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2018 Chicago Market Board of Directors Candidate Statements

Here are the 2018 Chicago Market Board of Directors Candidate Statements:

Joel Morales

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
I'd like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors to actively contribute to both one of my passions and my neighborhood.

As a marketing/communications professional in the food/restaurant space, I am very passionate about food, sustainability and growing local. As a 10-year resident of the Uptown neighborhood, I believe that Chicago Market is going to be a cornerstone to the area.

Do you have previous Board experience?
Yes. I have been on both the Parkways Foundation Board (2004-2007) and am on the Common Threads Board (2003-present). I've actively contributed to both boards from concepting/consulting the Parkways Foundation's Galapalooza at Lollapalooza to consulting/executing communications and programming strategies with Common Threads.

What professional/career expertise would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
Professionally I focus in marketing, branding, communications/public relations, social media and design - Running a full-service marketing communications firm that focuses in the hospitality (hotel/restaurant), retail and music industries.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
Love a startup atmosphere and am very passionate/eager team member.

What experiences have you had with food co-ops in the past?
I haven't had any experiences with them in the past.

What food issues are you passionate about?
Nutrition education, food sustainability, local food.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board (as opposed to a governing board). As outlined on the 2018 Board Info Sheet, we meet as a Board bi-monthly but also use online tools to communicate extensively between meetings, and many teams also choose to meet in-person or via call-in, between our monthly Board Meetings. Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality?
Yes

Dan Miller

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
I am currently a Board member. I have been working on the Site/Architecture team since its beginning four years ago and hope to continue in that capacity. I want to continue to work as a Board member to see the design and build-out of the store to completion. This will help the co-op by providing a strong continuity and institutional knowledge through this process.

I am proud of the work this team has done so far, especially helping to get the Gerber Building and to put together an awesome design team of professional consultants, and look forward to continuing this work.

Do you have previous Board experience?
yes, on the Chicago Market Board of Directors, four years.

What professional/career expertise would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
I am a licensed architect. My professional skills and experience and knowledge help me every day that I work on the Site/Architecture team. As an architect I bring a unique perspective from working on projects as a professional consultant that I now call on as I work on this design and build-out project on the Owner's side of the process.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
I view co-ops as a political and economic alternative to corporate capitalism, and food co-ops such as ours with a commitment to organic and local foods as an alternative to the 'food industrial complex'. I want to see this store succeed.

What experiences have you had with food co-ops in the past?
I have been shopping at food co-ops off and on since the 1970s. I visit local co-ops whenever i can find them as I travel.

What food issues are you passionate about?
I am passionate about eating locally produced and grown food whenever possible, for local and regional economic health and good sense.

I am also aware that our co-op must address the food needs of a very diverse neighborhood in order to survive as a store and as a source of food knowledge for Chicago.

On a personal level I am committed to healthy eating, including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, unprocessed foods. My commitment began with trying to find good solutions to serious health problems when I was in my 20s. I eat a vegan diet.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board (as opposed to a governing board). As outlined on the 2018 Board Info Sheet, we meet as a Board bi-monthly but also use online tools to communicate extensively between meetings, and many teams also choose to meet in-person or via call-in, between our monthly Board Meetings. Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality?
Yes

Ellie Shermer

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
Yes

Do you have previous Board experience?
I started and ran a small academic center in California, still sit on academic journal boards, and am a member of WFMT's Studs Terkel Radio Archive's board. I am also on my condo association board — I’m in charge of communication with the management company and staying on top of ongoing projects.

What professional/career expertise would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
I have a lot of experience working in groups to start and manage academic and non-profit undertakings. I am especially good at organizational logistics, scheduling, and networking. I also write professionally, both for public and academic audiences, and have a lot of public speaking experience with the public, journalists, and academics.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
I joined the co-op because its efforts to have a positive environmental, economic, and urban impact spoke to what inspires me as an activist, teacher, historian, and consumer. I am deeply committed to its comprehensive vision for making good food fair and available to everyone.

What experiences have you had with food co-ops in the past?
I have shopped at them.

What food issues are you passionate about?
Fair prices for farmers, fair wages for workers in stores and fields, zero waste, and sustainability.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board (as opposed to a governing board). As outlined on the 2018 Board Info Sheet, we meet as a Board bi-monthly but also use online tools to communicate extensively between meetings, and many teams also choose to meet in-person or via call-in, between our monthly Board Meetings. Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality?
Yes! Even though I am out of town during the annual meeting, I will be available for the bimonthly Wednesday evening meetings.

Sofia Jouravel

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
I am currently on the board and would like to continue to serve the community in an impactful way while learning from and collaborating with a team of equally passionate and like-minded board members.

