2023 WEMC BOARD OF DIRECTOR CANDIDATES
I've had a love of gardening since I was a child and recently moved from the cities to River Falls with a goal of starting my own small farm business. I've been working full time in the public sector managing construction projects for 8 years where I've learned skills in scheduling, budgeting, and coordinating with stakeholders. I'm interested in serving on the Board of Directors to help encourage and support access to healthy, local, sustainable food.
After meeting other board and co-op members at a recent meeting, I felt like I had found my people. Being new to the area, I'd like to make connections and build community and believe that this environment matches with my values and interests.
A few of my strengths are in project management, creative problem solving, negotiation, and organization. I am also fairly knowledgeable in sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices.
I graduated from UW-River Falls with a degree in Crops and Soils with an emphasis in Sustainable Agriculture. I worked for the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association as an Organic Certification Specialist/Inspector for six years, and recently left to go back to school. I am currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration at Carlson School of Management. I'm looking forward to using the business skills I'm learning along with my background in agriculture to support our local farmers and the co-ops continued growth.
I want to be more involved in the River Falls community and take a more active role in supporting the co-op. Work and school often bring me away from River Falls so I want to be more intentional about my involvement in the community I live in and love!
I have a strong understanding of the agriculture industry and how local food systems work. My focus in graduate school is in Food/Agriculture & Marketing, both of which I feel will be assets to the board.
I would love to see the co-op expand to a larger location and bring more jobs to the community. Having more space would also allow for more options and opportunities to support more of our local farmers!
I worked in the organic food industry from 1980 to 2018, as an organic inspector, trainer, a Board member of a certifying organization, organic specialist for state department of agriculture, bulk grain buyer, grain sales and marketing, organic ingredient sales and marketing to major organic food manufacturers. We also raised and direct marketed grass-fed beef, pastured pork and poultry from our 107 acre farm from 1989 to 2012. Since 2015 we have hosted beginning farmers, providing them with land to prove out their production, marketing and financial skills so they could obtain financing to purchase their own farms. In retirement I am active in managing our 30 acres of prairie, working with the Prairie Enthusiasts and travelling to see our sons and grandchildren in the USA and abroad.
My career was in the organic food industry as an organic farmer and in the private sector. Whole Earth is the local embodiment of the movement towards a more sustainable and just food system, supporting local and organic growers and processors; healthier food, regenerative farms and greater equity and justice. We offer a place for our community to work together towards manifesting a positive future of food production and eating.
I have significant board experience; a deep background in farming and food production; experience in project management, sales and marketing.
I believe one of the outcomes of the pandemic is that many people realize that they need to take control of their life and their health. The coop plays a critical role in this through providing healthy food ingredients, a knowledgeable staff and a unique connection to local farmers. I believe it is the right time for us to move forward with evaluating the possibility of expansion / relocation to better serve our members and community at large.
I’m a licensed attorney and compliance executive and have worked at Thomson Reuters for over 12 years. In addition to my background as a business transactions attorney, I also have a background in project management, event production, and media production. My husband and I and our 2 dogs (mastiffs Odin and Lokibear) recently built our dream house in Clifton Township/River Falls and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I quickly fell in love with Main Street River Falls and was thrilled to discover the Whole Earth Co-op. In the cities I only shopped at the local co-op and am so grateful that the WE co-op allows me to uphold my values of spending my money supporting sustainable, local, and healthy options.
The WE Co-op serves a vital role in the community. It is a key link between consumers and local farmers and artists. It is also a key point of education and access for the community to sustainable, fair trade, and organic options not available anywhere else. I completely believe in what the co-op stands for I and I want to be a part of supporting and growing its place in the community.
My motivations for joining the board is to contribute to the growth of the WE Co-op, support downtown River Falls, and help educate our community on the value of good, sustainable, and local goods. The co-op plays a vital role in our community and I want to offer my experience and skills to support the growth of the organization.
I would bring a variety of skills to the WE Board of Directors including 20+ years as a business transactions attorney, the unique ability to balance legal and business needs, and a project management background. I am highly organized, driven, and dedicated. All of this with a splash of creativity and desire to support local and sustainable equates to a valuable board member.
Over the next 5 years I would love to see the co-op grow into the community gem that it is in terms of community education (directly and indirectly) and provide the best access to wholesome, organic, sustainable and local goods. The co-op has an amazing opportunity for greater awareness and greater community engagement, which will lead to growth of the co-op into that community gem.