• No products in the cart.

Cast Your Vote in the 2020 Menomonie Market Board Election

Menomonie Market owners, the poll is officially open for the 2020 Board of Directors Election, and this year, it’s gone virtual! Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve moved our board election to online-only, which means you can now cast your vote by filling out the online form included at the end of this post or by visiting the front desk in-store on your next trip. Just be sure to submit your vote by Sunday, September 13th at 6:00pm.

Meet The Candidates

Rick Remington
I serve on the Menomonie Market Food Co-op Board of Directors because I believe in doing what I can to support the communities I am part of—local to global. I have been on the Board since 2014 and currently serve as President. Through MMFC board work and my employment with a non-profit organization, I understand Policy Governance, board processes, and our fiduciary responsibility to our Owners. I understand the difference between being a board member and being a good board member. Serving on the MMFC Board helps me be a more engaged citizen and a smarter, more responsible consumer.

After living here for 18 years, I am starting to understand our community’s strengths and challenges. MMFC is a shining example of the good things that are happening and the good people that are making it happen. Through MMFC’s desire to address our Owner’s needs and to create sustainable development, we built a new store in the heart of our community—a space for Owners and patrons to shop, learn, and engage.  Our expansion moved cooperative principles further into mainstream Menomonie.  And during these challenging times, our co-op has stepped up to provide a safe and accessible shopping experience, a smile or two, and perhaps a glimmer of hope.  I am proud to be affiliated with our board, our staff, and all our owners.

I grew up in central Wisconsin working in my parent’s small-town grocery store. I have worked for 30 years in the conservation field throughout the Midwest, Kentucky, and Maine. Rural Menomonie (Downsville) is now my home, and I spend my free time with my wife and daughter, gardening, reading, and in pursuit of fun and adventure.

If re-elected, it would be an honor and a privilege to continue to serve and represent the Menomonie Market Food Co-op owners.

Candidate Questions

1. Please discuss your prior experiences serving organizations through board participation, committee membership, or leadership positions.

I was appointed to the Menomonie Market Food Co-op Board of Directors in March 2014 to fill a vacancy. I was reelected in 2015 and 2017 and currently serve as Board President. For the past eighteen years, I have been employed by a non-profit organization under the leadership of a governing board of directors. At work, I serve as the staff liaison to committees and regularly report to the board on many matters. Similarly, the President and all board members are regularly called upon to serve on our standing committees. Through my MMFC board work and my employment, I am familiar and comfortable with board processes and understand both sides of the coin. I understand the difference between being a board member and being a good board member. If re-elected, it would be an honor and a privilege to continue to serve and represent Menomonie Market owners.

2. Menomonie Market employs a “Policy Governance Model” in conducting board business. Please discuss “Policy Governance” and how you feel you might contribute to this type of governance at MMFC.

Policy Governance at MMFC ensures that the Board speaks cohesively and only through policies adopted by the Board while continuing to move our co-op in the right direction. Policy Governance ensures the Board does not manage or micromanage the day-to-day operations of our co-op. It gives the General Manager the flexibility to make decisions while at the same time providing guidance through policy. Policy Governance also provides representation of and accountability to our owners. I believe I would contribute to this first and foremost by understanding the issues and asking questions when necessary. A board meeting is only as good as everyone’s understanding of the information that is presented and exchanged, and board members cannot be hesitant to ask questions, share opinions, and voice concerns. Moving forward, policy governance also enables the Board to look beyond the horizon to the future of MMFC in pursuing our Big Long-term Plan and our collaboration with our neighbor, Just Local Food.

3. Tell us about what experience you have had, if any, with organizational financial statements or organizational decisions about financial matters.

Through my current board membership and work experience, I regularly review budgets and financial statements. Without a standing finance committee, it is every board member’s responsibility to review and understand the financial condition of the Co-op. An organization’s budget is more than just income and expenses—one also needs to understand the nuances of a given business and the flow of resources. And never be shy to ask questions.

4. What motivated you to apply for a board position? What do you hope to gain through your participation on the board?

I am motivated to re-apply for the Menomonie Market Food Co-op Board of Directors because I believe that everyone should do something to serve the various communities of which they are part–local to global. MMFC is a shining example of the good things happening in our community. Serving the membership of our food co-op is one way I can try to make a difference locally and to help keep this shining example burning bright. Personally, I also think serving on the board is an opportunity to help me be a more engaged citizen and a smarter, more responsible consumer.

