Statements and video from the 2010 board candidates

The PCC annual election was held April 27 to May 20.

The 2009-2010 nominating committee presented a slate of four candidates for consideration in the 2010 election.

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Each candidate provided some biographical background as well their thoughts on three questions regarding PCC’s future. Those questions are repeated below for each of the candidate's statements.

Katrina Basic

Katrina Basic    watch video

As a Northwest native and a mother of two young girls, I am passionate about the mission of PCC to provide high quality food while supporting local, sustainable agriculture and building communities. As a shopper at various PCC locations over the past 20 years, I have witnessed the mission of PCC being consistently demonstrated by its members and employees.

I have had the opportunity to serve in leadership roles in financial management at several Northwest-based retailers and believe this will position me well to serve on the PCC board. I understand the business challenges involved in sourcing product, partnering with the right vendors, and operating and managing a multi-location business.

I currently serve on the board for a nonprofit organization Washington Business Week, with a mission to educate and inspire high school students to recognize their potential as employees, employers and citizens. I also have volunteered with several community organizations. I believe in the importance of providing stewardship to our communities, the environment, and local businesses.

Collectively, we can achieve the key initiatives of PCC. I will be a dedicated board member, serving as a strong ambassador for PCC and its mission through my personal and professional networks.

Why do you want to serve on the board? What makes you passionate about PCC and its mission?

It is my responsibility as a business executive, parent and member of my community to actively participate and give back to organizations that align with my core values. I believe that PCC is that type of organization. I come from a large extended family that loves to cook and I appreciate the classes and products that PCC has to offer to both the amateur and professional chef.

I look for opportunities to strengthen my ties to my community as well as serve as a role model for my children through participation in professional and volunteer organizations. As a parent, I understand the challenges of providing healthy food options for a busy family. My husband and I love shopping at PCC with our children who are huge fans of the Kid Picks program. What parent would not love a store that creates enthusiasm with their children to visit the produce section?

What are important elements that sustain PCC's competitive edge in good times or in economically challenging times?

PCC must stay true to its mission and beliefs to retain a competitive edge in both good times and more difficult economic times. In difficult economic times people focus and rely on their community. The classes, education, products and resources that PCC provide directly support this connection to the community.

PCC will thrive by continuing to evolve the product mix and store merchandising, based on valuable feedback from its members. Compared to the competition, PCC is uniquely positioned because it has a direct link to the consumer through its membership base and thus has a better understanding of the customer's needs.

What unique skill or perspective will you bring to the board?

I believe that my financial and retail business skills will be an asset to the board. I have worked with Northwest-based direct-to-consumer and retail businesses for the past 15 years. My strengths are being able to interpret the numbers and translate them into meaningful business decisions. I have served in financial management roles in various organizations, both large and small, over the years and know it is not just the numbers that make a company successful. I strongly believe that it is the people, values and culture of an organization that lead to its success.

Jason Hamlin

Jason Hamlin    watch video

I am a wealth strategy associate with the Arbor Group at UBS and work regularly with nonprofit businesses and private investors. I am a part of the Arbor Group's Institutional Consulting team, which manages endowments for national parks in countries around the world.

As a store general manager for Sears, where tens of thousands of items were stocked, I acquired detailed knowledge of the retail environment. I had direct accountability for profit and loss statements. I worked my way up the ladder over 13 years and worked in many different managerial positions, including District Operations Manager and Region Transportation Manager.

I am the past president of the Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce (GWCC), and have served on the boards of Matanuska Telephone Association and the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce. I was the 2004 Business Person of the Year for the GWCC and was chosen one of Alaska's "Top 40 Professionals under 40" for 2009.

My wife, Joey, and I have three boys, ages 5, 3 and 1. We returned to Seattle a year ago after 8 years in Alaska.

Why do you want to serve on the board? What makes you passionate about PCC and its mission?

I am interested in serving PCC's members for multiple reasons. For personal reasons, my family and I desire to eat healthier foods and found it difficult to do. It was more difficult in Alaska. We became part of the Full Circle Farm co-op that shipped weekly boxes of fresh, organic produce to Alaska. PCC's commitment to providing a grocery store's worth of healthy eating selections that taste good is something I believe is important. I would like to help PCC's members educate and inspire those in its sphere of influence to support a sustainable food chain and conduct business responsibly.

PCC practices Policy GovernanceŽ, which I am familiar with and believe is a competitive advantage.

What are important elements that sustain PCC's competitive edge in good times or in economically challenging times?

I believe that doing the right things for the right reasons is good for business. My team, the Arbor Group, helps people invest responsibly by supporting companies that treat the environment and people in their sphere of influence well, and that govern themselves effectively. We believe that doing so should reward your bottom line and not punish it. I believe that acting in this manner will be good for PCC in any economic environment.

PCC's commitments to advocate high quality food standards, support local and sustainable agriculture, educate consumers about timely issues, operate in an environmentally friendly way, and build community are the types of sustainable practices that will allow long-term success.

What unique skills or perspective will you bring to the board?

As a Policy Governance consultant and graduate of the Policy Governance Academy, I have a solid understanding of Policy Governance. I have several years of board experience practicing Policy Governance as well.

While my position as a board member would not be to provide operational support, I do have a significant background in retail management that may be useful in determining the future vision and goals of PCC. I have been directly accountable for profit and loss statements and am comfortable evaluating financial statements.

In my current position, I regularly work with non-profit organizations and business owners to optimize both sides of their balance sheets.

I have a deep understanding of the nature and quality of cooperative enterprises. In addition to the utility co-ops in Alaska, MTA and MEA, I was a member of Full Circle Farm. I currently am a member of PCC and REI.

