Sugar Beet Food Co-op Board of Directors
Monthly Board Meetings
The Sugar Beet Food Co-op Board of Directors meets once a month on the fourth Tuesday from 7-8pm.
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 each meeting.
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.
April 30, 2016 Annual Meeting
April 30, 2017 Annual Meeting
March 20, 2018
April 29, 2018 Annual Meeting
Peter Nolan, Board President President, 5thP Marketing
Eryn Cook (New!)
Jim Doyle PepsiCo
Daniel Becker Enterprise Program Manager at Siemens
Ryan Bradley Engineer at Case New Holland
Cindy Gradle Psychotherapist
Brianne Kellogg, Board Secretary Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry
Greg Kolar, Board Treasurer Sr. Tax Accountant and CPA at Essendant Co.
Sharon Newton (New!)
Rachel Poretsky Assistant Professor at University of Illinois Chicago
Janet Walters Rouse (New!) Weichert Realtors Nickel Group
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
After graduate school, Sharon Newton's first full-time job was at the Wedge Community Co-op in Minneapolis as HR Specialist/Training Coordinator. She worked at the Wedge for 18 months, learning about the cooperative business model and how co-ops can help their community. For the last 12 years, she been running a profitable 15-person software consulting business and building a second software company with partners. She knows small businesses, profitability, customer service, and the flexibility required to succeed at building a sustainable organization. With changes in her business structure, she now has the time to invest in the Oak Park community, where she has lived since 2007. Until this year, her volunteer work has been global (both as global technology mentor and as chair of a user group for SAP/SuccessFactors software), with the exception of co-leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troop from 2012 to 2017. She is so excited to have the time to give back locally and looks forward to seeing the Sugar Beet continue to become an integral part of the Oak Park (and surrounding areas) community.
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.
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.