Prairie Food Co-op Community Grocery

PFC Board Candidate - Gerry Haptas

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"Prairie Food Coop is good for the community, owners, producers, suppliers and customers. This is meaningful to me & that’s the WIN team I am signing up for. I look forward to meeting you in the store!"
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Owner Number 791
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Why are you interested in serving on the Prairie Food Board of Directors? 
This is an exciting time in the co-op establishment and development. I feel I can make a positive impact achieving the current and upcoming PFC goals towards opening the store and beyond. I enjoy being involved and making things happen.
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Employment: Please tell us about your past or present employment 
I have been in management and leadership roles in IT, Consulting and Sales. This includes 15 years with Jewel Food Stores, 14 years with a Direct Marketing company, and 8 years with AT&T, 5 of which were selling to a local government entity, the City of Chicago, and, 4 years with a consulting company. I retired in November of 2017.
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Which of the following areas do you have expertise?
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Volunteer: Membership/Affiliation/Leadership Past and Present:
I currently serve as Secretary on the Prairie Food Co-op board. I currently volunteer with a therapeutic horseback riding program with Ray Graham Association. I served on our local parochial school board which included roles as Secretary and Vice-President. I was also the representative to the affiliate organizations mentioned below. I was involved with the Lombard Park District in several capacities. I was the head coach for the Lombard Dive Team for 10 years. I was also the basketball coach for a co-ed high school team for 5 years. I was a head coach at a local parochial grade school for about 10 years for the following sports: track, cross country, volleyball, and, basketball. For 2 years I was a youth mentor with a middle school program which ended with covid remote learning restrictions.
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What experience, education, and skills do you have that you feel will contribute to your effectiveness as a Prairie Food Director? 
My career has been working with people to help overcome the barriers preventing their progress. This involves listening, planning, consensus, execution and monitoring while communicating and adjusting with all stake/shareholders as necessary. I have collaborated with others to accomplish this in the past and I believe PFC will benefit with these skills and those noted in the expertise response above. I have always been prepared to dig in as far as necessary to get things done.
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What are your personal goals for Prairie Food Co-op?
To be a part of the team that leads PFC to be successful and exceed its goals. I have been a Lombard downtown-area resident for over 40 years and cherish the thought of opening a community-owned grocery store in Lombard.
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What experience (if any) have you had with cooperatives, food or otherwise?
I serve on the Prairie Food Co-op board first as an interim director for a year and subsequently served my first 3-year term on the board, recently as Secretary. I am now running for my 2nd board term. I did not have prior co-op experience but have gained knowledge and experience in many facets. I am the governance committee chair and and worked diligently to ensure accuracy and completeness processing the payments of our CIP phases. These are just building blocks as we now head into our straightaway sprint.
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