2019 Board Election

A NOTE FROM THE CURRENT BOARD

We are very excited to introduce this year’s candidates for the Board of Directors. Each candidate has experience developing healthy and productive group process and has demonstrated leadership abilities. All understand the fiduciary responsibility of the board, its central role in relation to the CEO, and its responsibility to perpetuate the co-op’s service to its member owners.

You will notice a variety of characteristics and backgrounds among the candidates. Each has a unique passion for co-ops and all share a dedication to the cooperative business model. If you would like to meet this year’s candidates, please join us for one of the Candidate Meet & Greet events in October.

— TCCP Board of Directors


Come Meet the Candidates
Co-op owners are invited to come meet the candidates, learn about their vision for TCCP and what they hope to bring to our co-op community. Light refreshments, including kombucha, wine and beer, will be provided.

At the Wedge Table
Sunday, October 13, 5:30-7:30 pm
Monday, October 21, 4-6 pm


BOARD DUTIES 101

The Board of Directors has three primary duties:
• To ensure sound management of the co-op
• To act as trustees on behalf of the ownership
• To set long-range goals and plan for the future

To fulfill these responsibilities, the Board of Directors, acting in accordance with the Code of Ethics and Conduct, focuses on four key areas:
• Hiring and evaluating the CEO
• Financial oversight
• Long-range strategic planning
• Recruitment of replacement directors


MEET YOUR BOARD CANDIDATES

Why should you vote?
One of your most important rights as an owner is voting. Cooperative Principle #2— Democratic Member Control— ensures that you have a real voice in the governance and direction of your co-op. Participating in the election process is a tangible reminder that the Wedge, Wedge Table and Linden Hills are more than just great places to shop, and we hope that you will take the time to make your voice heard.

2019 Board Candidates
Candidates were asked to list their occupation and education and to write a short statement to owners highlighting:
1. Why do you believe owners should choose you to represent them?
2. In what areas should the board be putting its attention in the next five years?
3. What else, if anything, would you like to share with the ownership?

There are three board seats open, so you may vote for up to three candidates. All seats serve three-year terms.


VOTE ONLINE

The Twin Cities Co-op Partners election starts Monday, Sept. 23, 2019 and ends on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2019 at 5:45 p.m.

DATE OF RECORD FOR THIS ELECTION IS AUGUST 31, 2019. New owners who joined after this date are not eligible to vote in this election. For more details please see our Bylaws, article 1.4.

VOTE NOW

Paper ballots can be found inside the Cultivate Fall 2019 issue and in store at the Wedge Lyndale, Linden Hills Co-op and Wedge Table.


Annual Meeting & Local Fest Oct. 24

Join us for our third annual meeting as Twin Cities Co-op Partners (TCCP)! on Thursday, Oct. 24!

We’ll begin the evening with a business meeting and end with our delicious local fest!

REGISTER FOR ANNUAL MEETING


EMILY ANDERSON

Emily’s worker ownership and consumer cooperative experience spans decades, with annual national cooperative conference attendance. Previous education includes a B.A. from St. Olaf college, Spanish and Dakota Language and American Indian Studies at the U of MN, and small business studies at St.Thomas.

It has been a privilege to serve on the first board of Twin Cities Co-op Partners (TCCP), the consolidated group of businesses you now own, including Wedge and Linden Hills retail groceries, The Wedge Table, and our distribution center, Co-op Partners Warehouse. Thank you for taking the time to read about our 2019 candidates and to vote.

I’ve served TCCP as a board officer, and on the leadership and owner committees. In 2018 I initiated ongoing action to address the board’s shared concerns about how we might make the message “All Are Welcome Here” real, by examining our individual and organizational bias, and by working to implement positive change.

In the face of daunting market challenges, I hope to continue to offer the board a unique strategic perspective nurtured by 24 years in wholesale food distribution, and to support the board’s ongoing work toward equity, diversity and inclusion, and service to members and our richly diverse community.

*INCUMBENT


JOEL BARKER

Joel received a BA in Communications from Concordia University, St. Paul with an Emphasis in Management, Marketing, and Public Relations. Recently, he completed the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification program at the University of St. Thomas. Joel is currently President of Brave North Technology, overseeing business operations, technology strategic planning, and outsourced CTO services for a client base of over 200 businesses and nonprofit organizations. He previously served as the Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Fraser and was Director of Philanthropy & Strategic Marketing at Ignitus.

My family has been enthusiastic co-op owners for nearly 15 years. We are proud to be part of a community that reflects our values, including supporting local, healthy produce and products, immigrant farmers, an inclusive environment, and keeping dollars local.

As we look ahead to the next five to ten years there are many challenges and opportunities facing our co-ops, including a changing shopping marketplace, strategic capital investments, and the need for a focused growth strategy. I have a deep passion for our community. In my career as a healthcare executive, business owner, and technology advisor, in addition to my experience serving on multiple nonprofits boards – including Minnesota Food Association – I have lead growth initiatives, system improvement projects, and strategic technology integrations. I believe my experience and expertise will contribute a unique and valuable forward-thinking voice to the board.

It would be an honor and privilege to be one of your voices on the board of directors. I will be an active and engaged board member, inviting insight from you, the owners, and partnership with other board directors in working hard to fulfill the mission of our co-ops.


