I was born in Buffalo and have lived here the majority of my life. I’ve encountered some new changes within the past year, which have given me the opportunity and the time needed to meet the expectations required as a member of the board. Being invited to run for a board position has piqued my interest. I have been a owner for 3 or 4 years, and I became a vegetarian this year. I am hoping the passion I (...)

2. I have always believed that a happy employee is a good employee. When I shop at Lexington, everyone (especially the cooks) are busy, polite, and greet me with a smile, and are always available if I need any assistance. Happy employees create happy customers/owners. My values are in line with the Co-op’s big direction, and I would hope I can bring what I have to continue to fulfill the Co-op’s big direction.

3. Leadership skills from 6 years of military service.

4. N/A

1. I have lived the past 12 years in the Elmwood Village (after relocating from Idaho!); the past 10 years in my beautiful old home in Saint James Place. I would like to give back to the community; I just kick started the block club in my street, but would like to do more.
I am passionate about sustainability (at home but also at work, spearheading projects). I know food quite well (I am executive vice president at Lactalis American Group (offices in South Buffalo)), an important cheese company; where among many things I successfully drove the “naturality” principle.
Your stores have the philosophy that I love.

2. The principle of organic or natural is very important to me, that I had since I was a student in agronomics (40 years ago!), where the industrial agriculture then revulsed me.
You have successfully opened the second store, it is obvious that you are on the right direction, to serve the communities of Erie county.
The atmosphere in the store is very pleasant, creative, welcoming.

3. Trained an agronomist (post graduate from one of the most prestigious universities in Europe), specialized in cheese (and other dairy products) for naturality, quality and especially food safety. Passionate, organized.

4. No conflict (the company I work for does not supply your organization).

✔ Incumbent since 2007
✔ Has attended a recent board meeting
✔ Has attended a policy governance training session

1. My consistent concerns are member-centric: heightened transparency in finance and governance, more opportunities for feedback and participation, increased affordability for more people, ensuring we retain our Co-op identity and not become just another store.
Some of my ideas are now policy: member benefits, a Board budget, a records maintenance program, a soon-to-be launched linkage committee, confidential member voting and increased document accessibility. Preserving Co-op values and encouraging member action are ongoing issues.
Lexington faces a huge challenge. Our Hertel store was a well-considered, well-supported leap of faith, but its ultimate success depends on us as owners. Our response to strong competition must be enthusiastic loyalty and commitment: Buy Co-op. Introduce new member-owners. Share ideas. Participate in Lexington events. Create new activities. Criticize, praise and promote – all are needed and distinguish us as a co-op.
I request your support to continue working for and with you as we meet the challenge.

2. Generally, buying vegetables isn’t a social, political, economic, historic, and/or ethical statement. But it is when you walk into Lexington, and I like that.
We’re a co-op in a long tradition that bucks the trend of profit first, people second. We own it, we vote for its leaders, we influence its offerings, we demand that what’s on its shelves is healthy and safe, we support local with our dollars, we’re fair to farmers, suppliers, our terrific employees and every customer on principle, we support community causes and nurture fellow co-ops – AND sell vegetables!
Our BIG direction – supporting a co-op in every community that wants one – isn’t a statement of manifest destiny or multiplying Lexi’s. Rather, it’s a moral commitment to putting people’s needs first, and empowering them to achieve their goals.
We’re an ideal and living example that when people unite they can change the world. Of course I’m passionate!

3. I’ve served on state advisory boards (Division for Youth, Division for Human Rights), as Board Member or officer locally (NOW, Buffalo ReUse, County Commission on the Status of Women, County Democratic Committee, among others), and as a member of the Elmwood Task Force, CARASA, Common Ground Women’s Newspaper Collective, WNY Hispanics & Friends, Unity - and the Co-op for 13+ years.
I owned a business, Marrakesh, co-owned a consulting/polling firm and taught English in China.
Currently I’m the volunteer manager at Buffalo ReUse; an elected Democratic Committee Member, Zone Chair and Board Member and Lexington Co-op’s Board Secretary.
Among the most challenging is the Co-op Board, demanding high commitment plus fiduciary and governance responsibilities within Policy Governance’s framework. Through the years, I’ve learned from Board Members, management and member-owners alike, and believe I contribute diverse leadership experience, trained critical thinking and a willingness to both listen and take a stand.

