2019 Board Candidate: Susan West Montgomery

Present occupation

Consult, Trainer: Organizational capacity building, fundraising, advocacy, preservation/conservation policy, research, writing

Community involvement

I have served on several local and national boards including:

Vice President, Takoma Park Middle School PTA | 2017-2019
Board of Directors, Villa Finale, San Antonio, Texas | 2018 – 2019
Board of Directors, Latrobe Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians | 2011 – 2017
Trustee, National Association of Olmsted Parks | 1998 – 2010, Co-Chair 2005-2007
Executive Board Member, Takoma Childrens School | 2001 - 2005
Member, Forum Editorial Advisory Board, National Trust for Historic Preservation | 1997 - 2004


Master of Arts, American Studies, George Washington University, Washington, DC

Bachelor of Arts, Art History and English Literature, State University of New York
at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York

Why are you interested in serving on the Board?

I have been a member of the Co-op since it moved to Takoma in 1998. I believe deeply in the philosophy and aims of cooperative enterprises and have been proud to support the Co-op as a shopper and advocate. I would like very much to be part of the Co-op's continuing success and support its further development as both a successful retail enterprise and vital and effective community asset. I have considered joining the board on and off for many years and now believe I have the time and mental bandwidth to serve in that role fully and enthusiastically.

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

While I have not been directly involved in TPSS or other cooperative enterprises, I have spent my entire career working in leadership positions at non-profits, as well as serving on boards and conducting organizational capacity building workshops. I would bring deep knowledge of best practices in board operations, communications, fundraising and advocacy.

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?

I have three decades of experience helping organizations raise money, increase their impact, forge partnerships, and build strong, effective teams. I am a trainer, a facilitator, a convener who is particularly skilled at pressing organizations to think beyond their traditional allies to build broader coalitions to support their missions.

What is your favorite Co-operative Principle and why?

CONCERNS FOR THE COMMUNITY: Co-ops work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.

I believe the Co-op can be a model and leader for its community setting high standards for its business practices, product quality, education and outreach, and its participation in the economic and civic life of the community.

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

As a board member I will be deeply committed to the Co-op's sustainability and innovation and hope to help make it an even more successful, valued and effective part of the Takoma Park community.