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2020 Chicago Market Board of Directors Candidate Statements

 

All the candidates for the Board of Directors were asked a series of questions to help the Owners of Chicago Market make an informed decision. Here are their responses:

Ben Cook

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
I would like the opportunity to serve on the Chicago Market Board of Directors because it is my personal mission to improve closed-loop food production within urban communities and reduce the prevalence of food deserts. Selfless service to others is a virtue that was first instilled in me at a young age while becoming an Eagle Scout. Later, this was reaffirmed while serving as a Field Medical Service Technician in the USMC infantry. Being a part of the Chicago Market will allow me to work on my mission to improve food access, apply my sociological and scientific knowledge, and provide selfless community service.

Do you have previous Board experience?
No.

What expertise (through your profession, education, volunteer experience, life experience, etc.) would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
I have gained experience in nonprofit community-based agriculture through an internship and volunteer work at The Plant, Chicago. Similarly, while earning an undergraduate degree in sociology at Northeastern Illinois University, I studied differences in food access due to socioeconomic status. After graduating, I aided people in recovery from traumatic brain injury as a certified brain injury specialist. When I had the opportunity, I returned to full time education to complete a masters degree in infectious disease and immunology at Loyola University, Chicago.

Please describe any of your previous involvement with Chicago Market.
Owner

What experience have you had with food co-ops in the past?
Shopping Farmers’ Markets and running a small Community-Supported Agriculture program for the Six Corners Neighborhood.

What food issues are you passionate about?
Reducing food deserts and improving access to locally and sustainably produced foods. I am particularly interested in the Chicago Market’s commitment to accessibility and inclusion.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
I have experience using computers with advanced software as well as other current technologies. I enjoy learning new skills and working in settings that require adaptation. Through presenting scientific research and teaching, I have developed oral presentation skills and the ability to discuss complex technical topics within diverse groups.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board. 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 conference call between our monthly Board meetings.Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality? (Please answer "Yes" or "No")
Yes

Donna Curtin

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
Chicago Market as an organization and endeavor encompasses values with which I readily identify, particularly the opportunity to serve as a vibrant neighborhood hub for community engagement and camaraderie around the shared experience of local, sustainable food. As a longtime resident of Uptown, I am desirous of helping to grow and nurture Chicago Market in its unique and special mission to achieve just that for the neighborhood and for greater Chicago.

Do you have previous Board experience?
Yes. I have served variously as Board President, Treasurer and Secretary on my home condominium association board for twenty years.

What expertise (through your profession, education, volunteer experience, life experience, etc.) would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
As a licensed community association manager managing residential high rise buildings for (12) years, I bring a background in facilities management, budgeting, financial reporting, contract bidding and capital repair project planning to the cooperative. I am familiar with working with City government agencies and have a strong network of vendor contacts in all aspects of building maintenance, repair and engineering.

Please describe any of your previous involvement with Chicago Market.
As a relatively new owner, I have enjoyed attending special events and presentations and look forward to increasing my participation!

What experience have you had with food co-ops in the past?
Chicago Market is my first exposure to food co-ops.

What food issues are you passionate about?
Educating the community about local food sourcing, providing support to local farmers and supporting fair labor practices.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
Given my profession I am sensitive to and respectful of the important relationships between a Board of Directors and management and a Board of Directors and ownership. I take pride in fostering those relationships positively and facilitating effective communication to achieve shared goals. While my education is in philosophy and political science, I have enjoyed the challenge presented by my current profession whereby I have the responsibility for learning about interesting and diverse subjects such as building mechanical systems and financial reporting. I am eager to employ my exuberance for learning, my penchant for organization and attention to detail to the exciting and innovative world of a grocery cooperative!

The Chicago Market Board is a working board. 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 conference call between our monthly Board meetings.Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality? (Please answer "Yes" or "No")
Yes.

James Gignac

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
I believe in Chicago Market and choose to invest my time in it because our mission aligns with core values of mine including community, environment, and health. Co-op management is deomocratic and allows for greater focus on localness, sustainability and efficiency, equity, and dismantling racism in our community. Plus… It’s fun! One big reason I’m raising my hand to be more involved is because of how much I have enjoyed volunteering as a leader for Chicago Market and the opportunity to work closer with leaders I admire, like, and respect.

