Prairie Food Co-op Community Grocery

Angela Mullins

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  • Hometown: Lombard
  • Owner #: 478
  • Term: 1st term ends June 2020

Why are you interested in serving on the Prairie Food Board of Directors?
One of the many reasons I moved to Lombard was to find a place where my growing family and I could really settle in, build relationships and become part of the community. As a stay-at-home-mom now, I’ve known for a long time that I’m not really interested in getting back into the daily grind of a 9-to-5 corporate position, with everything that entails both good and bad. I find that my purpose to put my energy and experience behind things I care deeply about, things that can benefit everyone instead of just a corporation’s bottom line. I think the Prairie Food Co-op is something that will benefit and enrich the Village of Lombard and the surrounding areas for years to come.

Employment: Please tell us about your Past or Present Employment 
From 1999-2010, I've worked for - The Chicago Cubs, The Chicago Tribune, AOL, Orbitz and Expedia. All of these positions included work in sales, marketing, public relations and events. I’ve dealt with celebrities, A-listers, journalists, politicians, and individuals from CEOs to janitors. Everyone was important, and everyone left a lasting impression.

Volunteer: Membership/Affiliations past and present
I was a volunteer in the Celebrity Hospitality Suite for the Chicago International Film Festival October 2004. I also volunteered for multiple event set ups and teardowns during the time I worked at the Chicago Tribune. Metromix, still a Tribune entity at the time, held several after hours and weekend events that needed staffing. I helped where I could. Most recently, I volunteered for the Vote Yes for Helen Plum Library Committee.

Volunteer: Leadership positions held past and present
I was the Communications Co-Chair for the Vote Yes for Helen Plum Library Committee.

Volunteer: Honors/Awards Received

Nothing for volunteering!

Other: In 2002, I was the sole Chicago Tribune Interactive/online representative of the Director's Award-winning Chicago Tribune Message Management Team. The purpose of the team was to integrate the print edition with the online editions of the Tribune. The online editions at the time included chicagotribune.com, metromix.com, chicagosports.com. The integration included managing “house ads” to promote online products in the newspaper, newspaper products online, and online products from site-to-site including ads in daily Metromix, ChicagoSports and Tribune Daywatch email newsletters.

Which of the following areas do you have expertise? 
Management, Fundraising, Marketing/Public Relations, Event Planning

Please provide details on any marked expertise below 
All of my jobs (even that part-time record store job in high school) have given me a ton of experience in marketing, events, management and dealing with the public and how to reach out to them. The job that used all of that experience most measurably was Marketing Manager for the Orbitz Affiliate program, including recruitment, promotions, email communication (including simple HTML,) online research, manning conference booths, writing ad copy, financially managing and growing the multi-million dollar program and more. Specific numbers/percentage of year over year growth available if needed.

What experience, education, and skills do you have that you feel will contribute to your effectiveness as a Prairie Food Director? 
I think this is where I can mention my role as the Communications Co-chair for the Vote Yes for Helen Plum Library Committee in more detail. This committee was my first experience working with a political campaign, so I went into it not quite knowing how much I would be putting myself out in the community, but I don’t think anyone could deny that I was out there: whether it was on Facebook defending the referendum, meeting and talking to leaders of Lombard that had no idea who I was as a relatively new resident with no prior family connections in town, raising money and securing item donations for fundraising efforts from local and national businesses, down to delivering yard signs and handing out stickers and flyers at local events. A couple of times when our Chair was out of town, I would set the meeting agendas and provide (sometimes overly) detailed notes about the meeting’s discussions. I would love to continue that community outreach with another unifying message for how the Village can move toward the future.

What are your personal goals for Prairie Food Co-op?
Meet ownership goals to get the lease and then the building underway!

What experiences have you had with food co-ops in the past?
Just this fall, my family was staying in a small town near Madison, Wisconsin and we needed some food for the week. Instead of going to the large grocery chain, we went to the food co-op. I loved the open and welcoming environment, not to mention knowing the items I was purchasing for my family were healthy and local to the Dane County area, where we were staying. Additionally, they viewed my ownership stake in the Prairie Food Co-op as reciprocal, and didn’t charge me the non-owner fee for our items! The first time I ever went to a food Co-op was in college, since it was across the street from my dorm. As a poor college student, I was never an owner, but their chocolate-covered coffee beans definitely helped my friends and me through several all-night study sessions. I remember it fondly.

What do you hope to achieve from your board experience? 

As you get older, I feel you realize you are never done learning, never done trying to be better. As a mom, I know I can always do better and give more healthy and local options to my whole family and not just my kids. It can be overwhelming sometimes to try and do everything right for yourself, your kids, your planet and your community. I’d love to be part of the board and have a front row seat to learn more myself about local and organic food options, reducing my family’s footprint and doing things as sustainably as possible; I know how important those things are for all of us to learn as well. I'd like to reach out to other members of our community that may feel overwhelmed with things they feel they “should” be doing, but aren’t sure where to start right now. I hope to help bring the overall welcoming message to the community.  

Helping when you can - either one small choice made weekly on garbage or grocery day or several large choices made on a daily basis, you can make a difference.

Invest in a place to shop that you can call your own.
Together we really can do this.

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