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!

Board of Directors

Click on each candidate name below to see their complete statement. You will be able to vote for up to 3 candidates. The candidates with the most votes will be awarded a 3-year term on the board.

Click on a candidate’s name to read their candidate statement. All candidates were asked to answer the same 5 questions.

Why do you want to serve on the board? This is a critical time for the Co-op as it works to increase sales at the Hertel store and grow its base of member-owners, all in an effort to realize its BIG Direction. I know that the skills I’ve developed as a business owner, marketer, and strategist will be helpful to the Co-op meet the challenges that the organization is currently facing. They’ll be helpful as we work as a community to chart the best path forward. Why are you passionate about the co-op and its BIG Direction? The Co-op has always felt like an extension of who I am and the things that are important to me: supporting community; building a strong local and living economy; local, organic and sustainable food; and creating a safe and rewarding place to work. In my view, the Co-op is a model for the Buffalo community, showing us that there is a better, more sustainable, healthier, and inclusive way to operate a business. I admire that the Co-op is always working towards better, always pushing for more positive impact. I want to work to help the Co-op realize its BIG Direction and to add to the exciting momentum that’s already in place. What skills, experience, or training do you have that makes you a great candidate for the Lexington Co-op Board of Directors? Before the Hertel store opened, I served two terms on the Co-op board. I’ve been through several Co-op board trainings, and have an understanding of the Co-op’s bylaws and the board’s structure of policy governance. I’m the co-founder and principal of Block Club, a regional branding and brand strategy agency, and a partner in Oxford Pennant, a national designer and manufacturer of American made pennants, flags, and banners. My 13+ years in business have helped me hone my personnel and financial management skills. I’m also a skilled marketer and believe that experience will be valuable as the Co-op looks to grow its base of member-owners and increase sales. What does it mean for you to have a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion? How have you demonstrated that commitment, and how would you see yourself demonstrating it as a member of the Lexington Board of Directors? When I started my first company in 2007, it wasn’t common to be an out gay man working in professional services in Buffalo. I’m proud that I’ve been able to grow my company without hiding who I am, and for co-founding a community of businesses that value diversity, equity and inclusion. That said, I’ve learned that the work is never done and that we need to continually push ourselves to be more understanding, more inclusive, more diverse, and more open. I strongly believe that this is not only the right thing to do, but that embracing these ideals is essential to fortifying a business and making it a sustainable organization. List any potential conflicts of interested you have with Lexington Co-op: N/A

Why do you want to serve on the board? I would like to be involved and active with an entity that cares and contributes to the well being of our communities at large. I’m very interested in healthy eating and how to encourage citizens throughout the city of Buffalo at large. I I wish to engage learn and contribute with my ideas as well learn and help accomplish the goals and initiatives of the Lexington Co-Op. Why are you passionate about the co-op and its BIG Direction? I am ready any excited to participate and contribute to the B.I.G Direction as noted in the set of statements. I am passionate with the idea of being a part of an organization that is concerned with happiness, sustainability to move the world closer to the values that we need of these days and moving forward. What skills, experience, or training do you have that makes you a great candidate for the Lexington Co-op Board of Directors? I have been an active board member of my condominium association in Washington DC for 8.5 years. I held the positions as president, vice president, and treasurer. During my tenure we installed new elevators, a new chiller among other projects including amendments to our bylaws. I was an volunteer with the program “Produce Plus” and “Food Rescue” in Washington DC for the last 5 years. I also volunteered with event “Roots”...where the community came together to learn and engage in sustainabilities, local farming and city gardening where cities can and should thrive together with may participants. What does it mean for you to have a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion? How have you demonstrated that commitment, and how would you see yourself demonstrating it as a member of the Lexington Board of Directors? Diversity, equity, inclusion is natural for me. Its and everyday act that does have to be learned. I am willing and able to work with anyone. List any potential conflicts of interested you have with Lexington Co-op: N/A

Why do you want to serve on the board? I love the Co-op and I want to help ensure it can continue to grow. I know what it means to serve in board membership to make sure an organization has the direction and runway to do so. Why are you passionate about the co-op and its BIG Direction? The Co-op, to me, serves as a gateway to allow members of our community to explore and learn about sustainable and/or local goods. Many other avenues for this information are buried within large corporate structures, are located inconveniently, and/or are too far removed from peoples’ everyday routines to make a difference. The Co-op serves to break down these barriers by its governing structure, physical locations, and community partnerships. What skills, experience, or training do you have that makes you a great candidate for the Lexington Co-op Board of Directors? I currently serve as the President of an arts nonprofit, Squeaky Wheel; I have been on the board since 2014 and have also served as Treasurer and Vice President during my board tenure. I also am on the Alumni Board of Nichols School since 2018 and I am on a committee at Roswell Park since last summer. I am 28 years old and in all my board/volunteer service I like to focus on the organizations’ abilities to solicit donations (of time or money) from younger generations to ensure longevity of donors and advocates. What does it mean for you to have a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion? How have you demonstrated that commitment, and how would you see yourself demonstrating it as a member of the Lexington Board of Directors? My most applicable experience in commitment to DEI work is in my board tenure at Squeaky Wheel. It is an organization that focuses on bringing access, education, and exhibition to populations that are underserved by those arts resources. I have taken workshops, championed anti-racism at the organization, and facilitated discussions with fellow board members to ensure our enthusiasm can turn into actionable results. I see a similar issue at Lexington as with Squeaky Wheel in that it’s an organization that wants to promote & exemplify DEI but has a perception among some of being white and cliquey. I believe there are incremental goals that can prove this work as real to the community at large. List any potential conflicts of interested you have with