Do you have previous Board experience?
Yes. I have served on the governing board of All A-Board Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, since 2018. We act as a network and facilitator for associate boards of all types across Chicago. Through my day job, I serve on the governing board of the Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund. Previously, I served as a member and President of Lakeview Pantry’s Young Leaders Board from 2014-2017. I have also been a member of my residential building association board of directors since 2016.

What expertise (through your profession, education, volunteer experience, life experience, etc.) would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
I have a broad-based skill set developed through my professional background and extensive volunteer experience. Project management, event coordination, research and analysis, communications, fundraising, organizing, and legal training are all areas of expertise for me.

Please describe any of your previous involvement with Chicago Market.
I have served as Chicago Market’s Event Team Lead since January 2019, helping produce dozens of events, including information sessions, social mixers, pop-up markets, tabling sessions, open houses, owner loan events, and most recently a series of online workshops featuring partner businesses and vendors. I am also currently assisting our Capital Campaign Team. Previously, I volunteered with Chicago Market’s MORE Committee, became an Owner in May 2018, and supported the co-op with an Owner Loan in December 2018.

What experience have you had with food co-ops in the past?
None before Chicago Market. I grew up in Metro Detroit, and we had large grocery stores such as Kroger’s and Meijer’s, but also locally owned markets that struggled to compete when supermarkets moved in. My first exposure to co-ops of any kind was REI, and I thought it was pretty neat how the business was run by an elected board of directors. I found out about Chicago Market through following a friend and former colleague on social media. After becoming an Owner and getting involved as a volunteer, I had the opportunity to make a presentation about Chicago Market and food co-ops to a class at Northeastern Illinois University and also produce a book tour visit event with the author of Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants. These experiences greatly deepened my knowledge and awareness of the value co-ops offer in today’s massively consolidated grocery industry.

What food issues are you passionate about?
I’m inspired to help move society’s continually-consolidating food industry towards safer, more local, and more sustainable options that are open, accessible, and equitable to all people.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
My professional background is as an analyst and former attorney working in the environmental, energy, and climate change fields. There is a lot of synergy between what Chicago Market is aiming to achieve and the solutions we need to pursue to address the climate crisis.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board. 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 conference call between our monthly Board meetings.Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality? (Please answer "Yes" or "No")
Yes.

Kate Grimm

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
I lived in Chicago until 2011 and, after 8 years away, moved back and into Uptown in August of 2019. In my years away, while in New York and London, I always had Chicago in the back of my mind. When I moved back, I felt it was important to find ways to give back to the city and started volunteering wherever I could - including the Chicago Humanities Festival and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. I’m committed to my community at-large and feel that Chicago Market would be an incredible addition to Uptown and Chicago and am committed to seeing it to fruition – and the board would be the best way for me to do so.

Do you have previous Board experience?
I do not have previous board experience but have worked for start-up businesses that have given me experience similar to a “working board” environment.

What expertise (through your profession, education, volunteer experience, life experience, etc.) would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
I’ve worked in advertising/media my whole career and have many years of management experience. I love managing people and process and feel this can be my biggest contribution to the Market. My professional experience includes several start-up environments, one being one of the first management hires at a brand-new department of Comcast, outside of their cable endeavors - I understand what goes into starting something new. And I love this type of environment and challenge.


Please describe any of your previous involvement with Chicago Market. 
I became an Owner in November of 2019. In January, I started volunteering by helping with merchandise fulfillment and new Owner onboarding. In April, I was asked to take over the Volunteer Coordinator role and jumped at the chance. In the past 3 months, I’ve organized the processes and procedures associated with this role. I’m now working on actively recruiting new volunteers, placing existing ones in appropriate roles and figuring out how to best utilize our amazing volunteers.

What experience have you had with food co-ops in the past?
I’ve shopped at a few in the past, but my experience has been minimal.

What food issues are you passionate about?
While living in the UK prior to coming back to Chicago, I was able to shop and confidently know where almost all of my produce, meat, eggs, cheese, bread (and even gin) was sourced – and sometimes even knew the farmer. These shops were all usually within walking distance of my home, too. Shopping local is much more difficult here, without putting in a lot of effort and miles. I think it’s important for both our health and our environment to focus on locally sourced buying and Chicago Market could be a place to make this possible in our city.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
I’ve been a people leader in my professional life during several mergers and acquisitions. There is a unique challenge in combining, what can equate to, the Cubs and the Sox onto one team - and making them into a cohesive unit with good camaraderie – and I love it. I look forward to hearing Owners wants, the community needs and the business reality of bringing Chicago Market to life! This is the kind of challenge I love, and what I’ve been professionally successful doing.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board. 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 conference call between our monthly Board meetings.Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality? (Please answer "Yes" or "No")
Yes!

