Another important person that has really helped with every decision and stuck by our side through the bumpy ride has been Tyler Goudreau. Tyler is also a student at Central Michigan University like Meghan and I, but on the side she helps run the Mount Pleasant Community Farmers Market downtown.
While countless people used the downtown market as an excuse to disagree with the idea of implementing an on campus market , Tyler fully supported us and helped us beat that stigma. Many officials of the university felt that an on campus market would be too much competition with the downtown market, too much work for farmers already participating in the community market or would simply just fail due to lack of customers and farmer interest because there is a pre-existing market. People also used the Native Market at the casino as an excuse for disagreement in the same fashion. Damian works for the Native Market near the casino and is the reason our market made it at all. Proof that obstacles really can become stepping stones right past all the people that don’t believe in you!
Anyways, I’ll get off my soapbox now, Tyler helped us in numerous ways! She acted as a liaison between our small group and the farmers of the downtown market as well as between our group and her connections in the university. She volunteered to help us advertise when it came to be crunch time and she attended numerous meetings with us!
This was the first time I’ve met Tyler and ever really had any extended conversations or interactions with her, so it was slightly difficult for me, a control freak, to give her the reigns when talking to farmers and university officials. Knowing that those two groups hold a great deal of power over the outcome of this whole operation made me want to be the one to talk to them myself, but Tyler is a wonderful leader herself and I needed to allow her to do her thing to help the group as a whole.
I am so appreciative of all she has done to help us and for the interactions I have had with her, I feel as though her laissez-faire approach to leadership was so vastly different from my own approach that it felt refreshing to be around. I certainly think I’ve learned a great deal from her!