Prairie Food Co-op Community Grocery

Dan Wimsatt


  • Hometown: Downers Grove
  • Owner #: 436
  • Term: 1st term ends June 2018
  • Contact Dan

Why are you interested in serving on the Prairie Food Board of Directors?
I have been involved in food coops for approximately the last 20 years. However, since moving to the Chicago area 8 years ago, I have not had regular access to the many benefits of a food coop, except when I travel back to my former homes in Madison Wisconsin and Ann Arbor Michigan. I am hopeful that my past experience and excitement about food coops could be helpful to Prairie Food Coop.

Employment: Please tell us about your Past or Present Employment
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and have been working in this field for the last 16 years. I am self employed and work in the Loop. I have been a primary counselor on inpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs since 2001. I love what I do for my job!

Volunteer: Membership/Affiliations past and present
I have been involved in many coops in the past. I was a member at the People's Food Coop in Ann Arbor Michigan for 9 years and the Willy Street Coop for the 2 years that I lived in Madison Wisconsin. Additionally I have lived in several housing coops in both Ann Arbor and Madison. While living in Ann Arbor I was also actively involved with the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO). Lastly, I was involved in a Bio-diesel coop in Madison.

Volunteer: Leadership positions held past and present
When I lived in Ann Arbor I was the Ombudsmen for the Student Coops at the University of Michigan. This was a position for which I was appointed by the President of the Coop. My job was essentially to help mediate any disputes that arose between any members of the various coop houses on campus.

Volunteer: Honors/Awards Received
I was nominated for Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2005.

Which of the following areas do you have expertise?
Management, Marketing/Public Relations, Event Planning, Finance, Anything that might be helpful.

Please provide details on any marked expertise below
I am not exactly sure what constitutes expertise in the above areas. I think that it would be accurate to say that I have experience in a variety of settings in the above areas. I am pretty flexible and adaptable to working in varies settings with different groups of people.

What experience, education, and skills do you have that you feel will contribute to your effectiveness as a Prairie Food Director?
I have a lot of coop experience, as mentioned above that I hope could be helpful to the Prairie Food Coop. I have a Masters Degree in Social Work and an undergraduate degree in Business. I would imagine that both of those educational experiences might be helpful as a director on the Board. Further, I feel that I have the personality and temperament to work well with others in a variety of settings. I feel that I have good communication skills, both in writing and in speaking.

What are your personal goals for Prairie Food Co-op?
I would love to see the Coop thrive and become a place where people come not just to buy awesome local organic food, but come together as a community. One of the things that I so loved about the coops that I was involved in in the past was a sense of community and of knowing one another. I have several close friends who work in the Organic Farming field and feel excited to be involved in knowing more about local organic farms, etc. I would love for my sons Sam and Charlie to grow up going to a food coop.

What do you hope to achieve from your board experience? 
A sense of helping the coop to thrive and to meet some other folks with similar hopes and passion for sustainable and local food.



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