Do you have previous Board experience?
Yes, I have been on the board of the Russian Jewish Division of the Jewish United Fund for 2 years serving as a resource for Russian-speaking immigrants and the first generation and connecting young professionals to the community through programs and events.

What professional/career expertise would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
Professionally, I manage a suite of online platforms created by FarmLogix - an Evanston-based startup that uses technology to connect local farms to institutional cafeterias and run reports on institutional and governmental sustainability metrics to tell their story. Before changing careers to pursue my passion for good food, I held project management roles in the pharmaceutical industry and completed a food policy internship at the Chicago Department of Public Health. As a Chicago Market volunteer for 3 years, I participated in several teams including the Grocery, Logistics, Retail, and Procurement team working on farmer/producer relationship projects as well as the Marketing, Owner Recruitment/Retention and Engagement teams assisting with various events and running a month-long wellness-based owner recruitment campaign. Currently, running the Owner Loan Campaign (reach out if you would like to join the team!).

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
Adaptable & eager to learn.

What experiences have you had with food co-ops in the past?
Every time I travel, I make a point to visit a food co-op, if one exists. I often see a relatively low amount of local products (especially produce), which re-energizes my passion back home.

What food issues are you passionate about?
Expanding the local economy by enabling market access for both sides of the food chain: small farms/producers on one end and communities lacking affordable/obtainable food options on the other. Making the healthy choice the easy choice. Minimizing waste. Home fermentation projects.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board (as opposed to a governing board). As outlined on the 2018 Board Info Sheet, we meet as a Board bi-monthly but also use online tools to communicate extensively between meetings, and many teams also choose to meet in-person or via call-in, between our monthly Board Meetings. Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality?
Yes

Kristin Hettich

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
I am excited about the city having another co-op, and the opportunity the Market brings to the area as a source of community building and healthy food options.

Do you have previous Board experience?
I have not formally been on a board, but having worked in the non-profit sector, including in fundraising, I have worked with boards. As part of my job as a grantmaker, I am participating in two "collaboratives", one of which is a collaborative of arts funders who have come together to provide capacity building for small arts organizations, and the other involves leadership of domestic violence organizations who have come together to work on various challenges to the sector.

What professional/career expertise would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
My job experience is in the non-profit sector having done program management, volunteer management, and fundraising. As a Peace Corp volunteer and AmeriCorps volunteer I performed community outreach activities. I am currently a Program Officer at a grantmaking foundation.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
I have a diverse job background, can work well independently and as part of a group.

What experiences have you had with food co-ops in the past?
I first shopped at co-ops during graduate school, and as part of my graduate degree read various case studies on co-ops in general and how they have worked in various communities abroad.

What food issues are you passionate about?
Accessibility for all to healthy food options, and supporting food producers who use sustainable practices and provide a fair wage.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board (as opposed to a governing board). As outlined on the 2018 Board Info Sheet, we meet as a Board bi-monthly but also use online tools to communicate extensively between meetings, and many teams also choose to meet in-person or via call-in, between our monthly Board Meetings. Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality?
Yes, while I sometimes have work commitments in the evening or on the weekends, I can generally find time for what I need to do.

Edward Collins-Fanner

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
It’s interesting in the sense that one of the primary reasons I moved to Chicago from Texas was to shake the status quo of things in my life. I felt that I was called to do so much more than that which I was surrounded by. So I chose to move to Chicago, IL and happened to land in Uptown. This is a very unique area of the city. I’m excited to hear about this cooperative grocery store planning an opening in this neighborhood.—if all goes well. With Uptown being such a diverse neighborhood and tensions on both sides when it comes to “gentrification”, I think it’s important to have a balanced view with regards to the availability of products offering, staffing, as well as community involvement and representation. That would be my goal in this role as well as well voicing my opinion—given my past experience in retail groceries—on continuously improving the shopping experience for each and every customer walking through the doors of the Chicago Market. I strongly believe that food is a strong point for bringing us together as a people. Consequently, as long we have someone that is a proponent of creating a pleasant shopping experience but also advocating for representation of what makes the Uptown neighborhood what it is and someone who is willing to ensure that we continuously cater to the needs and respect the differences of---not only our community—but the Chicagoland area as a whole, we can stay true to the values of the Chicago Market—all about the community. This is what will differentiate Chicago Market from the next grocer.

Do you have previous Board experience?
I was a member of a board for a jazz orchestra as well as treasurer.

What professional/career expertise would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
Accounting and finance, operations, retail groceries, customer service.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
I'm a team player and usually tend to bring a different perspective to the group.

