2015 Board Candidate Statements

Hey Member-Owners, it's Election Time! Every year you have the golden opportunity to vote on the directors who will represent your voice in the management of your Co-op. This year there are 3 open seats and 3 candidates running for the Board of Directors. Voting is one of the important ways you can participate in the democratic process. 

Below you’ll find the responses for the slate of candidates:

Elections begin September 30th and run through October 30th. You can vote on the Board of Directors and member-selected community support organizations here


Beth Beutel

1. Why are you interested in serving on the Board of Directors of the Co-op?

As an employee and owner of Wheatsville and an owner and investor shareholder of Black Star, I've invested my labor and money in the cooperative community, and I am seeking an even greater way to be of service to the cooperative business model. Cooperatives democratize wealth and maintain our shared values while providing us the goods and services we need, and here one is, right in front of us, calling for us to both serve and benefit. I’ve benefited so much from Black Star’s wonderful food and service, and I’m ready to serve the co-op.

2. What goals would you like to see Black Star Co-op achieve in the next year?  Five years?

The marketplace for craft beer and locally-sourced food is growing fast, and I want to see Black Star grow its market-share in order to continue the growth of cooperatives as the people's preferred mode of doing business. It is of the utmost importance to me that Black Star thrive and return value to its members above all else, including my own desire to drink High Esteem south of the river. I'd love to see Black Star continue to find new creative ways to grow, as they have by producing beer to sell to other local pubs.

3. What qualities and past experience do you have for serving on the Black Star Co-op Board of Directors?

I'm a dreamer who believes in the impossible and asks tough questions. From being employed as the Board Administrator at Wheatsville for four years, I've learned an incredible amount about policy governance (the model Black Star uses, along with many co-ops), refreshed my memory on reading financial statements which I originally learned as a business minor in college, and watched from a front row seat as a co-op board guided Wheatsville through an expansion. I’m excited to put all of that learning experience to the test serving the members of Black Star.

4. Name one way in which you'd like the Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery to stand out from other local brewpubs.

It already does: the highly visible environmentally conscious move of composting paper towels in the bathroom, asking patrons to bus their own tables, having a LEED certified building, including members in the creation of beers, having a self-managed body of workers, and paying based on the Universal Living Wage calculator in the restaurant industry. Let's be modest here: Black Star is the best pub in town as far as standing out by living its values. Since there are many other pubs and breweries with great food, great beer and great service, Black Star should continue its emphasis on lived values.

5. What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

Principle 4: Autonomy and Independence is my favorite principle lately, because it guides us in how to handle the increasing complexity of a growing institution: to always make decisions that will ensure democratic member control. As co-ops grow they often get an increasing number of financial obligations to other institutions, including other co-ops, and it is always of the utmost importance to ensure that the rights of the members are protected and that their interest in their business is paramount.

Back to top


Cole Noppenberg

1. Why are you interested in serving on the Board of Directors of the Co-op?

I am interested in serving on the Board because I admire the democratic principles of this organization, our commitment to treating our employees with respect, serving quality food, and promoting responsible business practices in Austin.  I want to protect and expand these principles and commitments.

2. What goals would you like to see Black Star Co-op achieve in the next year?  Five years?

We’ve made immense progress getting our beers on tap throughout Austin. In the next year, I see us exporting in volume to other cities in Texas.  In five years, I want to see a drastic increase in production capacity to match the demand.

3. What qualities and past experience do you have for serving on the Black Star Co-op Board of Directors?

I’ve served the Board for the past year, and I’m asking you to re-elect me so that I can put that experience to work. I’ve been the Vice President of a cooperative residence, and I've acted as an engineer for Austin’s community radio station. My father founded a food cooperative, and my experience in startups and global corporations has given me a unique business perspective that I believe will benefit Black Star long-term.

4. Name one way in which you'd like the Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery to stand out from other local brewpubs.

I'd like to see us continue to host charity events and offer a meeting place to new groups in Austin.  This is a way we can invest in the community with the resources we already have.  Ultimately, the more we can be a meeting place for the community, the more we can reach the folks who influence local business practice.

5. What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

Principle 7 is my favorite: Concern for Community.  Black Star directly benefits the community by paying a living wage to its employees and by serving the highest quality food we can.  But we also adhere to environmentally friendly practices, and we actively contribute to charities and cooperative organizations to improve the Austin community and beyond.

BACK TO TOP


Marcus WIlson

1. Why are you interested in serving on the Board of Directors of the Co-op?

I love the Black Star Co-Op, what it is, and what it stands for. The Workers' Assembly feels like family to me, and it gives me pride to know what fellow members have built here. I want to do all I can to protect and preserve what makes this place special.

2. What goals would you like to see Black Star Co-op achieve in the next year? Five years?

In the next year I’d like to increase member-owner participation by improving the consistency and quality of communication to the member-owners, and strengthening our feedback process. It’s disappointing when we almost have to start the member-owner meetings late because we couldn’t get a quorum, and I think this would help

solve the problem. In the next five years the Black Star pub will be ten years old and the Co-op will almost be old enough to drive. I would like to see the Co-op set a goal to expand distribution of kegs into the entire Austin metro area.

3. What qualities and past experience do you have for serving on the Black Star Co-op Board of Directors?

I’ve been on the Annual Review Committee for the past two years. I’ve also made it a point to attend board meetings as often as I could. I enjoy learning how and why things work. I am a regular patron of the pub, and I probably eat here more often than I do at my house.

4. Name one way in which you'd like the Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery to stand out from other local brewpubs.

Black Star is more than a brewery or a bar. Key to that is effectively communicating to the Austin market how Black Star contributes to the community, how a living wage, health benefits, conscious environmentalism, and community involvement make Black Star not just another place to toss back a beer - but a place to grow our community in ways that benefit us all. That is what makes Black Star unique in our community, our market. That is what I think makes Black Star special.

5. What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

Democratic member control is my favorite. It’s why we have elections and how we, as member-owners can direct and be involved in our cooperative.

BACK TO TOP