5. As a cooperative, Menomonie Market has a special set of principles it follows. Please discuss an aspect of the seven cooperative principles you find interesting or meaningful.

Concern for Community is the Cooperative Principle that resonates most with me. Through MMFC’s desire to address our member’s needs and to create sustainable development in our community, we built a new store right in the heart of our community. Our location is an excellent example of this cooperative principle at work, as it allows our co-op to do more of the exciting things it has been doing for years. More local food, more local jobs, more money staying in our local economy, and space for member-owners to shop, learn, and engage. Beyond our tradition of healthy local food sales, the Board also strives to make Menomonie Market a leader in community engagement, where citizens can learn about the importance of the cooperative model and the benefits to our community.

6. Through the mission set out in its Ends Statement, how do you see Menomonie Market influencing the larger communities to which it belongs?

Menomonie Market Food Cooperative’s Ends Statement is based on our member’s vision and concern for our community(s). Through the ripple effect of our co-op’s operations, more food is produced locally, regionally, and responsibly. Goods produced, bought, and sold in this manner create local jobs, keep profits in our community, and are better for our environment. Our co-op is obviously a clearinghouse for tasty and nutritious food, but it is also a clearinghouse for information and ideas. By creating an atmosphere (both physically and socially) where owners, employees, and patrons can gather, shop, share ideas and demonstrate our common vision, we create an opportunity for us all to speak with a strong and unified voice on the important issues that affect us. We are making a difference.

7. What else would you like to share that could be relevant to your potential board participation?

I have worked for 30 years in the conservation field throughout the Midwest, Kentucky, and Maine. Rural Menomonie (Downsville) has been my home for 18 years, where I work for a non-profit conservation organization. I believe there is a direct correlation between a healthy environment, a healthy economy, and healthy people. Food produced locally in a sustainable manner has a greater potential to positively impact our local economy, our environment, and to nourish our body and soul. I grew up in central Wisconsin working in my parent’s small-town grocery store. I spend my free time with my wife and daughter exploring the outdoors, reading, and poking around the garden.

Sarah Paquette
Within days of moving to Menomonie, my husband and I joined MMFC and began meeting our fellow members as well as many of the local farmers and producers featured on the Co-op’s shelves. I quickly recognized the immense cultural and economic value MMFC brings to this community. I also knew that I wanted to support this organization in any way I could.

If chosen to serve on the MMFC Board of Directors, I will work tirelessly to uphold the mission of MMFC and its focus on community empowerment, development of its membership, and promotion of its values toward the wider communities of Menomonie, Dunn County, and the State of Wisconsin. MMFC has come a long way since its founding in 1973, and we must continue to diligently work toward its successful expansion so that this amazing institution can serve us all long into the future.

As a small-scale livestock farmer here in Dunn County, I am familiar with the challenges many of our local producers are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these same producers are frequent suppliers of products to MMFC and as such, their challenges will be the co-op’s as well. As a fellow farmer and producer serving Dunn County, I feel I can offer a much-needed perspective to the already varied and experienced voices of the MMFC Board. We will all need to continue to buckle down and do our best to come out on the other side of this crazy year. It would be my honor to serve this community through membership on the MMFC Board.

Candidate Questions

1. Please discuss your prior experiences serving organizations through board participation, committee membership, or leadership positions.

I have served in leadership in both the government and private sector throughout my professional career. From 2007 to 2014, I served as a civilian operations officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency. In this capacity, I was personally responsible for operational budgets in excess of $100,000 and supervised teams of other civilian officers as well as foreign agents acting on behalf of the United States government. In addition to the every-day operational responsibilities, I also was charged with liaison to other national-level government agencies and provided written products which were briefed at the highest levels of the US government, to include the President, Vice-President, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of Defense.

Upon leaving government service in 2014, I began my professional development in the world of private-sector business by joining my brother’s company – Stauffer. Stauffer is a full-service digital agency that focuses on web design and app development as well as organization-wide technological strategy and planning. Major clients have included UC-Berkley, Space-X, and the Getty Art Museum. While at Stauffer, I assisted with hiring and general HR management and helped develop the long-term strategic plan for the company while aiding my brother in the difficult task of a major company-wide restructuring process.

