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STORE OPEN 9AM-9PM
CO-OP GROCERY PICK-UP AVAILABLE 10AM-7PM
AT-RISK SHOPPING HOURS--8-9AM

502 W. Washington St. Marquette, MI

Meet the 2021 Candidates

MFC Board Elections


Brian Bouton

Greetings, my name is Brian Bouton, and I am interested in serving the community by joining the Marquette Food Co-op Board. My family recently moved here from NYC, where we were members of the Park Slope Co-op and supporters of its mission to make organic, local and wholesome food available to all members of the community. My wife, a Marquette native, and her family have been members of the MFC since its inception, and I immediately fell in love with the close community found within its walls when I first visited six years ago. I’m a veteran, a former high school teacher, and I currently teach at CUNY’s School of Professional Studies. I also work for my wife’s company supporting UNICEF offices and initiatives around the world, including ending food insecurity, and this is a problem in our own community which concerns me. The current MFC has strong leadership, wonderful people working at every level, and a passionate membership base, so I if I was chosen, I would help maintain the quality we’ve come to expect and support any initiatives that make organic, local and wholesome foods available to as many UP residents as possible.

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

I would like to serve the community, and I am passionate about supporting wholesome food, local farmers and ending food insecurity. As a father with two young children, it hurts to imagine my kids or any kids going to bed hungry or not having the nutrition they need.

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

No, I’ve never served on a Board. I’ve served on a number of board-type committees as a secondary school teacher.

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.

No, I’ve only been a member in good standing. I did apply for the Board last year, but I had to remove my name because of a health issue in my family.

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

I am naturally curious and passionate about organic food and local farms, so I bring a good deal of self-taught knowledge on the subject. I also recognize that the Board and the MFC are doing a great job, so there is no need to come in and suggest a large number of changes to fix things. I am a good listener and would like to learn what works and what doesn’t, so I can see where best I can help and be productive.

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

In general, I would like to learn what vision the leadership and staff have that I could help with. These are the individuals who know firsthand what works and what doesn’t, and I would highly value that input as a Board member. I’m always impressed by the caliber of people working every role at the MFC. I am concerned about food insecurity in our community, so I would like to see what programs the MFC currently offers and find ways to improve. Making good food available at a good price is half the battle, but this doesn’t mean much if the people you wish to help lack exposure to or education in eating well. As a teacher, I might be able to contribute to the MFC’s educational mission or outreach programs. Our local farmers are one of our greater assets, and I would like to help maintain strong relationships with them.


Kevin Pierfelice

I’ve been in the Marquette area for about four years now with just recently purchasing my first home. I studied economics at Michigan State University and am currently enrolled at NMU for MBA. I work at UPHP, serve as co-chair UPHP’s Wellness Committee, work part-time at Drifa Brewing Company, and am partner of a private investment group. I’m usually found surfing, running, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, or getting lost on the local hiking trails. I love giving back to my community and I’ve wanted to begin doing so on a large scale by serving on the Board of Directors at the Co-op. I love everything food and beverage so much that I worked in the industry on so many different capacities since I was 16 years old. I remember my first job bagging groceries at a family-owned grocery store called Oakridge Markets. I learned so much from that experience and I can honestly say it has made me the person I am today. I want to help support the staff and the community they serve on a deeper capacity. It’s sort of my tribute to my time at Oakridge.

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

My drive to give back to the local community through supporting Marquette Food Co-op’s staff and future. I want to utilize my skills and experience on a higher level so in the result bolster our local economy, community outreach, and battle inequalities of our community. The diverse programs and community socialization that the Co-op provides are priceless resources to our community. I believe food is going to be our strongest resource in improving the health of the community and battling social inequalities, which is why I want to join the board of directors.

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

I do not currently serve on a board or have so in the past. However, I currently serve a co-chair of the UPHP’s Wellness Committee which supports our company’s employees health and well-being. I also serve on the Member Committee for the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) which is in charge for building a strong and supported membership base through administering mentor programs, providing resources to new members, and overall driving membership.

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.

I have not directly contributed to the Co-op besides becoming a member and trying to purchase all of the stuffed grape leaves possible. Indirectly I have supported local agriculture through advocating local goods at Tracey’s restaurant, participating in Duke’s Farm CSA, and supporting the Farmers Market. Other than the Marquette Food Co-op, I heavily support Marquette Brewing Cooperative (Drifa) through community advocacy, working there part-time, and consuming their product.

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

My strengths align to problem solving, process improvement, financial analysis, and developing flawless customer experiences. I have a deep understanding of developing and leading teams, behavioral economics, food and beverage management, and inventory management. I have 10 years experience working in the food and beverage industry.

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

As we are seeing in healthcare, population health is truly our communities’ next obstacle. The Marquette Food Co-op is going to be a pivotal stakeholder in combating health inequalities through organizing and utilizing our membership base through fundraising, supporting local businesses, educational and social classes, and building more local partnerships. I believe if we keep the course that the Co-op is already taking, then I believe we can help support our misfortunate neighbors and support a healthy community.