Lee Herman

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
I have been excited to have a grocery co-op since I first heard about Chicago Market. We are at a critical juncture as we assess the operational, financial, and organizational feasibility of opening the store in the Gerber Building. I want to continue working to move us forward to getting a store.

Do you have previous Board experience?
Three years serving on the Chicago Market Board in various roles including Vice-President (past) and Secretary/Treasurer (current). Past President of Avondale Co-op Apartments, a 40-unit building in Washington, D.C. Past President, Courtlands Civic Association, Arlington, VA.

What expertise (through your profession, education, volunteer experience, life experience, etc.) would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
40+ years of IT experience as a technologist including 20 years of leadership experience. Technical Director for implementation of a 57-country converged voice, video, and data network. Produced 10-year Application Technology plan for GEICO. Restructured my 400-person IT support staff to reduce management positions by 50% without impacting service delivery or people care. Responsible for $80 million dollar annual software budget and participated in all contract negotiations with legal and procurement staff with approval authority for all contracts.

Please describe any of your previous involvement with Chicago Market.
Volunteer supporting IT and website functions. Three year term as a Board Member and officer.

What experience have you had with food co-ops in the past?
Did all my grocery shopping at Mountain View Market food co-op in Las Cruces, New Mexico for the 6 years we lived there. In college, I was part of a group of 40 students who wanted to follow either vegetarian or Zen macrobiotic diets. It was just possible to do this at breakfast and lunch from the food service, but impossible at dinner.

What food issues are you passionate about?
Healthy local food, food availability for everyone, triple bottom line sustainability: social, environmental and financial including fair treatment and pay for workers.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
While I came to Chicago Market well after it was founded (owner number 490), I have worked hard as a volunteer and a Board Member for over four years and not flagged in my support or dedication to Chicago Market. While I have a long career in the corporation world, outside work I am dedicated to my family, listening to music, supporting musicians through hosting house concerts (on hiatus due to Covid-19) and enjoying good food and wine.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board. 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 conference call between our monthly Board meetings.Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality? (Please answer "Yes" or "No")
Yes.

Jonathan Hertel

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
Last fall, the market held an open house at the Gerber Building. Walking through the entrance into the open space, listening to the Board members leading tours, I could see it there in a real physical space. I could see what this vision was heading towards: a vibrant, welcoming market striving to make meaningful change through collective ownership. This election finds Chicago Market at an exciting moment, taking an objective look at fundamental parts of the project. With the results of the feasibility study imminent, I want to help the Board connect mission and execution with that new set of recommendations. Chicago needs co-ops like ours, and I would be thrilled to be a part of making the vision of the Market real.

Do you have previous Board experience?
I have not served on a Board before.

What expertise (through your profession, education, volunteer experience, life experience, etc.) would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
My experiences working in social impact measurement and non-profit operations over the last 8 years have given me deep experience with how to support organizations with grand visions and constrained resources to achieve their intended outcomes. The data analysis and research skills I bring to my work will be useful as the Market seeks additional funding and conducts surveys with owners and community members.

Please describe any of your previous involvement with Chicago Market.
My wife, Emilie Puttrich, and I joined as owners early last year and have made an owner loan.

What experience have you had with food co-ops in the past?
My only experience with food co-ops before joining Chicago Market was as a customer. I enjoyed getting groceries at Harvest Co-op while living in Cambridge, MA, as well as visiting Rainbow Grocery Cooperative in San Francisco.

What food issues are you passionate about?
I am passionate about designing systems of food distribution that ensure all citizens of the city can get the food they need, not just basic nutritional necessities but food that allows people to explore and delight. I also believe that engaging with the story of food from growth to eating, of the people and processes involved throughout, is a critical component for building more equitable, resilient, and humane food systems.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
Although it’s farther in the future when we transition towards a governing board, I am also excited to help provide input on the kinds of educational offerings and outreach around food that are possible through the Market.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board. 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 conference call between our monthly Board meetings.Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality? (Please answer "Yes" or "No")
Yes.