After my time at Stauffer and in anticipation of founding my own business in the near future, I began working for a smaller home-town company where I could take on more responsibility and learn the knitty gritty financial details of day-to-day business operations. From 2015 to 2017, I was the business operations manager at a general contracting firm with revenues in excess of 1.3 million. During my time with this company, I transitioned them to software systems for accounting, bookkeeping, human resources, and client records, created company standards and processes for human resources, supervisory expectations, and management practices. Additionally, I provided the necessary input and documentation to support the company president in management decisions.

Presently, my husband James and I have founded New Columbia Acres LLC, a small-scale diversified farm focusing on regenerative agriculture and community development in Boyceville, Wisconsin. Since arriving in Menomonie, I have volunteered my time to serve on the MMFC committee charged with the task of awarding the grants to local farms for the Co-op’s annual Fund Our Foodshed Grant program.

2. Menomonie Market employs a “Policy Governance Model” in conducting board business. Please discuss “Policy Governance” and how you feel you might contribute to this type of governance at MMFC.

The “Policy Governance Model” employed by the MMFC appears to be a great fit for an organization operating in the cooperative marketplace. With so many publicly-owned corporations hampered by the tyranny of short-term thinking, “Policy Governance” and the mission of the MMFC appear to provide Board Members with the freedom to pursue and outline long-term strategic goals and objectives where other board governance models may fall substantially short.

I understand that the Board is ultimately responsible for all actions carried out by the MMFC General Manager (GM) and Staff, but that once the Board sets the parameters and goals for the GM, they do not engage in the operational management of the co-op business. As such, I believe that with my skills and experience I can be a great addition to the MMFC Board of Directors. I am highly capable in the realm of long-term planning and strategy and am very experienced in team-oriented workplace structures. Recognizing the major changes the MMFC has experienced over the course of the last ten years, and the unpredictable challenges faced by us all due to the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining the long-term vision of the original MMFC 2 founding members will be paramount as the MMFC Board of Directors works with the GM and Staff to meet the unique challenges of this year and the next ten to follow.

3. Tell us about what experience you have had, if any, with organizational financial statements or organizational decisions about financial matters.

As outlined above, I have been directly involved in major financial decision-making for two companies and now for my own farm. In order to carry out my duties with these firms, I was required to read through and understand company financial statements to include the big three of Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and Cash Flow. With my position at the general contracting firm, I really drilled down into the details in order to boost profitability and to improve employee retention and quality of life.

4. What motivated you to apply for a board position? What do you hope to gain through your participation on the board?

I am motivated to apply for this position as a way to continue my career in public service and to represent my support for the MMFC and how it positively impacts our community.

Throughout my life, I have taken positions and sought out ways to better serve my community and my environment. Since the year 2000, I have lived in and/or traveled to over 20 different countries, many of which did not possess a resilient food system nor basic public security and economic opportunity. Upon much self-study and personal reflection, I concluded that the promotion of food sovereignty and the local foods movement is one of the best tools we have to encourage the re-populating of our nation’s rural communities, promote personal health and proper nutrition, combat climate change and retake control of our local economies from the whims of multinational corporations. For these reasons and many more, I support the “Ends Statement” of the MMFC and would love the opportunity to participate in such an invaluable institution as a member of the Board of Directors. As for gaining anything by participating, I think being able to live in a place that supports institutions like the MMFC is a major win for myself and my family. As long as the MMFC is around, I know we’ll be able to find wholesome foods for our table and will be able to patronize an institution that pays a fair wage and provides good benefits to their employees.

5. As a cooperative, Menomonie Market has a special set of principles it follows. Please discuss an aspect of the seven cooperative principles you find interesting or meaningful.

