The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it has appointed Yoshi Manale to fill the remainder of Steffen Gillom’s term on the Board (term expires 2023). Here is Yoshi in his own words, from the statement of interest he submitted to the Board. Welcome, Yoshi!
- Why would you like to serve on the Board of Directors of the Brattleboro Food Co-op (BFC)?
When first interviewing for the position of Brattleboro town manager, I stayed at the Latchis Hotel and had the opportunity to head to Wantastiquet mountain for a hike. Before the walk, I stopped in the Brattleboro Co-op and was impressed by the size of the location and its selection of products. When I was chosen and moved to Brattleboro, I immediately joined the Co-op. Once a member, I learned about its history of supporting organic and sustainable products and commitment to the community and those most in need. As a dedicated public servant, I have spent much of my career focused on those two issues and felt very encouraged that a thriving co-op exists in Brattleboro. Having the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors would allow me to personally contribute to Brattleboro beyond the scope of my day job as town manager. In addition, being a part of the board will bring me closer to the place I recently moved to, building my connection to a community asset and people that both work and shop at.
- What experience or involvement have you had with the BFC or other cooperative enterprises?
I have had limited experience with a cooperative enterprise other than frequenting them as a shopper. I grew up near Takoma Park, Maryland, and my family has been members of the Takoma Park co-op for as long as I remember. When I lived in Brooklyn, I frequented the Park Slope Cooperative.
- What opportunities or challenges do you see in the future for the BFC?
With the additional funding obtained from the federal stimulus, the Co-op has a unique chance to utilize its extra funding to secure its future. One-time funding sources are complex as any spending needs to consider the long-term impact, not just short-term gain. Balancing the needs of the shareholders, employees, and customers will be tricky yet exciting as to its opportunities.
- What qualities, skills, and experiences would you bring to your service as a BFC board member?
I am an experienced professional manager of people who has overseen public organizations and budgets ranging from $20 million to $400 million. I have been committed to funding opportunities to improve the lives of those I serve and to do so in a fiscally responsible manner. I believe that organizations should strive to fulfill the goal of their mission statement and focus decisions on how best to reach that goal. In addition, in my role as Brattleboro Town manager, I have a unique insight into the town’s current position and how local state and federal decisions and funding will impact its future.