JENNIFER BARTA

Jennifer earned a BA in Chemistry from the College of St. Benedict, a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA in Strategic Management from Carlson School of Management. She is currently Research & Development Director in Retail & Foodservice in the Dairy Foods Division at Land O’Lakes, Inc.; a farmer to fork cooperative. Previously at General Mills, Inc. Jennifer performed dual roles as Senior R&D Manager of Product and Packaging, Global Baking Platform (Holistic Margin Management Pillar Leader) and Technology Manager of Innovation, Technology & Quality. 

I am excited to bring my industry experience in food to TCCP.  I believe my experiences will be of value to the organization.  I am most excited about the similarities between my own values and those of TCCP and the cooperative principles.  I have been a member of the local food and agriculture community for my entire career. I can help TCCP continue with its mission and goals. It is an important time in the Twin Cities food and agriculture industry. There is significant change in the access to fresh, local produce, locally and regionally manufactured foods and the distribution and retailing food space. This change is happening faster than at any other time in my 25+ year career in food. Consolidation and new entrants increase the need and potential impact for TCCP to continue to make a difference in the way the Twin Cities and the region access food and work collaboratively to ensure accessibility to natural food choices that meet the evolving needs and preferences of the community. TCCP is a key contributor to increased sustainability and high quality, locally sourced options. I would be proud and honored to help continue the mission of TCCP and its cooperative business model through a position on the TCCP Board of Directors.

 


TRICIA CORNELL

Tricia earned a BA from Carleton College in Russian Language & Culture. She graduated magna cum laude and earned a Fulbright Fellowship. Tricia is currently head of creative services at Rethink Compliance. She is a former advertising writer and strategist, magazine writer/editor, nonprofit communications professional, and cookbook author.

It’s a familiar story: The first thing I did after closing on my neighborhood home nearly two decades ago was join the co-op. That membership said, “This is our neighborhood. We belong here.” Having stuck with the co-op through a major move and a successful merger, I want more people to feel that same sense of belonging.

My career has been immersed in the worlds of food and communication. As a food writer and the author of Eat More Vegetables and The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook, I have reported stories on farms, in commercial kitchens and the aisles of local food stores. Most gratifying, I have given countless cooking demos and presentations across the state, talking to people about familiar and obscure vegetables, local food, and the joys of home cooking.

In my professional career, I lead a team of creative people who make training materials for major companies. These business skills will be just as valuable as my food experience on the TCCP board.

In the next five years, I want to help TCCP focus on being a leading force for food justice, expanding consumer education, broadening its audience and continuing on a path of fiscal sustainability.


LISA FITTIPALDI

Lisa earned a BA from Miami University in Ohio, a JD from Case Western Reserve University (Ohio), and an MBA from Wharton, University of Pennsylvania She has recently retired. Prior to her retirement, Lisa worked in health care, working in product development, product management, and marketing. She also spent 15 years in the packaged goods food industry, working as a general manager with functional expertise in marketing, product development, and finance.

I’ve been a TCCP member for over 20 years. Having lived in other states, I realize what a treasure our Minnesota co-ops are. So, keeping TCCP strong is of vital importance to me.

TCCP is more than a grocery store. We employ over 400 people. Making sure their jobs are stable and rewarding is critical. We also support local farmers and other Minnesota businesses that help foster organic and sustainable farming practices, keep our environment clean, reduce global warming and provide valuable tax dollars to Minnesota. Our strong presence raises the bar for all Minnesota grocers. And TCCP has a conscience, supporting numerous charities. I feel I’m part of an inclusive community that’s a catalyst for the change we need in the world.

What do I bring to TCCP? I’m a recently retired business executive with experience in the food and healthcare industries. I have the leadership and time to contribute fully to the co-op. I care about TCCP’s future — a lot. I know I can help keep TCCP healthy and strong.

TCCP has played an important role in my life. It’s time for me to give back and ensure TCCP remains a resilient, positive influence in our community.


STEVE SHARE

A Minneapolis Southwest High graduate, Steve attended Yale College with a major in History and is currently the Editor of the Minneapolis Labor Review. Steve is a former board member of Prairie Foods Co-op in Northfield, MN and five-year resident and board member of Park Cooperative Apartments in Minneapolis; a self-managed limited-equity cooperative.

As a 20-year member of Linden Hills Co-op and 30-year member of Wedge Co-op, I offer that long-term experience and perspective for the TCCP board. Our family spends nearly 100 percent of our grocery budget at Linden Hills or Wedge. We are deeply invested in and committed to the co-op ideal. We want our food dollars to support a local, member-owned business which promotes sustainable food systems and which also provides good jobs.

Shoppers today have more choices in the natural foods’ marketplace. The TCCP board needs to focus not just on strengthening the business, but also on communicating what’s unique about our cooperative business and why shopping co-op makes a difference. How can our stores truly be not just a place to buy food, but where you know the dollars you spend are building a better future for our community and our planet?

As a board candidate, I offer nearly 40 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector. I’m a past editor of “Co-op Consumer News,” formerly published by Twin Cities Natural Food Co-ops, and also a past editor of “Rollin’ Oats Journal,” formerly published by Linden Hills Co-op. Since 2003, I’ve worked as editor of the Minneapolis Labor Review.