The Board of Directors appointed Evan Silber to the Board as a Staff Director on January 10th. He will be serving through 2025, filling the remainder of the term vacated when Staff Director Denise Glover stepped down from the Board in June 2023.
Here is his candidate statement.
1. Why would you like to serve on the Board of Directors of the Brattleboro Food Co-op (BFC)?
I have been working at BFC for over seven years. During that time I have seen a lot of changes. In the last couple of years, we have seen more positive change than there had been in the five years before. I think BFC is moving in a good direction, and I would like to play a more active role in contributing to that change.
2. What experience or involvement have you had with the BFC or other cooperative enterprises?
I have worked for BFC for 7+ years, first over at Dottie’s Discount, then in the Main store. At Dottie’s, I was the face of the store, greeting customers and building rapport as I got to know them and their needs. I’ve continued to do this at the main store as I work on the floor in the grocery department. I’ve gotten familiar with how the store runs, as well as the staff and members. I try every day to contribute to the smooth running and success of our Co-op.
3. What opportunities or challenges do you see in the future for the BFC?
We are located in a small town with at least three large competitors. I think it is always a challenge to stay unique and add value to our members’ and customers’ experience. It is especially important to be relevant in the community as there is competition waiting to pick up on our missed opportunities or gain from our failures. I think we give a level of customer service and shopping experience that is an entire magnitude higher than our competitors. We are constantly striving to be better and continue to build goodwill with the community and foster new relationships as we do with outreach and projects, such as the 4,200 meals we distributed this Holiday season, as an example. I think as long as we continue with this trajectory, we will be able to continue to grow, as well. We can also expand into other ventures as we have with Potash Hill Catering, for another example. I think it is important to keep the positive momentum we have gathered rolling forward.
4. What qualities, skills, and experiences would you bring to your service as a BFC board member?
I have over 20 years of Retail and Management experience. I have 15 years of experience in the grocery/co-op industry as both a vendor and retailer, as well as experience in the food service industry (both front and back of house). I have two college degrees in science – biology and chemistry – which helps me understand what is in our food, new dietary trends, and the importance of recycling, composting, and sustainability. I am a team player and a people person who loves to come to work each day.
5. Describe an experience where you worked on a team. What did you offer the team? How did you compromise for the team’s benefit?
I work on a team every day at the Co-op. In the grocery department, there are hundreds of tasks to be completed each day, and we work as a team to get them done. Although I struggle to think of a big compromise to point to for an example, there are many small one we make each day, usually they are as simple as, ‘OK, I ‘ll do X if you can get Y done”. They are what keep us moving along and prevent friction from occurring. Although I don’t have a great example, I am all for compromise and understand its importance in keeping an organization moving along smoothly. Without it, everything can come to a halt until the issue is resolved. But even once they are moving again, they might not get up to the momentum they were at before the halt occurred.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? Do you have other experiences that you see as being related to the work of the Board?
I am a gardener and composter, and I have lived in Vermont for 40 years.