Barry Weinstein 2018

Candidate Questionnaire



Length of Co-op Ownership

9 Months

Education/Training, Employment/Position

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Biology 

Accenture LLP, Test Engineering Specialist


Why do you want to serve on the Board of Directors for the RPFC?

I want to serve on the RPFC board to help the organization to reach its next level of opening a store. I feel the goal of having a place where good quality local food is available would be an asset to the communities that we envision serving.

What is your passion? How could we see that passion in action in your day-to-day life?

My passion is working with groups to diagnose an issue and solve a problem. My current employment, for the last 6 ½ years, with Accenture is working with various teams to solve a problem by implement a solution. We must understand the way things are currently structured, determine a solution and implement it. We also must work as a team to make sure we each use our strengths to accomplish the goals we lay out.

I like helping support organizations in roles such as financial and technological. I am good at being supportive of these “behind the scenes” roles than customer-facing ones.

List some of the organizations, causes, initiatives, and groups of which you have been a part. How do you believe you involvement with these groups have prepared you to serve on the RPFC Board of Directors?

2017-2018 Daniel Biss for Governor Campaign. Volunteer collecting petition signatures and other campaign activities

2004-2006 Treasurer, Great Lakes Bears – took office at time when much of the previous board members quit. Re-established standards to maintain the organization’s financial records. The group put on an annual event attended by hundreds of people with a budget of a about $50,000. Helped assure that the planning proceeded after the initial event chairman left with about 7 months left to plan. Assured his replacement stayed on task and solved issues such as a last minute need to have insurance for an event.

2000-2002 Treasurer, Chicagoland Professional Networking Association (CPNA). This was an organization of GLBT professionals that was one of the original gay groups in Chicago. They held monthly networking events. Kept the organization’s financial records. Helped the board with other issues as they arose.

Describe an experience in which you worked on a team.

As I have described, I have worked both professionally and with my voluntary groups to solve issues and accomplish goals. In my forty years’ of work history, and the thirty years being involved in various gay organizations, I have always been focused on reaching a goal and have used my viewpoint to brainstorm solutions, discuss them with the stakeholders, settle on the way to accomplish the goal and then work with the other board members to successfully accomplish it.

I have worked in teams with every job I have held. I worked at Citibank of 10 years and was manager of Credit Operations, leading a team.

Briefly describe two or three possible ways you could handle the following situation. How you would ultimately act?

You've recently been elected to the RPFC Board. A close friend and local food producer privately asks you to help her business by having the Board publicly denounce the alleged unethical business practices of her closest competitor, whose products are already sold at RPFC. The business owner says she will deeply discount RPFC orders for her product for a year if you help her.

Solution 1

This is gravely unethical behavior. I would inform the board that I was approached by her with such a scheme. She would be using her friendship with me to gain a business advantage. I would tell her that the board cannot be used as her pawn in her scheme to undermine her competitor’s business.

Solution 2

I would inform the board that I was approached by my friend with such a scheme. I would propose to the board to determine if there is any truth to her allegations, but I would not be involved in the investigation. If our current vendor is using unethical business practices, then I would propose we ban that vendor and resource other possible vendors. I would not participate in the search for a new vendor.

Could you share with us some ideas you may have for owner recruitment to the co-op?

In order to make sure we maintain diversity we need to contact any organization in our community, such as, GLBTQA, Hispanic, South Asian and Jewish organizations such as the Howard Brown Clinic that has opened facilities in Rogers Park.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us? Do you have any other experiences that you see as being related to the work of the Board?

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