Dawson Co-operative Union 2024 Annual General Meeting
May 6, 2024

Dear Members,
Your participation and engagement in the Annual General Meeting are crucial for the success and growth of the Dawson Co-operative Union.

This is an opportunity for members to participate in the governance and strategic direction of our Co-operative. The directors’ election will take place during the AGM on May 23, 2024. There are two open seats available, and we have three highly qualified candidates vying for these positions.

The candidates for the director’s election are:
Darren Shankel (Incumbent)
Kole Casey
Joseph Fellers
(Bios below)

As part of our AGM, the Board of Directors is proposing amendments to our Bylaws/Rules:

R-1 | Rule 81 – Director Qualifications: Legal disputes Amendment to alter the time limit that disqualifies nominees who have engaged in legal disputes against the co-op from 2 years to permanent.

R-2 | Rule 81 – Director Qualifications: Spending Requirements Amendment to clarify the minimum spending at the co-op that prospective candidates (including incumbents) need to meet to qualify in an election (including acclamations).

R-3 | Rule 81 - Application of Disqualifications To provide clarity that to qualify to serve or continue serving on the board, individuals are continually subject to the list of disqualifications.

R-4 | Rule 108 – Directors Attendance Book Amendment to modernize method of recording attendance.

NOTE: The above is only an overview. The proposed Resolutions (in detail) are available upon request at the Administration Office and will be provided in the Annual Meeting materials to all registered members.

Please mark your calendars and make every effort to attend the AGM. Your presence will not only demonstrate your commitment to our Co-operative, but also ensure that your voice is heard in the decision-making process.

Candidate Bios:

Darren Shankel (incumbent)

Based in Chetwynd, Darren Shankel is the Director of Education and Agricultural Services for Strategies North, a community-focused and relationship-driven consulting firm. He began in a small multi-grade school as a student himself. Later, when pressed for a life-direction he put down deeper roots in the world of Education and became a teacher. Small schools and northern living drew him in. Out of necessity and then later experience and expertise he has spent the majority of his teaching career as a principal. Darren also started his own non-profit society centered around increasing awareness and availability of Haskap. He offers extensive experience and expertise in education and agriculture.

In the past six years that Darren, a married father of three, has served on the Dawson Co-op Board of Directors, he has been a member of the Governance Committee, Fixed Asset and Protection (Chair 2 years), Vice President (2 years), and currently serves as the President.

Joseph (JJ) Fellers

Joseph Fellers (JJ) is a Construction and Transportation Specialist with more than two decades of successful experience managing high performance teams in some of the most remote and challenging areas of Canada. JJ brings a unique skill set to his work, with a focus on transferring his knowledge to others to assist them in the development of their own businesses and projects. JJ uses his experience as an Operations Manager, Licenced Commercial Pilot, Red-Seal Mechanic, and Class 1 Driver for client focused oversight to maximize success. JJ seeks to be a good neighbor, assisting others whenever he is able, and accepting help from neighbors when it is offered. JJ operates a 160-acre farm with his wife of 28 years and 3 children, keeping horses, dogs, ducks, peacocks and growing haskap berries.

Living in the north taught JJ that rural communities must be strong and self-sufficient, because help from larger urban centres will always arrive too late. He believes in buying local, promoting small business, encouraging entrepreneurship, and being a good neighbour. Having served as an Independent Board Member of the Klondike Placer Miners Association, he developed a passion for board governance and has since served on various recreational club boards and industry associations. As our community is always growing, more opportunities must be created so that young people do not have to leave to seek employment elsewhere. Everyone is important, and every person lost from the community diminishes its future sustainability and contributes to “brain drain”. A strong, sustainable community requires future generations to carry on the contributions of the previous generations. JJ is representative of Dawson Creek Co-op’s typical customers, trying to operate their farm or businesses outside of me`tropolitan supply chains. He seeks mission-driven opportunities to help regular people do extra-ordinary things, independently.

Kole Casey

Kole Casey is a 4th generation Dawson Creeker with many fond memories and ties to the Dawson Creek Co-operative. From previous family members involved in the establishment of the Co-op, to being a sitting member on the Co-op board, to eating pumpkin pie with his Grandparents and parents in the Co-op restaurant, to the DC parade, fall fair pancake breakfasts and sneaking into the old comic shop when told that he could, to the old coin slotted riding horse that still resides within the Co-op mall. His first job was at the Co-op gas bar when it was on the corner of 8th and 103rd avenue.

Raised in the Farmington area, but calls the whole Peace region his stomping ground. Husband to Coline (Mitchell) Casey, with two older boys, and two younger girls. His family often leaves him at the Co-op front entrance when grocery shopping as he tends to finds a member of the community to talk to. He later catches up to the family only to find someone else he knows. The DC Co-op means family to him, and the fabric that binds families together. Not only for the community that it serves but to the hard-working people that serve you when you walk into a Co-op facility.

Kole has served on two boards in the past - the Peace Energy Cooperative and the Lakeland College Alumni Board. He has experience with the inner workings of governance and knows the challenges and opportunities that comes with that.

Kole’s vision for the Co-op is to continue supporting the community. From the excellent services like the grocery store, the support for our farmers, the industries that keep our community growing, to the gas that gets you where you need to go. Co-op provides a plethora of sponsorships in the community for our families and our youth. Kole is a strong supporter for the walk-in clinic that is needed more than ever in our community.

Kole sees the DC Co-op as a cornerstone of the area and would like the opportunity to continue supporting that tradition in staying an integral part of the community and accountable to us the members.