Candidate Statement: Donna Stroup

Donna Stroup

Image1. Why are you interested in serving on the board of Bloomington Cooperative Services, Inc?  I would like to continue my current work on the BCS Board of Directors to lead and support the efforts of our general manager and his staff. The board is becoming ever more focused and efficient in conducting its usual business of policy governance, and this year we began looking at "big picture" issues for the co-op, our community, and the world. Continuing these efforts will be part of my goals for the next two years.
2. What experience or involvement have you had with Bloomingfoods or other cooperatives?  I served as a director and treasurer on the BCS board for four years in the late 1990's. I returned to the BCS board two years ago, serving as treasurer for a year and currently as president. I have a substantial accumulation of co-op governance training, experience, and good working relationships. I also serve as treasurer and secretary for two homeowners' associations.
3. What do you see as the role of BCS, Inc. in the community?  I see BCS/Bloomingfoods as a leader in the local community. Whether it is supporting local growers, promoting local organic foodstuffs, using environmentally conscious building methods, sponsoring educational workshops and events, or supporting the arts, the Bloomingfoods name seems to "raise the bar" of community commitment.
4. What are opportunities and challenges that you see in the future of the co-op?  Our current post-Near West Side-opening challenge for the co-op is to recover and stabilize operations for our three stores so that we achieve the projected profitability as initially planned, while keeping in mind the growing need to expand our Eastside operation. The opportunity we have is to better define and focus on the niches that each store can fill in their respective locations. We must also help our owners and community understand and address rising food prices.
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 am a certified public accountant and certified internal auditor with 25 years of audit experience, focusing on operational processes. I have a BS degree in Business, and I obtain at least 40 hours of continuing education annually to maintain my certifications. I have a long history of working well with 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).  As mentioned earlier, I serve on two homeowners' associations – both are small groups of five people. For the last 25 years I have worked in a relatively small department of twelve, where I have been an active participant and supporter of the group's work.
7. How do your values and lifestyle align with the values and mission of the co-op?  I am so happy that Bloomingfoods is part of our community, providing me with a friendly place for healthy food options and educational opportunities, while operating in a way that is respectful of its customers, its vendors, its community, and its environment. An organization with a heart and a sense of responsibility – nothing could be better!