Thank you to everyone who attended the 2019 Annual Owner Meeting. This year’s meeting was held at the University of Minnesota’s student union on Tuesday. Oct. 22.
Our 2019 Annual Owner Meeting was the third installment in examining the vital role of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color have had and continue to have in our local food system—beginning with previous featured guests, Tunde Wey and Sean Sherman. We were honored to be joined by Pakou Hang co-founder of Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) as our featured speaker.
Seward Co-op owners learned how Hmong cultural upbringing and Pakou Hang’s experience through community organizing led to founding HAFA and their work in organizing to access land, markets, capital, research, and training so that they can build intergenerational and community wealth. Pakou Hang’s presentation was livestreamed and can be viewed on Seward Co-op’s Facebook page.
Chef Yia Vang of Union Hmong Kitchen shared the influence his family’s story and his cultural upbringing had on his career and his menu designed for that night. Owners enjoyed beautiful spoken word about Hmong culture and solidarity performed by Tou SaiKo Lee.
The 2019 Scorecard was made available and our 2020 SEED grant recipients were announced, including the four Community Choice picks. Seward Co-op owners and customers are invited to select four of twelve 2020 SEED recipients. The SEED program raises over $250,000 annually for local non-profits. Our Community Choice picks were: Cornerstone Advocacy Service (Cornerstone), Full Cycle, Hope Community Inc. and St. Stephen’s Human Services. Learn more about our 2020 SEED recipients.
Integral piece of the annual meeting is the announcement of the Board of Directors election results. Congratulations to LaDonna Sanders Redmond, Shiranthi Goonathilaka, Jill Krueger, Me’Lea Connelly and Roderick McCulloch! Together with our current members, these individuals are responsible for articulating the vision and goals for Seward Co-op that management pursues and achieves. The 2019 election featured a large pool of highly qualified candidates. Thank you to all who ran and all who voted.
We thank the University of Minnesota, wait staff from Hire A Host, Wedge Co-op for beverage service, and Sunshine Tree Child Development Center for providing childcare. Thank you to our language interpreters and to all co-op staff who organized and executed the event.