What experiences have you had with food co-ops in the past?
None

What food issues are you passionate about?
Non-processed foods at affordable prices as well as balanced dieting.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board (as opposed to a governing board). As outlined on the 2018 Board Info Sheet, we meet as a Board bi-monthly but also use online tools to communicate extensively between meetings, and many teams also choose to meet in-person or via call-in, between our monthly Board Meetings. Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality?
Yes

Grant Kessler

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
I am currently a Board member and Board President. Prior to the official formation of the Board, I was a Steering Committee member and led that group. I've been passionate about working to serve the Chicago Market community and get us to an open store for a long time and truly enjoy the work.

I came to Chicago Market out of an interest in sustainable, local foods and wanting more regular access to those foods and also to see my farmer friends find more regular outlets for their goods. Over time now, my interest in the Co-op has expanded
to include more and more reasons, but the one that relates most closely to serving on the Board is this. I've spent years encouraging people to join the Co-op; I've met and heard from a large percentage of our Owners; I've worked closely with a lot of our volunteers and I've come to love being a part of this community. We have a shared goal and I want to continue to
shepherd it, to help all the Owners get the store open and thriving. I'm confident I can be very helpful in making that happen.

Do you have previous Board experience?
Prior to my involvement with Chicago Market, I did not have. I have now served on our Steering Committee for over a year (which was an ad hoc board) and on our Board for three years.

What professional/career expertise would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
I am a commercial photographer and marketing consultant, so I bring those skill sets to our team. I am also a detail-oriented project manager who is capable of monitoring a lot of moving parts and keeping our various teams on task.

I have extensive connections also to the local food producer network in our area so I'll be helpful briefing and introducing our
General Manager to the farmers and producers in our foodshed.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
I am very determined to accomplish our goals and am able to dedicate a lot of time to this project.

I also very much enjoy the community networking required of Board members and especially of the Board President. In order to be a positive force in our community, we need to be connected, respected and at the table with all the other amazing businesses and service organizations in our area. I've done a lot of these kinds of meetings to date and welcome the continued opportunity to build these relationships."

What experiences have you had with food co-ops in the past?
Other than shopping in them, I had no previous experience prior to becoming involved with Chicago Market. Of course now I have extensive experience in a start up (ours) and also am connected to a lot of other co-ops for support. Any time I'm traveling around the country now I make it a point to visit and shop the local co-op, eager to bring back ideas for us to
incorporate or learn from.

What food issues are you passionate about?
I care very much about expanding the local food economy - there is distribution work to do to make what's being grown in our area more readily available to us all. And at the same time, I care that the farmers are a part of the solutions and that the solutions work for them as well as for the consumer. I'm glad to say that Chicago Market has the same goals, as well as the goal of making local, sustainable, healthy food more accessible and affordable for all. Chicago Market is poised to make change in this area and Owners should be very proud and excited about that.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board (as opposed to a governing board). As outlined on the 2018 Board Info Sheet, we meet as a Board bi-monthly but also use online tools to communicate extensively between meetings, and many teams also choose to meet in-person or via call-in, between our monthly Board Meetings. Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality?
Yes. I am able to make a lot of time available to Chicago Market and don't see that changing.

Patricia Messina

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
The mission of the Chicago Market is one that I strongly believe in. Besides supplying locally grown food and products the market will help transform the Wilson/Broadway corner in safety and beautification. The market will also contribute to job growth and education which is a much-needed resource for the community. I lived in Uptown almost 40 years ago and saw wonderful potential in its diversity and location. The Chicago Market will be an essential partner in the rebirth of the area and I want to be part of that journey.

Do you have previous Board experience?
No

What professional/career expertise would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
I have been in the HR/Talent Acquisition space since 1995 as a small business owner (agency) and for various companies including Crate & Barrel, Abbott Labs, The US Government (TSA) and currently Northwestern University. I have transitioned from the Talent Acquisition team to Career Advisor for Masters level students in the School of Communication at Northwestern. I can contribute as part of the search committee for the GM and help hire, onboard and train staff. 1979-1985 I owned and operated a small natural foods company (Mums Inc.) that manufactured sandwiches, cookies, muffins and a veggie burger that we sold to local health food stores, company cafeterias and other Chicago institutions (Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry). Within 5 years we were doing ¾ of a Million dollars in sales. When I sold the business I had a staff of 12 and 3 delivery trucks.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
My customer service skills are strong as I have worked retail, hospitality, HR and cooked professionally in the past for private clients. At this point in my life I have the time to commit to meetings and events that would support the coop and community.

What experiences have you had with food co-ops in the past?
I helped start one in college, was a member of an early coop in Chicago and Highland Park. I also joined one in WI for a short time when i traveled there for business. My early coop experiences required hands on work in the facility each week.

