Dear Member-owners,

As the Board of Directors of Rising Tide, we want to express our thanks and gratitude for your continued support in our Co-op. Your commitment to our shared co-op values and principles is crucial to the ongoing success of Rising Tide.

We are writing to address an important matter that requires your attention. Our Co-op’s Bylaws, the foundation of our cooperative organizational structure, have served us well over the years. However, as Rising Tide has grown and evolved over the past 10 years, the Co-op’s Bylaws have not. Given this, we believe that it is time for a comprehensive update to our Bylaws. This update is both a responsible step and an opportunity for us to strengthen our Co-op’s foundation and ensure its continued success.

To facilitate the process for considering amendments to the Bylaws, the Board created a Governance Committee earlier this year. This committee was tasked with conducting a thorough review of our existing Bylaws, seeking input from national co-op consultant Columinate, as well as consulting with the Co-op’s outside legal counsel.  The committee’s general mission was to propose updated Bylaws that better serve Rising Tide’s current and future needs.

We are now at a point to share the proposed amended Bylaws with our member-owners and are requesting your feedback prior to a formal vote later this Fall.  The basis for the proposed changes to the Bylaws primarily fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Streamline: Update the language and structure to simplify the Bylaws, remove circular cross-references, and eliminate unnecessary or internally conflicting provisions.
  2. Membership Rights and Protections: Clarify the rights and responsibilities of member-owners, including on matters related to voting and decision-making processes, as well as to clarify the allocation of rights and obligations between member-owners and the Board.
  3. Compliance: Ensure that our Bylaws comply with current local, state, and federal laws and regulations, as well as general best practices based on the guidance of Columinate and review of example bylaws from other co-ops.

The Rising Tide website has a copy of the current Bylaws and the proposed updated Bylaws (HERE) for your perusal. A redline version is also available for those who are interested in seeing a comparison between the current Bylaws and the proposed amended Bylaws. Please email the Board at to request a copy of the redline.

The Co-op will hold a meeting on Friday, September 15th at 4:00 pm to address any questions or concerns you, as member-owners, might have in advance of the final draft of the amended Bylaws and voting. A vote of at least 10% of the membership is required so your vote is critical. The final draft will be released, and a 30-day voting window will begin, on October 13th!  We look forward to your comments and thank you for your ongoing commitment to Rising Tide.


Rising Tide Governance Committee
(On behalf of the Rising Tide Board of Directors)

Meeting Dates for 2023
September 26
October 31
November 28
No Meeting in December



Rising Tide Bylaws (Current)

Proposed Updated Bylaws (2023)

Annual Report 2022

Annual Report 2021

Annual Report 2020

Annual Report 2019

Hello Member-Owners, 
We would like to introduce you to the Rising Tide Board of Directors. 


Ed Ross, President, and his wife, Sandra, have been year-round Damariscotta residents since 2010, but Rising Tide customers since 1980. They recognize that the member-owned co-op is one of the organizations making Lincoln County a great place to live. With his business background, Ed has a special appreciation for the hardworking farmers and small businesses partnering with Rising Tide so locally produced products can be offered. Ed continues to be a positive contributor to Rising Tide’s board.

Graham Walsh, Vice President, has been a patron of Rising Tide since the early days when the location was what is now the “Woman of Substance” building. He is a regular face at Rising Tide, often times visiting more than once a day to shop.  Walsh enjoys assisting patrons, tidying up if he sees the need, engages in conversation with staff and customers, and provides suggestions when appropriate.  While the Shop Manager and Director of Admissions and Sales for the Apprenticeshop in Rockland, Walsh oversaw daily operations, managed the physical plant, and acquired materials for traditional boat building programs. Currently, Walsh works in Advertising at the Lincoln County News, which keeps him connected to the community on many levels. 
Beth Polhemus, Treasurer, has been a member of Rising Tide for over 10 years and brings her small business expertise and passion for food and sustainability to the Board. After thirty years of restaurant operations, she’s aware that she is still learning about the impact she can and should have as a business owner. She brings that sensibility along with enthusiasm, creativity, and a heartfelt desire to contribute to the Rising Tide community to her role as a board member. Beth enjoys the challenges and opportunities that come with cooperative governance.
Judy Bernier, Secretary,  has been with Rising Tide as a consumer and member. She is a fan of grocery stores and bodegas in general and likes perusing them for new and interesting items. In the ’90s as an interior designer, she worked on the design and layouts for the “big Y” chain of supermarkets, researching buying behavior and how color and design can influence sales. She approaches issues in a holistic manner and then quantifies results with data. She believes that at the end of the day, you want your shopper to have a good experience in the co-op so they will return and tell their friends. and that staff should feel good about working at the co-op, and vendors who supply the store to feel good as well.  She understands that it’s a balancing act and there are a lot of personalities and egos involved so you have to remain objective.
Sean O’Neill has been a member of the Rising Tide Co-op for several years and recently joined the Board to further support co-op education and sustainable development outreach. Sean is a biologist and educates students and community members about Ocean Science Research. He enjoys using his experience to work and communicate with the cooperative membership
Sean is a  great example of member-owners stepping into the role of board members. Member-owner participation is crucial to a healthy Board and for the cooperative. The Board is always looking for interested member-owners to get involved in cooperative governance.

