Candidates for 2018 Board Elections

Meet the candidates for this year's board elections

Election Process

The term for all board members is two years, with approximately one-half of the board being elected in alternating years. (Four board members are elected in even years, and three board members in odd years.)

This Year’s Election

There are four seats on the board up for election in 2018, as follows:

  • Jeff Gale
  • Bob Gulino
  • Susan Martindill
  • Brian Winter

Here are the important dates for this year’s election:

  • August 25, 2018, 2:00-4:00 pm: Monthly Board Meeting
  • September 8, 2018, 5:00 pm: Meet the Candidates
  • September 8, 2018: Cutoff date for new members to join in order to vote in this year’s election
  • September 9, 2018: Start of online voting (Members will receive email with voting instructions.)
  • September 21, 2018: Last day to vote
  • September 22, 2018: Election results announced (at September board meeting)

If you have any questions about the election process or the candidates listed below, please contact the elections subcommittee at

Meet the Candidates

To learn more about this year’s candidates, and to help make your decision when casting your ballot, please scroll down and read the statements from all 5 candidates.

Jeff Gale

Current board member

Hi, my name is Jeff Gale, and I’m running for re-election to the Umunhum Brewing Board that I’ve been serving on since October 2014. I’ve been a member of the co-op since May 2013. I became interested in beer and brewing while in grad school after a trip to Germany in 1987, and homebrewed for nine years after that trip. I’m a retired software engineer from NASA/Ames Research Center, and have lived in downtown San Jose since November 2000. I’ve also been serving on my condominium HOA Board since March 2014.

Over the past two years, I’ve helped the co-op to make progress on items such as the following: acquired our TTB Wholesaler permit, acquired commercial general liability insurance, established a relationship with Liberation Distribution (LibDib) for commercial distribution of our beers, developed two new beer recipes (Kölsch and Honey Pale Ale), and established relationships with two new commercial contract brewers. For the past two years, I’ve also been involved with the Beer Subcommittee and the Events Subcommittee.

With your support, I look forward to continue working with all co-op members to make California’s first co-op brewery a great success!

Noelle Gillies

When I first joined our co-op back in 2013, I was intrigued about the possibility of creating a cooperative brewpub and brewery. Back in college, I worked and lived in the Berkeley Student Cooperative, the largest student housing co-op in the nation. I experienced a democratically-run housing situation, and stepped up to take various leadership roles that the student-member-owners could take on to keep the BSC going. Ever since then, I have wanted to be involved in co-ops and I was happy to find Umunhum Brewing.

Shortly after I joined, I volunteered to help run the Board of Directors elections (when it was by mail and with paper ballots). After making sure we had correct member contact information, I realized we needed to have an accurate member roster and I have been the point person maintaining the roster ever since. I have also been an active member, attending Board meetings, volunteering at beer festivals where our beer is poured and am a regular member of our Monday night trivia team.

I have also curated our “coopmembereducation” channel on Slack. An important tenet of the cooperative movement is member education, and I have found many members do not know much about what co-ops are. The cooperative movement originated in 1840s Industrial Revolution England and has since spread throughout the world. And in response to the Great Recession, many worker-owner co-ops have started in the United States, as part of an alternative economy that is not familiar to most Americans. I would like to be on our Board to help educate members about the possibilities that being part of a cooperative economy entails, and to reach out to other co-ops. There was a meeting in August of South Bay co-ops in order to build connections, and me & several Umunhum members attended. We met at A Slice of New York Pizza (did you know it became a co-op a year ago?) and we talked to South Bay Progressive Alliance members, along with Smart Yards Co-op landscaping. We agreed we would like to help nurture possible South Bay co-ops that will arise. I would like to keep the discussion going with this group, and to plan possible events we can do with them. If elected, I would also want to connect with other local co-ops, such as the Arizmendi bakeries and The Cheese Board (in the East Bay) and Rainbow Grocery (in San Francisco). And if we want to pursue possible outside financing, I want to explore if this can be done through the national co-op bank or other co-op financial institutions.

Umunhum Brewing has created a real community here, and when I’m asked what I like about being a member, I always say that I have met some great people in this venture. Oh, and the beer is pretty good.

Bob Gulino

Current board member

Hello, fellow members and co-owners,

Serving as a member of the board of directors and as president of the board for the last four years has been both rewarding and fun. With all the terrific progress that we’ve made, I remain as excited about our future now as when I paid that $150 to become part of this adventure.