Bryan Pearce

Bryan Pearce    watch video

There are few, if any, more noble and important endeavors than those that promote community, facilitate education, and enhance the quality of life. Since its inception, PCC has demonstrated its passionate commitment to these pursuits and delivered remarkable, unique and sustained value to the communities it serves.

PCC continues to succeed and grow economically, improve its social and environmental effectiveness, and elevate local resources because of its community of extremely talented, creative and dedicated people who naturally exemplify its core values. I believe in PCC's mission, core values, organizational structure and philosophy of governance and am excited about the opportunity to contribute to its continued success.

While my degrees, certifications and early professional experiences in finance and accounting established a strong foundation of fiscal knowledge and discipline, I believe that true and sustainable success comes from engaging, supporting and celebrating the community of stakeholders, thinking and acting strategically, expanding educational opportunities, and delivering outstanding and memorable experiences. As CEO and trustee of University Book Store, I value the many characteristics PCC and the Book Store share in common. I would be privileged to share the benefits of my education and professional experiences as a member of the PCC board.

Why do you want to serve on the board? What makes you passionate about PCC and its mission?

The heart and soul of PCC are its stakeholders and the contributions and support they provide every day. I am excited about the opportunity to join this amazing team in service on the board by offering my retail, financial, fiduciary, leadership and board experience to assist in ensuring PCC's fulfillment of its Ends Policy and continued success well into the future.

PCC must continue to succeed, grow and extend its brand while pursuing strategic opportunities and navigating the many challenges it faces. Doing so is essential to the wellbeing of our region. I believe in and support PCC's critical quest for a more sustainable environment, a thriving local farming community and valued service to its members and diverse customer groups.

What are important elements that sustain PCC's competitive edge in good times or in economically challenging times?

PCC pursues its mission in ways that are truly unique, creative, meaningful and sustainable. Its member-owned and -governed organizational structure provides the strongest possible foundation on which life-enhancing service can be delivered. PCC's high quality, healthy products, educational programs, support and engagement of local farming communities, quest for the economic/social/environmental 'triple bottom line,' and pervasive sustainability mindset are among the characteristics that not only represent competitive advantages, but enable solid performance regardless of economic conditions.

What unique skill or perspective will you bring to the board?

My leadership and board experiences with University Book Store during the past twenty years are among the attributes that uniquely qualify me for service on the PCC board. With its local roots and focus on Puget Sound area communities, member governance structure, multi-store touch points, educational emphasis, honest, ethical and collaborative business practices, and clear focus on enhancing the quality of life, the Book Store shares many strategic characteristics in common with PCC.

In addition, my education (BA and MBA degrees; CPA and CFP certifications) and experience in accounting and finance, service on for-profit and not-for-profit organization boards, navigating competitive and changing industry environments, strategic planning, and sustainability initiative development will assist me in bringing a wide array of knowledge resources to the PCC board.

More importantly, my wife and two daughters have helped me fully appreciate the importance of a healthy lifestyle, being a good steward of the environment and working toward creating a better world in everything I do.

John Sheller

John Sheller    watch video

I grew up behind the register of a small grocery store deli in suburban Philadelphia. My father taught me we could not compete on price with chain stores, so instead we offered high quality items and developed relationships with our customers to keep them coming back. My dad made fresh sandwiches, and I carried groceries for neighborhood shoppers.

After serving in the Air Force, I settled in Eastern Washington. My wife and I attempted to raise chemical-free beef as part of an informal co-op. At that time, it was difficult to find accurate ingredients labeling in stock feeds. I learned how pervasive hormones and chemicals were in our food supply, and how diligent organic farmers have to be to retain control of their produce.

I moved to King County to attend the University of Washington. I earned a Masters degree in Library & Information Science, and an MPA from Seattle University. I have been managing libraries in rural, suburban and urban communities since 1997. When making decisions, I use a process of gathering information, evaluating options, asking questions of stakeholders, and choosing courses of action that make the most sense. This guides my personal and professional goal-setting and evaluation.

Why do you want to serve on the board? What makes you passionate about PCC and its mission?

I share PCC's values in my personal and professional life. As a father and food enthusiast I strive to teach my daughter the value of high quality produce and a sustainable food supply. As someone who tried to raise chemical-free beef in the 1980s, I appreciate the work PCC has done to ensure a quality, sustainable local food supply. As a librarian I am committed to empowering people in their decision making through outreach, accuracy, information and assistance.

I want the best for our staff, members, and shoppers; and would work to contribute my part as a board member. I have served on a number of boards in all capacities, and I take my stewardship role seriously.

What are important elements that sustain PCC's competitive edge in good times or in economically challenging times?

PCC has earned the trust of its members and shoppers through its welcoming stores, knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff, quality foods and sustainable practices. Customer loyalty allows PCC to maintain its leadership position in pursuit of our values. I believe continued member education, competitive staff compensation and training, and attractive, environmentally responsible stores will continue to keep members and shoppers coming to PCC during challenging economic times.

What unique skills or perspectives will you bring to the board?

Adding a librarian would bring a nice balance to the PCC board. I am committed to informed decision making, accuracy, community education and advocacy. I believe I could best serve by listening to our members and staff, asking questions at board meetings, and actively participating in all board functions such as trainings, retreats and committee meetings. In my current board positions I read the previous meeting minutes and any information provided prior to each meeting. I engage my fellow board members in their areas of expertise, to bring myself up to speed on our issues.

I also am a believer in board goal setting and board member self-evaluation. Serving in a leadership position can provide wonderful opportunities for personal growth, but it takes deliberation, goal setting and evaluation to gain the most from the experience. I would like to examine the current board self-evaluation process to identify areas for increased feedback, dialogue, growth and improvement.

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