4. No potential conflicts of interest.

✔ Has attended a recent board meeting
✔ Has attended a policy governance training session

1. The Lexington Co-op has been a part of my life since friends introduced me to it in 1990. Growing up in a Sicilian-American family, I had always been passionate about food and its role in bringing families together and connecting with our culture. Increasingly, I became concerned about how food production affects human rights and animal welfare. The Co-op became a hub for me to engage with likeminded neighbors, working for real change both in our own community and beyond. I served on the Board from 1991 to 2003, a pivotal era in the Co-op’s history, then took time away to raise two daughters. Now that they’re older and also active in food politics, I am eager to participate once more. The Co-op is again growing to meet the needs of our expanding community, and I would be honored to help facilitate that evolution.

2. Our dollars are the most powerful vote we cast for the kind of world we wish to live in. Every purchase affects not just ourselves and our families, but a global network of growers, laborers and their communities, and the sustainability of a planet that we are responsible for protecting. Choosing what we eat, where it comes from and how it’s grown is one BIG way that we can directly impact our world.
Our Co-op has a proven history of increasing the quality of life for its owners and our community at large. Cooperative democracy is a method of ensuring that those who benefit from a business have a voice in governing the direction of that business. That sets us apart from every conventional grocery store. The Co-op is more than a store—we are a community empowered to build a world that reflects our shared values.

3. As Board President I led the development of Policy Governance—a system where governance and management roles are clear and performance is measured against stated goals. Combined with the fuel of passionate owners and dedicated staff, we realized our vision of expanded community impact by building the Elmwood store.
I recently served as elected Chair of the UB Professional Staff Senate and Campus Governance Leader in the SUNY Faculty Senate. I repeatedly built upon Co-op experience in building consensus, ensuring that all voices are heard, navigating policy, improving fiscal stewardship, and increasing the value delivered to members. The PSS’s 60+ senators representing 2600 members carry out programming in areas such as Inclusion and Diversity, Sustainable Living and Wellness.
It is my hope that my experience having previously led the Co-op towards expansion, and through my governance at UB and SUNY, make me a candidate worthy of your vote.

4. None

✔ Has attended a recent board meeting
✔ Has attended a policy governance training session

1. I have a passion and dedication for the health, wellness and success of our communities. To me, the Co-op’s mission and B.I.G. Direction align with my core values and I could not think of a better opportunity to donate my time, energy and resources as the Co-op continues to advance their strategic vision.

2. As a member-owner, I can best describe our Co-op as an extended family - from the dedicated employee team, the “regulars” I run into on an almost daily basis, to the local family farms and small business vendors featured in house, our Co-op has created an environment that impacts our community from beginning to end. I firmly believe that the Co-op culture is where my passion is rooted, and I find it only heightened as I educate myself on the B.I.G Direction!

3. As an executive director for a local organization, I have a unique skill set in that I not only report to a board of directors myself, but I currently serve on a few too. I also have an undergraduate degree in Health & Human Services and a graduate degree in Business Administration. Above all else, I have a desire to learn and a passion for our community.

