2012 board candidate statements and videos

The 2011-2012 nominating committee presented a slate of four candidates for consideration in the 2012 election.

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.

Maggie Lucas

Maggie Lucas (incumbent)

I moved to a neighborhood with a PCC about fifteen years ago and have been a shopper there ever since. PCC, its food, its people and its programs have played a major role in my family’s life over these years.

When I decided to take a break from practicing law after seventeen years, I looked for places to volunteer - places that matter. I worked to make my children’s school a Washington Green School, and served on the boards of two local non-profits, including three years on an executive committee and a term as president of a foundation. Then I started to learn more about PCC, its triple bottom line philosophy, its support of organic supply chains, and the importance of its cooperative business structure. I was hooked!

Today, after almost three years on the board, I am more impressed than ever with the difference PCC makes in our region. I am committed to the continued success of this unique leader in our community, and would love the chance to serve another term on the board.

Why do you want to serve on the board?

I am proud of the work I have done on the board so far, and I want to continue it. I have served on all four of the board’s standing committees and chaired two of them. I was the board’s representative on the nominating committee, and worked on other subcommittees and projects as well. I have an understanding of Policy Governance«, which the board uses as its governance system. I have never missed a meeting and always come prepared. I am inspired to this high degree of effort because I believe in PCC’s mission – to create a cooperative, sustainable environment for its members and patrons in which the natural and organic supply chains thrive. Accomplishing that is fascinating, exciting work, which I would like to continue.

What makes PCC a different kind of business?

So many positive attributes set PCC apart, including its triple bottom line philosophy, in which environmental stewardship and social responsibility are valued equally with profit. PCC is a cooperative, a type of business which stands for member participation and helping other cooperatives. These philosophies attract staff with complementary values. The people who work at PCC really set it apart from, and ahead of, other businesses because they believe in what they are doing. It’s not just a job to work there; it is part of something bigger, something that matters. They care about the health of their patrons. They know their farmers. They work hard to protect the environment and support their communities. Leadership like this is inspiring consumers to demand similar considerations from other businesses; PCC is a model for the future. PCC staff never stop trying to improve the co-op’s triple bottom line; that’s quite different from your average grocery store!

What experience, skill or perspective will you bring to the board?

I have served on PCC’s board for almost three years, during which time I served on all four committees, chaired two of those, and worked on a variety of other subcommittees and projects. I served nine years on other boards, including terms in leadership positions, and have a demonstrated ability to work and lead in a collaborative setting. I am a parent, an important perspective for a large number of PCC members. My training and experience as a lawyer and mediator provide a strong background in critical and creative thinking, problem solving and leadership.

Stephen Tan

Stephen Tan (incumbent)

PCC does what few commercial enterprises would even consider. It puts the wellbeing of its members and customers, our local communities, and the environment at the heart of its business plan. This principled way of doing business poses certain challenges, but it also offers us the opportunity to showcase a thriving company as committed to serving the environmental and social interests of its patrons as it is to its own financial success.

The values by which PCC operates reflect my own. As an attorney with an exclusive practice in environmental law, I have devoted my professional life to the protection of public health and the environment and the wise use of natural resources. As a trained conservation biologist, I understand how impaired ecological health affects our individual lives, our families, and our communities. As someone with a long history of service on nonprofit boards and as a volunteer, I have seen firsthand what effective organizations can accomplish. And as a business owner, I know that without financial success, other goals have little meaning.

I would be honored to continue my service to PCC as a trustee.

Why do you want to serve on the board?

Food matters. It matters in ways that are fundamental and personal, and in ways that are less apparent but no less important. The decisions we make about what we eat, its quality, and how it's produced drive agricultural and environmental policy. They direct our trade relationships with other nations. They dictate where we devote the resources of our health care system and how we manage our public lands and waters. To a significant degree, they determine how wealth is distributed and define our culture. As they say, "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are."

PCC understands that the seemingly simple choices we make every day have profound implications. By offering us food that is responsibly produced, educating us on matters of nutrition and personal wellness, and advocating for a more thoughtful agricultural and food policy, it helps us make these decisions wisely. I know of no company engaged in a more important business.

What makes PCC a different kind of business?

Most companies operate without regard to the environmental and social consequences of their actions. They may portray themselves as good corporate citizens, but a closer look reveals a single-minded focus on profit. Of the few businesses that do take steps to adopt sustainable business practices, most view their efforts as a sacrifice, not as an investment in their future or in the future of the people and communities they serve. Predictably, their efforts often lack substance.

At PCC, we believe that profitability, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability can be not only compatible, but co-extensive. Meaningful success in one measure of performance can spur and foster achievement in others. PCC's commitment to this ethic makes it the unique business it is.

What experience, skill or perspective will you bring to the board?

I practice law with Cascadia Law Group, which advises and represents clients on a full range of environmental issues. My experience as an attorney and my education in conservation science allow me to understand how the environmental issues our region faces impact our everyday lives, the welfare of our communities, and the health of our local economy. In addition, through my business and boardroom experience, I understand the responsibility of serving clients, fulfilling obligations to employees, and working with others in managing a business to success.

Art Scheunemann

Art Scheunemann

I currently am Senior Vice President, Business Development for Northwest Container Services, a Division of Waste Connections, Inc. I oversee all business development for the company, focusing on new business initiatives, acquisitions and partnerships.

My career and accomplishments have focused largely on food and agricultural market development for Washington products. My knowledge and experience encompass such diverse sectors as wine, seafood, food processing, organic crop production marketing, transportation, food quality, safety and sustainability.

