Candidate Statement: Joellan L. Muyskens

Joellan L. Muyskens

Image1. Why are you interested in serving on the board of Bloomington Cooperative Services, Inc?  I have a sincere and vested interest in helping people live healthy, balanced lives. My professional career focuses on promoting physical activity and wellness lifestyles.  In order to do this, I believe many wellness principles have to work in harmony and these same principles are represented in the mission and ends statement of BCS. I value the relationships that Bloomingfoods has fostered in our community and I would be honored to continue contributing to our co-op by returning for a second term as a member of this board.   
2. What experience or involvement have you had with Bloomingfoods or other cooperatives?  I became a member-owner of Bloomingfoods a little over three years ago when I moved to Bloomington. I'm currently fulfilling my first term on the board of directors and serving as vice president. Also on the board, I am chair of the recently restructured Member Linkage Committee, and I'm participating on the patronage rebate committee, an ad hoc work group investigating the feasibility and logistics of providing this benefit to member-owners of our co-op.
3. What do you see as the role of BCS, Inc. in the community?  Society is becoming more aware and interested in the nutritional value and safety of what we are eating, as well as the environmental and economic impact of growing, transporting, and consuming goods. BCS adds to the charm of Bloomington and has a unique and timely opportunity to help educate our community on wholesome and sustainable (environmentally, economically, socially equitable) living practices.  
4. What are opportunities and challenges that you see in the future of the co-op?  Discovering and evaluating growth opportunities and the sustainability of BCS is always critical as an organization looks forward. We have seen the successful opening of the Near West Side grocery one year ago and it will be important to watch for its continued profitability, as well as the sustainability and growth of our other two stores, in the future. One appropriate direction to consider at this time is how we maintain our position in the local and organic market as potentially alternative organic shopping options look to move into our neighborhoods.
5. Please share any professional, volunteer, or life experience you have had that will provide insight when serving on the BCS board of directors.  Include knowledge, skills, formal training, and education that will contribute to the mission of our co-op.  The work and learning I have done during my first term on the BCS board has allowed me to become experienced with the policy governance model that our organization uses. This model has a fairly steep learning curve, but has proven to be a very effective and efficient way for our board to do its work. I am an Assistant Director for Fitness/Wellness at Campus Recreational Sports at IU and I have enjoyed working with AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Inter-Faith Ministries, and Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations in the past.
6. What has been your experience in working cooperatively with small groups of people (such as being a member of a committee, team sports, or volunteer as part of a work group for any organization).  Working with others has always been friendly, communal, and rewarding for me. My experience on the BCS Board of Directors, as well as on other work groups, teams, etc., has helped me see that the strength of a group lays in the selfless contributions of each member working toward a common goal, in the interest of advancing the whole. Professionally and in voluntary capacities, I have come to know that successful outcomes call for respectful, unbiased communication.  
7. How do your values and lifestyle align with the values and mission of the co-op?  I value respect, kindness, integrity and balance for my life and our environment and feel this fits very well with the mission of BCS. I am passionate about the importance of ensuring a sustainable community and the significance of working together to promote fresh, locally grown and healthy foods. I am a conscientious person who recognizes the benefit and necessity of being intentional in an organizations efforts and I enjoy bringing these qualities to the organizations of which I am involved.