Candidates for 2020 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 2020, as follows:

  • Jeff Gale
  • Bob Gulino
  • Noelle Gillies
  • Brian Winter

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

  • July 25, 2020, 2:00-4:00 pm: Monthly Board Meeting
  • August 21, 2020, 12:00 midnight: Deadline for submission of nominations and candidate statements
  • August 22, 2020, 2:00-4:00 pm: Monthly Board Meeting
  • September 5, 2020, 5:00 pm: Meet the Candidates
  • September 5, 2020: Cutoff date for new members to join in order to vote in this year’s election
  • September 7, 2020: Start of online voting (Members will receive email with voting instructions.)
  • September 25, 2020: Last day to vote
  • September 26, 2020: 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

This Year’s Candidates

To learn more about each candidate, and to help make your decision when casting your ballot, please scroll down and read the candidates’ statements.

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 1986, 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.

I’ve been Board liaison to the Beer Subcommittee for almost all of the past two years. I helped develop, test, and have commercially contract brewed the following seven beer recipes – Binary B10nde, Kryptö Kölsch, PHP, Covert Cloud (collaboration with Clandestine Brewing), Little Red Humminghood, The Stouter Limits, and Maltware. I helped develop, test, and get ready to commercially contract brew the following two beer recipes – Belgian Honey Dubbel and Coffee Kölsch. We’re also almost ready with Weizenbock, Porter, and Hefeweizen. Umunhum Brewing beers won the Golden Beaker at Geektoberfest 2019 at The Tech Interactive! I led the search for and discussions with our brand new contract brewer; they recently brewed Maltware 2.0 for us.

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

Current board member

I’ve served on the Board for the past 2 years. I wanted to help cultivate membership engagement as well as awareness of cooperative principles and to be a liaison to other cooperatives.

I was discussing possible joint events with Niles Pie Company co-op in Union City. I was looking forward to attending the California Center for Cooperative Development’s annual conference, to learn how other co-ops operate and to network with co-op grocery stores in order to sell our beer in their stores(a natural fit). This was scheduled for April, and we know what happened then….

Our Board has continued to meet monthly virtually to continue to steer our co-op through the uncertainty that has challenged us in this time of pandemic.

I want to share with you how I got involved with Umunhum Brewing.

My interest in the cooperative movement started when I joined the Berkeley Student Co-op, the largest student housing co-op in the country. I had many jobs there, was elected manager of my co-op house, then elected as representative of the house to the Board of Directors. The years spent at the student co-op were important and the more I learned about the history of the cooperative movement and about different cooperative businesses out there I wanted to continue to be involved. But it wasn’t until years later, in 2013, that I read a newspaper article about a group of beer drinkers who were inspired by the model of the Black Star Co-op in Austin and wanted to start a co-op brewpub in San Jose that I was intrigued by possibility of becoming involved in a local cooperative business.

I joined a few months later and started attending Board of Directors meetings. In one meeting, it was mentioned that they would need to start planning the next election and to recruit candidates. I stepped up to volunteer to be the lead organizer of this effort. Ever since I been actively involved in our co-op. I am so pleased to see how our co-op has grown and how it has brought together so many local people to work together to create this cooperative business.

Bob Gulino

Current board member

Hello, fellow members and co-owners,

Serving as a member of the board of directors over the last six years has been a thrilling experience. Together, we have made terrific progress, and I remain as excited about our future now as when I paid that $150 to become part of this adventure.

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.

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

  • We’ve expanded our beer line-up (which had been zero).
  • We’ve grown our customer base.
  • We’ve hosted several members-only beer sales.
  • We’ve more than doubled our membership.
  • We’ve adopted our new brand and logo.
  • We’ve re-launched our website, which includes an online store.
  • And we’ve had a lot of fun along the way.

My role on the board has evolved over the years, as the needs of the co-op have evolved. After serving as the board president for four years, I served as the marketing subcommittee liaison, and since last year, I have been serving as the liaison to the events subcommittee. Even before taking on this role, you could almost always see me at our events and festivals, and after the pandemic all but eliminated these “live” events, I have been hosting our weekly Virtual Happy Hours every Thursday evening.

Previously, I helped lead the re-branding of our co-op, launch our new website and online store, streamlined the online member sign-up process, and implemented many behind-the-scenes processes to improve our business. I’ve worked with the sales team to add several new customers, and I try to help out with the Brew Crew when I can — though my contributions here are limited. (My expertise lies more in home drinking than home brewing.)

In short, 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 chance 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 assets 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

Craig Kensek

I am just awesome and am running to provide an alternative to rotating board people. I have a broad marketing and business background. One of those triple major MBA things. Growth seems to be stuck in neutral and more breweries continue to start up. We may have to rethink our strategies about where growth is going to come from. Is it time for a formal SWOT and plans for more visibility? The org seems to define Bay Area as ending around Palo Alto. Are we going to go for deeper into a smaller area, try to get into more bars , liquor stores? Interesting issues to deal with. You can also check me out on linkedin.

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