About the Ypsilanti Food Co-op's Board of Directors
It is the mission of the Ypsi Food Co-op to provide high quality food and goods, produced ecologically and sustainably, while practicing cooperative economics. Our membership owns the grocery business and Co-op members comprise the Board of Directors which oversees its operation. The Board ensures that the Co-op continues to provide excellent service and quality products, while fulfilling our commitment to the greater community. The Board members are volunteers who set long-term goals and policies for the Co-op. They work regularly with the general manager to ensure that the Co-op's health, stability and service to its member-owners and community remain in top notch shape. Download our YFC Ends Statement and YFC Policy Register. Minutes from recent meetings are available as a PDF to download at the bottom of the page.
Click to email the entire Board (email@example.com) as a whole. To contact individual directors, see below.
2016 Board of Directors – Click on the name to read a bio.
• Don Broersma, Treasurer
• Susan Carter, Vice President
• Beth Currans
• Mike Kozura
• Devin Leatherman, Secretary
• Stefanie Stauffer
• Cheryl Weber, President
Beth Currans moved to Ypsilanti in August 2010 to teach Women’s and Gender Studies at Eastern Michigan University. One of the first things she did after arriving was to join the Ypsilanti Food Co-op, which continues to be her primary grocery store. She is invested in greater community participation in various aspects of civic life and believes that cooperative governance of institutions such as food co-ops is one way to increase people’s investment in their community.
Beth has been involved in grassroots and community organizations for over 15 years. Among the organizations she's worked with have been established non-profits and ad-hoc groupings of people working together to address militarism, economic and racial inequities, gender inequality, and homophobia through multi-year campaigns, public demonstrations, educational outreach, and media advocacy. She has also supported student activists at EMU and at universities in Virginia and California where she worked prior to moving to Michigan.
Beth sees serving on the Co-op board as an opportunity to demonstrate her investment in this community and to support this model of community governance. Beth teaches and writes about grassroots movements and participatory democracy and values the opportunity to practice these ideas in a new forum. Contact Beth.
Susan Carter has been a resident of Ypsilanti for over 10 years. She loves her community. She is a wife, mother, and a massage therapist. As a resident of Ypsilanti, she frequents the food cooperative on a regular basis for both massage therapy needs and food needs for her family.
Susan sought a position on the board because there have been many recent occasions that have left her feeling unhappy with some of the things that the board has allowed to happen regarding the CO-OP. As the adage goes, Susan seeks to “be the change you wish to see in the world” by serving as a YFC board member. Her past experiences with the CO-OP were limited to being a member owner and a shopper. Supporting her local food cooperative is very important Susan. She values the CO-OP because it gives her the possibility to shop locally as well as the ability to buy organic food for the family, as well as bulk products for baking. Susan brings a new perspective and fresh ideas towards supporting the CO-OP, as well as its manager. Susan feel strongly in putting on a united face to the community and she looks forward to helping accomplish that. Contact Susan.
Mike Kozura is a local contractor. Mike is also very involved in high-quality foods, growing them himself in his back yard, and he has a passion for organics and non-GMOs; one that he sees getting more and more lost in our modern world. Mike doesn't cultivate a personal agenda and is serving on the Board to help make decisions that are best for the Co-op as a whole. He has been a member for a long time, has worked on projects at the Co-op, volunteered at the Co-op, and thinks of it as a great asset to Depot Town where he lives. He is steeped in the Cooperative tradition and have worked on several large and small projects at the Co-op, from tuck-pointing and painting the south side of the building, refreshing the rental units above the Co-op when they have gone vacant in the past, and building the window boxes that hang in front of the Co-op. Mike's father worked at the People’s Wherehouse that supplied the tri-state area food cooperatives back in the 90s. His family often shops at YFC, which is right down the street from his home on Maple. Mike values The Co-op, which has provided a high quality resource to help feed his family organic, locally-sourced food, as well as being an anchor business in his community. Contact Mike.
Cheryl Weber has participated in the Ypsilanti Food Co-op, in its various forms for about 40 years. She is very proud to be a part of the food oasis. The Ypsilanti Food Co-op has been an important aspect of her life for a very long time. She has previously been a volunteer and a board member. YFC is currently in an exciting evolutionary growth phase, poised for growth from a still relatively small co-op to an even stronger future.
