Richard Dickinson

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1. Current employment and work experience

I was pastor of First Congressional Church U.C.C. from 1995 to 2004. On Maui, Hawaii, I ran a Wedding business, Weddings the Maui Way from 1988 to 1995, in which I took care of 500 to 600 weddings a year, half in Japanese and half in English. Since 2004, I have had interim ministry experiences at Fairview and Bethany U.C.C. churches in Hiawatha, at Onaga U.C.C. church in Onaga, and Baldwin United Church of Christ in Baldwin. I taught English at Washburn University from 2004 to 2007. At Syracuse University I taught the American Literature Survey course for eight years and during that time I also taught at the State University of New York in Utica, an American Literature Survey Course for three years.

2. Previous Board Experience

I am presently on the Advisory Board of the Shawnee County Master Gardeners. On the Shawnee County Master Gardeners, I am Compost Committee Chairman. I have been a member of the Shawnee County Master Gardeners since 2011. From 1995 to 2004 I was on the Brewster Place Board. In Maui, I was on various boards related to Maui schools and ministry. While in Maui, I taught Japanese for Maui Community college on Molokai and on Lanai once a week.

3. What skills would you bring to The Merc Co+op's Board of Directors?

As a Board Member, I learned to work with people and to read reports and analyze them. Consensus was important in all Board activity in which I was involved. As an owner of a Maui business I had employees that I worked with, directed and paid.

4.  Why would you like to serve on The Merc Co-op’s board of directors?

I believe in the Co-op idea and have been a co-op member for over twenty years. Living in Wakarusa, some 45 minutes away from Lawrence, we go in to shop at the Merc every Saturday and sometimes during the week.

Judy Dutton

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1. Current employment and work experience.

I am a local psychotherapist and have had a private practice in Lawrence for more than 35 years. While I work with clients on many different issues, my emphasis over the years has been working with individuals who have experienced trauma. I am also a trained mediator.

Before opening my psychotherapy practice I was the Assistant Director of Foreign Student Services (now International Student Services) at the University of Kansas. In that position I worked directly with international students, developing programming and helping them adjust to the university and the community. That experience opened my eyes to the value and pleasure of diversity and inclusiveness, which I have tried to embrace in my own life and support through participation with groups in our community.

2.  Previous board experience

I served on the boards of directors of Douglas County Legal Aid and Women’s Transitional Care Services (WTCS, now Willow Domestic Violence Center). My work with WTCS was extensive and varied, including being a member of the first volunteer group and serving in various positions on the board. I was also instrumental in developing the organization from starting an on-call service to establishing a shelter house. More recently, I served on the board of the Freedom Coalition, an organization focused on LGBTQ issues in the community, and served in various positions on that board. Presently I am vice president of the University Place Neighborhood Association. 

3.  What skills would I bring to The Merc Co-op’s board of directors?

I believe my strong communication skills and previous board and organizational experiences would be an asset to The Merc board. My communication and facilitation experience, developed throughout my career and through working with civic groups, would contribute to the board’s efforts and effectiveness. As a therapist I have learned to listen well, understand different layers of meaning, and respond appropriately, respectfully, and compassionately.

Decision making in WTCS was by consensus, and those skills became well-honed over the six years I worked in that organization. I have also developed and led workshops, and facilitated open dialogue and mediation for other boards struggling with conflicts among their members.

In addition, I am very active within the groups I join, and am willing to face difficult discussions and decisions in a constructive manner. I believe strongly in listening to others with respect. I am able to disagree but to also work toward satisfactory resolution of differences. A healthy board or leadership group is vital to facilitating the work of any organization; that requires open, ongoing communication and collaboration between individual members and within the group as a whole.

4.  Why would you like to serve on The Merc Co-op’s board of directors?

I have been a member of The Merc since its early days. I volunteered at the 7th Street store, and have shopped at the Co-op since its days on Mass. St. I have had a long interest in healthy food and healthy cooking, and have gained a great deal from The Merc to support those interests. A serious health crisis in 2002 increased my focus on healthy eating, and it was a great relief to know I could shop in one place to get the kind of food I both wanted and needed for my recovery and long-term health. I came through that crisis, and it now seems like time to give back.

I’ve watched the growth of the Merc and would like to be part of the process going forward. With the increased availability of organic foods in traditional grocery stores, I find it even more important to be sure we offer something different that allows us to stand out in the community. We’re a unique
business offering excellent quality, education, and resources to our customers, and I want to help ensure we can continue to do so. Part of our uniqueness is that our store is committed to buying local produce and supporting area farmers, thus keeping our money in our community and
surrounding area. An essential service to me is the selection of food available for purchase. I know at The Merc I can trust the buyers to make good choices.

The climate also makes it increasingly important to develop our resources as efficiently as possible, respecting and protecting our environment. Moving to solar energy is a positive step toward continuing to shrink The Merc’s carbon footprint, which is essential as we go forward. I would like to help facilitate our continuing growth in that direction.

Anthony Lang

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1. Current employment and work experience

Category Manager, Honeywell International

  • 8 years global supply chain, strategic sourcing, and contracts negotiation
  • 3 years military analyst and strategic planning
  • 9 years U.S. Army Officer leading, training and managing soldiers

2. Previous Board Experience

  • Lawrence Children’s Choir – Board of Directors, Secretary (1 year)
  • Hillcrest Neighborhood Association – Social Media Secretary (2 years)

3. What skills would you bring to The Merc Co+op’s Board of Directors?

  • MBA with strong business background
  • Supply chain management, supplier development, and audit experience
  • Lean Six Sigma certification and analytical mind
  • Sustainability certificate and passion for a sustainable world

4. Why would you like to serve on The Merc Co+op’s Board of Directors?

I have been a member of The Merc Co+op since I first moved to Lawrence 15 years ago while serving as a young Army Officer at Fort Leavenworth. My family and I always believed in the mission of The Merc and have supported its growth as members and consumers. The Merc taught us to be better consumers—to understand the source of our food, choosing quality over quantity, and commitment to people over profits. The Merc taught me about sustainable agriculture and sparked my interest in sustainability at work where I received special sustainability training and executed several energy saving projects for the U.S. Army. When I completed my MBA two years ago, I wanted to apply my fresh knowledge of business, finance, accounting, strategy, and growth into my work and the community around me. I joined the Lawrence Children’s Choir Board last year and helped with balancing the budget, hire a new Executive Director, while furthering its mission of providing access to quality choral education to the Lawrence community. I feel my board experience, supply chain expertise and business education will help The Merc Co+op’s Board of Directors fulfill its governance responsibilities. I believe my passion for sustainability and love of our earth will help The Merc further its mission of creating a robust, sustainable local food economy for our community.