RJ Adler - Incumbent

Hi there, I’m RJ Adler. I live in Berlin, and I’ve lived in the Montpelier area since February of 2020.  I’ve been a Co-op member since the fall of 2019. 
 
In 2020 I moved to the Montpelier area from Middlebury, where among other things, I sat on the Middlebury Co-op Board for six years, served as vice president for two years, and most notably led strategic sub-committees on defining the mission. I bring my entrepreneurial spirit and understanding of policy governance to the Co-op council. Outside of the Co-op my career has been in marketing, sales, and fundraising at SunCommon, The Keewaydin Foundation, and Wheel Pad. I have also served on the Middlebury Energy Committee, and an economic development subcommittee for the town of Middlebury. I was lucky enough to be appointed to a vacant position on the Hunger Mountain Co-op council in December of 2020. 
 
I would relish the opportunity to have continued involvement in my community, and relationship with my food. Cooperative businesses have a powerful impact, and I’d like to support the democratic process in this unique way.  
 
Throughout my career I’ve been in customer-facing roles, primarily working in startups or launching new initiatives. I enjoy thinking critically about how my organization can respond to the community's needs with the resources available to it. I’m not afraid to explore a new approach. Since joining the Hunger Mountain Co-op council, I’ve pushed the organization to explore more solar power, beyond the little canopy over our parking area. I engaged the Climate Neutrality Committee in a critical discussion of the different ways we could go solar, and we started exploring the different options. In the end this led to the purchase of two solar arrays, which will save the Co-op over a million dollars in power bills in the coming years, and helps us have a greener footprint.  
 
The biggest opportunity facing Hunger Mountain today is the chance to better serve the needs of our community. A colleague once clarified that economic growth doesn’t mean bigger, it means greater. As a stable and essential business in Washington County it’s our job to look beyond our own bottom line, and understand how we can use our impact to invest in the future of our community. How can we drive our business to tackle the big issues like a lack of housing, inadequate childcare, or racial injustice?  
 
The biggest challenge is making sure that we strike the right balance of investing in our community while still supporting our core business model of selling healthy food. Failure could be either for the Co-op to rest on its laurels and not push for change, or to lose focus on what is making us successful and not adequately support the people and systems that make us a flourishing business.  

  

Hunger Mountain Coop
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