Dana McKinney

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
As Owners of Chicago Market - A Community Co-op, we each need to bring our skills and talents to the table and work together if we truly intend to realize our vision of a better food community - local, sustainable, and connected. I joined Chicago Market because I believe a community-owned and democratically-operated, local food co-op *can* change the local food landscape and positively contribute to the local economy. I've been serving on the Board for the past three years because I know that only with committed Owners will this belief become a reality. I am running for re-election to help us work towards achieving that goal. I'm excited about the recent burst of volunteers coming forward to contribute their time and talents, including all of my fellow Board candidates, and I can't wait to see what the future has to hold for us.

Do you have previous Board experience?
I have served on the Chicago Market Board of Directors for 1 term (3 years - 2017-2020) and I also have previous experience as both the President and the Treasurer of a condo board, and have participated for several years on the Church Council at my congregation (the church equivalent of a board).

What expertise (through your profession, education, volunteer experience, life experience, etc.) would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
While it's not in the grocery sector, I do have over 25 years experience in Retail Management and Learning & Organizational Development in specialty retail settings. My skills include areas of expertise specifically in training and development, but also in retail operations, process and procedure documentation, leadership practices, and driving organizational effectiveness. I pride myself on being curious, collaborative, thoughtful, resourceful, dedicated, and detail-oriented. If I don't know it, I'll learn what I need to know about it to make good decisions and move forward confidently. I ask lots of questions!

Please describe any of your previous involvement with Chicago Market.
As mentioned previously, I have served on the Chicago Market Board of Directors for one 3-year term and am seeking re-election. Previous to and during my Board tenure, I have volunteered in a myriad of ways from facilitating Owner Info Sessions to assisting with events such our Open Houses, Pop-Up Markets, and manning tables at various festivals and Co-op engagements. I have participated on the MORE (Marketing, Owner Recruitment and Engagement) Team, the Zero Waste Team, and the Organizational Development Team. I am also currently chair of our General Manager Search Committee.

What experience have you had with food co-ops in the past?
I had shopped as a customer at food co-ops prior to joining Chicago Market as an Owner, but my volunteering with our Co-op is my primary experience with food co-ops. Since becoming a Director on the Board, I have attended two different national conferences specifically for start-up food co-ops and have met with and learned from food cooperators from across the country. I have also attended regular conference calls with peer food co-op start-ups to share ideas and best practices. So while my previous experience with co-ops was minimal, I have certainly made up for it in my "co-op education" over the last three years!

What food issues are you passionate about?
I am passionate about eating F.L.O.S.S. - food that is fresh, local, organic, seasonal, and sustainable. I appreciate food that's not processed unnecessarily with chemicals that could affect my health and believe food is best unadulterated and natural. I want to eat food grown locally so I can reinforce the local economy and help keep farmers on the farm. And I want to ensure that the methods in which these foods are provided to me are sustainable - for the earth, for the farmer, and for me. In my humble opinion, opening a community-owned food co-op focused on local food and sustainable practices would achieve all these things!

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
I think any Owner who has come into contact with me through the Co-op has seen my passion for this project and what we're trying to do. I have been an engaged, active member of the Board my entire past term, and have stuck with this community even through the challenging times we have recently faced. I don't shy away from a challenge and I am in it to win it and will do my best to represent the Owners and provide the direction and guidance this project needs.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board. 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 conference call between our monthly Board meetings.Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality? (Please answer "Yes" or "No")
Yes

Sheri Reda

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
A longtime owner, I admire the goals of Chicago Market. I am impressed both by the Board’s commitment to existing goals and by its willingness to rethink strategies. Also—I’d like to see this thing get made!

Do you have previous Board experience?
Currently, I serve on the Board of the CG Jung Center in Evanston and the Board of the Narrative Medicine Committee, a nonprofit working to bring a humanities approach to medicine. My work with the Jung Center includes recruiting and evaluating volunteer presenters, developing communications, and planning outreach. My work with the Narrative Medicine Committee includes education, outreach, and strategic planning.

What expertise (through your profession, education, volunteer experience, life experience, etc.) would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
I work as a writer, editor, and presenter, primarily for nonprofits. I am also a certified life-cycle celebrant, developing ceremonies for important life events. My passion for environmental issues led me to a ten-year stint as Editor-in-Chief of Conscious Choice Journal of Ecology and Natural Living. My desire to continue learning and teaching in community led me to work with the Chicago Conservation Corps and the Wilmette Public Library. Each of my roles has required me to learn new things, clarify them, and develop meaningful, effective ways to present them. My certifications in Mediation and Spiritual Direction support me in helping people work together to accomplish goals.

