John Delap

I am a lifelong resident of Bartholomew County. I have four children, two boys and two girls, the oldest being 21 and the youngest 3.  I received a B.S in Political Science from I.U. – Bloomington. I am currently Director of Human Resources for Elwood Staffing and have served in that capacity for 8 ½ years. Previously I worked with my father in a family-owned, local business.

Why did you become a member of the Columbus Co-op and why are you interested in serving on the Board of Directors? 

I believe strongly in the value of locally grown food products.  I grew up visiting my uncle’s farm near Waymansville where he grew food for his family and for the local market. I have maintained a garden in my backyard for over 20 years enjoying the taste of organic herbs and vegetables. I also believe that connecting consumers to locally grown produce will build up our community by creating a stronger connection to the land. When we buy produce from 1,00 miles away we don’t tend to think of how it was grown.  When it is grown outside our backdoor we pay a little more attention.

Please share any personal, professional or volunteer affiliations that will help your service on the Board. 

I have served on a number of not-for-profit boards in the past which helps me understand what it takes to be an effective board member. I have served as President of the following boards and commissions - Just Friends Adult Day Care Center, Indianapolis Museum of Art – Columbus Gallery, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Nominating Committee, Columbus Area Plan Commission, Columbus - Bartholomew County Telecommunications Commission, Department of Family and Social Services Commission (State of Indiana), Columbus Area Plan Commission. Each of these boards presented their own set of unique challenges to effective membership. I believe these past memberships will benefit me in my service on the Co-op Board.      

What specific talents, skills, expertise, and experience do you believe you can share with the Co-op? 

Through my extended residence in the county, I feel I can bring a keen understanding of community dynamics.  My family and I maintain a close connection to the community and have shown a commitment to Columbus and Bartholomew County through our volunteer and philanthropic activities. 

Feel free to share anything else you think would be valuable for the membership to know about you

Following is a short piece I wrote and published in a periodical newsletter I write about natural history –

Perhaps you already have one in your community.  A place where you can buy locally grown organic produce and other fairly traded products. You may already be familiar with Bloomingfoods in Bloomington, Indiana.

With the assistance of Bloomingfoods, Columbus is well on its way to establishing its own cooperative, the Columbus Food Co-op to be located in the heart of downtown. It will provide an excellent source of locally grown produce and other products. My wife and I proudly became the 371st members of our cooperative. 

Just what is a co-op?  Well, they are all around us. The local REMC is a co-op as are credit unions and the backpacking and outdoor equipment supplier REI, to name just a few. They are member-owned, not-for-profit, democratic organizations designed for the mutual benefit of their owners. You may have unknowingly been part of a small cooperative if you once rented an apartment with other people who shared in the cost.

Why join a food cooperative?  As a member, you will have a say in the governance of the co-op because you are an owner. You will play an important part in connecting local residents to healthy food choices. You will help strengthen the local economy by supporting local growers and artisans. You will help provide a source of fresh produce and other products that did not have to be shipped great distances thereby burning more fuel to reach your home. You will help provide fresh produce that does not have to be treated inorganically to help preserve freshness. Finally, you are providing a source for fairly traded products. There are more reasons but these are some that led us to join in this effort.

Go to www.columbusmarket.coop for more information about our local coop or by e-mail at info@columbusmarket.coop. If you are not from this area, you can find a co-op near you on www.coopdirectory.org.  They provide a listing of resources by state and additional information about co-ops.

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