You are Invited
VIGA ANNUAL MEETING POTLUCK
Sunday November 22
Vashon Island Books (old VFW)
22100 Vashon Hwy SW
Including Board Elections for 2016-2018
All current members may vote
Candidate Statements Below
I hope to see the local food economy grow, so we can all eat where we live. I am new to
agricultural life and to the island, but for the past three years I’ve been building a pig-
tilled patch of soil with compost and cover crop rotations. I enjoy sharing in the
knowledge and traditions that VIGA encourages among the membership, and more
broadly throughout the island, by supporting the ways we live together and in relationship
to the land and our environment. In 2015 I have been volunteering with VIGA,
principally around the market, but I am looking to expand the volunteer program in
support of the strategic plan.
Prior to 2010, my urban career was in arts education and administration with
organizations such as The 14/48 Projects, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Book-It Repertory,
and Youth Theater Northwest. In these positions, I gained experience in building
consensus and excitement around projects that are governed by a non-profit board for the
benefit of a larger population. I bring strong interpersonal communication skills and a
passion for growing food and community. Whether or not I am elected to the Board, I
hope to help VIGA broaden and enlarge the on island food chain for the nutritional and
economic health of the local population. I support this broad vision to the inclusion of the
many, local industries associated with rural, farm-based traditions. Together we thrive.
For those of you who don’t know me, I am Celina Yarkin, and I own Sun Island Farm
with my husband Joe. Our farm is on Maury Island, and we have three daughters, one in
each school. Joe and I have been selling our produce at the Farmers Market for eight
years, and due to my keen interest in the health and vibrancy of the market, I am running
for a position on the VIGA board.
What I bring to the market is eight years of experience knowing what it takes to
successfully grow for the market, what limits the market, and how to break through
barriers, how crafters and farmers hold each other up through different seasons, and how
valuable relationships with customers, managers, the board and each other are to the well
being and success of everyone.
Recently I have been thinking a lot about how the Farmers market is a small business
incubator for Vashon Island. We gross around $300,000 annually, and some of the
businesses that have gotten their start at the market have expanded beyond the market
like Cliff’s Beer, Patty’s Tomalis, Rainy Day soap, and King Caramel. Others learn
principles of running a business at the market, and then take those skills with them into
different jobs and contexts. The value of the Vashon Farmers Market to our community
can’t be overstated, and I believe we need to actively build the market in ways we have
previously left up to chance. I will be on two committees which go to the heart of
accomplishing this task: the new market committee, and the reimagining the market
committee. I have redesigned the market committee to consist of successful business
people from the market, and local businesses who will advise the manager on how to run
the market with an eye towards growth, sales and diversity of product in mind. This
committee will also recruit and coach new vendors by identifying gaps in what the
market has to offer. The reimagining the market committee will be working on creating a
new building for the market that will serve the market in all weather, symbolize who we
are, and be available for other community uses as well. Both of those committees require
a board member, and if you elect me, I can be that person.
In conclusion, I humbly ask for your vote. In return, I promise to reach out to all of you
so I can constructively engage with diverse opinions regarding the future of the market,
and work to make all of us successful through a shared vision.
With experience working for ag conglomerates in the midwest, a degree in
Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon, two years in the Peace Corps as an
Agricultural Extension Agent, a year interning at Pacific Crest Farm, over two years
working as the Volunteer Program Manager at the Vashon Food Bank, and two years on
the VIGA Board (the most recent as Co-Chair), I feel well-equipped to serve on the board
of an organization dedicated to food and farming.
I’m committed to VIGA’s mission, and would be honored to serve on its board for another
Having stepped into the farming community fully with my founding of Cedar Spring
Farm in 2015, I wish to participate in VIGA’s goal to improve access to local food.
I grew up on Vashon from 1st grade and spent 2 farming seasons on Vashon as an
intern and farm manager. This gives me an understanding of the island and how to
incorporate the realities of producing food for the island community.
I wish to maintain improve the current role of VIGA while developing
further opportunities for local food producers and consumers.