Please describe any of your previous involvement with Chicago Market.
In 2018, I worked with Chicago Market’s Zero Waste Committee, along with Uptown United and CCC, to staff a table and offer a free workshop at the Up and Under Fest.

What experience have you had with food co-ops in the past?
In the 1970s, I was a member of a very simple food coop that aggregated orders for organic foods. Beginning in the 1990s, I was also longtime member and volunteer at Angelic Organics, one of the country’s first CSAs.

What food issues are you passionate about?
I am most passionate about sustainable, organic farming methods and equity in farming systems and food supplies. I also feel strongly about community-based efforts to mitigate corporate hegemony.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
When I make a commitment to carry out a task, I take the task seriously. I'm what’s known in corporate circles a “maximizer.” That is, I enjoy supporting other people’s goals in addition to my own.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board. 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 conference call between our monthly Board meetings.Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality? (Please answer "Yes" or "No")
Yes!

Matthew Ruffi

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
I truly feel I can bring my 20+ years of business experience (10+ in exec levels) to help make Chicago Market a reality! I bring a business acumen that was potentially, despite best intentions, lacking in the past. However, it is easy to sit back, whine, complain and critique from the sidelines for any project - that does little good in actually solving anything. To that end, I want to be a part of the solution! I believe by joining I can bring my business knowledge, experience in leadership (through the building and expansion of multi-million dollar businesses both domestically and internationally) as well as my financial knowhow in building profitable companies to this team. Additionally, I bring a voice and a view of the plans which may differ from who the board was before, is now, and typically would be for a co-op. I’m also unafraid of having a dissenting opinion, when needed. For all these reasons, I think I will be a vital asset to the Chicago Market Board of Directors - and I appreciate your vote!

Do you have previous Board experience?
Yes, I've sat on the board for both not-for-profit organizations as well as on for-profit businesses both domestic and international. I also have run multi-million dollar domestic and international companies (as COO) where I served at the pleasure of a board of directors who I reported up to directly.

What expertise (through your profession, education, volunteer experience, life experience, etc.) would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
I have 20+ years business experience which includes building businesses from scratch, growing existing businesses as well as M&A activities on both sides of the table. I firmly believe that while the values and ideals of the Market are sound, the team needs business savvy to take this from concept to reality - and I believe my past experiences can help to do just that.

Please describe any of your previous involvement with Chicago Market.
My fiancé and I bought in as owners last year and have both been volunteering with Chicago Market since the beginning of this year. I have been handling the merchandise fulfillment, working on the cleanup and maintenance of the NationBuilder database, assisting with the new owner on-boarding, handling the updating/maintenance of business page on the website and am also the team lead for a group of volunteers and board members who are working to bring products to our owners ahead of a store open (affectionately referred to as the 'To Market, To Market' team).

What experience have you had with food co-ops in the past?
My experiences (prior to joining in with Chicago Market and becoming a volunteer) was only as a patron. Separately, when living abroad I gained much more knowledge about the ability to truly shop local and make relationships with our local food providers. While not a co-op, the experience certainly has been a driving factor in my continuing involvement with the Market.

What food issues are you passionate about?
Local - strengthening (or building, if not already there) connections between the local providers and the local community is something that I believe benefits all parties involved. Not only does it elevate your knowledge and understanding of the products you are buying and consuming, but it also creates unique relationships which you don't see often in the US (especially in urban settings like Chicago). I would love to help bring the local connections to the community!

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
I am passionate about creating the opportunity for our community to experience the Market and will focus my efforts on doing all I can to get us there. I am a great team player but I do not hesitate to speak my mind and challenge my colleagues in business - and expect to be doing the same here. I look forward to helping represent the owner base and get this project moving forward.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board. 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 conference call between our monthly Board meetings.Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality? (Please answer "Yes" or "No")
Yes

Amin Shawki

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
With everything I do, I am committed to growth and improvement. Whether that's for my family, friends, co-workers or community, growth and improvement is very important to me. My wife and I joined Chicago Market as owners a few years ago because of our commitment to growing and improving the Uptown and surrounding neighborhoods. We feel this is what the Chicago Market will provide for both residents and visitors of the area with its MIssion and Core Values. I want to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors to offer my skills and experience in driving the launch of the Chicago Market and build more relationships through new owners and partners.

