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YOUR BOARD CANDIDATES

In the candidate application, we asked candidates if they had attended a Board meeting, to collect 20 Owner signatures supporting their candidacy and if they had attended a Board Candidate Information Session. “Yes” responses (if any) are at the beginning of eachstatement.


Board Candidate: Patricia Butler“A community advocate and servant who tirelessly represent the voice of those whose voices aren’t heard. Give people a hand up and not hand out.”
Attended Board Meeting? No
Signatures? Yes
Board Candidate Information
Session? Yes

1. Why do you want to serve on the Willy Street Co-op Board of Directors?
I would like to serve on the Board to represent the voice of those who are voiceless and to insure that the residents of the Northside and Kennedy Heights neighborhood are given a fair price for the food and goods offered by the new Willy North. I believe there needs to be an acknowledgement of the clear restraints and barriers for those who are poor in economic resources but rich in determination and spirit. This store and the others are there for the community to use to acquire healthy food for their families but also need to be affordably priced so they care really stretch their budget.

2. Describe your previous volunteer or leadership experiences and how they would relate to your service on the WSGC Board.
I have extensive volunteer and leadership experiences. I have been Missionary for the African Methodist Episcopal Church for over 20 years serving in continent of Africa and country of India as well as extensive work right here in the Midwest. I consider myself a servant and this truly means that I take the position that in the end, it is not about me but about what I can do for others.

I serve on the Board of Kennedy Heights Community Center where I have served for seven years and also volunteer at the center where I have lived for most of life. Additionally, I serve on the Board of the Allied Drive Community Association and most recently I have been appointed the Board of the Northside Planning Council. More importantly, one of the greatest responsibilities and job one can have and that is being a parent. I also was a foster parent for many young children for over twelve years.

These above roles are essential to the role I will assume as a Board member because it is also about service and it is about community.

3. What are the 2-3 issues the Co-op’s Board needs to address in the next 5 years?
First, Willy North Store needs to shift its current larger focus of organic goods to that of more conventional goods to better serve the needs of this section of residents on the Northside. There needs to be an emphasis on price and affordability and on available culturally diverse foods. I serve a very culturally diverse neighborhood with a significant number of residents from backgrounds of African American, Southeast Asian (including Hmong, Laotian, Cambodian, and Thailand), Latino, African and Caucasian.

Second, the issue of transportation and access needs be better addressed. Many of residents do not have cars and depend upon the bus for transportation.
Third, the new store will need to really work to reduce the stigma associated with the word Co-op. To do this I suggest the formal development of a community advisory coalition made up of residents from all the related Northside communities. They need to have access to store management and be given a sense of value and ownership in what happens in this new store. What we do collectively has to be authentic and sincere and not window dressing.


Board Candidate: Bill Curtis“I ask for your trust and vote as I seek a position with the Board of Directors. I’ll focus on sustainability and access for all!”
Attended Board Meeting? Yes
Signatures? No
Board Candidate Information Session? Yes

1. Why do you want to serve on the Willy Street Co-op Board of Directors?
My husband and I moved to Madison five years ago. We found Madison to be our new home and Willy Street Co-op as our go to grocery store. Over the years, the Co-op has grown to be more than just a grocery store to us. It is a place where we connect with our community, support the efforts of the Co-op, and explore new foods. I’m excited about the prospect of serving on the Board of Directors and know that I will be a positive, contributing member to this every growing community.

2. Describe your previous volunteer or leadership experiences and how would they relate to your service on the WSGC Board?
As Vice President for the Lake Edge Neighborhood Association (LENA), I understand and appreciate the role that a board of directors plays in the success of an organization. The Board is here to guide and support the efforts of employees and supporters. I will take my experience with LENA and apply it to my involvement with the Willy Street Co-op Board of Directors. If elected, I will focus on the past successes of the Board and build upon them to continue the good work of the co-op.