✔ Incumbent since 2017 Why do you want to serve on the board? Personally and professionally, I’m passionate about local food and small business. As a Lexington board member since 2016, I’ve been honored to work with fellow board members and co-op management to shape the trajectory, growth, and vision of our business. At this juncture, I believe my experience and skills are adding value to the board’s governance, so I’ve chosen to run for reelection. Why are you passionate about the co-op and its BIG Direction? I joined our co-op as a young professional during the recession. I found fulfillment - and great lunch options - in shopping locally. A few years later I was hired into the co-op’s marketing department, where I learned that our co-op offered much more than great vegetables and bulk spices. Our business model has been used throughout the world, empowering people to build enterprises that meet their needs and serve to grow communities. Right here in WNY, our co-op provides access to foods and options not available elsewhere to shoppers, market access to local producers, and a true commitment to bettering our area. Our stores are doing more than providing food to our community - an already noble endeavor - co-ops are organizations committed to the people, economy and agricultural health of a region. Lexington’s vision to feed our community both figuratively and literally is what sets it apart. What skills, experience, or training do you have that makes you a great candidate for the Lexington Co-op Board of Directors? After working in Lexington’s marketing department for five years, I joined the startup management team at East Aurora Co-op Market, opening a new cooperative in WNY and working through its first operational years. Today, I continue my career within this sector as an owner and manager of a (worker-owned) firm providing design and operational support to cooperatives, natural foods and sustainably-focused businesses. I’ve worked with consumer and worker co-ops in Buffalo and around the country, with local farms and purveyors, and also with national cooperative development and support organizations. I bring those experiences and networks to my work on the board of the Lexington Co-op. What does it mean for you to have a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion? How have you demonstrated that commitment, and how would you see yourself demonstrating it as a member of the Lexington Board of Directors? Personally, a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion means self awareness and humility, the recognition of privilege, and a dedication to learning while seeking opportunities to use that privilege to move the initiatives and organizations I’m involved with towards change. That certainly includes this board where we must work to improve our co-op’s accessibility and approachability. I’ve been humbled to serve alongside fellow owners who each bring unique perspectives to this challenge. Cooperatives were created for everyone. A mechanism by which folks with a common goal or interest can build resources and opportunity for themselves. As stewards of this organization, we are tasked with the weighty responsibility of ensuring a fair, kind, and validating experience for all who choose to shop and work in our co-op, and through our relationship with the community at large. That’s not easy work, and we’re bound to make missteps along the way, but it’s our work to do now. List any potential conflicts of interested you have with Lexington Co-op: I work in the cooperative support field and my business has occasionally provided services to the co-op.

✔ Incumbent since 2019 Why do you want to serve on the board? Last year I was elected to fill the final year of a three-year term. Thank you for the trust and confidence you have placed in me. Having served as director and president 1991–2003, I was curious to witness the evolution of the governance structure we put into place. Still passionate about access to sustainable food and supporting our local and global communities, I was eager to learn if we had grown to meet the expanding needs of our ownership, which increased 3,000% and now bridges two stores. In this brief year, I am heartened to see the same commitment by our directors and ownership to our common values. I am proud of what our community has accomplished. But I also see great opportunities for us to continue to make changes in our organization, increasing ownership connectedness, and improving access to healthy, affordable food by everyone in our community. Why are you passionate about the co-op and its BIG Direction? The Co-op is more than a store—we are an empowered community building a world that reflects our shared values — sustainability, economic democracy and equality. Collectively, we work to nurture our families and our communities, by supporting local growers and fair labor globally. Every owner has an equal voice and vote in how our stores are governed, which sets us apart from conventional stores. My priority is to ensure that every owner realizes the power of their voice. As leaders, passionate owners, and shoppers, our shared values have never been so evident, as demonstrated by our staff. They have courageously served at the front lines of this pandemic, ensuring that we remain fed, providing comfort and calmness during so much uncertainty. I am committed to assisting with seeing us through to a new and healthy future, creating access and opportunities to even more owners and shoppers within our community. What skills, experience, or training do you have that makes you a great candidate for the Lexington Co-op Board of Directors? Elected Vice President during my partial term, I have become reacquainted with the governance system I helped initiate prior to opening Elmwood. I have begun working with the President overseeing our priorities calendar to facilitate the work of the Board. As the Board has necessarily focused on policies to monitor our financial health over the past few years, we now identify others which will strengthen our connection with owners. I am coordinating the formation of committees to create opportunities for owners to engage with us, and to increase the effectiveness of communications. I have a proven record as a transformative facilitator, having served as Board President leading the Co-op to the 2003 expansion, as a governance leader at UB and SUNY, and as a freelance business owner. I am a consensus-builder, skilled at navigating policy, improving fiscal stewardship, and increasing the value delivered to member-owners. What does it mean for you to have a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion? How have you demonstrated that commitment, and how would you see yourself demonstrating it as a member of the Lexington Board of Directors? Conversations around diversity and inclusion have been ongoing for as long as I’ve served on the Board. How do we amplify BIPOC voices at all levels of our organization? How do we reach everyone within the communities we serve, create a space where all feel welcome and protected, provide access to healthy and comforting food, and usher in more diverse leadership? Conversations have led to policies ensuring all staff and customers are treated respectfully. Admittedly, we have much work ahead as we answer these questions and uncover others not yet thought of. Over the past several months I have supported proposals for creating space for more voices within our board by increasing the number of directors and imposing term limits. This would be a small but significant step. We must commit to directly reaching out to underrepresented individuals and actively build an organization truly representative of the communities we serve. List any potential conflicts of interested you have with Lexington Co-op: N/A

