Monthly Board Meetings

The Sugar Beet Food Co-op Board of Directors meets once a month from 7-8pm. 
These meetings alternate months between public and private planning meetings. The public meeting months are open to the public and all owners are encouraged to attend. While the Board follows a tight agenda, there is time for Q&A at each meeting. 
Public meetings are announced on our website's events page, on our Facebook page, in store, and in our newsletter.

 - Meeting Minutes -

Click on the date to access the document.  

August 25, 2015
September 29, 2015
October 27, 2015
December 1, 2015
January 26, 2016
February 23, 2016
March 22, 2016
April 30, 2016 Annual Meeting
May 24, 2016
June 28, 2016
July 26, 2016
August 23, 2016
September 20, 2016
November 3, 2016 
December 6 2016
January 24, 2017 
February 28, 2017 
March 21, 2017 
April 30, 2017 Annual Meeting
May 30, 2017
June 27, 2017 
July 25, 2017 
August 22, 2017 
September 19, 2017 
October 24, 2017
December 5, 2017 
January 23, 2018 
February 27, 2018
April 29, 2018 Annual Meeting
August 28, 2018
November 13, 2018
February 12, 2019
April 28, 2019 Annual Meeting
June 11, 2019
August 13, 2019 Quorum not reached, so no meeting minutes
October 8, 2019
December 10, 2019

Our Board Members

Peter Nolan, Board President, President, 5thP Marketing
Tom Hollinden, Senior Director, Commercial Real Estate Broker at CBRE
Ryan Bradley, Engineer at Case New Holland
Kathy Gaynor, Director, Insights & Strategy at Schafer Condon Carter (SCC)
Jim Doyle, PepsiCo
Brianne Kellogg, Board Secretary, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry
Greg Kolar, Board Treasurer, Sr. Tax Accountant and CPA at Essendant Co.
Jill Cohen Niewoehner
Sharon Newton, Managing Partner, hyperCision Inc./HCLabs
Janet Walters Rouse, Weichert Realtors Nickel Group
Eryn Cook
Laura Bacon, Attorney at Nixon Peabody LLP

Peter Nolan is currently the Board President. He is honored to bring his extensive knowledge of food marketing, and his passion for community building, to help the Sugar Beet thrive.

Peter has been in the food business for over 20 years, holding marketing leadership positions at several innovative companies.  He began his career as a Scoop Truck Driver for Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and grew to lead all of the consumer promotions at the values-driven company.  Peter moved on to lead the marketing efforts of Potbelly Sandwich Works and Roti Mediterranean Grill.  Currently Peter is running his own business - 5th Marketing - a consultancy focused on small, entrepreneurial food companies. Peter proudly serves as a Super Mentor at Chicago's Good Food Business Accelerator.  A Chicago native, Peter studied Mass Communications at UC Berkeley. He and his wife Karen Steward-Nolan have two daughters.  They live in Oak Park.


Tom Hollinden is currently serving his second stint as a Board Member of the Sugar Beet Co-op, having been part of the original Board prior to the store opening.  During his initial time on the Board, Tom focused on securing our start-up financing, Village TIF negotiations and negotiating the store's real estate lease.  He brings his prior experience with the Sugar Beet into his second term on the Board, where he supports our continued growth in sales and Ownership.  

Tom's professional life is focused on commercial real estate, both in and around Chicago, the Midwest and globally, working with small and large companies on their real estate needs.  His company, CBRE, is a full service commercial real estate firm with local offices in Chicago and Oak Brook.  Tom and his wife, Kristen, have three boys and several chickens.  They have lived in Oak Park for the past 10 years.  

Ryan Bradley and his wife Natalie live one block from the Sugar Beet Food Co-op and appreciate the ease of frequenting a small local grocery store as this became their normal routine when they were living in Denmark years ago. "The Sugar Beet is pretty much the best thing I could have come up with if asked to imagine my ideal grocery store. It is close by, so I can walk there quickly and often. It is in a beautifully rejuvenated old building. The food is healthy and delicious. The square footage makes it feel inviting instead of overwhelming. Overall, it is one of our favorite things about living here."

