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2022 Chicago Market Board of Directors Candidate Statement

Candidates for the Board of Directors are asked a series of questions to help the Owners of Chicago Market make an informed decision. Here is the response from our candidate this year:

Howie Bollinger

Why would you like to join the Chicago Market Board of Directors?
Serving on this Board of Directors seems like an awesome opportunity to connect with and learn from my neighbors and work on something that matters. I have been living in Uptown for almost a decade and want to spend more time engaging with the community. Chicago Market’s values definitely resonate with me, and I love the idea of a local, owner-driven, people-first grocery store becoming a neighborhood staple.

Do you have previous Board experience?
I don’t have any significant Board experience, but I’m currently serving as the secretary for my HOA’s board and am responsible for voting on behalf of the association and recording minute meetings.

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 professional background is in software engineering and user centered design, and I’ve spent the majority of my career working at software startups. Within that experience, I’ve focused a lot on operations, systems design, information architecture, and digital accessibility. I’m looking forward to bringing these skills into some of the more obvious areas like Chicago Market’s digital presence, and anywhere else I can step in and make an impact.

Please describe any of your previous involvement with Chicago Market.
I’ve been an owner since 2017, but have not participated or volunteered in any meaningful way since then. Having said that, I’ve attended the occasional Chicago Market-sponsored event, and have enjoyed stopping by Uptown Farmer’s Market since it started last year. I did also just volunteer to join the marketing team to help with Chicago Market’s website.

What experience have you had with food co-ops in the past?
Not as much as I’d like — I’m just an occasional patron of Willy Street Co-op in Madison, WI, where most of my family lives. I really appreciate how that particular store feels like it's truly part of their neighborhood, and I’ve always wished I could do my grocery shopping somewhere similar here in my own neighborhood.

What food issues are you passionate about?
I think general access and availability strike me as some of the most important things to consider when it comes to food issues. That’s why I think it’s so incredible that Chicago Market has the opportunity to open up right here at a major CTA stop in such a vibrant neighborhood. For any system, service, or product to be successful, it must meet people where they are, and Chicago Market is clearly making an effort to do just that.

What else should we know about you that would make you a good candidate for this Board?
When I show up, I try to *really* show up, and the time I’ve spent in startup environments and years of improv training means I can roll with the punches and bring a lot of energy to the table. I’m outcome-focused, so I use that energy to bring people together, get them on the same page, and make things happen.

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Voting is conducted online and begins immediately after our Annual Meeting on September 22, 2022 and will be open for one week. Owners will receive an email from Chicago Market explaining the voting process.


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