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Board of Director Candidates.

*Bio for Anne Short

I have been an accountant for almost my entire career, with the exception of a year to teach 8th grade Civics in the 70s in an inner city school in Cleveland, OH, and for a

three-year break as an owner of a glass art business in Sarasota, FL back in the 80s. My
career has included all types of business, from large international corporations to small businesses, as well as being self-employed. For the past five years I have been employed by Ezell Precision Tool Company as their Controller, as well as having a few private clients on the side. My most important accomplishment, and joy, has been to raise a differently abled child to become a full productive citizen, able to live on his own, and have a normal life. Although his interests are different, he has the same love of learning that I have. When I am not glued to my computer screen, I can be found working in my garden.

*Why do you want serve on this board?
I was raised, and fervently believe, that one should always give back to the community in which one lives. I would like to serve on this particular board for a variety of reasons, but mainly because the co-op community has given me so much in the way of great food and connection with like-minded folks, and I feel that my talents would be useful as the co-op evolves into something much greater than its present form. Although I had lived in New Port Richey 16 months prior to finding the co-op, it was not until that time that I really felt part of this area. I have found the co-op members to be such vibrant, energetic, talented, and thoughtful individuals, and it would be an honor to serve with, and for, them.
*What strengths, experience and/or interests do you bring?
I bring 40 years’ worth of business experience, both as a worker bee, and as an executive. I have extensive accounting experience, forensic restoration, budget analysis, financial forecasting, and tax experience for all types of entities. I also completed one year of law school, not to become an attorney, but to help myself in preparation of contracts, eradication of liability, and broad-spectrum responsibilities of entities in order to save financial resources.
I have mid-level computer skills in computer repair, web design, networking, and programming in php and ruby on rails (shopping cart development)… SQL data base, asp, etc.
Most importantly I have been a grower since I was a child and living on a farm. Later on as an adult, I became involved with Selby Gardens as a volunteer, which fostered my interest in raising Epiphytes. Years later, I had a side business growing and selling orchids, and specialized in a variety of Jewel orchids. I have always had a garden to grow my own vegetables; I find it soothing to my soul.

*What is your vision for the future of Suncoast Co-op?
I think the opportunities are infinite for the future of the co-op, limited only by the amount of support and cooperation of the volunteers and the community. To that end
I would like the co-op to be financially stable and able to employ a Garden/Co-op Manager/Director part-time (either as an employee or as a sub-contractor) in order to facilitate:
• Greater awareness in the community.
• Outreach and coordination of volunteer groups (schools, other non-profits).
• Greater utilization of the space we have been generously provided. Garden tours, weekly classes, and research.
• Continual care of the garden.
My vision for the future of the co-op includes:
• Greater transparency in all aspects of the co-op.
• Expansion of the Saturday Market to include a larger Farmer’s market, other vendors selling compatible items making it the “must go to event” every Saturday in West Pasco County and beyond, while increasing income not only for the co-op, but also for our individual growers and vendors.
• Continuity and greater involvement in community events
• A float in the Holiday Parade where we toss carrots to the crowd!
• A flourishing Co-op!
These statements are true to the best of my knowledge.
Signed: Anne Short

*Cheri Bozigar Bio:

I’m a 20-year resident of New Port Richey with a daughter attending UF and a son at River Ridge HS. I graduated from Occidental College, Los Angeles, with majors in English and Art History then became certified in Human Resource Management through UCLA. I’ve owned a construction-related sales agency since 2007 and recently became a Holistic Health Coach certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. I’m a writer, health coach, gardener, craft person, beekeeper and band booster volunteer.

*Why do you want serve on this board ?

Since becoming familiar with the co-op about a year ago, I’ve been warmly welcomed by like-minded people with a shared vision for growing/providing local produce, promoting sustainability, sharing knowledge, and improving our community. For the first time in the 20 years I’ve been in Pasco, I’ve found a cause in the co-op that makes me proud to live here. I’m impressed by what the founding members created, and now that a number of them need to move on to other of life’s commitments, I would like to step into a position to help keep their dream alive and growing so all their hard work will not have been in vain. Although much has been done, the co-op is truly just scratching the surface of its potential for initiating positive changes throughout the community, and I’m excited about those possibilities and about being a part of making them a reality.