4. N/A

✔ Incumbent since 2015
✔ Has attended a recent board meeting
✔ Has attended a policy governance training session

1. I have been an owner for almost 15 years and currently serving as the Vice President training for the future position of President. I have been active on committees and engaged in decision making involving the governance of a two-store operation. This ongoing service would ensure that the leadership will be continued without significant impact to our focus towards profitability across both stores. While serving on the board, I have observed the importance of leadership and guidance through opening another store and the challenges it brings. I now wish to take on more responsibility and guide Lexington Co-op Markets through the growth phase and into long term success. The next phase of leadership will include transparency with ownership about our struggles in order to rally support towards our success over the growing pains of opening a new store while withstanding the impact of a local competitor opening only a block away. It will take all of us to do the work and I am preparing for this role and am confident we can get there together.

2. Since growing up in Kentucky, I have been close to farming and its benefits. Our community needs more local and sustainable food allowing us to have the freshest picked produce and products with the greatest amount of economy staying within our region. Having these local selections will bring more people from the community into our doors to learn about the Co-op and experience the genuine smiles and amazing service from our staff. Lexington Co-Op is not like other stores; it’s a small family of people that work hard because we care and are joined by one love—the love of a Co-op. You may give your ownership number at the register, but you are by no means just a number in our Co-op. The more we can spread the word about Co-ops, the more we impact our communities. It is hard not to be passionate right along with everyone else!

3. I have several years’ experience in Human Resources and board service in addition to Lexington Co-op. I also have an MBA that gives me business sense to understand the reporting provided surrounding financials while appreciating that real people are behind the numbers and the work producing them. All of this gives me empathy to the challenges faced by Tim and his team, while understanding the importance of profitability. This is all done through the lens of an owner, not a corporate minded professional slinging around credentials, but bringing experience and service for the good of the

4. None

✔ Incumbent since 2015
✔ Has attended a recent board meeting
✔ Has attended a policy governance training session

1. I have been a Co-op board member for 4 years. In that time I have talked to many owner-members, attended annual meetings, roasted chestnuts, and attended our monthly board meetings. I have enjoyed informative discussions with our vendors about topics including the maple syrup season irregularities, apple growth habits, and learned of the challenges facing our regional fruit belt. The common theme is, of course, a passion for great food. But the real reason the Co-op exists is to support and strengthen the overall co-op economy. That means three things: -- Supporting our local and regional producers and vendors, -- Paying a fair wage to our employees. -- And making local, healthy food available at a reasonable price. I wish to serve for another term on the Board of Directors to continue to work on this mission as a key part of our overall BIG Direction.

2. The Co-op’s commitment to sustainability appeals to me more than ever, with global warming awareness firmly in the mainstream news.
The Co-op has always made it easy for customers to practice the 3 R’s. - reduce, reuse, recycle. You can reduce your use of plastic and packaging by buying from the bulk section. Bring your reusable bags to use at check-out. Feel good about the fact that the Co-op collects all vegetable waste trimmings and donates them for composting. Buying local and regional food reduces everyone’s carbon footprint. Let’s all Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. And buy local at the Co-op.

3. I am constantly reading and learning about food, diet and sustainability and their relation to our personal health. I trained as a natural foods chef in New York City and experiment with alternatives to conventional wheat and dairy products. Prior to moving to Buffalo I had a 10 year corporate career in operational management. I trained and helped manage a department of customer service employees of diverse backgrounds in the competitive telecommunications field. A successful organization is always learning and adapting as it meets the needs of its members. The Co-op is in a transitional phase, with 2 stores and an increasingly diverse owner base. It is an exciting and challenging time for the Lexington Co-op and the general co-op economy.

4. I have no conflicts.

1. I feel like I can help, and I want to.

2. I am in the restaurant industry as a manager at the Remington Tavern, and I want to help interlink knowledge of local products into the local restaurant scene.

3. -General management experience.
-Strong leadership capabilities.

4. Candidate listed no conflicts.


Candidate Videos

Candidates had the opportunity to create videos for their campaign. Here are the submissions.


Derek Bateman

Hope Hoetzer-Cook

Dominic Licata

Domenic J. Licata — 2019 Lexington Co-op Board Candidate from Domenic J. Licata on Vimeo.