Lissa Potter

The Co-op has been an oasis of sanity and community support during the pandemic. The safety of staff and customers was a priority, and the Co-op moved quickly to make sure staff didn’t have to work sick and that all customers could safely get needed food and health items. Who wouldn’t want to be part of supporting a community institution that behaves like this? The Co-op has served me, so I wish to serve the Co-op. Born and raised a troll, I move to the UP a few years ago to work in libraries. I’ve also repaired windmills, driven a flatbed semi, been a bouncer, been a sysadmin, worked as a geriatric nurses’ aide, driven a taxi in Boston, built thermocouples, ridden a Harley across the continent (and back), lived in India and more. I’ve supervised folks, written RFPs, budgets and procedures. I work with computers, so I have to keep up with tech and security issues. I’ve chosen to work in libraries rather than in the corporate world (where I made a lot more money) because building community and providing for the needs of all people is important to me. From planting trees in Baltimore to knocking on doors, the work must be done.

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

I’m new to Marquette. I’ve found the best way to feel at home after a move is to find local groups doing community building, and get involved. The Co-op, whether offering cooking classes or trying to help with food deserts, does community building well.

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

No.

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.

Not yet.

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

Breadth of experience, writing skills, focus on workers.

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

I believe that accessibility and taking care of workers are key. Work with food deserts, the coming retirement options for workers and education (such as cooking classes) are key strengths that should be built upon.


Mary Pat Linck

Incumbent

I am a long-time resident of Marquette and member of the Co-op. I have served as a volunteer storetender in the early days and also on the Board in the past. I am currently running as an incumbent after completing my first 3-year term of my current service. I am a retired LPN and Surgical Tech, married, and the mother of two and grandmother of two. I credit the Co-op with helping us to raise healthy children and maintaining our own good health. The Co-op has been a part of my life for over 40 years and serving on the Board is a way for me to give back to our community in a way I feel is significant.

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

I have served a first term of 3 years and knowing the importance of continuity, am re-running for a 2nd term.

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

I served on the Co-op Board of Directors previous to the move to our present location.

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.

I previously served 7 years on this board and was a storetender volunteer in the early days.

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

I have a long history and familiarity of this organization. I am a team player and value the experience of group decision making. I am a people person and enjoy being a part of something larger than myself.

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

I see us assuming a larger presence in our community. The pandemic changed up everything. It brought to the forefront the importance of healthy and local food, care of our land, and respect for the people we serve. The Co-op has taken a leadership role in providing food, education, community connections, and support of local growers. I see us continuing to move in those directions and increase our footprint in Marquette and the UP.


Sally McQueen

Career of nursing (from 1978 to recent) performing to the level of my education as nursing aide, licensed practical nurse, registered nurse and recently retired family nurse practitioner. I have been an advocate for change in all aspects of the clients and families lives. Participated in and understand the concept of interdisciplinary team meetings to share a vision, purpose, and an ideal based on individual needs and beliefs. I understand the concept and am able to follow through on commitments made. Confidentiality has been a large aspect of nursing ethics practiced throughout my years working as a nurse. I am able to work on a team for an organization while maintaining client individuality whenever needed.

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

I see this position as an opportunity to enhance and help the local environment of Marquette County.

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

Before the pandemic, I performed the duty of chair of the Worship and Praise Team at Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Marquette. I organized the meeting topics and time frames of each topic to keep the meeting on track. Provided documentation to the administrative committee of the church after each monthly meeting. I was a member of the interdisciplinary substance abuse team in my earlier years of nursing. My role was to be a part of the team that helped the clients coordinate both living and expense needs as they reentered the community.

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.

I contributed to this co-op by becoming a member of it before moving to the area. I also have invited new members who have joined the Co-op team.

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

Creativity and willingness to watch the Co-op grow and expand.

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

An excellent place to provide organic and other produce that is locally grown and/or fair trade. I foresee the Co-op becoming THE place to feed our families and loved ones with food products that are safe and healthy at a reasonable price. I foresee the new procedures of the Co-op remaining the same as now until restrictions from the pandemic are lifted. Not sure what will become the new normal for the Co-op but feel safe entering the store or ordering online for curbside pickup as present practice.


Tom Rulseh

My wife and I moved to Marquette in December 2019 from Three Lakes, WI. While in Three Lakes I served as President of the Three Eagle Trail Foundation and President of the Board of Education for the Three Lakes School District. I also served as Board President for the 1st National Bank of Eagle River before we sold to mBank. Other Board experience includes Secretary for the Oneida County Biking and Walking Trails Council and Treasurer for the Board of Control for CESA 9. Since retiring in 2003 from my paying job as President of COLE Publishing in Three Lakes, I have enjoyed working with others in community service. I feel serving on the Co-op Board would be a good way to be of help here in Marquette. The store is our main source of sustenance and I have always been impressed with its products, services and style.

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

I read a very welcoming request from MFC for interested people to apply. As a regular customer and member, I think this would be something in which I might make a worthwhile contribution.

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

Yes. Please see my comments in Candidate Information. I have always found that my work on other boards has been enjoyable and rewarding. My focus is on preserving the things that are good while working to make things better. My experience has been that positive growth in an organization is best accomplished through Cooperative collaboration with others. I must say that I have been fortunate to have worked with very talented people.

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.

My experience has only been as a regular customer and member. Our family membership is under my wife’s name: Vicki Reuling.

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

As my kindergarten teacher might confirm, I play well with others. I like to listen and learn and I am not afraid to speak up on matters that I feel are important or might be helpful to the cause. Others may tell you that I have exceptional perseverance. Sometimes it is a challenge to balance not giving up with not becoming a pest.

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

I believe the Co-op can continue to serve as a model of responsible retailing of high-quality products and services.