As reported in last month’s newsletter, our Apple Street Market project experienced significant challenges to its financing package in January 2019 due to federal tax reform and other factors (see an in-depth description here). Despite this, over 100 supporters from Northside, South Cumminsville, Millvale, College Hill, Spring Grove Village and the Greater Cincinnati Community came together on Feb 20th to rally behind the project, refusing to let banks and federal tax reform determine food security for their neighborhoods.
Since then, the ASM team have been busy putting this decision into action. The team has a hired a dynamic fundraising duo, Susan Miller-Stigler (Campaign Coordinator) and Vince Tafolla (Campaign Assistant), to lead Phase I of the Capital Campaign goal of raising $1M by mid summer, which will kick off on Saturday, April 27 at North Presbyterian Church (4222 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45223). Susan is a passionate local food enthusiast and dedicated mother who brings a background of nonprofit management and multi-million dollar capital campaign experience. Vince is a longtime Northside resident and supporter of the project. He brings a deep connection to the communities involved, a passion for community organizing, and communications expertise that only a Rhetoric PhD can!
Read on to find out more about these two awesome individuals leading up these efforts. And don’t forget to join us for our exciting Capital Campaign Kick-off Party, Saturday April 27 from 3-5pm where people can learn more about how they can help make these efforts successful. Let’s make this grocery store a reality!!!
Joined Apple Street Market in March as the Campaign Coordinator.
Having an interest in local foods and shopping at Northside Farmers’ market has meant that Apple Street Market has been on Susan’s radar for a while. She finally became a community owner this past November at the CUCI Creating an Economy that Works Celebration. After coming to the February community owners meeting Susan reached out offering support for the owner loan drive. It soon became clear that Susan’s experience and energy would make her a good candidate for the Campaign Coordinator role.
Susan says, “I became interested in local foods in 2004 when I read This Organic Life by Joan Dye Gussow and I haven’t looked back. Consistently prioritizing local and healthy foods can be a challenge with a busy life. My family has gardened over the years and enjoy local farmers’ markets. Unfortunately, we can’t find all that we need at the Farmers Market plus it can be challenging to keep the consistent schedule needed to shop the farmers market weekly. I long for a true community grocery where the experience is life-enriching, where local foods are available, that economically serves its workers and community, and allows me to consistently feed my family healthy food. I’m excited that Apple Street Market will provide all these things and am happy to participate in the next steps to get it up and running.”
Susan’s professional background is in non-profit management and public programs. She worked with Cancer Family Care managing their grants program and provided administrative support for their Strength for the Journey Capital Campaign. She also worked in community school projects, administering a 21st Center Community Learning Center grant in Norwood City Schools and coordinating social services for Family and Children First in St. Bernard – Elmwood Place City Schools. One of her favorite professional roles was as Exhibit Program Director at the now Duke Energy Children’s Museum at Cincinnati Museum Center. Having come from the museum at Longworth Hall she was in a unique position to participate in and inform the planning and development of the museum from hiring staff, to giving tours, to participating in funding requests and media interviews.
Susan has also participated in many volunteer projects including the creation of the Cincinnati Ohio River Valley (CORV) Local Foods Guide which she contributed to from its inception through its first 4 guides. She currently serves as Committee Chair for Venturing Crew 227 and Troop 227G of Scouts BSA.
Susan lives on the west side of Cincinnati with her husband and son. Her 4 adult stepchildren and their families (including 5 grandchildren!) also live on the west side.
Joined Apple Street Market in March as the Campaign Assistant.
Hailing from Omaha, NE, I moved to California, where I earned my PhD in Rhetoric at UC Berkeley before settling in Cincinnati with my wife. Since I’ve been here, I’ve spent several years teaching philosophy and literature classes at Xavier University while also supporting local causes. For instance, I chaired the Our Library, Our Decision! Coalition’s successful campaign to prevent the closure of half of Cincinnati’s downtown library, volunteered with the Amos Project’s sentencing reform initiative, and—of course—helped with the effort to establish Apple Street Market. What unites my academic interests with my activist activities is an abiding commitment to empowering communities and working people to make the decisions that shape their own lives.