I hold a B.A. degree in education from Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN; a M.A. degree in transportation economics and marketing from Washington State University, Pullman; and am a graduate of the Executive Management Program, University of Washington, Seattle.

I am married to Michelle Owens, have two grown daughters (Nicole & Jennifer) and a Labradoodle – Gracie Kelly. My home is in Redmond, Washington.

My work and accomplishments in the public-private food and agriculture sectors have provided me with a unique set of management skills and perspective that will contribute positively to the process and work of the PCC board. The opportunity to work collaboratively with the PCC membership to address their needs and concerns would be very exciting, challenging and rewarding.

Why do you want to serve on the board?

In life and business, there should come a time when we seek opportunities to share our experience and success – to “give-back” and contribute beyond our own self-interest. The PCC board provides a wonderful opportunity to share my management experience, my work in the food and agriculture industries and perspectives gained from my career in a meaningful, productive way, in a unique and successful business organization.

What makes PCC a different kind of business?

Clearly the cooperative structure is a unique (but not new) business model, differentiated from a traditional for profit business. As in the PCC case, the co-op structure, run well, provides a strong framework for creating value for the member-owners in terms of protecting and growing the PCC brand; food product choices, quality and safety; understanding and acting positively on the demands and needs of the member-owners; adaptability to new products, brands, market changes and opportunities; and directed, assured reinvestment in the success of the business, i.e., employees, stores, products and communities served. PCC is truly a unique organization.

What experience, skill or perspective will you bring to the board?

35 years of successful management experience in the private and public sectors, focusing on developing, promoting, marketing and positioning Washington food and agricultural products and brands, both domestic and international. Proven operations experience including budget management and bottom line fiscal accountability; strategic planning management skills, including all elements of organizational, business, economic and marketing plan development and execution; strong leadership and team building skills, with proven success developing consensus and managing in complex and dynamic organizations. Additionally, I bring a passion for food. Food is a significant investment in our lives. It provides for our daily sustenance, and the satisfaction and pleasure we derive from eating. That said, we should have high expectations regarding the “return on our food investment”. PCC delivers on this expectation by assuring diverse, high quality, safe and abundant food choices to its member-owners.

I believe I offer a unique set of mutually beneficial skills, experience and perspective for consideration.

I would be honored and gratified to serve the PCC membership on the Board of Trustees.

Sandy Voit

Sandy Voit

I’ve been a PCC member for over 30 years (prior to coming to Seattle I helped co-found a food co-op in Binghamton, NY), and served 12 years on the PCC board (1985-94, 1996-99), while I was Dean of Students at Bastyr University (1982-2001). I left Bastyr to become Executive Director of Temple Beth Am (2001-06), and have since been in private practice as a financial counselor (personal finances, retirement planning, and helping divorcing couples negotiate a financial settlement).

Before moving to Seattle, I earned an MS & EdS in Counseling and Personnel Services, and worked at the State Universities of New York at Binghamton and Albany, and Vassar College.

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, primarily involved in Collaborative Divorce.

I’ve been fortunate to work for organizations with great missions, and being an active member of a community is essential for me. I have worked as a community organizer, and embrace the values of the organizations with which I’ve belonged. PCC continues to serve as a beacon in both the retail food industry, and, especially, as a co-op, and I look forward to being able to serve the PCC community.

Why do you want to serve on the board?

As a 30+ year member I have been actively involved, serving on numerous committees and four terms on the board. The value of community is strongly evidenced in our family. Our daughters, who attended PCC board meetings as infants, are each now members of food co-ops. I am interested in finding a meaningful and productive way to continue to be of service to an organization which means so much to us.

Values are the driving force in both my personal and professional life. Natural health, sustainability (environmental and financial), and community are core issues for me. All three pertain to PCC, and as PCC continues to grow and evolve, I believe my experiences, values, and perspective will help PCC navigate the ever-changing environment. I want to give back to our community.

I also admire PCC as it embraces many of the things I value in my community: preservation of pristine farmlands, sustainability of agriculture, education of consumers, employment of the disabled, and a food bank for the disadvantaged. It would be an honor to serve on the PCC Board of Trustees and contribute directly to maintaining the strength and integrity of PCC Natural Markets.

What makes PCC a different kind of business?

A successful food co-op is a vanishing breed. While we must be successful as a business to continue to thrive as a co-op, it is our cooperative values which distinguish us from our “competition”, and makes us better.

PCC has been graced with passion, commitment, leadership, and loyalty, and needs to continue looking out for all of our stakeholders – members, staff, customers, growers and vendors. We’ve created a transformative community and environment where sustainability, doing the right thing, and providing essential education to members, legislators and the community; while once were a small voice, now have impact both locally and nationally.

Adhering to core values such as democratic participation, social responsibility, honesty, and education is what helps makes us not just different, but better. We’re not looking to exploit our staff or the environment, or maximize profits to shareholders. PCC has been given a trust by our member/owners to be better than our competition, and to be successful while being true to our values. We must continue to build on these.

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

I believe the following would help the board provide guidance to serve members’ interests:

  • Advancing the cause of natural health at Bastyr University for 19 years.
  • As a financial counselor helping clients find economic value and sustainability with their choices.
  • Many years experience utilizing business, financial, and communication skills.
  • Four-decades’ involvement with food co-ops.
  • Commitment to find the appropriate balance among PCC’s stakeholders.

More about: board of trustees, election, member meetings, membership

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