Meet the Board

The following individuals make up your democratically elected Board of Directors. Read, in their words, why they have dedicated themselves to opening a community-owned grocery store in McHenry County.

Kim Brix (2014-2020)

As an individual with many food allergies she is driven to open a food store in McHenry county where she can find a wide selection of healthy, organic, and locally grown foods free of pesticides and all under one roof.

Kim Brix is a recently retired nurse of 30 years, mother of two and grandmother of one. Owner of a fused glass art studio and business, namely Glassworks by Kim, located in Marengo, Illinois. Ten years ago she was co founder of The Children's Center For Autism in Cary Illinois. She is passionate about eating healthy for living a long healthy life. As an individual with many food allergies she is driven to open a food store in McHenry county where she can find a wide selection of healthy, organic, and locally grown foods free of pesticides and all under one roof.

Scott Brix - President (2014-2020)

Scott has witnessed as a commercial food processing insider how big Ag, globalization and the drive for high profits have negatively affected the mainstream food supply. This led him to generate a grass roots effort to start a local food co-op.

Scott is trained in food science, engineering and biotechnology. He has spent his career working with industrial enzymes and other bioproducts, applying them to food and other applications globally. He is passionate about leaving our planet habitable for future generations by helping industry and other consumers reduce their environmental footprint. Scott has witnessed, as a food industry insider, how globalization and intense pressure to produce high profits have negatively affected our mainstream food supply, our health and our environment. This motivated him to generate a grass roots effort to start a local food co-op in McHenry County, Illinois. Since starting his own bioproducts business in 2013, Scott is engaged in work he truly enjoys and hopes to leverage his skills to make a positive difference by thinking globally and acting locally.

Doug Close - Treasurer (2014-2020)

“Communities need to take back control and invest in their local food systems (aka Food Sheds) by building organizations that focus on localization….. history has clearly demonstrated that cooperative models empower local communities, everyday people and build democratic processes.”

Born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Doug went on to graduate from Eastern Illinois University with a B.A. in Communications. Doug currently resides in Huntley with his wife Kathie and two of their three boys, the other successfully graduating Northern Illinois University. Doug currently enjoys a successful career as Vice President for a cybersecurity solutions company. Prior to Doug’s career in the computer industry, Doug owned and operated a small business for thirteen years.

Doug came to learn the true importance of local resilience efforts during and after the global financial crisis of 2008. Doug continues to research global risk in the areas of economics, energy and the environment and advocates that localization is the best step to proactively address risks caused by our current unsustainable practices. Doug states that “we live in a world of increased complexity and centralization directly competing with local, sustainable and decentralized systems which elevates the risk to communities by forces outside their control. Communities need to take back control and invest in their local food systems (aka Food Sheds) by building organizations that focus on localization”. Doug believes a local food cooperative will be the spark for many more local initiatives. For the past seven years, Doug has been promoting awareness for the Transition Town model that is widely successful around the globe, bringing communities together and building sustainable systems.

Doug is committed to ensuring the food cooperative store is a success and is inspired by the progress and community support to date. Doug also believes cooperation is the key component to a resilient future and history has clearly demonstrated that cooperative models empower local communities, everyday people and build democratic processes. Cooperatives also keep wealth in the communities well beyond just money to include a sense of place, empowerment, leadership, and charity.

Elizabeth Jiménez-Bure - Secretary (2017-2019)

Day Jobs: Artist and Elementary art teacher, Mom

Why I volunteered for the Board:

We live in a region with rich soil, and hundreds of farmers within a few miles of our doorsteps, yet the contents of most grocery carts have likely traveled further in the past year than the consumer purchasing the goods.

There is a healthier, more sustainable way, and now’s the time to make lasting, changes in our food systems.The food grown by local farmers supports our local economies, promotes greater variety with better flavor and nutrition, and nourishes rather than depletes the land. I’m no Saint, and I’m not giving up my coffee and chocolate anytime soon, but I’d like to find a balance that doesn’t weigh on my conscience.

I want to know the name of the farmers who grew most of the food I’m feeding my family. While farmers’ markets are great for many months of the year, we need a year round plan to support our farmers and improve the health of our community.

Enter: Foodshed, and so many coops like it. This is an incredibly positive movement that is sweeping the nation.

The Pleasant Surprise: The people I’ve met through foodshed are a remarkably talented, creative, optimistic, and thoughtful group. I didn’t join foodshed to meet life-long friends, but that’s what’s happened.

My Goal: I’d like to help other people see the positive changes we can make when we join together with a common goal. What seems overwhelming as an individual is not just possible, but joyful when we unite and work together.

