Nominee Q&A: Diana Worley

2015 Board Nominee Diana Worley has been a member-owner since 7/6/2014.

1. Why do you want to be a member of the Bethlehem Food Co-Op Board of Directors?

Being a member of the board is a great opportunity to make a difference in the community and help the CoOp get closer to opening it’s doors.  Working as a board member offers a chance to brainstorm with others to generate ideas that will benefit the CoOp and its present and future members.

2. Briefly explain what you believe are two key issues facing the Co-op and how you believe these issues could be addressed:

Of course, the first issue we face is making the community aware of the Co-Op and with that awareness increasing membership.
We have been doing so much to raise awareness through community outreach and this has brought us new members but we need more  to open the doors.  The old saying goes “ You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”. We can make the public aware of the Co-Op  but we can’t make them join. We have to make them thirsty for the CoOp. Why should they join if they can shop without being a member? Now with so many Farmers Markets popping up in the Lehigh Valley, fresh local food is more readily available. They can shop there for in season produce. People can think of a million reasons why they don’t need to join. We have to show them why they need the Co-Op and why being a member is better than just being a shopper.

Another issue that we face is location. This is a tough issue because we don’t have the money to find a location. We can’t tell people where we will be so it makes joining more real to them. People want tangible things when it comes to plunking down their hard earned cash. We need membership to get a location, and we need a location to drive membership.

 It will take some out of the box thinking to make things happen because these issue are co-dependent. We have to be willing as a membership to think out of the box and take some chances.

3. What particular skills, knowledge, and/or life experience do you bring to our Food Co-op that enables you to support and advance its mission?

Well,  I’m not sure what particular skills, knowledge or life experiences are needed for this position. What I can tell you is that it is my nature to do whatever I do to the best  of my ability.  I don’t give up easily on things I believe in and I will do all I can to make my efforts as sucessful as possible. As for knowledge, I have a degree in old school graphic design and marketing as well as a degree in holistic nutrition with a concentration in herbology. I think the best education I have, or anyone can have, is from the School of Hard Knocks... life. Sometimes the best things are not learned from books.

My interest in furthering the CoOp lies on the belief that community is important for humanity’s survival.  A local grocery store wiith fair prices that I can walk to is far more appealing to me than a big box store that has more choices than necsssary of foods that have little nutritional value in wasteful packaging. The only choice we have right now is the big box store. Our community deserves a choice. A plaace where we feel comfortable about asking for what we need. A place where we know the people and the sources of our food. The Bethlehem Food Co-OP will be a place of community, for the community.

4. What do you see as potential opportunities for the Co-op as it develops long-term strategies?

Personally, I see the Co-OP as a community source of networking and information. We have ties to so many other community groups that we have a great opportunity to act as a common thread between them all. This cooperative connection will better the community and foster the cooperative spirit.  We have the the chance to be a hub for the community by bringing together other organizations that are hubs of information and services in their own right, as the spokes.  Bethlehem is a wealth of educational opportunities with the three colleges that lie within our boundaries, each a hub of activiity and expertise in their own unique way. Bethlehem’s rich historic background is another spoke in the wheel of progress for the co-op. It is a history made up of progressive thinkers, industrial innovation and re-birth. The artistic and epicurian culture of the area as well as the ethnic diversity we posses makes for anothe spoker in the wheel that keeps Bethlehem moving forward.
With all these resources available, the opportunities for the Co-Op’s growth are limitless. With growth can come facilites for educational programs in cooperation with our local colleges, healthy cooking classes with local chefs, talks from health professionals on how to eat well. It can be a meeting place for like minded people to talk food, ecology and the betterment of our lives and planet.

5. When the co-op opens, what is the first item you hope to put in your shopping basket?

Anything and everything from bulk bins!! I love the economy of bulk items and also the ability to try new things in smalll amounts eliminating waste should it not become a favorite food.

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