Notice of Annual Meeting & Election

 

All Grain Train co-op Members are invited to attend the Annual General Membership Meeting on Saturday, April 30, 2016, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at North Central Michigan College, 1515 Howard Street in Petoskey. The Annual Meeting is a chance for member/owners, the Board of Directors, staff and community to come together for discussion and reaffirm our commitment to providing healthy food and products to our community and the role we play in our local economy.


The Annual Meeting is also the opportunity for member/owners to let their voices be heard. The Grain Train relies on its member/owners to be a part of the decision-making process and to elect representatives to the Board. By voting, you practice the second co-operative principle—Democratic Member Control. Please review the candidate information and the proposed bylaw changes, cast your vote and submit your ballot.

Please join us:

Saturday APRIL 30
5:30-7:30 pm

North Central Michigan College Cafeteria
1515 Howard St. • Petoskey

Soup & Salad served by the Grain Train Deli.
Great giveaways and drawings!

 

 

Ready to vote?

(Click the button below)


All you need is your membership number. 
Located on your membership card or on the bottom of a store receipt. 
If you can't find it, give us a call
  at the admin office at 347-4914,
and we'll get it for you!


You can read about the candidates below or on the ballot.
Voting begins Friday, April 15

 

Candidate Statements

Click here for a pdf version of the candidate statements.

 

Mark Blaauw-Hara 


1. Why do you want to serve on the Board of Directors of Grain Train Co-op?

I believe in the mission of bringing local, organic food to more people. I also think that Boyne City needs more representation due to the new store. My wife and I have been members for over decade, and I would like to give back to the store.

2. What are you passionate about? How could we see that passion in action in your day-to-day life?
I am passionate about healthy eating/living, the outdoors, working with my hands, and helping my community. You can see this by my purchasing and lifestyle choices—-spending time outside, supporting causes of social justice, buying local and American goods, installing renewable energy (solar). I also see being a professor as increasing social justice and helping my community.

3. Describe an experience where you worked on a team. What did you offer the team? How did you compromise for the team’s benefit?
As an English professor at NCMC, I work as part of a team every day. In our efforts to further the educational and economic goals of our community members, we use data, analysis, and good common sense to discern the best course of action. I accept responsibility for preparing for our discussions, sharing my analysis and ideas, and working toward the best solution--not just MY solution.

4. Do you have other experiences that you see as being related to the work of the Board?
My wife and I are Providence Farm share holders, and both of us have worked there (her extensively). Also, through my wife’s work on growing heritage grains, I have a good sense of the needs and strengths of local growers. I am well-educated, analytical, and positive, and through my work at the college, I am used to helping make strategic decisions about how a muti-million dollar organization can best serve its constituents.

5. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Northern Michigan has a wonderful community of local growers, and it has been heartening to see their products find a market. The Grain Train has been instrumental in opening up that market, and I would like to be a part of its continuing growth.

  

Edgar Jacobs 

     

    1.  What are you passionate about? How could we see that passion in action in your day-to-day life? 
    I would like to serve the Grain Train community. I believe in the mission of the Grain Train Cooperative and its ongoing value to our greater community.

    2.  Why do you want to serve on the Board of Directors of the Grain Train Co-op? Feeding people, real food, learning about and educating others about real food. I work as a Chef and an entrepreneur so I am following my passion.  


    3.  Describe an experience where you worked on a team.  What did you offer the team?  How did you compromise for the team’s benefit?  
    I work as a professional Chef. I work as a team member every day. I offer experience and wisdom. Team work often requires us to compromise for the greater success of the team. 

    4.  Do you have other experiences that you see as being related to the work of the Board?  
    I was the chef/km at the original location for 2 years. I have a good understanding of how the cooperative operates and what the daily challenges are.

    5.  Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? 
    I would represent the membership to the best of my ability

     

    Paula Welmers 


    1. Why do you want to serve on the Board of Directors of Grain Train Co-op?

    I have served for 4 years on the Board of the Grain Train Co-op and would like to continue for another term. It takes almost a calendar year to fully appreciate the responsibilities this Board has in keeping the Co-op vital, healthy and responsive to our community. I value the role the Grain Train Co-op plays in our community and hope to continue working on some of the initiatives currently before the Board.

    2. What are you passionate about? How could we see that passion in action in your day-to-day life?
    I feel strongly about people having the chance to develop their natural gifts so they can lead productive and healthy lives. My work as an academic and career counselor at North Central Michigan College gives me the chance to help people understand their potential and create better lives for themselves, and in turn, their communities.

