Dill Pickle Food Co-op | 3039 W. Fullerton, Chicago, IL

Co-op Board Elections Underway

Ballots are being mailed today to all members for the Co-op's first Board of Directors election. The Co-op's nine-member board will oversee all aspects of development and operations. 11 members are vying for the nine open seats: Billy Burdett Jen Roth Cozad Josh Deth Kath Duffy Todd Edwards Madeline Fan Julia Goode Kevin Kanoski Stephen Menyhart Gala Orba Ben Schulman All ballots are to be mailed to Election Chair Stephanie Pereia, 203 N. Wabash, Suite 1720 Chicago, IL 60601. Ballots must be received by November 1st. Election Chair will present results to steering committee at their November 8th meeting. The Board of Director's first meeting will be Wednesday, November 15th at 7pm at the Bucktown-Wicker Park Library, 1701 N. Milwaukee Ave. Contact election chair Stephanie Peraira with any questions. The candidate statements follow in alphabetical order: Billy Burdett I am running for the Board of Directors of the Dill Pickle Food Co-op because I am deeply committed to turning our vision of an affordable, community-focused, ecologically responsible grocery store into a reality. As one of the most consistently active members of the Dill Pickle's steering committee, I have an intimate knowledge of where the co-op is coming from and where it needs to go. As a member of the Board of Directors, I intend to help us get there. I have an extensive background in community activism that can be applied directly to the work I will do on the Board of Directors. As a cofounder of the Oregon Wildlife Federation collective and as a Hands-On-Owner at People's Food Co-op in Portland, Oregon, I organized community events, became adept at grassroots fundraising and campaign organizing, and acquired a range of budgetary, programmatic, and administrative skills. Most importantly, at People's, I gained a first-hand understanding of what it takes to sustain a successful cooperative. During the past six months, I have been very involved with all aspects of the Dill Pickle, from researching information about other successful food co-ops, to defining a vision for the co-op, to helping redraft the Dill Pickle's bylaws. In July 2006, I participated in a two-day cooperative training workshop with other steering committee members that helped develop my skills in cooperative management and business planning. I have also used my connections with Chicago's vibrant music and arts scenes for fundraising events and membership drives. I organized the 2nd Annual Pickle Dance fundraiser in July 2006, which surpassed our fundraising goals, brought in a number of new members, and helped promote the co-op to new audiences. I also organized a benefit concert for the co-op in Logan Square on October 7, 2006. As a member of the Board of Directors, I look forward to dedicating my time and energy to the Dill Pickle during this critical phase in its development. Over the course of this next year we are going to need to raise capital through memberships, grants, loans and fundraising events. We will finalize our bylaws and membership structure and make key decisions about everything from location to what kind of products to carry to how to manage our annual budget. I believe my experience with the Dill Pickle and other food co-ops and collectives will be great assets to this work. I will be a strong advocate for keeping the co-op true to its vision of affordability, diversity, and ecological responsibility. And I will remain committed and accountable to the Dill Pickle's growing membership. Oh, I almost forgot to write something fun about myself! Well, I really like to jump off of waterfalls... Jen Roth Cozad I am a certified 3-6 Montessori teacher who resides in the Ukrainian Village. I have been volunteering for the Dill Pickle for nearly two years participating on the business committee, organizing fundraisers, and helping out with lots of events. Currently, I am on the Coop's Steering Committee and am the membership coordinator. My previous coop experience includes volunteering and later managing the Maryland Food Coop in College Park, Maryland. Josh Deth I'd like to serve on the Co-op's first board of directors to take us from talking about food to actual buying and selling food in a storefront. I think our co-op needs to act and think like a business to succeed in Chicago. The strong support of the members and our not-for-profit philosophy give our Co-op a competitive edge in a crowded retail sector. It is the board's job to turn the members' support into action by making strategic decisions and hiring sound management. I live with my wife Krista and two kids in Logan Square and would love to spend my dollars at the Co-op. I have lived in several housing cooperatives, served on the board of co-ops and co-op associations, worked for a short time at the Hyde Park Food Co-op and was a member of the Soylent Green Co-op buying club (It's People!). I now co-own the Handlebar restaurant and work as director of the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce, where I helped grow the farmers market this past summer. Kath Duffy I am committed to helping create a member-owned source for healthy, affordable food options in this community. The DPFC has been a labor of love for me for almost two years now, and I would like to be involved at the board level at this stage of its development. My name is well connected to this effort already, and I am happy to offer my time, skills, and creativity however they can be best used to move us