Director Election Now Open! All coop members are eligible to vote!GO VOTE

About the Election

  • Only Coop members may vote
  • 1 vote per member number
  • 5 board member seats available
  • 1 employee board seat available
  • To vote go here and login using:
    • Voter ID: Member Number
    • Voter Key: Primary Last Name on the account
  • Paper ballots available in store
  • Election closes April 15th at 7 pm

Meet the Candidates

Board Member

5 Seats Available

Karen Wells

Skills/Experience

35 years experience in public service, community nonprofit and healthcare sector, 16 years at an executive level including direct reporting to a 12 member BOD. Strong commitment to serving community and principles of equity, inclusion, diversity and sustainability.

Small business owner of a micro bakery licensed in El Dorado County (Sister Loaves, LLC—est 2019) Life long foodie and a love of sharing positive and delicious food experiences.

Co-op Issues Candidate is Interested In

Building on current Co-Op strengths, growing membership, finding opportunities to create a community hub through special events and strengthening and expanding community alliances.

Additional Information

Will be retiring from healthcare at the end of April and devoting more time to the bakery. Would be honored to serve the Co-Op membership and support the outstanding and committed Co-Op team.

Ali LaVanway

Skills/Experience

For the last 15 years, I have been deep in project management and event planning for multiple organizations, including religious organizations and private schools. Currently, I support small businesses as a manager for projects, course launches, social media campaigns, or even tech migrations. In my work, I focus on the ethical use of technology and its ability to strengthen community relationships. 
 
Aside from my experience in the small business project management sphere, I'm also an educator. Most recently, I held a music teacher position at Cedar Springs Waldorf School (pre-COVID, of course!) as well as in my own private studio. As an educator, I'm skilled at creating curricula for all ages and learning styles, and nearly every subject. Since the 5th cooperative principle is "education, training, and information," I believe my experience and skill as an educator will support the Board of Directors as well as the greater co-op community. 

Co-op Issues Candidate is Interested In

I am interested in the relationship between the community at large and the farmers and agricultural laborers. In my view, the Placerville Food Co-op is not just a place to go grocery shopping, but a place to learn about local farms as well as fair and ethical labor practices -- not just for employees at the co-op, but for any person who works in the agricultural industry. Continuing to build strong relationships with the local farmers and vintners, as well as creating relationships with fair trade agricultural organizations, is something that interests me greatly. 

Other issues I am interested in: food accessibility, marketing strategy, community outreach and collaboration, growing co-op membership, and employee satisfaction.

Additional Information

I've been a member of PFC since my family moved to the area in 2012. Natural food stores have been an important part of my life since my three children were very tiny, not just for grocery shopping but as a hub in my parenting community. 

Joe Childers

Skills/Experience

8 months on the current PFC Board to complete the term of a departing board member. 30 years as a university faculty member. 15 years in senior university administration (University of California; St. George's University), including head of campus (St. George's). Experience in fundraising, grant writing, community outreach, financial oversight, human resources.

Co-op Issues Candidate is Interested In

I am especially interested in raising the Co-op's profile in the Placerville area, in hosting more events that reach out to the community, and in expanding the Co-op's offerings, especially of local products. I'm would love to see the Co-op become an even greater contributor to healthful eating and living in our community.

Additional Information

I'm a resident of Placerville, an avid catch-and-release fly fisherman, and an amateur musician, who is always looking for a bluegrass jam. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to contribute any useful skills or experiences I might have to the Co-op and to help it continue to thrive.

Regina Miranda

Skills/Experience

I was General Manager of the co-op from 2016-2020. I am confident my training and hands-on experience can help our Board of Directors support our co-op. My experience includes extensive knowledge of the cooperative business model, retail grocery, and grocery finance. The cooperative business model is unique and requires education and dedication to keep the relationship between staff, GM, members, and board. I am excited to say that I have been in all four roles and can bring that experience to our coop!
I look forward to supporting the store, our dedicated staff, and our community.

unity.

Co-op Issues Candidate is Interested In

I am interested in the financial health of our co-op, community involvement, and employee retention. I have visited coops across the US and I am confident our coop can grow and be successful for the foreseeable future.

Additional Information

I am coop owner #120. I began working at the co-op long before it was a coop - I started at Noah's Ark Natural Foods in 2007. I started as a part-time cashier and then moved on to a buyer position in the wellness department and then to management. 
I am a mother to three daughters. I enjoy spending time outdoors hiking, biking, and camping with friends and family.

Jennifer Franich

Skills/Experience

I am a Principal Management Analyst at the El Dorado County Chief Administrative Office where I contribute to the development of the annual $700 million County budget, and make policy recommendations on use of that funding for delivery of services to our residents. This experience as a staff person serving an elected Board, along with my budgetary and policy experience, would translate to the Co-op Board. Through this role, I analyze service needs along with County goals and funding constraints, and work with County departments toward successful implementation of many complex efforts.

