2022 WEMC BOARD OF DIRECTOR CANDIDATES
I have been a resident of RF my whole life, and have been a very active community member. The last several years I have been focused on my health and growing my business. I am a holistic health coach and Reiki healer who focuses on helping others who are struggling with anxiety, stress and overwhelm. I am a mom of two teens. One works at the Coop, the other is a freshman at the Renaissance academy. My husband Mark has been on the Coop board for years and is now the president. We as a family have been active with Coco's heart dog rescue for several years and I am currently a foster mentor helping new fosters with their dogs. I had a retail store on Main street for 4.5 years and have skills in retail merchandising, as well as computer skills and marketing skills. I was on the Community Arts Base board and was Chair of Art on the Kinni for 4 years. I was also the president of the PTO at Greenwood for 5 years and helped them raise funds and build a playground.
River Falls is where my wife and I have called home for the past 7 years. In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors and hiking around the Kinni. I enjoy supporting local businesses with my wife and being out in the community. This community is amazing and Whole Earth contributes to making this a great place to live. The quality of products and produce at the co-op is great and I want to help keep this organization thriving. I currently serve as the Assistant City Administrator in Wyoming, Minnesota. Public service is a passion of mine and I enjoy giving back to the community. Serving on the Board of Directors allows me to bring my passion and dedication to this community. For the past 6 months I have been serving on the Planning and Education
Committee for Whole Earth. This has been great to understand how the Co-op functions and all the efforts that go into planning great events and educating patrons on services the Co-op provides. I want to be involved in the community and the Co-op promotes healthy lifestyles and helps give back to River Falls. Running for the board would allow me to help people maintain healthy lifestyles and give back to the community. I also bring a lot of passion for the city and I want to help strengthen the community.
David Van Eeckhout
For the last 5 years as Farm Program Director for The Good Acre, a food hub in St. Paul, I have been bringing my 20 years of farming experience to specialty crop farmers around the Twin Cities area to help them solve problems on their farms. I have built multiple greenhouses, taken and interpreted soil samples, sourced fertility, identified disease and nutrient issues, identified pest problems, consulted on equipment and land purchases, shared information on new varieties, provided farmer feedback as part of the Produce Safety Advisory Group at MDA, helped farmers with their accounting and financial management, and tirelessly advocated for farmers when there were no farmers at the table. Prior to my work at The Good Acre, my wife, Melinda and I owned and operated Hog's Back Farm in Arkansaw, WI. I am a farmer and entrepreneur and enjoy working with numbers. I think I can bring some business acumen to the board to support the staff and membership.
One thing I advocate for with farmers is knowing their numbers, not because of the IRS, but so that they can make timely and fiscally responsible decisions to improve their businesses. It's a universal theme that can help the co-op continue to move forward as well. I know food and farming and like to dig into the financials of any work that I'm involved in. Profitability and sustainability go hand in hand for me.
Joining the National Co+op Grocers (NCG) organization has been an amazing win for the co-op and its members. Because of the buying power that NCG brings, the Co-op has become more affordable and I would like to see that continue. I think many community members may have written off the co-op as too expensive, and there is work to do to bring more of the community
back to the store for another look. Prices are rising everywhere and more and more people care about where their food is coming from. The co-op is in a great position to build on its recent success. There is room for WE Market Co-op to grow without uprooting it's long history.