During my tenure on the board, our co-op has reached several key milestones:

  • We’ve shipped our first beer and are about to release our fifth.
  • We’ve expanded our customer base to about 50-60 locations in the bay area.
  • We’ve signed on with a local distributor, which has further expanded our reach.
  • We’ve launched our new brand and logo, accompanied by a new website and online store.
  • And we’ve had a lot of fun along the way.

In short, we have put our co-op “on the map” within the local beer scene here in the San Jose region.

The progress we’ve made together is certainly the result of a strong team effort, and I believe that my contributions have played a key role in propelling the team forward. In addition to leading the re-branding of our co-op, I helped launch our new website and online store, streamlined the online member sign-up process, and implemented many behind-the-scenes procedures and processes to improve our business. I’ve worked with the sales team to add several new customers, and you can usually see me at almost every one of our events and the festivals in which we’ve participated. I also drove the effort to become the official beer sponsor of Cinequest, one of the biggest annual events in San Jose. Simply put, I know what it takes to get the job done, and I’m willing to put in the effort to make it happen.

Even with our success so far, we’re not done yet. As we look to the future, I would ask for the opportunity to continue helping by serving on the co-op’s board of directors. With my background in marketing and in building new businesses, I am confident that my contributions would continue to be strong asset for the co-op and for all of you. Our co-op continues to make great progress, and if given the opportunity, I’d like to help us reach our next milestones.

Craig Kensek

Most of my most work experience has been in the area of technology, predominantly in marketing. I have had experience on two boards (a) a small opera company based in Marin (b) a Stanford alumni group which we transitioned to being a not for profit organization.

I think it would be great to help something grow a non-technology business. The businesses I’ve worked for have varied from small (under 200) to larger (> 10k), my rolls being hands on. Lots of writing of all sorts, including press releases, and occasionally working with lawyers on massaging verbiage.

What I’d bring – An irreverent approach to business, though I believe that positive cash flow is a great thing, and a lot of marketing experience. Keep processes simple. I received my BS from Stanford (Chem E. Aerobic and anaerobic what?), and have an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern). Marketing, Finance, and Policy. At Kellogg, one of my claims to fame was renting a bus and coordinating a beer tasting adventure to Milwaukee. Two breweries. The outing was actually profitable.

Brian Winter

Current board member

Hello fellow Umunhum Brewing members,

My name is Brian Winter and I am running again for the Board of Directors. For those of you that don’t know me, I have been a member of Umunhum Brewing since fall of 2013 and a board member for the last four years having served as secretary and vice president It’s been incredible watching us go from a group of beer enthusiasts dreaming about opening a brewpub to us now on tap throughout the South Bay, getting signed on with a distributor, and having 5 commercially brewed beers. All the work I’ve put in during my term has been without question a labor of love and I want to continue to serve you for another two more years to continue growing this business.

Fun events are an essential part of why I (and many others) joined the co-op, and why many of us continue to stay engaged in it. During my time on the board I’ve planned a variety of events including running the 1st fantasy football league, hop harvests, keg tappings, and a variety of beer festivals including Stroll the Alameda, CA Craft Beer, and Hop n Vine. Not only have I gained an incredible amount of experience from planning and running all these events, I’ve also helped train others on how to run events as well. If re-elected, I will continue to help with events and continue to share my knowledge with the rest of our (future) members.

In addition to event coordination, I’ve also spent a lot of my efforts with the Beer Subcommittee helping grow our beer offerings and expand our business. I’ve helped conduct market research to set our upcoming can prices, and helped the committee dial in future beers that meet our customers’ needs. Furthermore, I realized last year that our business’ biggest logistical challenge was making beer deliveries; and that our membership’s talents were best suited for putting together beer recipes and selling ourselves. To help resolve these issues, I spearheaded the Umunhum and Liberation Distribution partnership. This partnership has been going strong for over 6 months, and has not only saved the co-op money in cold storage fees, but has also opened up numerous sales opportunities and allowed us to focus our resources in more efficient ways.

Finally, I’d like to thank my fellow board members for all their hard work, and most importantly, the support of you the membership base for helping us take the next steps in growing our business. We’ve continued to overcome all the obstacles that have come our way, and I have no doubt we’ll continue to do so. We have an incredibly diverse and talented group of 500+ members, and I want to tap into that even more because that’s the key to keeping this business running, growing and reaching our ultimate goal of opening San Jose’s first cooperative brewery and pub.