Why do you want to serve on the board? I am running to serve on the board for two reasons. One is to make a difference in the community by bringing more customers who, through their purchases of local products, support our partners which in turn supports other businesses in the area. When I first moved to Buffalo in 2019, I had heard such amazing things about the Coop, from the fantastic meat selection to the best produce in Buffalo. However, I was then told there’s a membership, which to me meant that I could not shop without the membership. I want our community to see the real benefit of the store, especially young and new people in our community. The second reason is to put my skills to good use for an organization I am passionate about. My background in retail, both in sales and finance, has given me a skill set that could be useful for enhancement of our stores. Why are you passionate about the co-op and its BIG Direction? I am passionate about the Co-op because, as a customer, I love the store. I find myself always feeling good about my purchases and I find comfort knowing that a bunch of carrots came from a farm 20 miles outside the city, and also supports a 3rd generation farmer. As an economist, locally grown food and a store devoted to it keeps money in our community. Demand at our stores drives demand for our partners which therefore creates more jobs. What skills, experience, or training do you have that makes you a great candidate for the Lexington Co-op Board of Directors? My experience in finance as a lead financial analyst has provided me with a great deal of business analytic skills, including managing a P&L, cost analysis, and investment analysis. During my training at Harvard Business School, I gained expertise in management and tools in organizational change. I have also served on several boards, including the Hilton High School Scholarship Committee and as the first president of my college’s Philanthropy Council. What does it mean for you to have a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion? How have you demonstrated that commitment, and how would you see yourself demonstrating it as a member of the Lexington Board of Directors? A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at a board setting is to have a wide range of stakeholders from all walks of life have while given an equal voice to make decisions and speak openly and freely about ideas. For instance, in my current position, when we are about to engage in a new project, I always ensure every stakeholder can have equal time and free space to discuss and shape the changes we wish to implement, giving every person equity in the project. As a board member, I would continue to approach all things with an open mind while respecting each member’s perspective and ideas, as well as taking equity in each of our decisions, regardless of my personal opinion. We will served united as one board. List any potential conflicts of interested you have with Lexington Co-op: N/A

Why do you want to serve on the board? I would like to become more involved with, and help advance, an organization of which I’ve been a member now for several years. I’d also like to become more engaged with a community that values a similar lifestyle dedicated to healthy living. Why are you passionate about the co-op and its BIG Direction? I’m a lifelong Buffalo-nian passionate about healthy food paired with an active lifestyle. I’ve come to view the Lexington Co-op as a cornerstone of the community, whose value cannot be overstated, and whose mission benefits the entire Western New York area from local farms, to the general health and well-being of its citizens. What skills, experience, or training do you have that makes you a great candidate for the Lexington Co-op Board of Directors? I’m an MBA graduate with a concentration in marketing and data analytics. I would hope to apply these skills that I’ve developed and nurtured throughout my career to help the Co-op reach new customer-bases, and capture a larger piece of the local market. In addition to working full-time, I also manage my own LLC. I’m detail-orientated, organized, and motivated to bring the Co-op to the forefront of the grocery industry in WNY. What does it mean for you to have a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion? How have you demonstrated that commitment, and how would you see yourself demonstrating it as a member of the Lexington Board of Directors? Diversity, equity, and inclusion are integral to the success of any organization. This is the most genuine way to develop true creativity and originality, by welcoming input from members of all walks of life, each carrying their own unique perspective. I seek to incorporate that in both personal aspects of my life, through diversity of friendship, as well as in my career, by working with clients and colleagues who share this value. The entire nature of a ‘co-operative’ organization is based on diversity of its members, and as a member of the board I’d be determined to promote and propel this ideology to the next level. List any potential conflicts of interested you have with Lexington Co-op: N/A

 

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.