Brianne Jamerson Bowser

Why are you interested in serving on the board of Bloomington Cooperative Services (BCS)?
I am interested in serving on the board because I have been a board member for a year already. I would love to continue the work that I have done with several committees in continuing community connections as well as morale for the staff and owner members. I am interested in meeting new people and being involved with Bloomingfoods education and growth in our community.

What experience or involvement have you had with Bloomingfoods or other cooperatives?
I have been a member of Bloomingfoods for over 10 years and shop there weekly! In the past I have attended community events held by Bloomingfoods including a salsa contest in which I won. Last year I was voted onto the Bloomington board of directors and I proudly serve by attending weekly committee meetings, GM team meetings, monthly board meetings, weekly shopping trips in which I engage with the staff and tabling events. I am a huge advocate for Bloomingfoods and love to share my experience with others since joining.

What has been your experience working cooperatively with small groups of people?
I am currently involved in many local groups and businesses in and around Bloomington. Teamwork is what makes me so successful in maintaining relationships among such diverse groups. I have been able to grow my team building skills through experience, education and honest communication. I have also been a volunteer with many local animal shelters my whole adult life. The has allowed me to see that working together, anything is possible! Anyone who has worked with feral cat groups or rescued an animal understands that it takes teamwork and connection to get the job done! 

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.
I am currently the chair of the OMCC committee at Bloomingfoods. This position has given me a lot of experience in connecting with owner members and small businesses. I have developed strong relationships in the community and understand the importance of working together. I am a 2011 graduate from Institute for Integrative Nutrition and previously worked as a holistic health coach. Because of my love of cooking, nutritious food and people, I turned my knowledge from IIN into baking and selling organic vegan baked goods at my local Farmer’s market before moving to Bloomington. I was able to attend board meetings during that time and connect with local farmers. It was a wonderful experience. I took my passion for baking and cooking and won several local and national food contests. Working with my clients to teach them about finding healthy, organic and sustainable foods and making wholesome meals is one of my greatest accomplishments. I also hold a certificate in relationship coaching and energy healing. All of my education has helped me have a holistic insight and view to the needs of others making relationships stronger and honest. This is valuable to a coop like Bloomingfoods because it helps me keep an open mind and heart when there are so many ideas and opinions all while successfully reaching our goal. 

How do your values and lifestyle align with the values and mission of the co-op?
My values directly align with the co-op and that is exactly why I have been a member for over a decade. I believe in ethical values and honesty. I do believe in voting with your dollar and I certainly support businesses that strive to keep their name honest and open but mostly understand the importance of caring for others. I also believe in education lasting a lifetime and teaching others valuable information that can benefit everyone. We can all work together to make our community better. 

Given the stated Ends of BCS, what do you see as the primary role of BCS in the community?
I see BCS as an opportunity for the community to get to know each other through education and networking. BCS stands for so many ideals that I see in Bloomington that make it unique. BCS provides quality products, wonderful foods, educational events and bringing people together. 

What are opportunities and challenges you see for BCS in the future expression of these Ends?
I can see how there is a lot of competition, and has been for the last 5-7 years, with other markets in providing organic and local foods as well as sustainable and "clean” products. There is also a large market for subscription boxes so people can enjoy products delivered right to their door. Because this is a very unique time and there seems to be an awakening in what we are putting in our bodies and how the Earth is being affected, it is great to see other competitors being mindful of views that BCS also holds. This can be an opportunity to accept that we are all getting on the same page and brainstorm what can now make BCS stand out. It can really be an opportunity to show the community how supporting your local co-op makes a difference. Bloomingfoods has so many great opportunities as we continue to grow and change while keeping our same values!

Please share any other brief statement that you feel is important regarding your potential service as a member of our board.
I chose to run for Bloomingfoods board again because of the great experience I have had in this last year. I have been surrounded by so many great and experienced members and staff. I feel so much gratitude and excitement for the path that Bloomingfoods is on and I want to continue to be a part of the journey in the future. I have learned so much in a short period of time. My ideas are just now being implemented in the Bloomingfoods calendar and events so I would like to be able to follow through. With so many ideas yet not explored, serving on the board again will allow me to see what other changes can be made to bring owner members more connected with the coop. I am excited to welcome in new board members and sad to see board members leave. Whatever the outcome, I know Bloomingfoods will always be my "go to” for everything and I am excited to see the growth in the next few years. 

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