William Petsche - Vice President (2016-2019)

Will has spent the majority of his life living in McHenry County (Crystal Lake, Marengo, Wonder Lake, and now Huntley) and is a graduate of the University of Iowa and the Northern Illinois University College of Law. Will is licensed in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Will is a partner at Roth Melei Law and works in their civil litigation department. In his free time, Will has been involved in many community organizations such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters, the McHenry County Bar Association, and coaching for the Marengo High School Wrestling program. Will has family in Iowa and grew up appreciating the efforts and benefits of local farmers. As he has gotten older he has also come to recognize the importance of healthy food choices and minimizing our impact on the environment. Will found the Food Shed Co-op while researching locally grown food options and immediately became an owner. When the opportunity presented itself to become more involved with the cooperative and contribute to the community Will jumped at the chance and is excited to add his efforts to an already impressively motivated and successful Board.

Caron Wenzel (2016-2019)

Caron Wenzel brings 35 years of involvement with food coops and working in and with Nature. She is married to Steve Wenzel. They have two grown adult sons, Greg and Jeff Wenzel and two grandchildren, Rupert and Harrison.

Caron is an environmental educator and consultant who is owner of Blazing Star Inc, a native seed and soil amendment company founded in 1990. She and her husband Steve have worked on conservation and green issues for over 25 years. Caron has also been an enthusiastic supporter of food co-ops since college.

Rusty Foszcz, Interim Term

Because he LOVES to eat, Rusty Foszcz is interested in getting local food from the fields to the table quickly and organically. What’s important is to do this in a cost-effective way that makes prices competitive with larger chain grocery stores. McHenry County is rich with local farmers raising foods without pesticides – safe, organic, and delicious. Restaurants like Duke’s Ale House in Crystal Lake are already serving these foods – Rusty believes we need to offer them to everyone in a Food Shed Coop grocery store!

Foszcz is a retired Information Technology consultant that taught Computer Information Systems classes at McHenry County College for many years. During that time he also worked extensively with several non-profit organizations in McHenry County. He noticed that most (if any) had access to quality technical support. After a leave of absence at MCC, he decided to open his own network consulting firm that catered exclusively to non-profit organizations – offering them consistent, quality, and most importantly, affordable technical and network support. Charging clients on a sliding-scale (depending on their budget size) gave the NPOs access to valuable technical expertise at a price the organization could easily afford.

After training and mentoring a younger consultant to take over his business, he retired in December, 2016. He now spends his time volunteering with non-profits both in active and board member roles.

Barbara Lanigan, Interim Term

Growing up in rural Indiana, I was surrounded by corn, soybean fields, and many farms. My first paying jobs were picking blueberries, strawberries, and detasseling/roguing corn. Although I was surrounded by nature’s bounty in my youth, I simply didn’t appreciate its full significance until later in my life.

Into my adulthood, I faced many profound challenges, and my health began to suffer. After years of taking advice from well-meaning doctors, nutritionists/dieticians, health-food store owners, gym/fitness staff, subscribing to health magazines and cooking recipes from nutritional cookbooks, my health did not improve, and chronic pain/illness continued to negatively affect my quality of life. Frustrated by all the contradicting advice, I trusted myself (and my gut!) and after eating more organic food, food with less synthetic/artificial ingredients, and making other lifestyle changes, I noticed a huge difference in my overall health. Discovering this, led me to the food movement and supporting local, community based initiatives. Since my lightbulb moment, I became an owner of the Food Shed Co-op and have dedicated myself to furthering its mission and growing our like-minded community by being an active volunteer in our worthy cause of opening a successful community-owned grocery store that will house more local, transparent, nutritious food choices.

Lastly, I love food...which is probably why I’m so passionate about it, and making sure it loves me back! I have a colorful professional background that includes sales/marketing/outreach, writing, acting/singing, and working in the food industry as a coffeehouse barista/supervisor, baker, serving in restaurants/banquet facilities, blogging about food as a self-proclaimed foodie, and running my own catering company. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Communication/New Media Journalism, completed 18 MBA courses, and continue my education through online food, health, marketing courses/certifications. I’ve traveled/lived all over the U.S., but since 2013, my family and I moved to McHenry county, and have fallen in love with the historic Fox River Valley area.

Robert Levin (2017-2018)

Why are you interested in serving on the Board of Directors?
I'm willing to spend time, now, to improve the lot of McHenry County residents and I see a food co-op as a useful tool in providing for the health and well being of it's citizens.

What experience, education, and skills do you have that you feel will contribute to your effectiveness as a Director?
I have spent my life running (and being run by) a local family business and I know that a local business is more than just running a store and making money. One has to be involved with the community in every aspect of its life.

As well as owning/ running an independent business for over 35 years, I have also served on many government/community boards -- School board, township trustee, Marengo education committee, planning committee, McHenry County Community Development Block Grant commission and McHenry County Defenders, to name a few.

It also happens that may years ago (1980's!) I helped run a local Marengo food co-op for a small group of friends for a few years.