Board Candidate Ina Pockrass


What should members know about you?

I am a retired attorney with more than 30 years of Board experience with social change organizations.  I enjoy working collaboratively with management and fellow Board members to help guide organizations to achieve mission-driven success.  In addition to currently serving as Vice-President of the Kootenay Co-op Board, and on its Finance and Outreach Committees, I serve as Chair of the Board of Circle of Life, and on the Advisory Board of Women’s Earth Alliance.  I co-founded an educational organization, the Eco-Dentistry Association, which developed standards for environmentally-sound management of dental offices.  Food has long been a passion: I put myself through college operating my own catering company, my grandparents owned a grocery store, and it brings me great joy to feed family and friends tasty, seasonal, organic meals.  I love living with my husband on our 24 acres in Sunshine Bay, tending our organic garden and 100 blueberry bushes, caring for our 5 friendly llamas, running a small retreat center, and on occasion, finding time to write. I’m a stickler for financial accountability, strategic planning, and clear, constructive communication.

Why do you want to serve on the Board of Directors?

It has been an honor to serve as Vice-President of the Kootenay Co-op Board these last 2 years, representing our amazing members. We’ve accomplished a lot: the successful transition to the new store, the hiring of an extraordinary General Manager, and, in collaboration with management, the implementation of a financial plan that ensures our Co-op is on solid footing.  I believe our Co-op needs to be nimble and creative as we navigate an increasingly competitive future, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to explore how our Co-op can even better serve the needs of our members and our community.

What about your personal qualities, skills and experience would make you a good Director for the Co-op right now?

From humble beginnings in the 1970s when a few families collaborated to bring healthy food to our community, our Co-op has grown to more than 11,000 members, $20+ million in annual sales, and Nelson’s largest private employer.  As we’ve have grown, the complexity of our business has also grown, and we face a number of challenges, from existing and new competitors, to technological advances, to food security.  I believe my legal background, which trained me to ask the hard questions and to be dogged in search of the best solutions, has benefitted the Co-op these last 2 years and, if I’m fortunate to be re-elected, will benefit the Co-op as we move forward in our next phase of growth.   I am already up to speed on our business operations, finances and governance, and have solid working relationships with management and staff, all of which enables me to “hit the ground running.” I also believe that with the retirement of our long-time Board President, our Co-op and its members will be best served by having as much continuity on the Board as possible.


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Candidate profiles are submitted by the candidates in their own words and are not fact-checked by the Kootenay Co-op.