Since moving to Madison, I have worked for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department. As Director of Emergency Management, I have experience and skills in guiding organizations through challenging events. I will leverage this experience to support the Co-op as it undertakes the exciting and challenging task of operating a third store.

3. What are the 2-3 issues the Co-op’s Board needs to address in the next five years?
We can all agree that the development of a third store is exciting. It provides growth opportunity and a new ability to connect with the Madison community. The Willy Street Co-op has a bright future and should continue to focus the following areas:

Sustainability: The success of any organization is not guaranteed. The Coop is no exception. While the current outlook is promising, the Board should focus on the future by continuing to develop new relationships and work with store management to find new opportunities and areas of growth.

Access: The Co-op is a gem in the Madison community. It provides access to healthy, locally grown food at reasonable prices. However, there are many members of our community that do not have the economic capability of shopping at the Co-op.

As a member of the Board, I will strive to find the balance between respecting our past and mission and the needs of a changing market. Allowing access to the Co-op to all members of our community should be on the forefront of our efforts.


Board Candidate: Dennis Johnson“I’m excited about the opportunity to put my experiences (and passion for local food) to work as a Board Director for the Willy Street Co-op!”
Attended Board Meeting? Yes
Signatures? Yes
Board Candidate Information Session? No

1. Why do you want to serve on the Willy Street Co-op Board of Directors?
 In my consulting work, we consistently return to the challenge of food security as the root cause of many of society’s wicked problems. I would be honored to serve on the Board and work to help raise greater awareness to how locally sourced, sustainable food systems can help create more vibrant community for Madison/Dane County.

2. Describe your previous volunteer or leadership experiences and how would they relate to your service on the WSGC Board?
I bring more than twenty years of experience in the corporate, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors and have strong skills in organizational development, planning, and facilitation with in-depth experience in employee engagement, governance, leadership development, individual and organizational learning, project management, strategy, and strengths based, talent systems.

I’m a Founder and Managing Partner of Sort Sol Group, LLC, a national consulting firm rooted in collective impact. I’m also Principal of Leadership Architecture & Design, LLC, am an Executive Coach for the Ken Blanchard Companies, and serve as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin School of Business.
I’ve sat on several, local boards over the last two decades, including: Friends Junior Council of UW Hospital & Clinics, New Harvest Foundation, GSAFE, OPEN and the WI Nonprofits Association. I am a Certified Governance Trainer with BoardSource, and a professional coach trained through the Coaches Training Institute and the Center for Right Relationships and credentialed by the International Coaching Federation.

I’m a member of Association for Talent Development Madison Area Chapter, BoardSource, Consultants for Organizational Reflection and Effectiveness and the International Coaching Federation. I hold my Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska’s Gallup Leadership Institute and received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.

All of these skills have helped me to serve a wide variety of individuals and organizations to guide their paths to excellence, which would also benefit the Willy Street Co-op.

3. What are the 2-3 issues the Co-op’s Board needs to address in the next five years?

  1. Ensuring a sustainable business model for continued growth;
  2. Building a strong culture for staff, where they are well-developed and rewarded; and
  3. Working to educate the community on the broad benefits of locally sourced, sustainable food

 


Board Candidate: Jess Pernsteiner“I am passionate about building connections and working cooperatively to create a sustainable local food system to support a sustainable community.”Attended Board Meeting? Yes
Signatures? Yes
Board Candidate Information Session? Yes

1. Why do you want to serve on the Willy Street Co-op Board of Directors?
I am a Wisconsin native whose grandparents owned a small dairy farm near Wausau, and am eager to continue supporting the efforts of local and small-scale farmers and producers and to increase access to natural and organic products. I want to serve on the Willy Street Co-op’s Board of Directors because I am very excited about the opportunity to be part of the leadership team for organization that is committed to promoting well-being throughout Madison. For me, the Co-op has become so much more than just a store; it is a place where I feel connected to the people who provide my food, and I am eager to ensure that it continues to be a cornerstone within the community.

