2022 Election Results

The Board of Directors serves a critical role in overseeing and guiding our Co-op. Directors attend board meetings and the meetings of at least one committee. Three positions on the Board, each for three-year terms, become available at every annual election.

Voting results were certified by Simply Voting, a secure, third-party voting platform.

$2 from every vote supports healthy meals in our local schools through Sierra Harvest‘s Foothills Fresh program. We raised $1560 through your voting.

Your new board members are…

Katie Ivy

Incumbent Board Secretary

Occupation: Dual Immersion Educator, Bell Hill Academy

Education: Masters, Stanford University, Stanford; Teaching Credentials, CalState TEACH, CSU Fresno

What do you love about BriarPatch?

It’s funny to think that you could come to love a grocery store. I grew up in a place where grocery stores were utilitarian and practical, visited purely for sustenance, and as quickly as possible. Since moving to Nevada County in 2012, I have learned that a grocery store can be so much more than I had previously encountered. Whether you’re looking for the best ingredients or a store that makes a difference, you’ll quickly see that the BriarPatch is an amazing place to shop, gather, and experience the welcoming culture of Nevada County. It’s a community hub that makes going grocery shopping feel like an enjoyable excursion rather than a necessary chore. When I shop at BriarPatch I feel lucky to connect with the fantastic staff and clientele, while simultaneously finding the delicious, wholesome food I value. It is definitely a place I love and to which I feel deeply connected.

Why will you make a good Board Director?

Like so many members of the BriarPatch community, I bring a unique and varied perspective to my undertakings. I believe this perspective makes me a good Board Director. I currently work as a bilingual third grade teacher at a local public school called Bell Hill Academy. Before becoming a teacher, I helped manage a small, organic, educational farm in Nevada City, called the Food Love Project. In our spare time, my husband and I tend our front yard veggie patch and volunteer with a local environmental non-profit called the Wolf Creek Community Alliance.
These experiences have helped put me in touch with the community that BriarPatch serves and the shoppers, staff, and farmers that make it what it is. I will be a good board member because I am connected to many facets of our community, from farmers and gardeners to parents and students. During my time on the Board, I have served as Board Secretary and on the Board Development and Governance committees. I have also participated in trainings, board retreats, and co-op conferences where my capacities as a Board Director grew and matured. I look forward to continuing my development in years to come.

Kwong Chew

Incumbent Board Member

Occupation: Business owner, Entrepreneur & Advisor

Education: San Francisco Golden Gate University

What do you love about BriarPatch?

To me, BriarPatch is the vital pillar and beacon of a healthier way of life. I love that we are a social hub, the vibrancy, our mission and commitment for a more sustainable society. I love how we are contributing to positive living in our community and I have the skillset and experience to be helpful.

Why will you make a good Board Director?

I believe that I have what it takes to be a good Board Director. For any successful organization, it is critical to have continuing competent, cohesive, and proven leadership. I feel that I have the necessary skills, insight and experience from my many years on the board, to continue to contribute positively and especially in this important phase of our history as we evolve into a multi-store entity in Auburn.
Coupled with my business background, active presence on other related boards, community exposure and as a continuing Board Director, I am positively confident that I will continue to bring deep dimension, diversity and leadership.

Deborah Yashar

New Nominee

Occupation: Marketing & Communications Director, Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm)

Education: University of California Santa Cruz, California

What do you love about BriarPatch?

For me, stepping into BriarPatch is like stepping into a warm and energizing community center. This is especially meaningful as a newcomer to Nevada County during these difficult past two years. Grocery shopping at BriarPatch with my family and young child has been such a positive experience for what otherwise could be just a routine or tedious chore. The amicable employees and upbeat atmosphere always bring joy to our day–whether it’s the staff playing peekaboo with my 6-year old behind the milk aisle, or the employee who dressed up as a juggling turkey for Thanksgiving. I’m talking to you Mike! What can I say – I’m inspired by the outreach and kindness! Of course, the incredible selection of sustainably-sourced food, fruits, veggies, and medicine brings flavor and nourishment to our table, our bodies, and minds and I love knowing that my participation as a BriarPatch member is a vote for a more equitable food system and thriving economy. I am motivated by BriarPatch’s commitment to supporting our local community beyond the walls of the store, its support of non-profits–that it is part of something bigger than itself. What other businesses do that? Amazing! And as a graphic designer and communications specialist, I am always inspired by the creative, engaging, and informative marketing materials and e-newsletters that I regularly receive from BriarPatch in my inbox. What’s there not to love about BriarPatch Food Co-op?

Why will you make a good Board Director?

I am committed to using my creative energies and professional skills towards healing the land for future generations by working with teams to advance a just and regenerative food system. As Board Director, I will enthusiastically bring my 20 years of experience working with organizations and farmers from all walks of life towards achieving this goal. I have dedicated my career to this cause since earning my BA in environmental studies and sustainable agriculture/agroecology from the University of California Santa Cruz. Since then I have worked with a wide spectrum of business and non-profit enterprises such as the Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm), where I currently work as Marketing and Communications Director and help organize the oldest and largest ecological farming conference on the West Coast, each year. I enjoy volunteering with like-minded entities and also bring experience serving on boards and food-based organizations such as the Santa Cruz Community Farmers Markets, the Agriculture & Land-Based Training Assoc. (ALBA), and others. I am known to my colleagues and peers for my integrity and dedication to furthering whatever cause I commit to and can offer my keen ability to listen, be curious, discuss, and get down to the heart of the matter. In this case, the matter is a successful and vibrant cooperatively owned business that is a leader locally and nationally, and has expanded to Auburn, CA. What a huge accomplishment and window of opportunity to continue expanding a resilient food economy! I would love to support BriarPatch in meeting its challenges, whatever they may be, so it can continue to grow its impact today and tomorrow. Thank you all for considering my earnest application!


Tuesday, May 31, 7-8:00pm 

General Manager Chris Maher will present 2021 financials to the Ownership.  

Pre-registration is required for attendance via ZOOM Teleconference.