Board of Directors
How does the board operate?
The co-op isn’t all on staff. A board of directors provides oversight. Our role is to set goals and policies, launch initiatives, and oversee our general manager. Together we are working to build an organization that meets its mission, serves its members, and finds profitability. Manna Food Co-op of Directors is composed of seven democratically elected co-op owners who serve the co-op for three-year terms. Directors are elected at the first board meeting of the year.
Manna has historically and continues to be a ‘hands-on’ active board. In 2021, this is how our committee structure is set up. Some are a one-person committee and others have a handful of volunteers. See the details below about our committees and contact the committee lead if you have questions or are interested in joining said committee;
Volunteer Task Force: We have been meeting once a month on the last Monday of the month virtually to keep up to date on how volunteers can best serve the co-op. Tasks might include calling old members to update their contact info. If interested in joining the committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also see more information about our working member benefits here to see how our volunteer program operates.
Education Workshops: This committee helps with organizing educators, farmers, chefs and health experts to teach fun and engaging workshops at Manna food co-op. If you are interested in joining this committee, please email email@example.com.
Personnel Committee: Writes and updates personnel policy and works with general manager on management strategies. To join contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outreach Committee: Helps with social media, vendor highlights, how to be a member and general outreach education opportunities of our food co-operative. If interested in joining, please email email@example.com.
The board typically meets 9-10 times a year on the second Wednesday of the month at the Detroit Lakes library. Co-op owners are welcome to observe; your advance RSVP is politely requested. To indicate your intention to attend and/or participate in the Co-op Owners Comment Period, please email firstname.lastname@example.org at least a week prior to our meeting.
Board Meeting Minutes
Meet Our Board
Zachary Paige is the proprietor of North Circle Seeds Organic vegetable seed company and the Food Sovereignty Coordinator for the White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. He holds a Master of Science in Plant Breeding at Iowa State University. Zachary is passionate about seed saving, growing garlic and local food systems. He is on the Lake Agassiz chapter board of the Sustainable Farming Association of MN as well as the state board. As a small organic farmer, Zachary believes in local food and is passionate to do his part in cultivating a place where the Detroit Lakes local foods community can gather and share knowledge and delicious food and culture.
John and his wife Lisa are owner operators of Lakeview Greenhouses, producing chemical free, hydroponic produce since 2000. Supplying local grocery stores, restaurants and markets with tomatoes, cucumbers and other goods. John has a bachelor’s degree in aquatic biology from Bemidji State University, and is a certified wetland delineator. Was active in the Lakes Area Farmers Market since inception, and served as President for 3 years. He has also served as a Township Supervisor in Detroit Township, and a volunteer firefighter in Callaway. He looks forward to serving on the Manna Board and is optimistic about it’s potential and future in our community. Phone – 218-234-1888
Ryan and his wife Maree own and operate Lida Farm, a diversified and organic vegetable operation in Otter Tail County near Pelican Rapids. They market primarily vegetables via CSA, the Lakes Area Farmer Market in Detroit Lakes, a self-serve stand, and through other retailers. In his professional life, Ryan received a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from U of M’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. As an Extension Educator with the University of Minnesota, he works with communities and business organizations on issues of economic development, tourism, and business development.
Susan Crow Kamath
Susan is a Wound, Ostomy, and Continence nurse specialist at Essentia Health hospital in Fargo. As a youth, Susan grew up working at her family’s fishing resort and helping her mother and grandfather in their garden. Susan’s passion for gardening, hunting, and fishing are the result of her upbringing from stout, self-sustaining German immigrants on her maternal side. When not working in her own garden, Susan and her husband can often be found riding their bicycles around Detroit Lakes and other local area bike trails and parks. Along with her nursing degrees from MSTATE and Metropolitan State University, Susan also holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin in Sociology and Anthropology. Susan’s background in cultural and behavioral studies fuels her passion for travel, exploration, and experimenting with new food.
I was born and raised in Detroit Lakes, MN. I currently live with my husband and two small children in Audubon, MN. I am also a business owner in the Detroit Lakes community. I graduated from MSUM with a Liberal Arts degree in Graphic Design. I have been a member of the Kiwanis Club of Detroit Lakes for 6 years. I have served as a board member for 3 years and I am currently serving my 2nd year as the Vice President, which will end in October 2021. My goal is to learn more about sustainable and natural food products, farm to table living, and shopping local. I want to educate myself, my family and my community of the many benefits eating local, natural and organic foods. I would like Manna to continue to thrive in our community as I see more people making the change to healthier living.
“I am a Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a passion to help others better their lifestyle.” A spouse, a mother and a lover of sustainable living. Natural remedies, holistic living and brussel sprouts are my jam! Being a part of the board is more than just taking action. It’s to inspire a new vision in helping more families! Providing resources and tools to utilize all that the Co‐op has to offer!! With that goes the online presence & workshops classes!
Interested in becoming a board member?
Expectations: Participate in monthly meetings (second Wednesday of the month). A term is 3 years. You can read more about how the board operates in our bylaws above.
Qualifications: You simply need to (1) be a member, and (2) have an interest in the success of the co-op or associated topics like food, farming, and community engagement. Certainly experience in business development, education, marketing, and with other public organizations are helpful additions to the board.
How to apply: For 2022, we will have an annual meeting around the end of January 2022 so we need to hear from you by November 2021. Contact Ryan Pesch at email@example.com or 218-770-4398 to get on the ballot and send your bio.
Contact the Board
The co-op’s board of directors appreciates hearing from you! They are available to answer questions and provide information about co-op governance. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org