the future of think local first

Our friend Lisa Dugdale is leaving Think Local First, the Washtenaw County-based advocacy group for locally-owned and independent businesses that she founded, in order to pursue other opportunities. The good news is, the organization doesn’t have plans to fold. The Board of Directors has announced that it will be looking for a new part-time Executive Director to take over where Lisa left off. The job description can be found here. (Link launches a PDF.) Resumes, if you’re interested, need to be submitted by April 18.

I’d like to publicly thank Lisa for investing the past several years of her life in the noble cause of championing local business. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I appreciate the many hours she spent drawing people’s attention to the true costs of chain stores and big box retailers, articulating the importance of local ownership, and constructing a network of like-minded people who foresee the necessity of a tightly knit ecosystem of local businesses. [Sorry, but I don’t have the time tonight to put all of this into context. If you want to know more about why local economies are important, check out my post on Michael Shuman, one of the driving forces behind BALLE, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.] Anyway, thanks again, Lisa, for articulating the concept locally and helping to start the culture change here in SE Michigan. We need more people like you. Hopefully, someone good will come forward to pick up the baton where you’ve left it.

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  1. Posted March 27, 2008 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    That’s such a nice posting, Mark – thanks! (and thanks to everyone here who has advocated for and supported locally owned businesses).

    Just a note about the position, for those who are curious. I currently work 30 hours a week, but the Board wanted to advertise it for 20 hours a week because the small grant that pays for part of my position may or may not be funded again. However, 20 hours is a lot more than the 0 paid hours a week that it had when I started it. :)

    The good news is that it no longer requires somebody to invest 25 hours a week unpaid to get it up and running. However, the position is essentially like running a small business – the board is looking for people who have the passion and entrepreneurialism to create new programs, and find sponsorships and grants, etc. to expand the organization (or make the position full time) if they are interested. This certainly isn’t how most positions work, but would be a great fit for somebody with lots of ideas and enthusiasm. The national BALLE network that Mark mentions has 50 networks like this one, so fellow networks have a good range of programs and services that might be adapted to work here.

  2. Posted March 27, 2008 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I wish you well in your future endeavors Lisa. You’ve done a great job getting the buy local movement going in Washtenaw County. A solid foundation has been set for whomever comes to try and fill your shoes (you’ll be tough act to follow).

    Thanks for your work!

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