Ryan joined the board of directors in 2016 because he believes that when you have something you really value, you should do what you can to take care of it and make sure it succeeds. His vision for the Sugar Beet is one of significant debt reduction and long term financial stability. From his work with Case New Holland he brings strategic planning and project management experience which he intends to use to help the Sugar Beet Board reach long term financial goals. 


Kathy Gaynor and her husband, Ray, moved to Oak Park in 2005 in search of a greater sense of community they each appreciated growing up in West Virginia and Michigan, respectively - and a yard for their dog! Kathy’s hometown is nestled in a valley filled with agriculture - farmers of all sorts were our friends, neighbors and classmates and she learned very early how much commitment, hard work, and money goes into running a farm. She also learned how important local businesses are to any community; they provide jobs, contribute to a unique sense of place, and also serve as springboards for other local businesses. Communities simply seem more likely to thrive when there is diversity. 

Kathy appreciates how Sugar Beet uniquely supports our community and the many local businesses and brands found throughout the store, and is excited about - and honored by - the opportunity to serve by offering her professional skills in marketing and strategic planning to the continued success of Sugar Beet.

Jim Doyle and his family (wife Ana and 3 kids) were one of the first founding owners of the Co-op and are actively involved- loyal shoppers to this day. They continue to be super excited taking part in the creation and evolution of a community-oriented store which brings local and clean food to our community! 

 A 15-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods industry, Jim appreciates the relationship the Co-op helps to provide between local farmers & producers as well as families like ours. He is passionate about the growth of sustainable food practices and the Co-op’s role in providing a platform to bring goodness to the dining table.  He believes the Co-op is a stable and growing outlet for local and sustainable producers & farmers--a place producers find a voice in giving consumers a choice in the ever competitive marketplace. Jim hopes to bring his experience, the last 12 years with the Gatorade, Tropicana, Naked Juice, and Quaker business units within PepsiCo. His has extensive experience working across price/promotion, assortment, distribution, and execution to assist in the continuing success of the Co-op and its partners. Finally, Jim is dedicated towards the continued expansion of the reach and impact of the Co-op into our neighboring west side communities



Brianne (Bri) Kellogg is currently the Board Secretary.  Bri is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She currently works as a dietitian Beyond Hunger previously known as the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry. Bri and her family moved to Oak Park about five years ago from the Los Angeles area; it was in LA where Bri became familiar with the local food movement and shopping at co-ops. After moving to Oak Park, Bri quickly learned about Sugar Beet, which was still in its infancy and hadn't opened as a storefront yet. She was eager to see the co-op open, so she served as a Sugar Beet Ambassador to encourage members of the community to embrace Sugar Beet and become owners. Since the store's opening, Bri has worked with Sugar Beet Schoolhouse doing nutrition education programs, like Making Mealtimes Meaningful.

Bri is very excited to serve on the board of Sugar Beet and brings with her over 15 years in the food, nutrition, and health industries. She has served on various nutrition-related boards in both California and Illinois, and she is eager to bring this experience to the board team.

Greg Kolar is currently the Board Treasurer.  He and his wife took the parts they loved the most of the city and the suburbs that they grew up in when they found their home in Oak Park two years ago. As Greg was researching the village, his online search landed him on the soon-to-be-open co-op, Sugar Beet, and immediately became an owner. After attending as many board meetings as he could since the stores opening, he knew he wanted to be more involved and play a part in its continued growth.  With his background in accounting and finance, and understanding of operations management, Greg brings additional financial management skills to our board. He currently works as a Sr. Tax Accountant and CPA at Essendant Co., and have 10+ years of experience in public and private accounting. He envisions Sugar Beet to be a viable staple in the community and a place that everyone can count on to be constantly evolving, consistently fresh, and always reliable.



