by Beth A. Rubin, HFM Board member
I have been shopping or hanging out at the Hollywood Farmers market for years before I moved to Portland. I discovered it because my sister has long been a vendor and what I discovered was a vision of life as I love it best: community, wonderful people, music and the most beautiful and fresh produce I’d ever seen (not to mention, sustainably raised meat and eggs and mouth-watering baked goods among other things). By the time I moved to Portland, my interest in the quality of food had deepened because my husband, in response to a major health scare, had turned to a plant-based whole foods diet. I felt incredibly lucky to have access to Oregon’s agricultural bounty as a way to meet my husband’s health needs. However, shopping at the Hollywood Farmers Market was (and is) never a chore! The community of Portland farmers, the food vendors, the volunteers, as well as friends and family I ran into made Saturday mornings a splendid part of every week. From there it made sense to volunteer for the market; doing so only deepened my appreciation of this incredible resource. So when I saw a column in the Hollywood Farmers Market’s email newsletter (The Local Dirt) about the possibility of serving on the board, I jumped. I was eager to give more to the organization that kept this wonderful market running, and delighted that my application was accepted.
In my time serving on the board, I’ve learned so much about how to best serve low-income shoppers, the nitty-gritty details of nonprofit accounting and fund-raising, and the challenges and opportunities associated with running and strengthening a trade association like the Hollywood Farmers Market. I’ve also gotten to know so many interesting and engaged people – the market’s full-time staff, the farmers and vendors, and the diverse group of community members who serve on the board and volunteer on our committees. In return, I’ve contributed my skills, time and energy. It’s been a rewarding, interesting, and fun experience! I am really grateful to serve something from which my family and I get so much.
If, like me, you love the market and want to contribute to supporting our local food system, consider applying for an open board position.
You’ll get to take an active role in overseeing the direction of the Hollywood and Lloyd Farmers Markets, both of which are held year-round. You’ll gain insight into how our local food system works, and feel a sense of involvement in the community. We seek applicants from all backgrounds with a diverse set of skills. It certainly helps if applicants have experience with community outreach, agriculture, communications, account/financial planning, human resources or marketing. Energy and commitment, though, count for a great deal. Our goal is to compose a well-rounded, effective Board.
Our Board is comprised of up to fifteen members (though currently fewer) including a handful of seats that will be vacated at the end of this year. Board members serve a three-year term. The primary responsibility of the board is governance of the Markets. In addition, Board members participate on a variety of committees where they are able to creatively contribute to the market’s weekly activities as well as influence the organization’s future. Members attend board meetings held on the third Wednesday evening of every month as well as one or more committee meetings per month. Additional commitments include an annual Board retreat held in January, a vendor dinner in the spring and a fall harvest festival celebrating our volunteers hosted by the Board. While these are commitments they are also fun and engaging events.
The deadline for applications is Monday, October 8, 2018. The Board will invite candidates to an interview at the October 17th board meeting, and elections will take place that evening. New members will be seated effective January 1, 2019. Board meetings are always open to the public, so if you’re not sure whether the Hollywood Farmers Market board is right for you, please feel free to attend a meeting as a guest. Our next two meetings are Wednesday, September 19th, and Wednesday, October 17th, at 6:30pm at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church (there is no August meeting).