2022 Food Co-op Ballot


You are voting to fill three seats on the Fredericksburg Food Co-op Board of Directors and to approve or disapprove a proposed Bylaws change. The four board candidates are: Gerald Anderson, Nivin Elgohary, Michael Spragins, Els van Wingerden. You can view the candidates’ statements and the proposed Bylaws change below.

A quorum of 10% of owners is required to elect Board Directors and change the Bylaws. Please vote to ensure that we meet the required quorum.

Online voting will be available until Saturday, September 17 at 8 am. You may also vote in person at the Food Co-op Annual Meeting on September 18 at Old Mill Park. 

Submit only one ballot per Food Co-op owner household.

To vote, complete your contact information, check the boxes next to the names of up to three Board candidates, and choose Yes or No for the Bylaws change. Click the VOTE NOW button to submit your ballot. You will see a message that your vote has been recorded. Thank you for voting!

ONLINE VOTING HAS ENDED. Election results will be announced at the end of the Annual Meeting on September 18, 2022.



Over the past six years, I have been honored and privileged to serve you on the Board, serving as Treasurer between 2017 and 2020 and serving as Chair in 2021. I now ask you for your support to be elected for another three-year term. As most of you know, I am passionate about our food cooperative and would like to see it be considered the finest in our land.  Over the past seven years with your undying support, we have done a remarkable job toward that goal.   We now have more than 2800 owners, successfully conducted two highly successful ownership loan drives, found a highly suitable location for the store, successfully arranged needed financing for the store, recruited a highly experienced general manager to run the store, and finally opened the store on April 1, 2021.

Since the opening of the store, customer traffic, revenues and customer reviews have all been positive but we still have much to do and be vigilant about to remain successful for the long term and to become even more valuable to you and our community. 

If elected, I am committed to doing everything in my power to continue to make strides toward what we originally set out to become…a store that stresses the sale of local goods that are healthy for us and healthy for the local economy; a store that serves as a model for environmental “sustainability”…both for stores in our community and the food co-op industry at large; a store that seeks to create an ever larger and more vibrant  community around us, and finally a store that remains financially strong forever.

I believe my career and past experience provide all the tools necessary to serve your interests with excellence, integrity and dedication and to keep us on our path to greatness…from financial planning and oversight, to environmental stewardship, marketing and community building.  I thank all of you for being part of this great story called the Fredericksburg Food Co-op, and I hope that all of you continue to support this great effort.  Finally, I hope to see all of you at the annual meeting celebration on Sunday, September 18th.


I would like to serve as a member of the Fredericksburg Food Co-op’s Board of Directors.  My husband and I have owned the Spavia Day Spa in Central Park for two years.  As a small business owner in the city of Fredericksburg, and after raising my three children in Stafford County for over 20 years, I know the critical importance of building strong local businesses that offer healthy food and wellness options to our community.

Before opening Spavia, I worked for several years as Virginia’s State Executive Director for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.  In this role, I led 174 employees in 42 offices across the State of Virginia, overseeing and administering farm commodity and disaster programs, and providing credit to Virginia’s agricultural producers to ensure a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply.  I met hundreds of Virginia’s farmers, including many who have been farming in our region for generations.

Prior to that, I spent 18 years lending to rural infrastructure cooperatives across the country, both in the public and the private sector.  In this arena, I led over 200 employees in delivering the nationwide rural electric program to 650 rural electric cooperatives, including many of Virginia’s rural infrastructure cooperatives, managing annual lending level of over $7 Billion and a total portfolio of more than $44 Billion.

In my personal life, I enjoy volunteering at church and community events, mentoring young entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own businesses, and providing financial and in-kind support to local businesses and 501(c)(3) non-profits.  My heart’s desire is to bring joy and success to everyone I can.

Through these varied experiences I understand our local region, the Virginia farm community, and the cooperative business model.  I look forward to meeting you in person and maintaining a strong Fredericksburg Food Co-op!


After several years as a member of the Fredericksburg Food Co-op Board of Directors, I am offering myself again as a candidate for the Board. During my first term on the Board I served as Board Secretary for two years during which time I headed a team that revised and updated our Policy Register. I also helped to create and implement an evaluation system for our General Manager. I am currently serving as Vice Chairman of the Board.  My past experience as a lawyer and then college professor and administrator has prepared me well for this position. I am retired and have the time to devote to the important duties and responsibilities of a member of the Board of Directors.

I have a B.S. degree in Business from Wake Forest University and a J.D. degree from Drake University Law School. After spending several years as an active duty lawyer in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, I helped found the Paralegal Technology Program at Johnston Community College in North Carolina and led it for nearly two decades. I am also a certified Mediator and founded the Mediation Center at the college, which I supervised for several years. I then spent years leading the Business, Public Service, and Technology Department at the college. This position allowed me to manage several widely differing fields, such as Business, Accounting, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Networking, Machining, HVAC, the Truck Driver Training School, and the Basic Law Enforcement Training School. I managed and hired several dozen full-time faculty and dozens of adjunct faculty. Leading this large department involved setting a direction for my varied programs and making sure that all members were aware of that direction and were invested in making sure we met our goals. In 2013 the Governor of North Carolina awarded me the “Order of the Long Leaf Pine,” which is the highest state award for public service.

My legal knowledge and experience teaching Business Law and Corporate Law will be helpful on a Governing Board. I believe that the Food Co-op has become an indispensable part of Fredericksburg life, but the Board must continue to effectively communicate our mission to the public. We must show that the Co-op is open to everyone and dispel myths and misconceptions of what it is. We must build our brand within the community, be present at city events, and show that we are more than just an average grocery store.

I have come to understand the leadership and management style necessary to operate within a volunteer organization that is growing. I can effectively work with persons of disparate talents and dispositions, and I have experience in creating an atmosphere of cooperation among the people I work with. These skills will be valuable assets in building a cohesive, successful organization.


I’m running for re-election to the board because I believe deeply in the mission and goals of our Co-op. During my three years on the Co-op board, I have been fully engaged in its activities, including serving this year as board chair and last year as vice-chair.  

Since our Co-op opened on April 1st, 2021, the Board has changed from a Working Board to a Governing Board, but we’re still working hard to make sure we represent our owners and that we attain our Ends, i.e., the reasons for our Co-op’s existence. This means we’re focused on products from our local farmers and producers, environmental sustainability in everything we do, community outreach and participation, as well as making sure we’re financially successful.

Over the last five years, I’ve been active on many committees to make the Co-op a reality for Fredericksburg: from finding the right site for our store; raising funds needed to open our grocery; hiring the General Manager; raising funds for the 5K’s Food for All; to participating on the Events Committee.

As a board, we continually make sure that all our board members get the training they need to be effective representatives of the member-owners who invested in our store and count on us to provide oversight and steer the Co-op in the right direction. As chair, I’ve been actively involved in setting up these training sessions, as well as setting the board meeting agendas and leading the board meetings twice a month.

In my professional life, I worked primarily for and with multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, WHO, UNDP and others with a mission to improve conditions in developing countries. This taught me how to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and nationalities. Later, I was involved in educating children who are on the Autism Spectrum; worked as the East Coast representative of my family’s flower business for ten years; and I served on the local Walk to End Alzheimer’s Committee for three years.

It would be an honor to continue representing you on the Co-op’s Board of Directors!