Julia Scheier - Incumbent

I have lived in Montpelier for 2 years and have been in Vermont since 2014. I joined as a Co-op member soon after I moved to town. I work for the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets supporting farm and food business’ economic growth and vitality. I oversee federal grants, as well as work on policy issues related to the local food definition and accessory on-farm business land use category, and serve as a liaison with Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Prior to this, I worked at the Vermont Agency of Education working to increase equity in schools and at Salvation Farms, a food resiliency nonprofit. While in Morrisville, I served on the Morrisville Co-op Board as co-chair and on various committees. I also worked at Franklin Community Cooperative in Western Massachusetts for many years in multiple roles. I hold a Bachelor’s in Religion and Sociology and a Master’s in Sustainable Development. I recently completed a two-year Certificate in Public Management.  

I have loved serving in a yearlong, interim role on the council for the past year. I serve as Treasurer and have sat on the Executive, Finance, and Community Fund Grant committees. I hope to continue to serve on the council to help the Co-op transition from the state of emergency during COVID to a more growth- and future-oriented framework. I hope to both continue to support the established goals of the Co-op while strengthening the commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion the council has been working on recently.  

 While I have served for almost a year, I still bring a relatively new perspective to the council. Being a young professional who has a commitment to shopping locally, but a limited budget, I have a commitment to making the Co-op accessible to all, both financially and otherwise. In my professional life, I have overseen budgets, developed strategic plans, implemented programs, developed metrics of success, and served on various equity committees; those skillsets can certainly transfer over to planning and decision-making on the council level. I also served on the Morrisville Co-op’s board and have a lens into the inner workings of a board. I not only have experience with the fiduciary obligations and General Manager oversight, I also have experience facilitating meetings, supporting group dynamics, ensuring all voices are heard, and that meetings are run efficiently; this certainly can translate into supporting both council and committee meetings. 

 I think the largest opportunities and challenges on an operational level will be maintaining adequate staff levels and competitive prices. These are two very basic components of the store but make a huge difference in shopper satisfaction, accessibility, and store loyalty. On a larger scale, I think it will be important for the Co-op and council to intentionally identify how the Co-op can serve the community in a much broader way. This could mean a commitment to energy efficiency, such as the newly purchased solar panels, or expanding our community support beyond only food-related issues, such as the Community Grant Committee’s conversations on supporting grants for childcare, housing, or community development that support health beyond food. Similarly, the council must intentionally look towards future commitments to bolstering equity work. I believe this time is a major opportunity for the Co-op to take a step back and really examine how we are achieving our mission, both in and outside of the store.
To view Julia's introduction video, click here.


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