Board of Directors

Board Compensation Vote

The Mississippi Market Board of Directors is asking our member-owners to approve an increase to board compensation. The last time such a change was brought before the membership was in 2005.

Member control, as enacted through the board of directors, is a unique feature of a cooperative business. As our business grows and becomes more complex, so too does the role of board members. The new compensation would better reflect the importance our co-op places on board leadership.

The following information appears on this year’s board of directors ballot:

In compliance with the Mississippi Market bylaws, the board of directors is asking member-owners to approve a change in the compensation board members receive for their service. Currently, the board president receives a monthly stipend of $100, and other board members receive a monthly stipend of $45.

The proposed compensation for board members is as follows: a monthly stipend of $100 a month for board members; $150 a month for board secretary, treasurer, and vice-president; and $200 a month for board president. The stipend will continue to be in the form of a co-op gift card. In addition, board members would receive a 10 percent discount on store purchases.

Upon approval of this measure, the compensation outlined will be in effect unless changed by the owners of the co-op at a regular or special meeting, or unless the board determines that the compensation would cause financial harm to the co-op, in which case the compensation would be suspended by the board.

Here’s how to vote:

Visit to vote online or visit the voting stations in our stores to cast your vote electronically or on paper. Candidate bios are also available on the voting site and in-store.

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Mississippi Market’s Board of Directors

Board Function & Responsibility

The Mississippi Market Board of Directors consists of seven to nine directors elected by the membership who are legally responsible for the overall direction and performance of the co-op.  The Board carries out this responsibility by establishing broad policy guidelines and by monitoring the performance of the general manager.

The members of the co-op board of directors have the same duties as the directors of any business.  Our unique identity as a cooperative also means that our board must act on behalf of our member-owners.

Connect with Your Directors

It’s easy to learn more about your board and how the co-op is run.  All member-owners are welcome to attend monthly board meetings. They are typically held on the last Tuesday evening of the month at our Selby store. Find a list of upcoming meetings here. 

If you’re not able to make it to a meeting, stop at the customer service desk at either store to review the approved minutes from past board meetings.

If you have a suggestion, question or concern you’d like to raise with the board, send an email to their designated email address:

Interested in Serving on the Board?

In accordance with the cooperative principles, Mississippi Market is run by democratic member control.  Each October at our annual meeting, every single member-owner has the opportunity to vote in the Board of Directors election.

Member-owners who are interested in serving on the Board can contact the Board via at any point during the year to learn more about how to run.

Meet Mississippi Market’s 2014-15 Board of Directors: 

  • Julia Burgess, Treasurer

    Julia brings fifteen years of professional experience in accounting/finance in the banking and financial services industry to our board of directors. She has experience leading complex projects and teams, communicating with diverse audiences and cultures and strong management capabilities. Julia is passionate about the nutritional and health benefits of unprocessed, organic foods and ensuring access to these in our community. Julia sits on the board’s Executive and Finance Committees.

  • Sara Kujawski

    Sara has an M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and is a Human Resources Manager in the MN Judicial Branch (court system) where she focuses on performance coaching and workplace engagement. Sara believes in the values of cooperative organizations.  She loves to cook and is currently learning to harvest seeds from local produce and garden. Sara sits on the board’s Executive Committee.

  • Megan McGuire

    Megan has been a farmer, orchardist, watershed manager, and itinerant cyclist. She currently works as a biologist for the Army Corps of Engineers, designing ecosystem restoration projects and monitoring compliance with environmental laws and policy. Megan believes firmly in people’s ability to create just, sustainable, mutually beneficial institutions that will change the world– Mississippi Market is a perfect example. Megan brings prior experience serving on the board of a natural food coop, managing a local government unit, and growing food for market.

  • Jon Olson, President

    As a manager in the MnSCU system for 20+ years, Jon worked with hundreds of Minnesota companies, helping them grow through training, organizational development and strategic improvement. This big-picture understanding of business operations lends itself to the work of the board. Jon is most passionate about local, sustainable food production and its positive impact on the health and well being of consumers and the environment. He sits on the board’s Executive and Finance Committees.

  • Matthew Orensteen

    Matthew has worked at Mississippi Market Co-op for over 7 years in a variety of capacities and is currently part of the Marketing, Education and Outreach team as the Marketing Liaison. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute and brings strong communication, leadership and creative problem solving skills to the Board. Matthew is a father with 3 little girls at home where he loves to play and cook with his family. He was born and raised in St. Paul, MN and is committed to seeing the co-op continue to grow, foster the local food economy and serve the community. Matthew sits on the board’s Governance Committee.

  • Mia Taney, Vice President

    Mia is a Strategic Planner and Business Process Improvement Consultant. She designs and leads strategic planning efforts for health care executives. In addition, she educates and coaches leaders, front line staff and teams in Lean, continuous improvement and problem solving. She received the 2011 Julie Belle White-Newman Leadership Award for Outstanding Research at St. Catherine University where she received a master of organizational leadership degree. Her thesis research focused on strategic planning best practices for local, sustainable food businesses. Mia is passionate about sustainability, cooking and gardening. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Metropolitan State University Alumni Board. Mia sits on the board’s Executive Committee.

  • Tracy Sides

    Tracy holds doctoral and master’s degrees in public health from the University of Minnesota and owns social enterprise, Bravely Be, which promotes health and community among people and the land on Saint Paul’s East Side, where she is a resident in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood. Tracy has led complex collaborative multi-year projects and previously served on the boards of the Clouds in Water Zen Center and the Gateway Food Cooperative during its start-up phase. She believes in the “magic” of food to foster community health and local economic prosperity. She especially loves kale and making pasta at home. Tracy sits on the board’s Governance Committee.

  • Stephen Streng

    Stephen is the staff writer and proposal developer at the National Center for Food Protection and Defense.  He brings to the board management and financial experience as well as expertise in food production and land use issues developed across a career in for-profit companies, nonprofits, and academia. Stephen sits on the board’s Finance Committee.

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