Umar Rashid

Umar Rashid
Equity Coordinator, Minneapolis Public Schools

Why do you want to serve on the Eastside Food Co-op Board of Directors?
I’ve been a member of the Eastside Food Co-op for over 5 years. During that time, my family and I have built relationships with staff members that have been very genuine. I also witnessed how the customers base expended demographically along with the store itself. I would like to support the co-op in further expanding its operation and continued innovation.

What kinds of skills, interests, and experience would you bring to the board?
My primary skills are founded on Strategic Management and Communications. These two fundamental skills manifests in the following attributes:

  • Systematize and align departmental philosophy and procedures with capacity and logistics

  • Develop job role(s), function, and methods

  • Coach teams on applying practices to organizational protocols and policies

  • Translate data outcomes to internal and external stakeholders

  • Convey strategic analysis and recommendations to operational leaders and teams

 I hold a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota with an organizational development focus. I currently serve as Coordinator of Educational Equity at Minneapolis Public Schools. My duties involve professional development facilitation for teams of 25 to 70 licensed personnel, administrative leadership coaching, internal team development, and building structures that systematize new practices.

Eastside Food Co-op is founded on the 7 International Cooperative Principles. Please choose one of the principles and describe how you think the board can encourage and foster this in a cooperative.
Concern for community: I believe that cooperatives are vital to strong community ecosystems. In that respect, healthy food choices are imperative to supporting a high quality of life for families and young people, promotes wellness, and combats chronic illness and other debilitating conditions. Co-ops also provide a space where customers can commune or connect with each other in a welcoming and respectful environment. Impactful board work can see to it that relationships with partners and suppliers are sustainable, well managed, and that the supportive structures are maintained. 

Tell us your experience in working with fiduciary responsibilities for an organization.
I have minimal experience making fiduciary decisions and meeting fiduciary responsibilities on a large scale. My experience along these lines has come in the form of ensuring that activities are carried out in compliance with grant specifications.

Tell us your experience in collective-decision making.
My experience is centered on developing and emphasizing collaborative models that increase the efficiency of the relationship between administrative leaders and front-line actors. I’ve collaborated with and coached administrators on managing internal dynamics and crises, personnel challenges and making data informed organizational decisions. Critical aspects of this work involved one-to-one coaching for leaders responsible for 50 to 100 employees. The outcomes included making recommendations and providing support in making real time collaborative decisions with legal counsel. Key aspects of this experience were also grounded in my participation on various site-based committees and boards.