*What strengths, experience and/or interests do you bring?
I’m a detail-oriented business owner with a professional background in office administration, human resource management, sales and marketing, and copy writing. I’m a certified holistic health coach with a keen interest in supporting healthier, whole-foods nutrition in our community and developing educational programs that will promote the fresh, chemical-free foods the co-op offers and, through that, better individual health. I’m passionate about conservation, sustainability, self-sufficiency and treating our planet with respect, but I also approach life and the tasks we humans undertake with a good dose of humor and sense of fun. In serving the co-op, I will be equally happy in the garden or handling administrative tasks and look forward to the opportunity to learn in great detail how to grow a successful co-op. I’m a fledgling suburban farmer, newbie beekeeper…and a reluctant worm farmer. (ha ha)

*What is your vision for the future of Suncoast Co-op ?

I’d like to see the co-op expand its farmers/growers base to widen its product offerings and partner with local vendors to create a truly vibrant Farmer’s Market. I’d like to see the co-op’s presence in the community continue to grow so that the co-op is an integral part of the city’s largest events.

I’d like the co-op to offer educational programs beyond gardening/growing workshops to include sessions about the health benefits of eating locally-grown, chemical-free foods. These classes could focus on topics such as basic nutrition, creative healthy cooking or even a weight-loss challenge promoting the use of co-op products.

I’d also like to develop member camaraderie by coordinating periodic socializing opportunities where we can gather “just for fun” to keep the spirit of the co-op alive and provide like-minded members a place to meet, talk, laugh and share ideas, experiences and perspectives.

These statements are true to the best of my knowledge.

Signed: Cheri Bozigar

Date: February 6, 2014

William “Watt” Jones, Age 58
New Port Richey, Florida

I am a North Carolina native who moved to New Port Richey in June of 2013. In NC I served as a Law Enforcement Officer for 22 years, the last five as Chief of Police. After retiring from law enforcement, I worked for ten years for the State of North Carolina at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources at the Museum of Natural Sciences and the Department of Cultural Resources, Division of State Historic Sites. I also volunteered and held elected office on statewide committees and boards in NC for several years.

Why I Want to Serve on the Board
I began volunteering for the Co-Op on visits to Florida even before I moved here permanently. As I learned about the group and got to know the people involved, I developed a sincere interest in what the Co-Op is doing and the benefit it holds for its members and the community. I decided to seek a seat on the Board of Directors to become involved on a more committed level than simply volunteering. The Co-Op has gained a lot of ground since its inception, and I would like to be an integral part of its future expansion. Based on my past experiences serving on various Boards and Committees, I feel I have the skills set to explore new opportunities thoroughly, weigh the pros and cons and help make sound decisions for the Co-Op that will keep it growing progressively.

My Strengths, Experience, and Interests
While employed with the State of North Carolina, I became involved in Heritage farming as a job requirement while working on a historic farm at the Duke Homestead State Historic Site. We raised educational tobacco and heritage chickens and maintained the farm as had been done in the 1800s. I’ve kept my farming interests alive by establishing permaculture (organic garden), apiculture (beekeeping) and vermiculture (worm farming to create compost material) at my New Port Richey home.
In serving the Co-Op, I will be bringing knowledge and expertise from my prior work experience as Chief of Police as well as my service on various local and state level committees and boards (both elected and non-elected). I am also a hands-on person skilled in carpentry, electrical work and plumbing and can operate a wide variety of tools and equipment. Whether it’s negotiating a deal to utilize a piece of land or constructing a needed building, I can serve the Co-Op Board in many ways.
My Vision for the Co-Op
My vision for the Co-Op is much the same as the Co-Op vision statement, to provide
a means for small farmers and growers to collaborate and sell their food as an alternative to the traditional market. We must enhance our marketing strategy to promote the co-op to boost community participation and to encompass more farmers and growers. I would eventually like to see a Co-Op storefront owned and operated by Co-0p members with expanded days and hours. This can only be achieved by a strong recruitment of growers and sellers. A strong emphasis should be on recruitment. I would also like to see a collaborative Co-Op Member Discount Network developed with local businesses to encourage “loyalty shopping” within our community. By collaborating with local businesses we can provide an avenue to promote the Co-Op while establishing mutually-supportive business relationships and goodwill within the community.

