Shani Ferguson

2011 Board Elections Candidate Statement:

1. Tell us about yourself, your work, beliefs and values. Include your experiences and accomplishments with any of the SPFC organizing committees if applicable?
My name is Shani Ferguson. I have lived in Philadelphia for twelve years (when I moved here to join my husband, a Center City native) and in South Philadelphia since 2003. I have an MBA in marketing from Drexel University, earned while simultaneously working fulltime in the local design & construction industry and raising two small boys, now six and four. My volunteer experience includes Manna, Habitat for Humanity, and the parent association at my son’s school. I believe that workers are more important than shareholders, and that the community is more important than the individual.

2. Why do you value Cooperatives?
My appreciation for cooperatives was first nurtured in the late 1970s, when my parents joined our local co-op (Pittsburgh’s East End Food Co-op). The sense of community and teamwork I experienced has affected me to this day, in the way that I interact with others – with generosity and respect. I also appreciate the significant impact a co-op can have on its members and community, engendering a sense of connectedness and common purpose. At a time when the media seems to be screaming incessantly about our differences, the cooperative experience’s emphasis on what we have in common is particularly valuable.

3. What is your definition of a Cooperative?
A cooperative is a member-owned business designed to foster the physical and economic life of its community.

4. What is your vision of growth for a South Philly Food Cooperative?
As well as offering a range of products to support the health and well-being of our members / customers, I believe the South Philly Food Cooperative can become a vital part of the community, offering workshops and classes, consumer information, and volunteer opportunities.

The rest of the candidate statements are available here.