2012 Co-op Board Nominees

The nominees and incumbents have been asked to submit answers to the following questions to help the membership become better acquainted with them.

1. What experience do you have with the Co-op?
2. Please describe why you want to serve on the Co-op Board.
3. Give specific contributions you can make to the Co-op by serving on the Board.


Fran Hart


1. I’ve been a Co-op member since 1991 or 1992….I think! (I’d have to check the membership book for the exact year). While I have done some packaging at the 10th Street store location, my primary experience at the Co-op has been cashiering. I enjoy the register work, greeting people, and helping customers find items on their shopping lists.

2. Anyone who knows me fairly well is aware of my enthusiasm for and appreciation of healthy foods, including gluten-free and natural and healthy “alternative” products and supplements. Serving on the Co-op
Board would simply be a way to show my support and appreciation for our store.

3. I’ve engaged in “word-of-mouth” advertising for the Co-op for many years. Possible contributions I could make would be occasional write-ups, proofreading, telephoning or other related tasks. I’m not sure
what tasks are required from Board members, so it is difficult for me to respond with “specifics” at this time. In general, consistency, attention to detail, some arts ‘n crafts as well as effort would be among my “strong” points.


Erica Vaughn:


When I first arrived in Baker City in 2004 I joined the Baker Food Co-op and was trained as a cashier. After a month I was hired to work for the Co-op as the “Director of Volunteers.”  Below were some of my responsibilities:

  • Promoted membership and signed up new members
  • Trained or provided training for new members for various positions
  • Created and maintained schedules
  • “accepted” and “relived” volunteers as needed
  • Settled disputes of/or among volunteers
  • Filled in responsibilities during no-shows
  • Called and mailed cards/letters to volunteers
  • Assisted customers
  • Assisted truck crews
  • Ordered supplies
  • Opened and closed store as needed
  • Coordinated responsibilities with the store manager
  • Took surveys for the Board of Directors as needed
  • Researched information for store manager and Board of Directors as needed
  • Used computer graphics skills for many projects
  • Coordinated and marketed monthly local ads
  • Performed many miscellaneous tasks and projects

Specific Accomplishments:
1. Designed the Co-op’s current logo, brochure, and newsletter’s original format.
2. Designed the Co-op’s first Profile and Owner’s Manual
3. Updated membership in computer database

I remained Director of Volunteers for about 3 years until unforeseen circumstances (unrelated to the Co-op) forced me to temporarily relocate out of state for 2 years. Upon my return, I began volunteering in packaging, assisting some department heads with miscellaneous tasks, and working in the produce department, both with computer and hands-on tasks.  When the produce manager moved out of the area,
I was asked to head the department.  I accepted and sill hold that position.

I am interested in listening to, and representing, the general membership on issues of interest, need, or concern, particularly those that arise outside the Board structure, and communicating those issues to the Board of Directors.

Give specific contributions you can make to the Co-op by serving on the Board.

My most valuable contribution is volunteering at the Co-op on a weekly basis. This grants me the privilege of interacting with, and listening to the opinions of, the general membership, and puts me in a better position to identify potential problems and spot possible opportunities than those who do not interact with the membership on a regular basis.

This interaction provides me with information the Board of Directors need to assist in setting objectives and developing action plans for the common goals of the organization.


Sandra Vasser:


1. I have worked on the truck crew for 2 years. I like working as a cashier.  I have done that for a couple of years. I have just got back into doing the Killer Dave’s bread order.

2. There is a lot of changes going on in the co-op. I enjoy the volunteers and the customers. To be able to help and give my opinion on all the changes that are taking place. If I can help to get the word out about how good the co-op is it can only be a plus.

3. Give input on how to make the truck deliveries work out best for volunteers and the department heads. Give input on what the customers have to say when I am working on the till. I could bring their opinion to the meetings if they cannot make it. Communications is the best thing for the co-op and I feel that the officers on the board are over worked so to be able to help them would be nice. Time is a big factor to me because I do have some family problems at the time. If I can help that is great but if someone else has more time that might be better for them.


Valerie Tachenko

Incumbent for Co-op President

I’ve been a member of the Co-op since 1979 – back in the “good ol’ days”.

I’ve been a cashier. The Produce Department Head was created when I started expanding the Produce Department. Up until then we sold carrots by the bag, once in a while celery and occasionally avocados.

Ten years ago I was elected board president, and have been blessed to be a part of the progression of the Co-op into what it is today. In 2007 I spent a week at the University of Wisconsin in Madison at a National Co-operative Seminar learning about governance and taxation so the Co-op could legally be a Cooperative. After learning the legal ramifications, The Greater Baker Food was dissolved and became Baker Food Co-op.

I have been involved in our structure changing process. Moving to our new location here on Broadway Street was a year long process.

I have a 32 year history with the Co-op, and I feel I can bring strong leadership and guidance to the board and the Co-op. I know where we’ve been and have a vision for continued progress.

I am so proud of what we as a Co-op are doing for our community and our working members. Not only do we provide for physical needs, but we also are a tremendous social outlet. The Co-op is more like a large family.

People are realizing more and more how important diet is to our well being. Because of this, the Co-op has an opportunity to provide local, organic, safe, nutritious products to our members. I really want to see more classes being taught, enlarging the education of members as well as the community as a whole. I would also like to see the sale of local products expanded.

I want to continue to help the Co-op meet the needs of its members and to have a solid physical structure. We also have to keep negotiating on a permanent home, hopefully where we currently are.


Gayle Hammond:


1. Just over one year. I have been working as a cashier one shift per week on average.
2. I am interested in learning more about the over-all workings of the Co-op and the board may be a good opportunity.
3. I do not know enough about the Board and its meetings to really know what I can contribute. I have never actually been to a board meeting.


Kay Sword:


I believe the Co-op is a real asset to our community. Therefore, I’m willing to do whatever tasks there are to help continue its success. I have helped with inventory the last two years. Also, I’ve packaged for approximately two years.


Sheri King

Incumbent for Member at Large

1. I have been a member of the Co-op for approximately 15 years, serving as cashier and most recently on the Board.
2. The Co-op is a vital part of our community and I enjoy contributing to its continued growth and development.
3. I believe my business experience, networking and organizational abilities help to bring cohesiveness to the Board. I even have good ideas from time to time!