    3. Describe an experience where you worked on a team. What did you offer the team? How did you compromise for the team’s benefit?
    I currently chair a team of college advisors that meets frequently to assess and improve our work with students. My role is to assemble a tight agenda, prepare support materials for discussion, and insure team members have a chance to fully participate. I have learned that the group, when given the right tools and information, can be productive and most often achieves a good result. Frequently, the group’s suggestions for improvement surpass anything I could devise on my own. This in turn has freed me to embrace new initiatives.

    4. Do you have other experiences that you see as being related to the work of the Board?
    I have been on the board of two other community organizations, the Crooked Tree Arts Center and Northern Community Mediation. These experiences have taught me the value of diversity and consensus-building.

    5. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
    Whether as a leader or a team participant, I offer a willingness to work, an ability to organize paperwork and projects, and the ability to communicate both within and outside of the organization. I hope these skills would be useful in helping the Grain Train Co-op achieve its goals in the community.

     

    J.P. Westbrook                                                                                                                              
    • PGA Head Golf Professional at Indian River Golf Club/Chair lift operator at Nub’s Nob
    • Married to Okee Westbrook, a certified health coach at local health club
    • Has two children: Charlotte age 8 and John age 6
    • Received a BS in Business with a major in Marketing, minor in Retailing from Ferris State University
    • Elected and served on the board since 2005
    • Served as board president for seven years and treasurer for one

    For the past ten years, I have had the honor to serve on the Grain Train’s Board of Directors. This all began with my love for the community, a determination to healthy eating and the availability of our local food choices. As a husband and father, the Grain Train Natural Food Cooperative is an integral part of my lifestyle.

    This opportunity to serve as a director has given me the training and education about the natural food industry through the many seminars and educational conferences I’ve been able to attend.

    My education on the food sourcing and its importance in our community was furthered by volunteering at a local food pantry for years and by working at a local certified organic farm that supplies the Grain Train with CSA shares.

    Most recently, it’s been my privilege to serve as the board’s president or lead servant for seven years. This professional board has had an emphasis on strong governance and an outward vision that embraces both people and planet. My experience was highlighted as being part of the “team” that opened our new, second Grain Train location in Boyne City.

    With this same passion, I would love to continue to serve our membership as a director for another term.                                                                            

     

    Hal Willens

    I am a retired cardiologist who has lived in the Petoskey area for over 25 years. I have been active in the
    community, serving on the board of the Crooked Tree Arts Center, Temple Bnai Israel, Pickerel Crooked Lakes
    Association, and the Grain Train, as well as involved in the administration of Northern Michigan Hospital, Burns
    Clinic, and Michigan Heart & Vascular Institute. I served on the board of the Grain Train during its relocation to
    the Mitchell Street location and for the last seven years, helping during critical transition times.

    I am excited about the Grain Train’s expanding opportunities as it continues its maturity into a strong, vibrant community institution. With my ongoing involvement in the Local Food Alliance of Northern Michigan, I am interested in fostering the Co-op’s role in this important movement. In this way, I am serving one of the cooperative principles of Concern for Community—by encouraging our area’s sustainable development.


    I would be honored to continue to serve on the Grain Train board by being elected for a third term.

     

    Lynn K. Wolf

    1. Why do you want to serve on the Grain Train Co-op Board of Directors?
    There is a need for community members to support and participate in the overall success of ones community.

    2. What are you passionate about?How could we see that passion in action in your day-to-day life?
    I have a strong passion for local business and strong local economy. That combined with overall whole body wellness, one strives for.

    3. Describe an experience where you worked on a team? What did you offer the team? How did you compromise for the team’s benefit?
    20 years on Resort Bear Creek Fire Department. Every event was a compromise in how you participated, but everyone worked towards the same final goal.

    4. Do you have other experiences that you see as being related to the work of the Board?
    My experiences include being an owner of a small business. With 20 years on the fire department, I bring commitment.

    5. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
    Having been a life long resident of the area I have always found it valuable to contribute to my community in a variety of ways. In October 2015 I was provided an opportunity to be appointed to the Grain Train Board. I have spent the last 6 months orienting myself to the organization, it’s processes, it’s role within the community and now my potential to contribute to the valuable work of the board. I believe that our cooperative is essential in providing healthy and safe products for everyone, member or non member. As members of the Grain Train, your contribution is appreciated and encouraged, including determining the next board of directors team.

     

     

     

                                                     

                             
                                 
      If you prefer a paper ballot, you can access one here.