2016 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:

  • Annelies Lottman
  • Kyle Voosen
  • Greg Cumpton

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


ANNELIES LOTTMANN

 

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

I am proud of the work that our Board has accomplished in my first three years as a Black Star Co-op Director.  Our co-op is in an exciting time of transition (funny how that always seems to be the case…), and I hope to provide continuity while continuing to learn and grow as a member of the Board.  

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

In a year’s time, I would like to see BSC actively engaging more of our 3000+ member-owners as ambassadors for our great beer and food, and our uniquely fair and empowering business model.  In five years, I hope we’re firmly established at two locations, with strong local business and institutional partnerships and a deeply loyal customer base that will help us weather the shifting tides of the local restaurant industry.  

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

Since I began my first term at BSC, my career has become increasingly focused upon co-ops and cooperative development as the Central Texas Program Coordinator for the Texas Rural Cooperative Center, which supports co-ops all around the state.  I also serve on the boards of Yard to Market Co-op and the Austin Cooperative Business Association.  I bring to the Board a solid understanding of the cooperative model and a familiarity with BSC’s policies and procedures, as well as a willingness to look at each challenge with fresh eyes in order to reach the best outcome for the circumstances at hand.  

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

We are built around the needs and priorities of our workers.  This is so rare in the restaurant industry!  I want everyone in Austin to know how great the Workers’ Assembly is at walking the walk of fair worker treatment, and to feel excited to support a business where they can see democratic worker self-management in action!

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

I love Cooperation Among Cooperatives—it inspires us to reframe competition as collaboration to raise the potential of everyone who is invested in this fundamentally just business model.


KYLE VOOSEN

 

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

I joined the Black Star Co-op in early 2010 and it’s been part of my life ever since.  I had to peel the original wrapper off of the baby station in the men’s bathroom to change my daughter’s diaper.  I was part of the member committee that designed Elba.  When my family and I moved away from Austin for a few years, our going-away party was at the Black Star.  Now that my family and I are back in the neighborhood, it’s time to give back to the “neighborhood beer bar owned by the community it serves.”

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

Year 1 – Be on a path toward financial stability without sacrificing the tenets that make the Black Star Co-op special.  Create incentives that make member-ownership more appealing.  Take a more active role in the Midtown-Austin community.  Encourage a lighter, healthier, more vegetarian-friendly menu.

Year 5 – Reach a steady-state where more than 50% of Black Star revenue comes from an active community of more than 10,000 member-owners.

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

  • I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life living in Germany and England.  I know how great it feels when the local pub (and beer in general) is part of a community’s daily routine.
  • I’ve been a homebrewer for 25 years.  I know a good beer when I taste one (hello, Vulcan.) 
  • My family and I live within walking distance of the Co-op.  We have a vested interest in Black Star’s local community outreach. 
  • I’ve served on a number of non-profit and industry boards over the years.  I’m no stranger to the role. 

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

As the world’s first cooperatively owned brewpub, the Black Star Co-op will always stand out! What should set it apart from all other breweries and brewpubs is an enthusiastic legion of member-owners who actively promote and patronize their brewery.  To be frank, joining the Black Star Co-op today is an emotional decision.  People join because it feels right; like giving to charity.  We can do a lot more to make joining the Co-op a rational decision, with tangible benefits that also encourage more member-owner involvement.

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

7th Principle: Concern for Community. Every decision we make should be with our community in mind.


GREG CUMPTON

 

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

I reap all of the rewards of Black Star Co-op. I drink countless delicious beers. I eat consistently amazing locally-sourced food. I tell anyone I want to impress to go; they are always impressed. For years now Black Star Co-op made me feel good and look good. It’s time to give back.

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

In the next year, expand our sound fiscal base while continuing to focus on and maintain our fundamental principles. In five years, world domination…or at least a second location.

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

I managed a Starbucks, served as Vice President and President of the local non-profit Capital Area Master Naturalists, co-own (with my wife) a short term rental, and help direct a university research center. I understand the fiscal and operational challenges of running a small business and the need to consistently review and reflect on a long-term strategic plan. I also love craft beers and home brewing. 

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

Build customer loyalty by emphasizing our co-operative structure, consistently producing excellent beer and food in a respectful environment, and regularly listening and responding to member questions, concerns, and ideas. Fierce local competition provides several options for quality beer and exceptional food. What differentiates Black Star Co-op from the competition are our principles.

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

Definitely my favorite principle is education, training, and information, though I admit those are always my favorite principles. Black Star Co-op provides a perfect touch-stone for educating the public: visitors who think they don’t like beer can try an irrational pint and customers who come for the beer and the amazing food have the opportunity to learn about co-operatives. Everyone learns, though some get tipsy trying.