Hank Rouse

Candidate Questionnaire

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

Over the course of the past 6 months, I have brought many Technological Improvements to the RPFC, and have represented the RPFC in communications with various organizations including negotiated pro bono work and discounted contracts with some of our vendors.

As we continue to grow, and enter into our next phases, we will require more technological advances.  As the IT Manager, I will be better positioned to participate with the Board Directly, and interact with various organizations, to assist in partnering with us to achieve our goals.  All the while minimizing what would otherwise be capital expenditures.

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

Technology, Fitness and Nutrition, are my Passions.  At the core of each of those, is the desire to Help Others.  “You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.” (Chinese proverb.)  I teach others to fish.

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?

My Leadership skills really began with Team Beachbody, in May of 2011.  As an independent contractor, I saw first-hand how lack of training materials lead Coaches down a path of failure.  Once I had my Diamond, I quickly looked back at my own OnBoarding, to determine the major weaknesses and immediately began creating training programs for my Organization to help others avoid the mistakes I made.  Within 5 years, my Organization had grown to over 6,000 Coaches, hundreds of thousands of customers.

My participation with RPFC has been nearly a mirror image of the above.  I spent the first 5 months sitting back and watching. Creating my list of things I would ‘fix or address’.  Then once I was presented a Clear Pathway (Owners Dinner), I raised my hand and have never looked back since.  The Fruits of my labors speak for themselves, as do the metrics.

Digitized both Become a Volunteer Application and Join a Committee Applications.

Created both Owner and Volunteer facing websites. 

Manages more than 90% of all RPFC Social Media, Facebook, NextDoor, EveryBlock, LinkedIn, our Exclusive Owners Group and more.

Describe an experience in which you worked on a team.

What did you offer the team? How did you compromise for the team's benefit?

As a lone wolf, working as a team has never been one of my strong suits.  I believe my 6+ months of consistently participating in Committee Meetings, and attending Board Meetings has taught me how to work as a team.  I’ve learned how to use my allies, to help me craft my message, as well as how to call upon my allies, to help position my projects for success.

I identify an issue, ask questions to better understand how it came to be, I solicit feedback when needed, I rally troops, then I execute the plan.  Although my approach may not be the most graceful, the outcome has always proven successful.

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.

Because the RPFC is an organization governed by democracy, I would work to implement and follow the FCI model that was used at Common Ground Food Co-op in Urbana, IL.

Which just so happens to be 6th cooperative principle.   “Cooperation among co-ops”, I’ve been creating training and freely sharing those materials of our systems created in Step 4 above. 

  1. Complainant/s is required to gather the signatures of 10 other Owners who are in agreement with the Complaint.
  2. Vendors SKU/s are Tagged
  3. Sales of SKU/s are monitored for 6 months in comparison to other SKUs of similar products.
  4. Board reviews the SKU/s to determine if the Consumers are in agreement with the Complaint.
  5. Executive Decision is based on Facts.
  6. Facts and Decision present to Complainant/s and Community at Large.

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?

As a child, I grew up in a family heavily involved in Volunteerism.  I remember packing boxes at our local food bank, working at our churches annual garage sale, and craft bazaar.  I recall collecting pine bows, so that the adults could create Christmas wreathes, and more.

The only Board I have ever been on, was when I was in 4-H as a child.  Although that was so long ago, I do not recall in what capacity.  I look forward to both my Personal and Professional Growth that will achieve via my work as an RPFC Board Member.

  •  I have attended a 1-day workshop Illinois Food Co-op Startup Day 2016.

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