Jill Cohen Niewoehner has been a resident of Oak Park since 2006.  She has been involved with the Sugar Beet since the beginning and had run the Edible Garden Tour in its original years, before the store even existed.  She has 3 children, a husband, chickens and an annoying dog.  She is a master gardener, an IT consultant, a bread maker, a cheesemaker, a soap maker and sells her MamaGrows products at the Co-op.


Sharon Wolf Newton has lived in Oak Park since 2007.  She and her husband, Todd, have been Sugar Beet members since the co-op opened. Sharon is a partner in a software development company that delivers training and development focused solutions to regulated industries and is owner of a software consulting company that focuses on HR and people management systems.  Sharon is currently a Commissioner on the Village Information Systems Committee and has served on the Whittier PTO and as a local Girl Scout Leader.

In 1994, Sharon started working as HR and Payroll Administrator at the Wedge Community Co-op in Minneapolis, MN.  After two years, she left Minneapolis and moved to Chicago, where she continued her interest in natural foods and missed the many co-ops in the Twin Cities.  The opportunity to serve as a board member for the Sugar Beet and provide her experience with small business and co-op administration is welcome.

Janet Walters Rouse Picture.png

Janet Walters Rouse has lived in Oak Park for 29 years. She and her husband Steve raised 3 children in the community and have been Sugar Beet owners since 2014. She worked in the investment banking industry for 14 years and for the last 10 years, she has worked at Weichert, Realtors Nickel Group in Oak Park as an IL licensed Realtor. She has served on the board of Infant Welfare, the River Forest Tennis Club and as deacon of First Presbyterian Church of River Forest as well as Mentor of the local MOPS group. Sharon grew up a farmers daughter in Woodstock Illinois on one of the largest hog farms in northern IL.  Her father served on many boards of organizations that supported both farmers and farming communities. Her family's "garden" was about an acre of farmland just north of her childhood home. She has fond memories of freezing sweet corn, carrots and green beans, canning tomatoes, jam, beets.  She loves so many things about "the Beet"-- the store, the coffee bar, the turkeys at Thanksgiving, and the educational events.  She  appreciates the focus on partnerships with local producers. She believes adding to those relationships will improve the profile of store and possibly reach more consumers. 


Eryn Cook is a senior level professional working in the field of college athletics with a fierce passion for minimizing waste, sustainable food, and ethical animal treatment. Advocacy, research, and having the ability effectively connect and communicate with people has helped her propel  upwards in her career.  She believes those traits will be useful in the continued growth of “The Beet.” Her attention to detail has created a hyper awareness to the unhealthy food and unsustainable choices American face today. She envisions Sugar Beet Food Co-op continuing to educate others as well itself on how to better serve the community regarding healthy food choices and sustainability. She vows to always be a strong and passionate advocate for “The Beet”, because cooperatives are desperately needed in a world where food waste and cheaper, unhealthy options are the norm.


Laura Bacon is an employment and business litigation attorney at Nixon Peabody LLP. Many of her clients are in the food, beverage and agribusiness industries and she is excited to merge her "work life" with Sugar Beet's important business and community missions. She is eager to contribute her legal skills and over 10 years' experience to support the Board and Sugar Beet.

Laura and her husband Mat joined the Sugar Beet as owners when they first moved to Oak Park and stopped by a stand at the farmer's market before the store opened. Since then, their two daughters arrived, exponentially increasing love, joy and their grocery bill! They love to stop at Sugar Beet for smoothies, egg salad sandwiches, bulk coffee beans, and much more. Laura looks forward to helping expand the prepared food offerings and further promote the Co-op to consumers in the community.

Sugar Beet Food Cooperative Bylaws - 
Our Co-op is guided by the Bylaws that were created by our Board of Directors. These were last amended on 4/30/16 at the ANNUAL OWNER MEETING.