-   ELECTIONS 2019  -

As stated in our mission, we are directed to "continue the next step" in our democratic process.  In accordance with our BY LAWS - Section 5.2, directors to the board are elected for three (3) year terms.  We believe the most effective way to have a strong board presence is to have the elections on a three-year cycle.

This year, we have four (4) candidates running for the board.  Please see their information below.  You are able to vote for up to three (3) candidates.  You will receive an email between November 6 - 10 to vote.  Member-Owners without valid email addresses will receive a paper ballot.  Voting will close on November 20.

Thank you for supporting the success of our co-op!

-   MEET THE CANDIDATES  -

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Born in Buffalo, NY and raised in Snyder/Amherst, NY, I returned in 2010 after leaving in 1983.  The vision for a locally sourced food cooperative market is compelling to me and a good fit for Main Street.  A cooperative includes a participatory process for all member-owners and a fair share of the earnings and these 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.

MARY ELLEN HAEFNER

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After growing up in St. Louis and moving around a bit, including a six-year stint in Rochester, I've made Williamsville my home since 1995 and raised two wonderful daughters here.  With a professional background in mechanical engineering, I hope to bring some level of analytical skill or other intangibles to our group effort to establish a local co-op market.  (I'm inspired that a former mechanical engineer became one of the premier chicken wing purveyors in WNY.) If located in the village, a successful co-op market will be a welcome addition to the current shopping choices along Main Street.  The co-op will help sustain local growers and farmers, contribute to more healthful eating habits, and help promote a sense of community.

JOHN OSTROOT

I was born in Buffalo and grew up in the Town of Tonawanda graduating from Kenmore East Senior High.  From there my education led me to SUNY at Binghamton followed by Cornell University where I graduated with a degree in Veterinary Medicine.  I practiced in New Jersey for several years, and then I moved back to WNY where I owned a companion animal practice for 30 years.  I sold that practice and began a house call practice limited to veterinary hospice and in-home euthanasia.

I have been married for 40 years to my wonderful wife Sara.  We have 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren.  Our pastimes, other than grandchildren, include traveling, hiking, backpacking and biking.  We try to eat healthfully and live in a "green" manner as Sara is on the Executive Committee of the local Sierra Club.  Our home is heated and cooled with a geothermal system powered by solar panels, and Sara drives a fully electric vehicle.  All of this leads to my interest in helping to develop a successful cooperative in the village.

STEVEN SCHULTZ

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Eight percent of produce consumed in New York State is grown in the state.  Most is grown and transported thousands of miles.  This process provides lower food quality, the produce is harvested very early, a higher carbon footprint due to fuels burned during transporting produce, and typically uses a greater amount of pesticides.  This system needs to be altered for many reasons.  I believe an increase in locally grown produce that is helpful to the local economy using less carbon in production and transporting produce with the harvesting location known to the consumer will be the next evolution of our farming industry.

I have lived my entire life in Western New York and the past 25 years in Williamsville.  I have spent much of my professional career doing business development in the planning, architecture, engineering and construction world.  Currently I am a partner in two businesses - Acadia Energy (a microgrid developer that produces energy using multiple sources of renewable and nonrenewable energy at a given location for multiple users) and Beyond Green (an indoor farming business that uses hydroponic, aquaponic and indoor soil-based farming technologies to create year-round production of produce and fish for consumers).

MARK STORCH

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© 2019 by The Village Co-op Market of Williamsville