Kathy Stewart

“I appreciate that WSM both operates successfully, supports local farmers and pushes services to the community at large. I hope to contribute to the board and ideally grow as an individual.”

Describe your occupation and your community involvement. I’m a Sales and Marketing Specialist with NoveList, a subscription database company for public and school libraries that helps readers find their next great book. My husband and I moved to Hillsborough in 2007 from South Carolina, where I worked as a children’s librarian for a large public library. Over the years, I’ve volunteered for community groups briefly and sporadically — groups like Hands on Atlanta, area food banks, and most recently, the Animal Protection Society of Durham but have never felt as if I’m giving back in the way I’d like.

StewartWhy do you want to serve on the board of directors? Weaver Street Market (Hillsborough) opened shortly after my husband and I moved here. I often tell people that WSM is my hobby, since I’m a frequent shopper. Having grown up in a military family, I like the feeling of community it brings to me as a consumer owner. I appreciate the power of a business that can both operate successfully as a business and also support local farmers and push services to the community at large. Ideally, I believe I can contribute to the board and also grow as an individual in the process.

What experience do you have with Weaver Street Market, cooperatives, or small community-minded businesses? I’m one of many WSM consumer-owners and am an enthusiastic and frequent shopper at (primarily) the Hillsborough location. I enjoy and appreciate the quality of food, great customer service, the local products and also the experiences I have there — sitting outside and taking in the variety of people, dogs, plants; meeting with other knitters, grabbing chocolate milk after a walk on the Riverwalk and chomping on countless to-go gingersnaps. I don’t have actual personal experience with cooperatives or small community-minded businesses but believe that they put the ‘c’ in community and provide both the value-add and the flavor that make places such as Hillsborough special.

What experiences, skills, or perspective will you bring to the board? My prior work experience as a paralegal then librarian have made me a strong proponent of collaboration, which I believe to be a key to a (better) big picture. I also know the value of story, both in terms of sharing with others and also with regard to communicating a business’s vision and value externally. Coming up with great ideas is one part of the process but scaling ideas to ensure that they are prioritized and doable (and tracking how things go) is an essential part of the equation, too. My current work has made me appreciate the importance of active listening, hearing customers’ needs and matching resources to meet them.

Include anything else about yourself you may like others to know about you. I’d like others to know that I tackle projects I undertake with gusto; that talking and sharing information, food, books and ideas with others brings me joy. I’m an aspiring knitter; I find yardwork meditative and my dogs vexing and inspirational in equal measure.

Contact information:

Email: kathrynstewart5362@gmail.com