2019 Board Candidate: Elias Vlanton

Present occupation


Community involvement

Various community organizations over the years, including previous years on the TPSS Board of Representatives.


B.A. Washington University in St. Louis
Masters in Teaching, Johns Hopkins University
PhD. (Honorary), St. Mary's College of Maryland

Why are you interested in serving on the Board?

I think I have experience from the past that might be useful, plus I think as a long-term Takoma Park resident I can promote better understanding between the co-op and the wider community.

What experience or involvement have you had with the TPSS Food Co-op or other cooperative enterprises or Boards of Directors?

I was very active in the Co-op from about 1982 to 1992.

What skills, qualities, formal training, education, or professional or volunteer experience would you bring that directly contribute to the mission of the TPSS Food Co-op?

In the early 1990s I served as Co-op Board President during a transition from a worker's collective to a more hierarchical structure. I was a professional education for two decades, so I have a lot of experience helping people realize their goals. I am a bridge-builder who tries to bring people together.

What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

While all the co-operative principles are essential, I strongly believe that it is important to have democratic participation in order for the members to feel that they own the co-op.

Is there anything else you’d like to share or address?

I am looking forward to being on the board again and helping the co-op during a time of transition with the leasing of the lot next door. I have closely followed the issue and believe that I can help to protect the co-ops interests during this challenging time.