For me, I found the most meaningful aspect of the seven co-operative principles to be the common thread of local community and member control that is woven throughout all seven. While grocers like Walmart and Aldi operate on a global scale, it is difficult, nigh impossible, for a local community to communicate to these corporations their needs and wants with regard to a given store’s operations, values, and product offerings. The MMFC and their principles are the 3 antitheses to this type of impersonal and imposed structure. Members are invited to participate in educational opportunities, to vote in Board elections, to provide feedback to the GM about product offerings, to vote with their beans to fund community philanthropies, and of course, they are invited to vote with their dollars each and every time they choose to shop at the MMFC vs. other grocery stores. The seven principles put the control back into the community while simultaneously giving members a much needed positive experience and a sense of agency in their own economy and local food web.

6. Through the mission set out in its Ends Statement, how do you see Menomonie Market influencing the larger communities to which it belongs?

Through local control, spending, employment, and reinvestment, the MMFC has an outsize impact on the health and resilience of the local community. The likelihood of revenue staying within Dunn County and thus contributing to the economic multiplier effect is much greater with the MMFC than with other grocery stores in Menomonie. Food dollars spent at national chains are generally sucked out of communities to pay dividends to anonymous shareholders with no regional ties. Even the more locally-owned grocery chains operate on a conventional retail model that focuses on stocking products without regard to local sourcing, environmental sustainability, and the wider impact on individual health and well being. The MMFC’s focus on supporting local farmers, producers, and artisans by stocking their products in-store, as well as the MMFC’s special tax relationship with the Menomonie Farmers Market, is a great boost to the City of Menomonie as well as Dunn County as a whole.

Additionally, I would like to express the importance of the psychological impact the MMFC has on the community. Though difficult to quantify, the MMFC provides a sense of well-being in the community through its educational activities, farmer grant programs, $4 dinners, and the abstract sense of community wealth that is understood when walking the aisles and seeing all the local products up for grabs! People in more rural communities are constantly told how they need some big corporation or federal program to come save them from economic ruin when really, it’s institutions like the MMFC that have the most potential to contribute to and improve things.

7. What else would you like to share that could be relevant to your potential board participation?

Through my former positions in business operations and government service, I am no stranger to the need to maintain confidentiality and will comfortably abide by the standards set forth by the Board.

Susan Krahn
I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and have worked in public health nutrition for ten years.  My work has involved direct engagement with families through maternal and child health programs, grant writing, project management, media communications, and leading groups in community health promotion initiatives.

I have lived in Menomonie for most of my life and have made this community my home to raise children in. I have grown to recognize the value of the Menomonie Market as an invaluable asset for our community. I currently work in Eau Claire. Often, when I speak of the MMFC to friends or co-workers who reside in Eau Claire, they will note how lucky I am to have easy access to a beautiful co-op! While I am certainly grateful for a store that supports local farmers and brings healthy products closer to my doorstep, I am moved to apply for a board position by the MMFC Ends Statement and seven co-operative principles.

One aspect of the seven co-operative principles that is especially meaningful to me is ‘Concern for Community.’ Over the past year, I have had unique experiences to learn about health equity and innovative approaches to support local, healthy food systems in neighboring states. I have seen first-hand and continuously learn about evidence-based tools to support accessibility to healthy food. While all co-operative principles are integral, I find this most meaningful because of my strong belief that a healthy food system is core to a healthy community, economically and environmentally.

As a new board member, I would be honored and excited to learn from current directors. I feel passionate about putting my enthusiasm and knowledge on the relationship of a healthy food system on well-being, disease prevention, and economic sustainability to use for Menomonie Market and our larger community.

Candidate Questions

1. Please discuss your prior experiences serving organizations through board participation, committee membership, or leadership positions.

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and worked in public health for 10 years.  My work at a local health department involved direct engagement with families through maternal and child health programs, grant writing, project management, media communications, and leading coalitions in community health promotion initiatives. A significant part of my work was with community partners and co-workers on a variety of committees. I served in leadership positions on:

• internal committees- including wellness and communications team,
a food systems subgroup of Eau Claire Healthy Communities Chronic Disease Prevention Action Team,
• and a tri-county food systems & healthy food collaborative.

In 2019, I began working with a small, locally-owned company. We write and create nutrition education materials that are used by WIC and other public health nutrition programs across the country. In 2019, we began creating an innovative digital nutrition education platform. I lead the research and evaluation of the platform.

