Prairie Food Co-op Community Grocery

Leslee Keri

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"If elected, I will use my professional experience and passion for our grocery store to first, help open its doors, and then to continue to succeed and serve our community in a lasting and positive way."
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Owner Number 1083
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Why are you interested in serving on the Prairie Food Board of Directors? 
I started to volunteer with the Co-op two years ago. Working with the current Board and getting to know other Owners has inspired me to get more involved and continue to contribute what I can in a positive way during this critical time in our co-op's history.
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Please tell us about your past or present employment
I have worked at OMSNIC, a medical malpractice insurance company for oral surgeons in Schaumburg, for nearly 15 years. In that time, my role has included event planning, educational program development, and marketing efforts. Currently, I am the Director of our Patient Safety and Risk Management Department where I am responsible for making strategic decisions that align with and further the overall goals of the Company.
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Volunteer: Membership/Affiliation/Leadership Past and Present:
I began volunteering with PFC in February 2020. I had the opportunity to call many of my fellow owners as part of the Spring and Fall Community Investment Program and helped to raise nearly $50K for our co-op. I also currently volunteer on the Ownership and Outreach Committee (O&O), contributing to social media posts, newsletters, graphic design, and events.
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Which of the following areas do you have expertise? 
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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? 
As a small, volunteer Board I anticipate that each Director will be asked to assume a number of different roles - depending on the priorities and needs of the Co-op. I believe I would be an effective Director due to the variety of skills I will contribute, the strongest of which are that I am a collaborative team player who is comfortable making informed, strategic decisions. Working with the O&O team has really allowed me to internalize the voice and mission of our co-op and I believe I can carry that forward as a Director. I am also passionate about having access to local, healthy and sustainable foods to support our economy and provide the appropriate nutrition our bodies need to be healthy.
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What are your personal goals for Prairie Food Co-op?
Short term, I am excited to contribute leadership and represent our owners' interests as we work towards the opening of our grocery store. It is important for the Board to make informed decisions to ensure long term success for our store. Those decisions should include direction from co-op recognized advisors as well as the input of our Owners. Long term, I hope the Co-op will expand our Ownership, support local farmers/food producers, become an economic multiplier for our community and a model co-op for others in the surrounding areas.
What experience (if any) have you had with cooperatives, food or otherwise?
Prairie Food is my first Co-op experience. Otherwise, my food experience is limited to love of it- especially great tasting meats and veggies!

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