Meet your Cook County neighbor: Introducing Amber RichardMar 26, 2022 11:32PM ● By Editor
Exclusive to Boreal Community Media - March 27, 2022
You have been working as the Marketing & Education manager for the Cook County Co-op for several months now, since Becky retired. Can you share a bit of your background with us and what led you to apply for this position? What excites you about working at Co-op?
My background is in marketing, communications, and event planning, with a heavy focus on digital. I was the Senior Digital Marketing Director for the YMCA of the Twin Cities for nearly 15 years and I also have a part-time marketing consulting business.
I come from a 4th generation farming family so local food has always been a big part of my life. My brother is in the process of converting to organic so I'm very aware of the challenge small farmers face in today's world of corporate farms. I love that the Co-op supports small growers and the companies who work with them. Plus it's a really fun place to be.
Do you wish to share any details about your family or hobbies?
I'd love to! My immediate family includes my husband, Steve, and our rescue pitbull Yogi. We live in a 1-room cabin west of town and absolutely love it. Steve has had the property since the early 90's but we just built the cabin in 2018 and moved here in 2019. Like most Cook Co. residents I love being outdoors - regardless of the season - and I have a particular affinity for splitting wood. That's a good thing since we heat with it. I also love cooking, reading, yoga/meditation, gardening, and playing with my canine friends.
Cook County has so many treasured spots. What is your favorite activity to do on your day off?
My favorite is being at home on our property because it's so quiet: wandering in the woods, gardening, or hanging out by the creek. We also have a wood-fired hot tub that's quite lovely.
Favorite season on the North Shore? Why?
Autumn - 100%. I love the chill in the wind, the color in the trees, the food, fires in the woodstove and the warmth of a cozy sweater.
Lessons learned from living through a global pandemic?
Slow down. The pace of life in the pandemic taught me how much being busy-busy-busy is lauded in our culture and how susceptible I was to that messaging. And yet, every single lesson we learn from great teachers encourages us to be still more often. So I'm hoping to carry that forward and not overbook myself like I've had a habit of doing in the past.
Cook County can get extremely busy with tourists. After an extremely busy day at work, how do you find time for yourself to wind down?
This is a perennial challenge for me, to be honest. I have an outgoing personality but I am a flaming introvert so it's easy to get overwhelmed. Last summer I worked at Drury Lane and I kept a swimsuit in the back so I could jump in the lake after work. Walks are helpful, as is plunging into a good book. In the warmer months I plan to ride my bike to work and I'm imagining that will provide a good wind down after a busy day.
Almost everyone has a bucket list. What are three things you hope to accomplish in this lifetime?
Maybe I'm a weirdo but I have never had a bucket list. If I were to put one thing in it though it would be to harness the ability to remain steady and grounded in the face of chaos, discomfort or uncertainty. I suspect that will be the life's pursuit.
Biggest question here: What is your favorite soup at the Coop?
Ooh - this is hard because they're all so good. (You're welcome, Adam.) I adore the spinach curry vegetable. Those sweet corn bursts in the midst of creamy/spicy coconut milk hits my strike zone.