Hide (pronounced hee-day and short for Hideaki) Mizuno is delighted to be a member-owner of the Rising Tide Coop, with its healthful food and other products, local producers, and the vital role it plays in the well-being of the community. Hide has over 30 years of experience in finance and investment management, working in Tokyo, New York, Paris, and Algeria, in addition to San Francisco. For over 10 years, he has worked in the not-for-profit sector, including endowment management, development, board relationships, governance, and fiduciary responsibilities, with a recent focus on ESG (environment-, social- and governance-focused investments). He has a wife, June, a son, and a daughter who went to college in Maine and settled here. Hide is passionate about food, wine, and bluegrass music and looks forward to helping Rising Tide Coop continue to thrive.

Deb Singer, is thrilled to be a newly settled resident of Maine – being where her passion and heart have led her (living closer to nature.) Discovering Rising Tide has been a joy and aligns well with her commitment to healthy eating/living and supporting local food. She is passionate about Rising Tide’s success now and into the future. A Social Entrepreneur, Deb brings decades of experience working in both retail (Whole Foods for 12 years in leadership roles) and as a supplier of sustainable products to retailers across the US.  She is squarely focused on making an impact on our plastic pollution crisis.  Since 2007 after leading the ban on plastic shopping bags at Whole Foods, her work and passion have been directed toward the elimination of single-use – supporting the reuse movement. She is committed to creating a radical shift in consumers’ mindsets and behaviors away from single-use plastic. She resides in Nobleboro with her partner Bruce, who has been a loyal shopper at Rising Tide for over 15 years and shares their home with a blended pet family (2 cats and a dog!) 
Tammy Lee has been a patron and member-owner for 20+ years and cares deeply about Rising Tide as her primary source for local, organic food, natural medicine, cleaning products, and so much more. After graduating from Dartmouth College, she spent many years working and traveling between Maine and Northern California as a marketing professional and yoga teacher. In 2012, she helped to form Destination Wellness MidCoast Maine, a non-profit organization whose mission is to make health and wellness a mainstay of life in Midcoast Maine; she was its founding president from 2012-2014. She has also been an active volunteer for Bioneers, PopTech, National Ski Patrol, and World Cup Soccer. She is a member of Coastal Rivers, MOFGA, and the Sierra Club. With deep family roots going back generations in New Harbor, she was raised in NH, spent nearly every summer in Pemaquid Beach, and now lives here year-round. She looks forward to supporting Rising Tide’s sustainable growth as a valuable community resource

The Rising Tide Policy Register contains the most concise definition of the Board’s role: “Acting on behalf of our member-owners, the Board ensures that our co-op produces benefit and value while avoiding unacceptable actions and situations.” The Board does this through the completion of monitoring reports in collaboration with the General Manager. The Board is also responsible for communicating to the membership updates, and plans for the business. Together, the member-owners, the Board, and the General Manager chart the course for Rising Tide and its vital role in an increasingly dynamic business climate.

If you’re interested in attending a board meeting via Zoom or have any questions for the board, please contact them at Our next Board Meeting is on August 29 at 5:30 pm.  We hope you will join us. There will be no Board Meeting in January.
In Cooperation,
The Rising Tide Board of Directors