Do you have previous Board experience?
No specific Board experience, but I currently sit on the Executive Leadership team for my company, InfoTrust, a digital analytics consulting company. I lead a team of 10 middle managers with collectively over 20+ reports. Technically InfoTrust is a startup with just over 70 employees globally, supporting large multinational conglomerates and CPG companies such as P&G, Nestle, Coca-Cola and others.

What expertise (through your profession, education, volunteer experience, life experience, etc.) would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
I graduated from University of Cincinnati with Bachelor in Business Administration with major in Marketing and minor in Information Systems, as well as an MBA immediately thereafter while working full time at InfoTrust. I joined InfoTrust over 8.5 years ago when living in Cincinnati as employee #4 and throughout my time, have opened an office and operations in Dubai, UAE (lived there nearly 3 years) and Chicago (lived here past 3 years). These office expansions included new business acquisition, hiring and team building of local talent, delivery of projects for clients and navigating legal and cultural requirements for building a sustainable operation in these regions. InfoTrust is now a Best Place to Work among various institutions over the last 3+ years and has seen sustainable growth both in revenue and team size to now over 70 employees globally. 

Please describe any of your previous involvement with Chicago Market.
I am currently an Owner and have attended a few social events in the last few years, including the most recent (pre-COVID) being the Winter Walk on Wilson (with newborn out in the daring cold). It was a blast and loved to see all the vendors and local businesses in the Gerber Building space!

What experience have you had with food co-ops in the past?
No experience with food co-ops.

What food issues are you passionate about?
Sustainability in packaging is an area of interest of mine, given my clientele (Nestle, P&G, Nespresso etc) and how I can personally contribute. I even have assisted in some small digital analytics projects for Nespresso's sustainability efforts, such as the Second Life program.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
I always strive to be reliable and drive improvements with whatever commitment I make, and joining the Chicago Board of Directors will be no different. I have an amazing wife and toddler son (9 months ish at the time of this election!) which I hope to share the joys of the Chicago Market with, and will do everything I can to bring this project to life.

The Chicago Market Board is a working board. 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 conference call between our monthly Board meetings.Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality? (Please answer "Yes" or "No")
Yes

Anthony Todd

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
I have been a part of the Chicago Market Board of Directors since the initial board was elected in 2015. I have a strong passion for the project, and a ton of background knowledge, and I am very excited to see it through to conclusion and opening.

Do you have previous Board experience?
I have experience on non-profit junior boards, including the Legal Council for Health Justice and Public Interest Law Illinois.

What expertise (through your profession, education, volunteer experience, life experience, etc.) would you bring to the table to make you a good fit for this Board?
In addition to my long experience with Chicago Market, I bring several skill sets to bear that might help the market. Professionally, I am an attorney, and have been handling legal matters for Chicago Market for some time now, including negotiations with the CTA, insurance issues, liability concerns and general legal advice. Further, I am a professional food writer with over a decade of experience, and am connected to the city's culinary scene and have a good sense of food trends and consumer demand.

Please describe any of your previous involvement with Chicago Market.
I was a member of the pre-board steering committee, and a member of the board of directors since 2015.

What experience have you had with food co-ops in the past?
I have been a member of a food co-op in every place I have lived, starting when I was growing up in Iowa City, Iowa. I was a member of co-ops in college, graduate school and in a frequent vacation destination, and was a member of the Hyde Park co-op before it closed. Currently, I am a member of the Dill Pickle Co-Op and a member of the Grand Marais Whole Foods Co-Op.

What food issues are you passionate about?
I am most passionate about access to local foods at affordable prices, thanks to scaled distribution. I am particularly passionate about access to local, humanely raised meat. Further, I am a strong believer in the co-ops mission to improve access, including by matching/improving upon LINK/SNAP and other sorts of food access funding.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
Nothing else!

The Chicago Market Board is a working board. 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 conference call between our monthly Board meetings.Does your schedule permit you to make the necessary time commitment to help make Chicago Market a reality? (Please answer "Yes" or "No")
yes.

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Voting is conducted online and begins immediately after our Annual Meeting on August 30 and will be open for one week. You will receive an email from Chicago Market explaining the voting process.


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