2. Describe your previous volunteer or leadership experiences and how would they relate to your service on the WSGC Board?
I recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Leadership with Edgewood College, which has greatly expanded my knowledge of implementing sustainable practices and has further enhanced my development as a leader. In the fallof 2015, I worked as the Farm Fresh Atlas Intern with REAP Food Group, where I had the opportunity to connect with local farms and businesses within Southern Wisconsin. In my previous experience working at Access Community Health Centers as a Prenatal Support Specialist andproviding bilingual case management services to prenatal patients, I have seen the need for fresh, nourishing food for underserved communities. Additionally, last summer I was able to participate in a Worker Share with Equinox Community Farm, where I had an opportunity to connect with the process of growing food and better understand my own connection to the land.

3. What are the 2-3 issues the Co-op’s Board needs to address in the next five years?
Within the next five years, the most pressing issues for the Co-op Board center around the context of building an inclusive community, with a significant emphasis on the development of the new Northside location. The new store provides an ideal opportunity for the Co-op to continue its commitment to “healthy, just, tolerant and viable communities.” The construction of Willy St. North offers a unique possibility for increased community education, as the location can expand the number of programs and classes. As the Co-op focuses on strengthening outreach and engagement, it will allow for expanded membership and increased community involvement. This is an ideal opportunity to innovate and make change toward a more vibrant, healthy community.


Board Candidate: Bruce SlaughenhouptAttended Board Meeting? Yes
Signatures? Yes
Board Candidate Information Session? Yes

1. Why do you want to serve on the Willy Street Co-op Board of Directors?
I applied to become a staff member at the Co-op after retiring from a career in healthcare because I wanted to work with a local organization that emphasized community, healthy lifestyle, and sustainability.  I have since learned that the Co-op is a trusted and valuable resource to many in Dane County and the surrounding region.

I believe serving on the Board while working at the Co-op  would allow me to facilitate communication amongst Owners, Staff, and Board members and help the Co-op better meet its goal of serving the needs of its owners and employees.  As a member of the west-side Grocery Team, I have an inside perspective for offering constructive, streamlined  improvements that focus on customer service and profitable financial operations of the Co-op.

2. Describe your previous volunteer or leadership experiences and how would they relate to your service on the WSGC Board?
I serve as a volunteer at Agrace Hospice as well as on the Pastoral Support Committee at Lake Edge Lutheran Church.  In the past, I have built houses with Habitat for Humanity and have volunteered for many years with the Wisconsin AIDS Network.

I had the opportunity to take on several leadership roles while working as a pediatric urologist at the American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) and UW School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH).  I served on the AFCH Steering committee as well as the Medical Board for UW Hospital.   I also led the development of,  and staffed the multi-disciplinary Pediatric Kidney Stone Clinic at AFCH. When I was asked to serve as the Director for Medical Student Education for the Department of Urology, I developed a new curriculum.  As the Urology department Journal Club Coordinator, I selected articles to be read and facilitated discussions monthly.  I also was a member of the UWSMPH Admissions Committee as well as the faculty advisor for the LGBT Student association.

Nationally, I served as a member of the American Urologic Association’s Student Curriculum Task Force and also served on a data safety monitoring board for a successful NIH research study.

Although none of these experiences are directly related to the Co-op, they have allowed me to work with very diverse groups of people andhave helped me fine tune my ability to hear various points of view,  consider different opinions, evaluate data, set goals, and accomplish them through team-work and mutual respect.  

3. What are the 2-3 issues the Co-op’s Board needs to address in the next five years?
The first issue to be addressed is continued profitability.  If we do not manage the Co-op in a profitable manner, we may not remain sustainable.  
The second issue is the successful roll-out of the north side store and its incorporation into its new community.
The third issue will be continued growth requiring selection of a fourth retail location.

 

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