There's much behind-the-scenes work happening at Chicago Market. And one of those big steps happened just a couple of days ago at the latest Board meeting, when your Board of Directors selected its officers.
So, without further ado, here are the newly elected Board officers, in their own words:
PRESIDENT, Grant Kessler
I am a self-employed freelance food photographer with over 20 years’ experience shooting in Chicago’s food, restaurant and dining scene. I also work as a consultant with FamilyFarmed, managing their marketing, outreach and social media efforts to promote the Good Food Festival & Conference every year.
Initially, Chicago Market appealed to me both for personal shopping reasons and also because I care deeply about creating a stronger marketplace for our local farmers and producers to sell their goods. But my time on the Steering Committee and now on the Board has taught me there is another reason I want to be involved, and that is simply that Owners want this, for all their own reasons, and I want to carry it through for them. It’s an honor to be part of this Board team and to serve as its president.
VICE PRESIDENT, Emily Crespo
My dream grocery store looks like a community hub: a place where people gather to learn, explore, taste, sip, and shop, a place that reflects the diversity of our Chicago neighborhoods and adds real value to the quality of life of our employees, Owners, shoppers, and neighbors. I am proud to be a part of something that can change the way Chicagoans think about food and the people who make it -- people not too far from here who share our cooperative values and dedicate themselves to food practices that are sustainable for their customers, their employees, and the environment. As an alum and staff member at Northwestern University, I'm thrilled at the opportunity to use my event-planning skills to help make Chicago Market a reality. Chicago Market is going to be a dream come true for many of us.
SECRETARY, Heather Lalley
I'm a freelance food writer, cookbook author and culinary-school graduate. Working on "The Chicago Homegrown Cookbook" introduced me to the rich relationships of local farmers and chefs in Chicago and showed me just how hard they work to make local food accessible. I'm also a mother of two young kids. This co-op will make it so much easier to feed us all high-quality, local food, and I'm delighted to be a part of making this dream a reality.
TREASURER, Gregory Berlowitz
Greg is the founder of Chicago Market. He is a passionate supporter of sustainable urban and rural food production, and an advocate for healthier and more just communities. He was formerly an environmental attorney for two Chicago law firms, and a waiter at Chicago restaurants such as Harvest on Huron, Everest, and Blackbird. Currently, he is the vice-chair for the Food Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, sits on the Procurement Committee for the CPS School Parent Food Advisory Committee, and is part of the advisory council and leadership group for Ruby Garden in Schreiber Park.