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open 8am - 9pm • 906.225.0671

502 W. Washington St. Marquette, MI

Meet the 2020 Candidates

MFC Board Elections


Hilary Bush (incumbent)

I grew up with grocery geek parents who studied the art and practice of breakfast like it was a subject in school. The kitchen table is still our best refinery and incubator for our most useful ideals and grandest meals. I am now a sole proprietor and proud tax payer with a business modeled after long years orbiting the anthropomorphic study and the principles of learning organizations including cooperatives.

I have a gregarious and supportive partner of 3.5 years. We’re working on renovating a little duplex with a perfect garden nook near the downtown Negaunee trails.

Thanks to the MQT Baha’is and a global minded community maturing through the same hunger pains as my youth, I have a learned – from all of your experiences far and near that – the most important part of a life’s work is often incidental to what we do. Weather or not grand algorithms can tell us how things will turn out, leading from the arena of philanthropic stewardship and service in everything we do, is the greatest game changer. When collaboration is achieved by learning to prepare foods and futures,
real world recognition becomes about all humans doing a little better together.

What motivated you to run for a position on the board of directors?

Good questions, paradigms and contradictions motivate me most. I find the Cooperative principals and ends statements to be especially fitted for grasping at middle meanings and then representing less polarizing values through policy, community commitment to agency and owner/shopper investment.

Have you ever served on the board before? If so, what type of board, and how would you describe your experience?

In my early 20s, most in my peer groups were researching and starting businesses. My limited board exposure started at that time with “Up With Local” which evolved in the MQT Chamber. Since then, I have served two short stints on advisory committees to boards, one through MFC and one through our Community Federal Credit Union. More recently I served Powell Township’s clerk office for two years. Now I’m continuing as an election inspector to the local counting board.

If I’m lucky enough get a second term, this next year will be about using the “one voice” policy governance methodologies with our unique recorded history to clarify and inform service opportunities of our 6th principal of “Cooperation among cooperatives.” The sixth principal is likely a small “Everest,” but if you, the ownership, and the board deem this a good use of time – we can’t fail.

Have you done any work or contributed in some way to our Co-op or any other co-op in the past? If so, please describe.

As a child I accompanied my mom to the old MFC Washington St. buying club, distracted the other children shoppers with twist-tie art and hocky puck floor fruit, so parents could have their important talks – you’re welcome 😉

– Volunteered as a teenager in the Grocery Department unloading pallets and stocking
– Worked in the Wellness Department for several months
– Worked in the MFC’s Front End for four years – Thank you Jamie Acocks
– Volunteered time at the Gwinn farmers market for the Outreach Department
– Volunteered with the NMU/Co-op partnership Hoop House as often as I could
– Job shadowed a farm cook and volunteer bagging at Hilsbourgh Co-op and one in Pennsylvania
– Lent a farm hand, in three states during harvest seasons and once in British Colombia
– Continuing to flesh out a resource data base of learning organizations such as Co-ops

What strengths or talents do you feel you have that would be assets to the board?

I have a long attention span for numbers, values and decipherments. A strong affinity for linguistic determinism and Anthro-cultural philosophy. Technology continues to allow me to dabble in 11 different languages. Proficiency is not the end all. I am most interested in the soft metrics of how languages shape our perceptions of reality and dispelling long-term neurological origins of implicit bias. Because of this influence, I am perhaps objective to a default. This weakness becomes a strength when advocating for collaboration between opposing viewpoints.

What role do you see the Co-op playing in the community over the next 5 years?

This time in Co-op history is a squeeze. From one side, we have the big box monopolies with retractable infrastructure, employing masses (sometimes disposable), using technology to help us preserve everything at our fingertips, no matter the hidden cost to humanity, tucked behind every stock word and low price tag. How can we not cringe and yet know we benefit?

Meanwhile on the other side, we have a visionary generation of farmers, food safety engineers, care providers, linguists, and many more looking for clever ways to meet the need for foods that are 3 seconds old instead of 3 days or 3 weeks. We may in the next five years see the first rural “Grow-cery,” where terminal illness foundations and science/tech institutions invest in more specific dietary and bio-systemic research. This might be the sort of place you can go with your children, like the library or children’s museum. Where outside the enjoyments of urban isolation, we can learn the physical literacy, financial/resource management and “Bill Nye like” science and safety of planting and caring better for foods and futures.
This theoretical “squeeze” is the best example I know of why Co-ops exist. We are our own very best middlemen and women. We exist as ambassadors, partners to way-pavers, cultural niche builders of equitable and entrepreneurial pursuits. Whether we realize it day to day or not, we are here because we  believe balance is possible.

As long as we exist, we can only continue to practice the values and principle which make humans better prepared, stronger together and better able to metabolize the polarities and potentials of a very uncertain future. Yes, food is everything, but being a grocery store is incidental to what we do as a community.
“The ultimate moment of truth isn’t a moment, but years.” – @gapingvoid


Kelly Cantway (incumbent)

I have lived in Marquette with my husband for almost 13 years. We have one daughter, a dog, and four chickens. I love to garden and be outside, but I also like to cozy up with a good book or crochet project.

