2018 board Election resuLTS

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Board Election:

Laurene Sorensen (548 votes, 22.1%)

David Sutherland (534 votes, 21.6%)

Cheyne Mayer (518 votes, 20.9%) 


Thank you to all 936 voters for helping democratically control our Co-op!


Cheyne Mayer

(1.) Food co-ops have been a central part of my life since my childhood. I grew up munching on organic produce and other goodies from the Olympia Food Co-op, and, because my dad worked there, I was even allowed to volunteer from a young age and taught how to stock grocery, chill, and bulk items. From the get-go, co-ops meant good food, friendly folks, and a place to learn. As I grew older, I also came to recognize and value them as places of community, integrity, and collaboration. I am grateful to have had such a positive force in my formative years.

In college, I worked for three years growing organic fruits and veggies on my college’s vegetable farm. It was through that work that my passion for good food deepened and expanded into a love of farming. I interned with a community garden and volunteered internationally through the WWOOF program with rural farmers in Catalunya, Spain. Through these experiences, I gained a great appreciation for the work that goes into growing deeply nourishing produce, and became passionate about promoting such food and improving access to it.

During college I was also active in student governance. I got to debate proposals with students who held very different viewpoints from my own and developed a keen ability for active listening. Over the years, I became adept at finding common ground, and multiple times amendments that I proposed made the difference in passing new policies.

I moved to the Palouse shortly after college with my fiancée for her graduate program at WSU, and immediately became a member and applied to work at the Co-op. I started in the bakery and later became a cashier, only leaving to serve with Americorps locally last October. During that time, I gained a wealth of first-hand experience of what it currently is like working at the Co-op on a day-to-day basis, and I would be pleased to bring that level of understanding to the Board.

(2.) After so many years of co-ops being central in my life, I am excited by the opportunity to play a part in safeguarding our co-op’s future. I resonate strongly with the values cooperatives strive to embody, and would be honored to bring my agricultural and governance experience to the Board and to help guide the Co-op towards the best version of itself it can be.


David Sutherland

(1.) I was raised on a farm in Eastern Oregon which undoubtedly contributed to my choice of agriculture as a field of study in college. Some years after graduating I was employed as an agronomist for a farmers’ cooperative. As the years went by I couldn’t help noticing the negative effects the commercial fertilizers and chemicals were having on the environment. It became increasingly difficult to be involved in that kind of farming as I became more passionate about what I saw happening, to the point that I decided to completely change my career direction. Today I still love agriculture, but a truly sustainable local agriculture that works with the environment, not against it. Now our family organically gardens on our place near Moscow and how we think about food and the environment has dramatically changed. 

Through my work in the farmers’ cooperative process and my subsequent shift in career, I have had the opportunity to work with many different people, groups, and teams. As an agronomist I attended the farmers’ co-op Board of Directors meetings, often briefing them on new ideas and proposals. I became familiar with the co-op model in that setting. I have owned and operated my own business and co-started “Palouse Grown Market,” a local online farmers market. Inclusion and teamwork are an important part of my everyday work environment. I believe that these experiences plus my interpersonal skills will help me be an effective Director.

(2.) The Moscow Food Co-op is an integral part of the community. Many of the things I love about our community have either been started by or through the support of the Co-op. Everywhere I travel, I check where the food co-ops are along the way and go out of my way to stop there. I’m ecstatic when I find that there is a co-op on my route of travel or at my destination. Of all the co-ops I’ve traveled to, our Moscow Food Co-op is my favorite. I can’t imagine Moscow without the Co-op. Indeed, I feel that the strength of our Co-op is crucial to the quality and strength of our community. I would like to add my passion for and knowledge of the environment, natural foods, and truly sustainable agriculture to the Board of Directors for furtherance of our Co-op’s mission.


Laurene Sorensen

(1.) Co-ops have been part of my life since I was 18. At my college’s housing and dining co-op, I got to supervise new cooks and plan menus and events. I learned to listen and respond to feedback, and gained interpersonal skills that I use in my professional life and as a Board member of our Co-op. My volunteer service to our Co-op started in 2003, when I moved to Moscow. I have been appointed to the Board twice and elected once (to my current term). Last year I was Treasurer, and this year I am President. The passion owners bring to our Co-op inspires me.

Another source of experience is my law practice. Some of my favorite projects involve representing new and growing companies. I use this skill to spot legal issues before they grow into problems. 

However, my most valuable experience has come through service on the Board itself. I have faith in the policy governance process. I rely on its principles to guide my decisions as a Board member and officer.

(2.)There are many reasons why I would like to keep serving on the Board:

a. Stability. This is an exciting time for the Co-op, and I want to help it keep it on course. Right now, we are growing in a sustainable, agile way. I want to keep applying what I have learned since joining the Board.

b. Teamwork. I am part of a great team. Our Board members are committed to getting things done the correct way. Melinda and Willow are a joy to work with.

c. Education. Board members have many educational opportunities including facilitated retreats, attendance at conferences and workshops, and the “Study and Engagement” session of each meeting. Some of what I’ve learned is co-op specific, but I have also learned life and business lessons.

d. Gratitude. When I was new in town, the Co-op and its staff welcomed me. Volunteering and shopping there helped me make new friends, and its healthy food got me through the bar exam. Our Co-op is a precious community resource, and I want to use my time and talents to help it thrive.

For news related to the 2016 Board Election, please read here.