The Sugar Beet Food Co-op Board of Directors meets once a month on the fourth Tuesday from 7-8pm at Oak Park's Main Library in the Community Space. 
These meetings 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 the end of the meeting. 
Meetings are announced on our website's events page, 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 (pending approval)

December 5, 2017

January 23, 2018

February 27, 2018

March 20, 2018

Name                                                Background

Peter Nolan, Board President                                President, 5thP Marketing   

Chris Dowsett, Board Treasurer                            Fund Accountant at Magnetar Capital          

Jim Doyle                                                            PepsiCo

Daniel Becker                                                      Enterprise Program Manager at Siemens

Ryan Bradley                                                       Engineer at Case New Holland        

Cindy Gradle                                                       Psychotherapist

Brianne Kellogg                                                   Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry

Greg Kolar                                                           Sr. Tax Accountant and CPA at Essendant Co.

Bill Gee                                                               Manaaki Foundation, SLoFI        

Greg Marsey                                                        Founder of Paramount Property Management

Rachel Poretsky                                                   Assistant Professor at University of Illinois Chicag  


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.


Daniel Becker and his wife, Francis, have been Oak Park residents for 28 years and chose to live here because of the community spirit and degree of citizen involvement.   Daniel's vision for Sugar Beet is that it grow into a strong, stable, “sustainable” business, that along with its related businesses and suppliers works at a meaningful scale that positively impacts our local and regional food system.

Daniel's professional experience in the building energy conservation industry will help our board immensely as he has acted as an energy manager,operations manager and is conversant with project budgeting, cost estimating, and executing projects to meet time and budgetary constraints.  Daniel and his wife were early Sugar Beet supporters and Owners, and are now regular shoppers. They bring a longtime appreciation and support for co-ops and have been members of the Lembas Food Co-op in Oak Park and the Food for People Co-op and Beggar’s Banquet Food Co-op in Chicago.


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Cindy Gradle is passionate about bringing awareness of the co-op and all it has to offer as the primary grocery store in Oak Park. Cindy has lived in the Oak Park area for over 15 years and understands the community she serves and is also psychotherapist. She believes that food education, awareness, and accessibility are vital for the health of our community. You will find her in the Co-op often-- learning and discovering products. Cindy once worked at a Food Co-op in Ann Arbor Michigan while attending the University of Michigan, therefore she is deeply rooted in the Co-op mission!


Chris Dowsett is currently the Board Treasurer.  Chris brings almost 20 years of experience in the financial services industry to assist the Sugar Beet in adhering to its principles that guide its business model.  He currently serves as a Fund Accountant at Magnetar Capital where he's responsible for financial and investor reporting of the firms various funds.

Previously, Chris held finance positions at some of Chicago's biggest banking institutions, including Bank of America and BMO Harris.  His passion for good food is what brought him to the Sugar Beet, he is an avid cook, focusing on local and organic foods.  He is a native of the Quad Cities and graduated from the University of Iowa. 

Chris and his wife Amie live in Oak Park with their two dogs.  Interests include gardening, bike riding, cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes, and travelling the country in search of the best craft breweries.  

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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. 

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



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Bill Gee appreciates working with and learning from the pool of talented individuals who make up the current SB board. He strives to utilize his varied experiences as a past business owner in the food manufacturing space to help add positive and relevant input to the group.

Bill has 30 years of experience in building a family business that concentrated on the production of sweet goods. His time in the industry has given him an insider perspective on how the commercial food sector works and is a big reason why he values the unique opportunity the Sugar Beet Co-op is offering our community. Bill also works with socially impactful investment groups such as Impact Engine Business Accelerator Program & Sustainable Local Food Investment Group aka: SLoFIG, that invest in and mentor small businesses who are committed to making social change and who share many of the same challenges that the Sugar Beet will face as it continues to grow.

In keeping with the theme of our local co-op, Bill can claim that he too is a local product, being born and bred in Chicago. Apart from a four year stint as a Bakery Science major at Kansas State University he has lived his entire adult life in the OPRF area. Bill and his wife Sue currently reside in River Forest and are proud of recently attaining "Empty Nester" status after successfully launching their two daughters off to College.


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Brianne (Bri) Kellogg is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She currently works as a dietitian at 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.


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Greg Kolar 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.


Greg Marsey has lived in Oak Park, IL, since 1991, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Holley Ct. Condominium Association since 2000.  Greg was an Oak Park Village Trustee from 2005-2009.

 From 2005-2012, Greg managed a franchise network of Jimmy John’s restaurants in the Chicago area. Now Greg owns and operates Paramount Property Management, specializing in residential and mixed-use properties. Greg is proud to serve on the Board of Directors of The Sugar Beet Co-op.

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Rachel Poretsky grew up in food co-ops and brings her experience from Daily Food Co-op in Georgia, where she served on the board and worked as cashier during graduate school, as well as her from her hometown co-op, The Flatbush Food Co-op in Brooklyn, NY. Rachel joined the Sugar Beet Food Co-op board in 2016 and is thrilled to help implement changes and ideas and be a voice for the co-op community in order to succeed and grow. She believes that this is an exciting time for our co-op as it's growing rapidly and is proving to be a major  contribution to our community. She loves shopping the Co-op where she is  surrounded by friendly faces, good products, and fun music playing and is excited to see how the co-op will mature and grow in the next few years—perhaps becoming a central community space, decreasing prices and changing/expanding inventory as the Co-op becomes a full-fledged NCGA member. She wants to help continue to grow our ownership, and spread the vision of local, sustainable, socially and environmentally conscious, community love throughout our little village. 


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