- MEET THE BOARD -
Born and raised in Amherst. I am so proud to be a lifelong member of the community. I have been in economic development most of my life either in disaster assistance or in rural communities. I feel it’s important to give back to the community which has given me so much (wife and three GREAT kids). I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and help bring something special to the Village of Williamsville.
I was born and raised in Rochester and after getting my undergraduate degree (and later a Master of Public Health) from UB, I moved away from the area for a few years and realized just how wonderful Western New York was. I have always cared about food, nutrition and educating people so I am excited to have the opportunity to be a part of bringing a food cooperative to our community. Knowing what is in our food and where it comes from is something that matters to me and to know that a food cooperative allows all member-owners to have a say in what the store carries and sells is something that is invaluable…it gives us a voice in our Village Co-op!
I was born and raised in the Village of Williamsville and have the most delightful childhood memories, full of walks down Main St, adventures in Glen Park, bike riding with friends, and so much more. It only made sense that this be the place where my husband and I live and raise our family. I clearly love the village, but even more than my love for Williamsville, is my love for this beautiful community we call, Buffalo. At its core a co-op market serves to empower, educate and encourage healthy living through the participation of its member-owners. With a business model that supports the local economy through both its operation and local product choices, it adds significant value to our region. I'm so proud to call this place home and so excited to be a part of this project that promotes community growth while highlighting the very people who make this a wonderful place to live.
Growing up and living in Williamsville has been a wonderful experience for me, and serving on the Village Co-op Board allows me to really immerse myself in the future of this community. Being a part of something really big - from the ground up - is not only very exciting and gratifying, but it provides me the opportunity to have an impact on something everyone will enjoy for a very long time - a walkable market with healthy options, a welcoming environment, and fantastic amenities!
MARY ELLEN HAEFNER
Originally a resident of WNY, I returned in 2010. I have been enlightened and thankful that WNY is making strides in being more sustainable and promoting a robust and prosperous local economy. The framework for cooperatives includes a participatory process for all member-owners and a fair share of the earnings, which are key to the strength and longevity of the business. I truly believe our upcoming food market cooperative will be a pinnacle in the community. With my background in Federal government contracting, policy and governance, along with quality assurance compliance, I look forward to contributing toward the front and back end of our operations and ensuring we offer good food choices at reasonable prices.