Board Candidates 2013

  1. Why do you believe members 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 membership?

Philip Bradley

Occupation: Retired. Career in marketing and product development, primarily with office furniture manufacturers.

Education: BA, Political Science, MBA, Marketing, Harvard University; MLS, Literature, University of MN

For the past several years, while serving on the Wedge Board, I have been concerned about crowding in the store and parking lot. In addition, the Wedge faces more serious competition from Whole Foods and conventional supermarkets—both are building new stores and touting their belief in organics and sustainability. I am pleased that the Wedge is now embarked on an expansion program which I fully support, together with a branding program that will help profile the crucial differences between the Wedge and the competition. The renovated store will present a fresh face and new choices. The new, second store will make the Wedge’s amazing combination of products and service more widely available, and will also help alleviate crowding at the Lyndale location.

I believe that my business experience in marketing and strategic planning, reinforced by my deep commitment to cooperative governance, can help the Wedge navigate these issues and emerge even stronger in the future. I would like to continue using my skills in helping the Wedge prosper so that all its stakeholders can benefit—members, staff, suppliers, and the local community. Finally, I am retired, and have the time and energy to dedicate myself to this important work.

Hilary Gebauer

Occupation: Dietitian at the Emily Program

Education: BS, Biology, Valparaiso University, Masters of Public Health Nutrition, University of MN

I am thrilled to be a candidate for the Wedge Board of Directors and believe I would be a good representative of the membership to the Board. I would bring a variety of professional experiences and personal passions to my role as a member of the Board.

During my term on the board I would work to ensure that we continue to set long-term goals and create a sustainable vision for the future, alongside ensuring
sound use of resources today.

My professional background includes time as the development director for a growing non-profit organization and a grants administrator for a locally based community foundation. I am trained as a public health dietitian and have a passion for building a strong food culture and community. In addition, I’m the founding member of a chicken coop cooperative in Minneapolis and enjoy my “locally produced” eggs!

Marjorie Hegstrom

Occupation: Independent Contractor, most recent contracts with Renewing the Countryside (Education/Event Manager), Growing Strong Exhibit (Exhibit Manager), University of MN (Research Assistant, Curriculum Developer). Currently do not have any contracts as I am staying home with my two young sons.

Education: BA, Sustainable Agriculture, Kenyon College; MS, Applied Plant Sciences and Sustainable Agriculture, University of MN.

I am deeply committed to sustainable agriculture and will use my skills to build and strengthen The Wedge to ensure that we continue our strong history of supporting farmers and producers, bringing their products to our communities and educating people about food. I have many years of experience working with local/organic foods from a variety of perspectives including farming, agricultural education, research, consumer education and marketing. I understand the complexity of building sustainable businesses and food systems, and have worked throughout my career to develop thoughtful, integrated solutions to meet these challenges. I believe in the cooperative model and am excited to expand our impact through strategic and thoughtful growth.

I am eager to use my skills as The Wedge grows in the next five years, with a focus on: 1) strengthening our farm, Gardens of Eagan, and using this incredible resource to support the broader organic farming community through education and outreach; 2) improving access to local/organic food to more in our community and 3) assessing member needs and developing innovative ways to meet them. Thank you for your trust and the opportunity to serve on the Board. I hope to continue this work in a second term.

Susan Scofield

Occupation: Marketing Consultant and co-owner and director of sales for Crazy Rooster Farm

Education: BS, Journalism and Communications Studies; BA, Music, St. Cloud State University

The Wedge is one of my favorite places, and I would love to give back in a meaningful way by bringing my professional experience in marketing, business and sustainability to help the Wedge successfully navigate toward the future.

I’ve been a dedicated member-owner of the Wedge, as well as a resident of Whittier, for nearly 15 years. In addition, I own a 60-acre permaculture farm that sells pastured meats and hosts classes in sustainability and permaculture. This makes me especially passionate about local food, food security, and building community.

I have worked as a marketing director at two member-based nonprofits, as well as served on the board for the Minneapolis Musical Theater, Temple Israel and Forecast Public Art. As a Master Gardener and avid edible landscaper, I am committed to life-long learning. I believe the board will need to focus its attention on the creeping encroachment of organic food in Big Box retailers, the integrity of organic, and wisely managing growth.

My colleagues call me organized, reliable, committed and creative. I would love to contribute all of these skills to the Co-op’s successful future and am eager to represent the membership. Thank you for considering me.

Aliredha Walji

Occupation: Loan Document Specialist, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Sales Consultant, Sears

Education: AA, North Hennepin Community College; BS, Biology, University of MN; MBA expected in 2014, Crown College

I am passionate about this opportunity to serve because I care about all the co-op stands for. I care about our local farmers, our primary suppliers and an important part of our goal to provide fresh foods for our customers. I promise to work with them in order that both farmers and consumers may benefit.

I care about the environment and sustainability. As a Board Member, I will strive to find innovative ways to help the Wedge achieve its goal of eliminating waste entirely and reducing harmful emissions.

And I care about the Wedge Co-op membership and promise to listen to their concerns and suggestions because I know they are the reason this co-op exists.

Over the next five years, I believe the Board should focus on improving the Wedge Co-op by establishing more connections with local organizations in order to ensure a greater connectedness within the community. The Board should also consider how best to maximize the efficiency of the Gardens of Eagan, and should re-evaluate membership to ensure that member needs continue to be met. Expanding the number of locations and the types of products offered are also possibilities which should remain open for consideration.

Dale Wiehoff

Occupation: Vice President for Communications and Information Technology at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).

Education: St. Cloud State University; St. Thomas University.

For the last three years I have had the privilege of serving on the Wedge board. It has been a tumultuous time that included hiring a new CEO, signing a union contract with workers at the warehouse, buying a farm, and making plans for expansion of the store. These developments are just beginning and I would like to see them through by being re-elected for another term. The Wedge, with over 15,000 members, a thriving foods store and successful warehouse is a leader in building the emerging sustainable food system in our region.

For the past 19 years I have worked at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) where every day we are focused on how to create a fair, sustainable food system. I have served on several boards, including being a founding board member of Peace Coffee, a mission-driven, 100% fair trade coffee company. I was also a dairy, sheep and bee farmer in western Wisconsin in the 1980s. As a result of these experiences, I have learned a great deal about the production of food, food safety, healthy food and farming, and want to continue putting that knowledge to use at the Wedge.