Why do I want to continue serving on the Board? I have been a part of our Co-op community for over 12 years. Almost 11 of those years were spent as an employee, and this past year has been spent as a member of our Board of Directors. It has been so exciting to see, and be a part of, the growth of our store over the years, and I continue to be amazed by the impacts that we have in our community. As a new board member, this past year has been a really great learning experience. I would love to continue to support our Co-op, and serving on the Board is a great way to do that.

What motivated you to run for a position on the board of directors?

When I ran for a seat on the Board in the 2019 election, I said that the Co-op is a part of my life. This is still very true. The Co-op has been a big part of my professional and personal life for over a decade. The staff, the products, and the mission are special to Marquette and the U.P. As a member of the Board, I will continue to support the Co-op, Co-op owners, and our community.

Have you ever served on the board before? If so, what type of board, and how would you describe your experience?

The Co-op Board of Directors is the first Board I have been a member of. My first year has been very exciting and productive. Learning how our Board supports the organization and the owners through the process of Policy Governance has been truly amazing. Also, working with such a talented group of individuals that all have the same passion for supporting our Co-op is rewarding, and also pretty fun. I am very excited for the opportunity to continue to work with our Board members to implement new ideas in the coming years.

Have you done any work or contributed in some way to our Co-op or any other co-op in the past? If so, please describe.

As a Board member, I have opportunities to volunteer in the store periodically helping with sampling and bagging – these are great opportunities to connect with shoppers and owners and answer any questions they may have about our Co-op and our Board of Directors. In the past, as an employee, I contributed in many ways, from assisting shoppers in the store to supporting staff and management as the HR Director. I also love talking to friends and community members about our Co-op when I am out and about.

What strengths or talents do you feel you have that would be assets to the board?

My experience as an employee and now as a Board member gives me a well-rounded perspective on how our Co-op operates and meets the needs of our owners. I have many years of experience with customer service and management. I also have experience in Human Resource management, which has provided me with the ability to think about the “whole picture” and offer objective viewpoints when needed. Additionally, I have experience with policy creation and revision, which is one of the goals that our Board has for the coming year. With my knowledge, as well as the knowledge of other Board members, we will be able to create a vision and set goals that will help our Co-op succeed far into the future.

What role do you see the Co-op playing in the community over the next 5 years?

A safe harbor in a raging sea. As smaller stores in our area are getting pushed out by big box stores and competitive online shopping, I think our shoppers will continue to seek a place where they can come to that is welcoming, filled with friendly people, and offers a space to cozy up with a cup of tea or coffee and chat with friends. I don’t know about you, but the Co-op is the only store where I actually feel relaxed. Let’s face it, our Co-op is unique. We love it for the atmosphere, we love it for the people, we love it for the opportunity to hang out with like minded individuals and share good food. You can’t find that anywhere else.


Zosia Eppensteiner

I was raised in Gdansk, Poland, where I graduated with a degree in Math Education and Sociology. Food has always been a central aspect of Polish culture; bringing people together. I moved to Marquette, MI, in June 2005, where I started a family. The Marquette Food Co-op has been not only one of few options to get real food but also a place which brought people together. I have been a Co-op member for a number of years and I am grateful to have the option of purchasing local, quality, real food. Through my full-time work as the Director of Finance and Administration at the Community Foundation of Marquette County I get to experience how dedicated groups of people make a difference in our local community. My community-minded focus, along the expertise in finance, are some of the qualities I see benefiting the Co-op as we set long range goals and plan for the future.

What motivated you to run for a position on the board of directors?

I am running for reelection to the Board since my previous term was a 1 year term. I would like to continue serving on the Board of Directors because I consider it a way of giving back to our community. I would like to have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to an organization whose values and principles I strongly associate with.

Have you ever served on the board before? If so, what type of board, and how would you describe your experience?

I served on the Board of Directors of the Marquette Food Co-op as well as the Finance and Nomination committees in 2019/2020. The Board of Directors is a passionate and engaged group, looking to better our co-op well into the future while serving our ownership. I enjoy working in this kind of energetic environment; getting the job done while having fun.

Have you done any work or contributed in some way to our Co-op or any other co-op in the past? If so, please describe.

Besides the regular Board and Committee work commitments, I have also volunteered several times during different community outreach events such as tasting events, bagging groceries, etc.

What strengths or talents do you feel you have that would be assets to the board?

Through my full-time work as the Director of Finance and Administration at the Community Foundation of Marquette County, I get to experience how dedicated groups of people make a difference in our local community on daily basis. I believe this community focus offers a unique perspective to the Board of Directors of the Co-op and is an asset as we plan for the future. My professional experience of 15 years in banking and finance would prove most valuable to the Board in budget and strategic plan considerations. Since I currently work for a community membership organization, I am also familiar with both board governance and development processes.

What role do you see the Co-op playing in the community over the next 5 years?

The Co-op serves an important role in our community far beyond a local, wellness-minded grocery store. The values of model workplace, environmental stewardship and economic vitality have been a significant component of the Co-op’s strategic plan and I see these values along with community leadership defining the Co-op’s role in the community in the near future.