Due to my work as an adjunct instructor in UW-Stout’s Food and Nutrition Department and role as a preceptor for dietetic interns, I currently serve on the UW-Stout Dietetic Internship and Dietetics Program Advisory Committees. The committee provides feedback and input to help guide the programs as work in the health field evolves and requirements by accrediting organizations change.

In my personal time, I have served on the School District of Menomonie Area’s Wellness Committee and Cedarbrook Church Legacy Planning Team. I was appointed into my current position on the Menomonie Market Food Co-op board of directors in April 2019.

2. Menomonie Market employs a “Policy Governance Model” in conducting board business. Please discuss “Policy Governance” and how you feel you might contribute to this type of governance at MMFC.

A “Policy Governance Model” empowers the board to focus on big picture issues, specifically those outlined in the Ends Statement. This is where my passion and motivation for participating on the board lie—to support Menomonie Market’s role in being “central to a thriving healthy community.”

As noted in the previous question, much of my professional work occurs in groups. Decision-making through policy and as a whole was a part of my everyday work in public health. As a member of the board, I value the opportunity to learn from experienced members. I feel confident in contributing useful insight into evidence-based strategies based on my education and work experience. Additionally, I want to contribute opportunities I see for the co-op to continue to be valued as an integral part of our community.

3. Tell us about what experience you have had, if any, with organizational financial statements or organizational decisions about financial matters.

I have an undergraduate degree in business administration. Coursework in this program included finance and accounting. Prior to graduate school and career as a dietitian, I worked in food service and retail management positions and contributed to inventory management and daily sales reconciliation. In my role in public health, I was involved with making decisions about applying for grants, grant writing, and project management, including managing small budgets.

In the past 16 months as a board member, I attended an MMFC financial orientations, a Cooperative Board Leadership 101 training, and other continuing education sessions to better understand and interpret the organization’s financial statements.

4. What motivated you to apply for a board position? What do you hope to gain through your participation on the board?

I have lived in Menomonie for most of my life and have made this community my home to raise children in. I have grown to recognize the value of the Menomonie Market as an invaluable asset for our community. I currently work in Eau Claire. Often, when I speak of the MMFC to friends or co-workers who reside in Eau Claire, they will note how lucky I am to have easy access to a beautiful co-op! While I am certainly grateful for a store that supports local farmers and brings healthy products closer to my doorstep, I am moved to apply for a board position by the MMFC Ends Statement and seven cooperative principles (especially the principle of ‘concern for community’, which I will address in question number 5).

I am motivated to put time and energy into a board position because I see the potential we have for the co-op to reach more residents, support local farmers, and be viewed by community leaders as an integral part of a sustainable local economy.

5. As a cooperative, Menomonie Market has a special set of principles it follows. Please discuss an aspect of the seven cooperative principles you find interesting or meaningful.

One aspect of the seven co-operative principles that is especially meaningful to me is ‘Concern for Community.’ Over the past few years, I have had unique experiences to learn about health equity and innovative approaches to support local, healthy food systems in neighboring states. I have seen first-hand and continuously learn about evidence-based tools to support access to healthy food. While all cooperative principles are integral, I find this most meaningful because of my strong belief that a healthy food system is core to a healthy community, economically and environmentally.

6. Through the mission set out in its Ends Statement, how do you see Menomonie Market influencing the larger communities to which it belongs?

I see Menomonie Market continuing its efforts to improve local access to healthy choices with initiatives like Double Dollars and $4 meals. I see opportunities for the Menomonie Market to further strengthen the food system with efforts such as connecting other organizations and/or businesses in the greater Chippewa Valley with locally produced foods. I also see the potential to engage owners to increase the sense of belonging. Finally, I see efforts to establish local food policies growing in Wisconsin. The Menomonie Market is poised to be a key player in this type of effort in Western Wisconsin. In all of these efforts, the potential to engage more community members as owners would also grow.

7. What else would you like to share that could be relevant to your potential board participation?

As a board member, I would be honored and excited to continue to learn from current directors who have held this position and supported the growth of our co-op. I feel passionate about putting my enthusiasm and knowledge on the relationship of a healthy food system on health, well-being, disease prevention, and economic sustainability to use for Menomonie Market.

Cast Your Vote(s) Now

The poll for our 2020 Board Election has closed.

Post a Comment