These statements are true to the best of my knowledge.
William “Watt” Jones

Date: 02/08/2014

I’m Jayson Wilson. I’m 42 years old and I grew up in what was once rural GA. My mom and dad (Portia and Gene) worked in a manufacturing plant. My family, for at least 6 generations were farmers and carpenters. I am very lucky to have gained much intuitive knowledge from them.As a teenager I hunted with my dad most weekends that I wasn’t splitting wood with an ax. My parents took me canoeing and hiking in the Great Smokies every chance they could. Hence my love for the outdoors and old buildings. (Cades Cove) I took shop and landscaping classes in high school and naturally went into construction right after. I’ve worked all over the country repairing barns(my favorite buildings) and preserving historic construction techniques. I’ve hiked across the Grand Canyon twice and logged hundreds of miles in the wilderness. I’ve even received mail “general delivery”.

Today I still build things and occasionally hold a carpentry or timber framing workshop. My passion is wood and I suspect it always will be. I also enjoy doing handy man stuff for my neighbors and tending the garden with my best friend and partner Kathleen along with our dog Sioux and our two cats Ms. Bean and Willamina.

Why I would like to serve on the board.
I would like to on the Board of Directors mostly because I think the vision of education and healthy food is a no-brainer. I think everyone has a right to fresh healthy food right in their neighborhood. I also believe food really is for thought! We all think and behave better as a community when we are well fed. Growing gives us direction and purpose.
Seeing the neighborhood kids reaction to our garden and having them come to help has been a real eye opener. Although it being so foreign to them is a bit frightening. By making growing tangible and the information to do so easily accessible a dialogue for education is possible. People start to share ideas and communities start to gather and organize their sustainability. I have seen how this works first hand in 2 of the poorest places in America. We begin to realize that working with each other for each other is the key to our sustainability as a community.
Bottom line is Eric Stewart has brought Suncoast Co-op to a position to really effect our community positively. He asked for help to continue Suncoast’s growth and that’s what I would like to do as a member of the board.

Vision for the co-op.
I see the co-op being a bustling community resource. A place to share our knowledge and to promote our sustainability not only as individual farms and craftspeople, but as a community.
A organization that makes the resources available for all ages and levels of interest to sustain themselves, specifically in the local food economy. A place that creates jobs and opportunities in our neighborhood. A place that gives people the chance to see where their food comes from and inspires them to grow their own.
I envision a place we can take our most important resource, the kids, and show them the importance of preserving life skills, our heritage as farmers and most importantly the sustainability as a community.
Bio for Eric Stewart
Eric Stewart Age 29
Holiday, FL

I am a Florida Native who was born in St. Petersburg. I’ve lived in Pasco county for 17 years and own a home in Holiday. I graduated from Gulf High school and attended college at St. Petersbug College for Associates in Arts. My main employment over the years has been hospitality industry, I love to serve others and I love food. In 2008 I formed the Tarpon campuses first Sustainability Club (which is still active today) where I helped lead college students to volunteer at local gardening projects such as a Tarpon Springs Food forest and several community gardens. In 2010 I began volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity and helped Sergei Kostin the originator of the Kinship Garden at Habitat start the garden up and helped get volunteers and organize fundraiser for the garden. In 2011 I enrolled in a Permaculture Design Course where I learned about ecological farming and design strategies for creating sustainable human habitats. In the same year I became employed at a local Edible landscaping business called “GreenDreams” where I helped consult property owners on how to convert property into gardens or small farms. In 2012 along with 4 other gardening friends I helped found the Suncoast Co-op. For the past 2 years my responsibility for the co-op has been maintaining the website, customer relations, picking up products from vendors, marketing for the co-op, and volunteering for our co-op projects.