forward. Some random information about me: I'm the business manager at Links Hall and one of the founders of Anti Gravity Surprise, a collaborative art group. I like to make things, and am using old windows and camera phone photography in my current projects. I'm also a huge fan of spinach and broccoli, both of which I hope to see given a place of honor in the future DPFC produce department. Thank you. Todd Edwards I heard about the Dill Pickle Food Coop in the spring of 2006 and joined as a member shortly thereafter, and in the summer of 2006 I became a regular member of the steering committee. My role on the steering committee has focused primarily on financial and market analysis. For example, I created significant portions of the market, budget, and financial analysis sections of the recently applied to grant. My background by education is in accounting, economics, international political economy, and theatre; my background by experience includes corporate strategy, energy efficiency information management, the hotel/restaurant industry, and a one-year post as a student/advisory member of DePaul University’s Board of Trustees. As a Dill Pickle Food Coop board member, I will use my knowledge, skill, and time to see that the Dill Pickle Food Coop comes to fruition in the most efficient and timely way without sacrificing any integral attributes that are desired by its members. Madeline Fan The Dill Pickle Food Coop is a dream that we can make happen. I love working towards the goal of building a grocery store to bring fresh, healthy foods to a neighborhood where all neighbors can have access. I will work hard to build this store with options to make sure these foods are available and affordable for all co-op patrons. I’ve been involved with the Dill Pickle steering committee since the first meeting, almost two years ago. In the past year, I have worked to push this project ahead by supporting fundraisers, participating in outreach, and by meeting with community leaders and groups. My aim in doing so has been to develop our store and to expand its membership base to reflect the true richness of our neighborhoods. My goal is to have a cooperative grocery store that serves all sectors of our economically and culturally diverse neighborhood. This store will nourish and support our patrons not only by providing food, but also by creating a community spot with open possibilities: a place to make friends, share cultures, and grow great ideas. One of my favorite things to do in any city is to go into local ethnic groceries and ask how to prepare, cook, serve, and eat things I have never seen before. I will talk to anyone about food, and now, I will talk to anyone about our co-op! Julia Goode I’m Julia Goode. I’ve lived in Logan Square for 15 years. I’m currently working as a bookkeeper for a small peace organization. I’ve only been to a couple of Dill Pickle meetings and have decided now is the time to get more involved, and not just because of the terrific name. Organics and “health” food are certainly more available than when I first moved here but unfortunately from a big business aspect. I am much more a “food for people, not for profit” person. I believe healthy food should not only benefit the people eating it, but also the earth and the workers involved in getting the food to table. I’m from Michigan, which seems to be a bit more co-op friendly than Chicago. I grew up going to Co-op Optical and had always been in a credit union. I was a member and volunteer at 4th Ave Co-op in Ann Arbor and also volunteered at the Wildflour Bakery (they weren’t technically a co-op rather a worker-owned business that operated like a consumer co-op). I worked at the Willy Street Co-op in Madison, WI and lived in co-op housing. The Emma Goldman food co-op/buying club started in my living room in Logan Square about 13 years ago. After a couple of mutations it’s now the Wicker Park Food Co-op. We also have been the drop-off site for Angelic Organics CSA for nearly 10 years. I look forward to shopping at the Dill Pickle Co-op. Kevin Kanoski - Graduate of St. Charles High School, St. Charles, IL - Graduate of University of Illinois, Champaign with Bachelors in Architecture - Licensed Architect in 2000, started own firm in 1999 Statement: The co-op seems like a great way to provide some positive energy to an idea that will give back to the community as well as concentrate on the good things that will help us live a healthy life. With our increasingly complex world, getting back to the basics of simple organic food with local availability will enrich our lives. I will bring 14 years of architectural experience in helping the co-op get established. Not only in selecting, but also in planning and designing an efficient and adaptable space for immediate and future needs. I will also apply my experience as a City of Chicago Registered Energy Professional, where I work to ensure that all buildings and spaces that I work with are within Energy and Conservation requirements. Additionally, I would be interested in helping with connections with other community groups and schools and assisting with fund raisers and benefits. As for something humorous: Growing up literally right next to corn fields in Illinois, my family loved fresh corn although I never shared their enthusiasm. Now, after seeing how lucky I was to have that at my doorstep, I am exactly like them and get very excited over fresh corn! Thank you for your consideration. Stephen Menyhart My name is Stephen Menyhart. I am excited about the future