Candidate Statement: Janice Lilly

Janice Lilly

Image1. Why are you interested in serving on the board of Bloomington Cooperative Services, Inc?  For 15 years I have enjoyed shopping at Bloomingfoods, reading the newsletter and getting to know people who work there. I believe Bloomington Cooperative Services embodies the kind of business we need to build in order to have a sustainable future.  With my background in finance and in community involvement I believe I have some skills to assist in the continued development of this business.
2. What experience or involvement have you had with Bloomingfoods or other cooperatives?  I have been a member of Bloomingfoods for 15 years. Before that I was a member of Sevananda in Atlanta. Before that I helped organize a food co-op at UCLA to serve students there.
3. What do you see as the role of BCS, Inc. in the community?  I see BCS, Inc. as serving several roles in the local community. First, Bloomingfoods serves the role of providing healthy, organic and local food to the community through the stores, the delis, the catering business and the Farmers' Market. Second, I see BCS working to educate the community on the many issues of sustainable foods. Third, BCS supports local programs around food such as Plant a Row for the Hungry.  Finally, I believe, as a cooperative, BCS serves as a model of how business can benefit the community.
4. What are opportunities and challenges that you see in the future of the co-op?  I believe the opportunities that exist for BCS are in expanding its role within the community. I believe education continues to be a vital component in building a sustainable future and that BCS can have an important role in this. I certainly believe many challenges and opportunities exist in developing our food supply in more sustainable ways and in making this food more available to all members of our community. There are always challenges in building and maintaining a successful business based on a cooperative model because this model is by definition inclusive. However, it is also this inclusivity that produces great rewards and benefits for the community.
5. Please share any professional, volunteer, or life experience you have had that will provide insight when serving on the BCS board of directors.  Include knowledge, skills, formal training, and education that will contribute to the mission of our co-op.  I have a graduate degree in economics and finance and had a 10-year career in the corporate world working with large and small businesses. I helped start a food co-op at UCLA while I was a graduate student there. I have served 6 years on the Advisory Board for the Bloomington Farmers' Market, two of those years as chair.
6. What has been your experience in working cooperatively with small groups of people (such as being a member of a committee, team sports, or volunteer as part of a work group for any organization).  In addition to serving on the Farmers' Market Board, I have also served on the Parent Governing Boards of Hoosier Courts Cooperative Nursery School and Bloomington Montessori School. I served on the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church. I have been a volunteer teacher and tutor of math at Rogers, Binford and Tri-North.
7. How do your values and lifestyle align with the values and mission of the co-op?  My family made a commitment when our children were young to eat, as much as is available, local and organic foods. We did this not only for our own well-being but for the well-being of our planet. We grow some of our own food, organically, and we share the delicious wonders of great local foods with guests in our home.  We have been longtime supporters of Mother Hubbard's Cupboard and the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. I have written an article for the newsletter of the Local Growers' Guild and support their work and their Winter Market.