Why I Want to Serve on the Board
I would like the opportunity to continue serving the membership of the co-op and provide them with the best local food products from small farmers they can know. I believe in cooperation and the principles of cooperative businesses and want to demonstrate that we do not need to compete to get ahead in life but rather by working together we can achieve results and outcomes for our community. I’d like to create both a social / economic change in the area where I live creating more small businesses and community resilience against economic hardship with real economic opportunities by growing our local food production. I have helped the past 2 years and would like to serve this community further into the future. I would like to serve the co-op as well by building upon my relationships with Business owners, City Officials, County Officials and more to grow our co-op and make Alliances and Partnerships to spread our message. My number one priority is educating young people on how to grow their own food, prepare food, cook food and general home economics.

My Strengths, Experience, and Interests
My biggest strength is my wide eyed optimistic yet realistic passion for what I believe is possible when it comes to local food production. I have over 7 years experience being a gardener and have been self studying Permaculture for just as long. I’m able to lead others and help market events to make them successful. I’ve built up an extensive network of relationships that I’ve built over the years by constantly volunteering at other organizations and other groups events that I hope to draw upon to grow our co-op. My interests in sustainable agriculture had lead me around the state gaining knowledge over the years on how our food comes from Farm to Fork. I have interests in Youtube and have produced for the co-op several youtube videos that I’d like to expand upon and help show our members where their food comes from and so they can know their farmer better.

My Vision for the Co-Op
My vision for the co-op is for it to continue its partnership with the Habitat for Humanity and to undertake the acquisition of more land for the production of more food for our co-op. We have a outside area around our pick up location that can be cleaned up and made into a destination spot on Saturdays that can draw people to the Habitat for a weekly Farmers Market that will bring the community together each week for celebrating local food. We have a 1/2 acre garden that can be maximized to its fullest production providing products for our co-op members. Our co-op has access to a nursery where we grow hundreds of plants with the right investment we could create a nursery where thousands of quality plants could be produced at affordable prices. We could investigate utilizing commercial kitchens to produce value added products for sale on the co-op market made by food we grew ourselves. Our strategy thus far has to control our costs and overhead by cooperating and create income out of abandoned plots of land that seem to have no economic use at the moment. I envision the Suncoast co-op as a group of living people helping one another mutually to thrive both socially, economically, and spiritually creating a community focused on the sustenance of life: Food.

We have 4 submitted Board Candidate Forms with a possible 9 Board of Director positions available so we will keep accepting candidate forms till the 22nd Please get them in Early so we can share with our members and they can consider your election on the Board: Copy below and send to

Can you attend the February 22nd membership meeting and give a 2 minute speech introducing yourself to the members and letting them know why you’d be a good person for them to elect? Yes No
Can you prepare for and attend the 1.5 to 2 hour monthly meetings by phone and in-person at least monthly?
____Yes, (please specify what time is best available _________ ): ____No

*Your Bio (up to 75 words):
*Why do you want serve on this board ? (150 words)
*What strengths, experience and/or interests do you bring? (150 words)
*What is your vision for the future of Suncoast Co-op ? (150 words)
These statements are true to the best of my knowledge.

Signed: Date:
Candidates are required to be a member of Suncoast Co-op to run for a board or a board sub-committee seat. If you are not a member, please sign up today.
Please send a photo of you (head shot preferred) and answers with signature to suncoastcoop@gmail by February 8th, 2014.We will have another membership meeting on Feb 22nd for voting.
Your answers to the questions will be posted on our website, mailed to members, and distributed at the membership meeting.
Candidate Registration open till Feb. 8th, On Feb 9th we will release candidate answers public to members via email and on our website. For present members you can anticipate a copy of the Financials of the co-op by then as well. Voting can be done via email or in person Feb. 22nd at the ]

Candidates will be allowed 2 minutes to speak as to why they should be considered by the members for board of directors. If you would like to review our bylaws or new member packet they are on our main website and in our Q and A on our website.