My background is in land use and planning, and I hold a masters degree in City and Regional Planning from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where I focused on food deserts, access to recreation, and other environmental determinants of health. Our community is so abundant with the critical components that allow for a healthy lifestyle, and the Co-op plays such an important role in that. My focus on community engagement through my education and career mean that I am well-versed in with working with multidisciplinary teams and the community toward establishing common goals and compromising toward solutions.

I also have extensive experience in customer service and creating a customer experience from my time working at bars, restaurants, retail, and a day spa. Although I haven’t been in the food service industry for many years, my experience from the other side of the check-out counter rounds out my perspective.

I believe these experiences and skills could serve the Co-op community in a role on our Board.

Co-op Issues Candidate is Interested In

I am interested in increasing visibility so that the wider community is aware that we have a Co-op, and that so much of what they may be looking for is available here. I so appreciate the abundant local offerings available at the store, and I would be interested in maximizing local sourcing opportunities in support of our economy and as a way of maximizing access to fresh, whole foods and handmade products. I also have an affinity for healthy and delicious convenience foods, which are so important to support health for busy folks. I don’t always have the time to make something super nutrient dense and delicious from scratch, but I want to eat that way, regardless! It’s so important to make supporting health accessible in this (and every) way.

Additional Information

I live in Placerville with my husband Will, my 1-year-old son, Robin, and dogs Mansa and Bodie. I am an avid cook (taught by family matriarchs with a little help from the internet), gardening enthusiast (though still working on my green thumb), and I love to be outside whenever I can. I’ve lived in Placerville for the past six years, and feel so lucky to have become part of this wonderful community.

Nicole Bigley

Skills/Experience

I have an extensive background in law, working for 20 years as a legal assistant for highly regarded law firms in San Francisco, Los Angeles and now Sacramento. Through this work, I have become well-versed in board procedures and dynamics as well as the commitment required to be a board member. My passion is food, especially baking. I have worked professionally as a bread and pastry chef and I ran a small pie business out of my home when I lived in Los Angeles. My pies ribboned in the KCRW Pie Contest multiple years, with my White Miso Apple pie winning best apple in 2015.

Co-op Issues Candidate is Interested In

I'm particularly interested in the intersection of food and community and see this as a major selling point and priority for the Co-op. The more we can establish robust connections with our local community, the more we can support, educate and learn. I suspect the issues I'm most concerned about dovetail with the Co-op's: promoting sustainability and increasing access to good food for all.

Additional Information

I grew up and went to high school in Placerville and recently returned after living in San Francisco and Los Angeles for the past 20 years. I moved back with my partner Ben and my 3 year old daughter Vivian, as I had a wonderful childhood here and hope to provide the same for my daughter. I will bring a unique perspective to the board thanks to my background in food and law, and my experience in living in a variety of communities, both urban and rural. My experiences have only reinforced my appreciation for the vital connection between food, mind, body and holistic health. I am very excited to be part of and to once again reconnect with Placerville.

Sarah Jones

Skills/Experience

I have served as the Placerville Food Co-op Board President for the last 3 years. Throughout my tenure the Co-op has faced and overcome many challenges, including business disruption from power outages, turnover in management and dealing with the pandemic. We have made infrastructure improvements, rebranded and re-negotiated the lease to secure our location for years to come.

Currently, I am the Executive Director for a Resource Conservation District that focuses on sustainable agriculture/forestry. I have experience in grant writing, strategic planning, legislative affairs, communications, event planning and community outreach. I manage 14 employees and oversee a $3M annual budget.

Co-op Issues Candidate is Interested In

Community outreach, marketing and strategic planning

Additional Information

My interest in continuing to serve on the board is primarily to contribute to and be more involved in the community. I believe that how food is grown and where we obtain it plays a major role in the health of the environment and ourselves. The co-op contributes to local economic development and I'm proud to play a role in making it sustainable for years to come. I became a co-op member when I moved to Placerville in 2016 because I think it's important to support local businesses.

Employee Board Member

1 Seat Available

Madeline Moule

Skills/Experience

I have worked for the Co-Op for three years with a focus in the front end and center store. As a result of my duration with the Placerville Food Co-Op, I have held many positions and understand the fundamentals of our store exhaustively. I recognize the needs of both our Co-Op employees and owners and hold utmost confidence to convey these topics as a whole. 

Co-op Issues Candidate is Interested In

I would love to see the 7 Principles being used more effectively for the Placerville Food Co-Op's foundational operation. The fifth principle - Education, Training, and Information - being where I would like us to focus. Once things open back up for the world, I would love to see us hosting more community events and workshops again. 

Additional Information

I am currently a bio-chem student studying with a focus in Ecology. My days off are spent either studying, reading a good book, frolicking with my dog in the woods, playing tabletop R.P.G.s, working in the garden, catching a live show, or cooking up a storm.

Matthew Hector

Skills/Experience

I have been a part of the Co-Op staff for a year and a half and a part of management for at least half of that.

Co-op Issues Candidate is Interested In

I wish to see the Co-Op be the best it can be for many years to come and I'd be happy to have a hand in it.

Additional Information

I intend on owning multiple businesses in the future and this is a leadership role that I think could help me understand my ambitions a bit more.