success of the Dill Pickle Food Co-op, since I see a need for a cooperatively run co-op grocery on the Northwest side of Chicago. I am tired of going to shop at three different stores to supply my home kitchen. I would appreciate the opportunity to have a voice in the formative policies and procedures of this new venture. Previous co-op experience: - Housing Coordinator or the Keep Cottage Co-op in Oberlin, Ohio. In this role I oversaw the operations and ran house meetings of a 60 member housing and dining co-op at Oberlin College. - Bartender at the Del Rio, a co-operatively managed bar in Ann Arbor, Michigan. - Volunteer at the New World Resource Center, a cooperatively managed bookshop and media center here in Chicago. I have several strengths that I think would be helpful in making the Dill Pickle Food Co-op a success. I have an extensive knowledge of the food business through my 8 years of working as a line cook, and in my 4 years cooking in Chicago I have made many friends and colleagues in the food industry. I also have a good knowledge of the local terrain, especially the Logan Square neighborhood. My wife and I just bought a house on Sawyer Avenue, and we are committed to staying in the neighborhood for the next 3-5 years. Helping a food co-op to grow and flourish in our neighborhood would give us yet another reason to stay here in Chicago! A more obscure but equally important skill is sign-making. If you want to see an example of my handiwork in this regard, check out the bright orange sign of the New World Resource Center at Potomac and Western Ave. Fun Fact: I am a member of the Chicago Lions Rugby Club, the premier men’s rugby club in the Chicago area, so if you see me with a black eye or a facial laceration, there is no need to be concerned about my home life. Gala Orba I have been on the steering committee of our good Coop since January 2006. I am a part time, Actuarial Science major (Math) at DePaul University graduating in 2007. I have been assisting the Coop in our treasury and budget related duties and helped set up our bank account and make deposits. I attended our Coop training session earlier this summer and found it was very useful in understanding how to work by consensus and steps we need to take to move this project forward. My Coop roots go far back. I started 'sleep away' camp at Circle Pines Center in Michigan in 1993. We learned cooperation techniques and history every single summer. I then worked at the camp as a life guard in 2000. We ran every aspect of the camp by working together peacefully. I have been an activist in the anti genetically modified food movement since 2003, working with groups like Genewise and G.E.A.N. I have organized many successful fundraisers for this cause. As a nanny I am sick of feeding toddlers hormone laced, genetically engineered, anti biotic filled 'food' and would like to help effectively switch the norm to organic. I also love to perform spinning flags and hula hooping. Ben Schulman I only recently came across the Dill Pickle Food Co-Op due to the Benefit Show booking of local band The Lesser Birds of Paradise, whom I represent as co-owner of local indie label Contraphonic Music Ltd. However, upon reading further about the co-op and with a strong knowledge of the original Dill Pickle Club, I felt compelled to throw my hat in the mix, as I believe a burgeoning organization as such is badly needed in the city. The Dill Pickle is needed both to serve its open-minded constituents and to set an example in a consumerist world increasingly sparse of choices. In an age where purchasing power holds the equivalent presence, if not more so, than a vote in our democracy, it is imperatively important to recognize and give true value to where our dollars are spent. The Dill Pickle Food Co-Op has the opportunity to emerge as such a venue, and beyond. As a former member of the Wheatsville Food Co-Op in Austin, TX and an initiator of the “Free Food” program at the Fort Mason Youth Hostel in San Francisco—designed to have travelers leave their leftover food and share it with fellow travelers, rather than producing waste—I have solid experience in working with food as a source for more than just sustenance. With a strong background in sales, I will bring necessary marketing ideas and innovations to produce investment in the co-op and an increased overall presence throughout the city. Couple this with an extensive network of connections collated through the channels of the No Karma Music Group—parent group of Contraphonic Music-- I propose we use these to expand upon the influence and reach the co-op can have through continued musical, artistic, and community events. In essence, I propose we use the Dill Pickle Food Co-Op, much like its Dill Pickle Club predecessor, as a forum for new ideas and new approaches into consumerism, community outreach and outgrowth, and artistic achievement. Upon our success, we will be setting a model for other areas (particularly low-income ‘Food Desert’ neighborhoods) and ultimately, use our goals and accomplishments to provide a well-nourished palette that goes far beyond what we ingest into our stomachs. Together, we can add new meaning and truth to the old adage “you are what you eat.” And speaking of eating, I love a good sandwich, something I’ve found a bit hard to find in our otherwise lovely culinary home. If elected to the board, I will most certainly assure that the Dill Pickle will make the best goddamn sandwich in our stately city on the shore. I appreciate your time and look for your support.