Dave Gutknecht


I am a dedicated co-op owner of many years and want to see Seward Community Co-op thrive and continue providing vital services to an expanding and diverse community. In years past, over several decades in co-ops, I have served on boards, worked in collectives, attended trainings, and contributed to committees—but chiefly I have served as a co-op editor, educator, and networker. My main intent in all this has been to help co-ops learn from each other, realize their commonality, and strengthen their social and business enterprises.

I’ve learned much from others in cooperatives, and I recognize there is much more to be done. My work as editor of the food co-op trade magazine, Cooperative Grocer, has wound down, allowing me time to apply my energy with a more local focus. I bring a good grasp of cooperative issues as well as an appreciation for listening, debate, and collaboration. I value learning about others’ perspectives and passions, while I also recognize that the board must reach agreements and hold each other and our cooperative accountable to those agreements. I value debate as well as the board duty of loyalty to the co-op.

During this time of strong market pressures as well as threats to social cohesion, the board needs to uphold the co-op’s values and ends, consider changing circumstances, and examine its own work as well as the co-op’s performance. If elected to the board, I will be ready to listen; to promote teamwork; and to attend meetings prepared to evaluate current issues and deliberate within the board’s chosen framework. I also endorse board efforts to explore additional forums for communication within our co-op community.

I would be grateful for the opportunity to contribute to Seward Co-op and its board of directors. I believe passionately in the need to sustain a strong cooperative enterprise providing valued services for its members, workers, suppliers, and larger community. Seward Co-op makes that community healthier through fair treatment of each of those stakeholders, along with sound governance and oversight that ensure the co-op’s relevance and viability.