Julie Neubauer

JulieHometown: Lombard, Illinois

Why are you interested in serving on the Prairie Food Board of Directors?

The Prairie Food Co-op is an answer to several “problems” that are of concern to me. Maintaining my health and physical wellbeing is a priority. I have come to learn that food additives, such as hormones, dyes and chemical stabilizers along with the genetic modification of grains and pesticides used in mass market farming and food processing are the hidden culprits of many common health problems. We all want to prevent premature aging, excess inflammation, cancer, hormone irregularities and many more undesirable health conditions. Finding clean food free of these toxins has proven very difficult. Having a convenient food market full of wholesome goodness is worth its weight in gold!

Additionally, downtown Lombard has struggled economically for years. The addition of a unique retail establishment such as the Prairie Food Co-op is just what the area needs to kick start and bolster the existing efforts toward economic improvement. The fact that the PFC will be owned by members of the community who will shop there creates a cyclical benefit that should prove to be a self-sustaining investment long into the future.

What experience, education, and skills do you have that you feel will contribute to your effectiveness as a Prairie Food Director?

I have been a director on the Interim Board since its inception. I have attended every bi-weekly meeting, helped to create the bylaws and operating agreement and have attended co-op development training. In my officer role as co-secretary for the interim board, I have had duties including, but not limited to: document management, preparation of policies & procedures, trademark research and application and more. I have also been part of event planning and execution. I have worked at the First Annual Harvest Fest, staffed “Meet the Co-Op” events, and helping to execute the Spring Community Meeting and Social. I will be hosting both the PFC Lilac Parade Day and the upcoming Yard Sale at my home as well. It has been most enjoyable to work with volunteers and to represent the Prairie Food Co-op at community gatherings and business networking events in order to spread the word about the Co-op and the partnership opportunities we offer.

I am an attorney and have a firm understanding of the Illinois Cooperative Act. I am also involved in the current efforts in Springfield to amend the current statute to better serve cooperative businesses all over Illinois.

What else would you like Prairie Food owners to know about you?

The Prairie Food Co-op has become an important project for me. It makes me feel like I am doing something good for my household and my community. The relationships I am building with the Board, with owners and with the community at large are the foundation that our business needs to thrive. I am so proud of the work we have done so far and want very much to keep working!  

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