We are so excited to welcome our new Board of Directors. Congratulations Anna Harris, Angela Foster & Carla Mertz on becoming the newest leaders of our team. We look forward to utilizing your skills and expertise to move the co-op forward!
Meet Anna Harris
Please tell us why you are interested in serving on the Elk River Area Food Co-op Board of Directors.: I have a personal interest in seeing the ERA Food Co-op come to fruition. It is a resource that I value highly in a community, and I am interested in expanding access to fresh, local, & sustainably harvested food / products to my community. Having only lived in Elk River for a few weeks now, I am quickly discovering there is a lack of information about the benefits of locally sourced & sustainable products in this area. As a board member I would like to take an active role in the community education piece of this start up.
What skills and experiences would you bring to the board?: My husband and I own a residential painting company for which I am the sales and marketing coordinator. I have great people skills. I also have a masters degree in environmental education from Antioch University New England which is firmly rooted in sustainability (social, economic & environmental). In school I took an active role in community education programs and event planning. Where I may lack in experience, I have a network of alumni that I feel confident calling upon for advice and support.
Why do you think the Elk River Area needs a food co-op; how will it benefit our community?: Oh my gosh, Co-ops (and locally owned coffee shops - which we also need) are community centers. The Elk River Area desperately needs this co-op to serve as a role model for cooperatively driven business and as an education hub for the importance of sustainability. From what I can tell there is a lack in the systematic availability of fresh, local & sustainably harvested products, Elk River needs this co-op to drive the farm to table movement in this area.
Meet Angela Foster
Please tell us why you are interested in serving on the Elk River Area Food Co-op Board of Directors.: I find it so exciting that this community of people has been able to do so much in garnering memberships and followers. The geographical area is in desperate need of a Co-op. I spent most of my early 20s living in Minneapolis, with access to so many amazing Co-ops and I want to bring that experience to the Elk River area. The movement for better quality food is gaining so much traction and momentum, the time is now to get a brick and mortar store up and running. I am a working mom, who doesn't want to have to make the trek into Minneapolis every time I want to purchase reasonably priced sustainable food year round.
Do you have any specific goals you would like to accomplish as a board member? : One of my biggest goals would be to see the membership numbers increase so that we can start to lay plans for a physical store. I would love to assist in the designing and building of the store. I am a very social person and would enjoy being out in the community spreading the word about the co-op and all of its amazing benefits.
What skills and experiences would you bring to the board?: I currently serve on the board of directors for a small local non-profit called Ella's Halo (www.ellashalo.com) and have done so for the past 7 years. I assist in raising awareness for the non-profit by organizing donations and charity events. I spent many years in the restaurant industry as a corporate trainer and assisted in the opening brand new restaurants from the ground up. I now work as a corporate paralegal and would be able to bring my legal background to the table. I have a very strategic mind and I am able to step back and analyze the big picture.
Why do you think the Elk River Area needs a food co-op; how will it benefit our community?: This area is like a food desert in the sense that there is nothing other than big chain grocery stores, whose goal is to sell mass amounts of food, instead of quality products. I love what co-ops stand for and I believe that most people who run them and work at them take a lot of pride in the job they are doing. I would be so thrilled to not have to drive to Minneapolis to purchase high quality groceries at a reasonable price. I believe this co-op could help bring more organic and natural food selections to the area, jobs, and a sense of community by offering items sourced locally.
Meet Carla Mertz
Please tell us why you are interested in serving on the Elk River Area Food Co-op Board of Directors.: I am interested to serve on the board of directors to share a vision to bring good quality food to the residents of the Elk River Area, and promote healthy food options and locally sourced produce.
Do you have any specific goals you would like to accomplish as a board member? : To help promote the awareness of the co-op and to help grow membership.
What skills and experiences would you bring to the board?: I am a local farmer/producer. I have 15 years of business ownership experience, working with biz to biz networking. I am also an interior designer working in the restaraunt industry and hospitality. we sell currently to co-op producers. I have a strong business sense, great leadership and teamwork insight.
Please tell us about any prior or current civic involvement. : I have served on the board of directors for the elk river skating club. I currently am involved with shatuck st marys figure skating club to help raise funds for their private programming.