Christine Hrenya has been a member of the Co-op since 2017 when she moved to Bozeman with her husband Mark Ringer and their dog Anabel. She is a soon-to-be-retired engineering professor, whose research includes work on renewable energy. Christine is a passionate educator interested in teaching science as well as skills important beyond the classroom: communication, leadership, and community involvement. She is active in establishing numerous DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives. Beyond the food grown in her permaculture garden, Christine is an avid patron of local and sustainable foods via the Bozeman farmer’s markets, community-supported agriculture and local composting programs. As a hobbyist beekeeper, she wrote a monthly column for the BoZone on honeybee activities over the course of a typical year. Christine is a volunteer for the Bozeman Doc Series, Story Mill Food Forest and Adventure Scientists. She also served as an election observer in November.
From a Board perspective, what do you think are important issues facing the Co-op?
In the short term, the impact of the ongoing pandemic will likely remain through 2021, if not longer. This will continue to impact employee morale, supply chains, the member volunteer program, and revenue, particularly for ready-made offerings. Another challenge in the next year is competition from the new Whole Foods store, due to be completed this fall. Longer term, the grooming of new leaders among current employees and/or soliciting external talent will be key.
What strengths would you bring to the Board?
First and foremost, I am passionate about local, organic and sustainable food, as well as building community. Given my phased retirement status (50% time), I also have the time asked of board members. I am reliable, organized and enjoy working most toward a common goal with people from diverse backgrounds and varied experiences. I believe my past experiences and skills, as outlined above, are well-aligned with the Co-op mission and complementary to the board.
What aspects of the Co-op Board of Directors do you find of interest?
Frankly, I always welcome new experiences and the learning that goes along with them, so I would be happy to serve on any of the board’s committees. Of particular interest are the Diversity Committee and the Personnel Committee, which are two areas for which I have particular passion and past experience. More than anything, I look forward to the opportunity of giving back to the Co-op and the community by serving on the board.