Tami Bauers

Freelance Project Coordinator

Since 1994 I have served co-ops as an employee,  member, owner/shopper and, most recently, on a freelance basis in project coordination. I am enrolled in the Certificate Program at the International Centre for Co-operative Management at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, which has expanded my understanding about the cooperative movement.

I am motivated to serve on the board with the hope that my experience with the local and national co-op sectors will be an asset in finding creative ways to address current challenges that impact Seward Co-op – like intense competition, racism, crime and the pandemic – while keeping a hopeful eye to the future.

Serving on a board requires working collaboratively. Some of my recent jobs with co-ops involved capital campaign and project goals that required coordinating and compromising with staff, board, and owners through process, discussion, communication, and hard work. Collaboration means arriving at shared understanding and agreement on decisions or outcomes.

Seward Co-op’s nationally recognized leadership implementing its Ends Statement is accomplished by cultivating systems and programs like SEED, hiring practices, and Fair Trade and then monitoring their progress. As a potential board member, I would thoughtfully question where the co-op is going and how future planning will include and impact owners, staff, local growers/producers, and the neighborhoods that our stores serve. This work requires staying informed and a discipline to weave threads from the past into future planning.

I can contribute to Seward Co-op through my willingness to listen and speak, my knowledge of cooperatives, and my relationships with owners, staff, and community. I have experience helping co-ops build owner equity through increased membership and owner loans/C shares. Besides simply shopping, these investments are additional ways owners can support the co-op’s financial position for the future.

My vision for Seward Co-op has always been that it will continue to sustain a healthy community by doing its core work of being excellent and cherished grocery stores owned by real people. Recent events prove how vital our co-op is at fulfilling some of our most basic needs: eating, belonging, and sharing our collective resources within our neighborhoods.