Gerome Hays

Why are you interested in serving on the board of Bloomington Cooperative Services (BCS)?
"My wife Angela and I recently moved our family to Bloomington. I've been looking for an opportunity to serve the community of Bloomington outside teaching and pursuing my own business ventures. When I saw that BCS was having difficulty filling board seats, I felt called to apply."
What experience or involvement have you had with Bloomingfoods or other cooperatives?
"While I have experience with almost every type of business, I don't have direct experience with a business cooperative.”
What has been your experience working cooperatively with small groups of people?
"I've served on multiple company boards (Midwest, NYC, and San Francisco), not-for-profit groups, educational committees within the IU Kelley School of Business, and government policy committees.”
Please share any professional, volunteer, or life experience you have had that will provide insight when serving on the BCS Board of Directors. Include knowledge, skills, formal training, and education that will contribute to the mission of our co-op.
"Serial entrepreneur with both successful exits (4) and failures (3). Award-winning professor of start-ups at the IU Kelley School of Business as well an early investor/mentor to multiple company founders. Earned a law degree from Indiana University and, prior to entrepreneurial career, spent 6 years in government/environmental  affairs.”  

How do your values and lifestyle align with the values and mission of the co-op?

"Angela and I are raising our children to be conscious of our physical environment, diversity and expression, and expression, and of the foods we consume. We moved from Carmel(IN)to Bloomington,in part, to return to a place that more closely align with our values.”
Given the stated Ends of BCS, what do you see as the primary role of BCS in the community?
"Candidly, I need to fully understand the role BCS is currently playing in Bloomington before I can answer this question. However, I know firsthand that the business of food is changing rapidly and BCS will need to identify and execute strategies to remain financially viable long­ term.”
What are opportunities and challenges you see for BCS in the future expression of these Ends?
"As stated above, the conventional grocers have gotten serious about organic, natural, and the local food movement. Where the Coops have been "first-movers", the grocers have become fast followers. The market dictates that all assumptions be questioned within the broader context of BCS's mission.”
Please share any other brief statement that you feel is important regarding your potential service as a member of our board.
"While I have much to learn about BCS, I believe I can be of valuable service.”
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