Cheryl came to EMU to be a teacher. Other talents led her into crisis intervention, peer counseling, psychology, and mental health work. Along the way, she ran a convenience store, increasing its business 300%. Currently she is the Assistant Director of a non-profit drop-in center for mental health consumers. Cheryl also participates in our larger community on advisories for AAATA and City of Ypsilanti Planning Department, the Non-motorized Committee, and as a member of The Ypsilanti Thrift Shop. In the past, she has been a Friend of the Ypsi Freighthouse and involved in several local initiatives. Contact Cheryl.
Don Broersma is serving on the Board in order to help the Co-op become better. Don believes the Board can help with the store expansion, help guide the Co-op through the tough times of lower income and higher competition, and help reinforce and spread the positive influences the Co-op has brought to Ypsilanti. He is personally invested in cooperatives because of their member ownership and their volunteer and cooperative nature.
Don has been with the Ypsi Food Coop since 1980 as a volunteer, a coordinator, a regular member/shopper, and plus brings 8+ years of Board experience to his current position.
Don is an independent contractor/handmany who does maintenance and landscaping for the Millworks Partnership and YFC. As such, he is around most days and has good knowledge of the store business and Coop finances. He loves reading on retail food industry, GMOs and organics, and other food news. Contact Don.
Devin Leatherman is now in his fourth year of living in Ypsilanti, his second year attending EMU, and he is excited to spend the next year making the transition from YFC shopper to engaged member and elected volunteer. He belives that cooperatives have played important and dynamic roles throughout his life, and thus, serving as board member at the YFC will help him continue that relationship and do it in service to a city and community he loves. He was introduced to intentional eating practices at Breadroot NFC in Rapid City, SD when he was still in high school. As he travelled and relocated, he would find touchstones and safe havens in cooperatives wherever he went, from Minneapolis to Vermont. This fostered in Devin an active admiration of cooperative values that culminated in his employment at the PFC in Ann Arbor. His various positions nurtured in him an understanding of holistic and natural health, the cooperative business model, and the complications that come with sustaining a community. Devin sees in the YFC the qualities that drew him both to cooperatives and Ypsi. Our Coop is authentic, engaged, and has the potential to continue growing in purpose. For Devin, this means providing broad but thoughtful access to goods and services while supporting a successful alternative to traditional business models. He plans to focus on diversity, transparency, and membership engagement in keeping with the YFC Ends Statement while on the board. He looks forward to sustaining a radically engaged attention to both the business and the mission of the Ypsilanti Food Coop. Contact Devin.
Stefanie Stauffer, PhD is currently the Program Manager at Tilian Farm Development Center, an incubator farm for beginning farmers in Ann Arbor Township. She has been an Ypsilanti resident and Co-op shopper since her dissertation project on globalization, agriculture, sustainable food systems, and the local food movement first brought here in 2008. An avid grower of heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and other produce, she has also owned and operated the artisanal farm-to-jar hot sauce and salsa company Nightshade Farm Industries since 2010. On Co-op shelves last summer you may have seen her heirloom tomatoes, grown using only low-till, organic practices.
From the community garden, to the farmers market, to the classroom, she has extensive experience in sustainable food advocacy at the grassroots level. As a farmer/activist committed to food security, food sovereignty, farmworker justice, and alternative economies, Stefanie brings her unique perspective and commitment to the Ypsilanti food community to the board in order to expand the YFC's capacity to support local farmers and producers while giving Co-op shoppers access to the best sustainably-produced food available. Stefanie is also a sociology instructor at WCC, currently part of the Food and Agriculture subroup of its Sustainability Council. She served on the advisory council for the 2013 Ypsilanti Food Ordinance, and she is a veteran Ypsilanti Farmers Markets vendor. She has also been a member of Frog Island Community Garden, hOur Exchange Ypsilanti, the Ypsilanti Growers Cooperative, Transition Ypsilanti, Perry/Parkridge Community Garden, and The Giving Garden at EMU. In addition, she has worked for Growing Hope, helped organize the Homegrown Local Food Summit, and volunteered with agricultural organizations across the country. In October 2014, she traveled to Slow Food International's Salone del Gusto e Terra Madre in Torino, Italy as a US delegate representing Southeast Michigan family farmers, food artisans, and Slow Food Ark of Taste producers. Stefanie is often invited to speak about beginning farmers, value-added food production, farm incubators, land access, and the importance of regionally adapted and climate resilient seed. Contact Stefanie.