Andrew and Molly Stephenson met while in the same graduate program at Iowa State University. Andrew hails from Madison, while Molly grew up in Edina. Both completed their undergraduate degrees, and have also successfully completed a master degree program in Wildlife Ecology and Sustainable Agriculture. Andrew had previously completed his undergraduate degrees in French and Anthropology at Grinnell College, while Molly studied Animal Science at the University of Minnesota.
The two moved to the Cedar Valley upon graduation from ISU. Molly went to work for Stantec as an environmental consultant in wind energy. After a stint with the University of Illinois, Andrew accepted a position with the University of Northern Iowa and is now working as a project coordinator in the Center for Social and Behavioral Research. Each remains happily employed in their respective jobs.
Three years ago the couple purchased a home in Cedar Falls. They share their home with many rescued pets, including two dogs (Quincy & Lojack), a cat (Ralph), and two birds, one a Cockatiel (Sweetie) and the other a Meyers Parrott (Lily). Defying their friendly names, however, the birds do not get along so well. They are allowed out one at a time.
Andrew and Molly stay quite active. Andrew commented upon the many activities available in the Cedar Valley, some of which he is just discovering, and others yet to be explored. Having grown up in the Madison area playing soccer, and having played that sport while an undergraduate at Grinnell, Andrew has an athletic side. He now plays racquetball and bikes. Andrew admires the local bike trail system, and has recently discovered the Tondro Pray mountain bike skills trail, where there is a pump track. Andrew is also a wood carver, and is hoping this season to explore bow hunting.
The couple heard about the Food Coop through friends at the Cedar Valley Unitarian Universalists. Last fall they attended the annual Fall Festival and joined the Coop. Andrew sees many benefits to a local coop, which can be an important component in the local community structure, not just a food store. A coop can foster local community projects, such as clean-ups, potlucks, volunteer work projects, organized outdoor activities, or other activities that encourage inter-generational friendships. The couple is impressed with the professional way that the Coop is being put together, and look forward to the opening.