What food issues are you passionate about?
I love teaching young people and adults how to prepare simple but delicious meals. Cooking for yourself in better for your health and provides a great way to be social with neighbors and friends. Of course access to organic, local products is a plus when teaching kids and families how to enjoy the art of preparing their own food. I learned how to cook from my
grandmother and dad who never wasted a thing, I would like to continue that tradition.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board (as opposed to a governing board). As outlined on the 2018 Board Info Sheet, we meet as a Board bi-monthly but also use online tools to communicate extensively between meetings, and many teams also choose to meet in-person or via call-in, between our monthly Board Meetings. Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality?
Yes

JM Rotello

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
I am passionate about providing responsible and wholesome food to my community. I believe that education and access are very important in shifting the collective consciousness towards local communities and economies in an increasingly globalized society. To have a hand in providing that to the people of Uptown and the surrounding communities would be a privilege.

Do you have previous Board experience?
I have not been on boards specifically, but have started two companies (one food based and the other in education) where teamwork is necessary to advance the mission of bringing visions to broader audiences.

What professional/career expertise would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
In starting Crispy Edge, I was the Chief of Operations. This involved creating Standard Operating Procedures that conformed to Federal and State regulations and health codes as we built out a production kitchen. I also had a hand in our marketing and community events that began to build the buzz around our innovation in gourmet potstickers.

In my current venture, Creating Independent Learners, I have learned, used, adapted, and developed a neuroscience based approach to learning in all areas and all ages, 7-18. This method was developed for those with learning disabilities, so I am used to serving those who often feel left out. Additionally, we allow them to find out how they learn best, as well as learning how to
communicate effectively; we emphasize the organization of ideas through effective language.

In both, I have been a part of establishing company culture and language as well as providing
customer service.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
I am a team player. This is not to say that I don't have my own creative ideas and ideals, but I thrive listening to others, finding commonalities and themes that create a unified vision.

I am a fast learner, quick to identify big picture themes, and solve problems.

I have lots of experience from differing realms and working with people of varying ages (from children to
senior citizens) and abilities. This has allowed me to learn how to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds, often helping find common ground.

What experiences have you had with food co-ops in the past?
The idea of a food co-op is relatively new as my community growing up did not have one. I have frequently visited one co-op in Chicago, and keep going back due to the experience they provide. I have also shopped at a relative's co-op in Seattle when visiting the last few years.

What food issues are you passionate about?
I am passionate about educating people about the human and environmental costs of the industrial food chain.

I want to bring wholesome, local food to the people in my community not only because it will serve them better and help revitalize Uptown, but also support the local farmers and food producers by giving them a place to sell their food stuffs year round.

Personally, I have had a seismic shift in the way I view food, and the stuffs I call food, over the last several years. I want to educate people about not only the sources of their food, but the ways that food underlies the basic functioning of the body and forms the foundation for wellness.

I am also passionate about simple and delicious home cooking. Food has a unique ability to bring people together, and with so much availability of ready-made food, the art of home cooking also seems to be disappearing. "

The Chicago Market Board is a working board (as opposed to a governing board). As outlined on the 2018 Board Info Sheet, we meet as a Board bi-monthly but also use online tools to communicate extensively between meetings, and many teams also choose to meet in-person or via call-in, between our monthly Board Meetings. Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality?
Yes.

Kelly Hewitt

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
I'm already on the Board!

Do you have previous Board experience?
I've served on the Board of Chicago Market since it was established!

What professional/career expertise would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
I work in client service at a financial institution in the loop and get to interact with people all day. I really like to listen and find out what matters to people which has helped me in my role on the Owner Recruitment and Engagement (MORE) team. Being able to help potential and new Owners connect personally with Chicago Market makes me even more excited about opening this store! I know how to make things happen and I want to keep working to open Chicago Market by helping members of our community understand why it is so important and valuable, not just to each person individually, but to the community as a whole.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
I've been volunteering for Chicago Market since the very first meeting because I believe that it is great for our community. I really want Chicago Market to open and I understand how much work it is going to take to get there. I believe so strongly in our mission and am incredibly proud to be a part of Chicago Market. I know how I can best help and am working hard to contribute as an active member of the MORE team. It is a part of who I am and I can't wait to be there the day Chicago Market opens in the Gerber building!

What experiences have you had with food co-ops in the past?
Chicago Market is the only co-op I've been an Owner of, but I've spent a lot of time here!

What food issues are you passionate about?
I co-lead a meal once a month at a community kitchen where we are committed to creating a nourishing and creative meal on a strict budget. I strongly believe in food justice and that everyone should be able to eat a delicious and healthy meal regardless of their income. I'm also committed to maintaining an "eat local" lifestyle and supporting local farmers, artisans and business owners. I can't wait until Chicago Market is open so we can support all of these hard working and incredible people on a larger scale.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board (as opposed to a governing board). As outlined on the 2018 Board Info Sheet, we meet as a Board bi-monthly but also use online tools to communicate extensively between meetings, and many teams also choose to meet in-person or via call-in, between our monthly Board Meetings. Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality?
Yes :)


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