Interested in applying to be part of the River Market Board of Directors? Download an application here:
Board Meetings are generally held the second Tuesday of each month, at the Loft across the street from the store. There is an informal reception at 6:00 pm, and the meeting officially begins at 6:30 pm.
Current Board Members:
Dave Browne, Vice President 1, co-chair
A Stillwater resident, Dave is in his fourth year with the River Market Board and is current President and Board Co-Chair as well as sitting on the Board Development committee. On why he joined the board, Dave says, “Working for many years for nonprofits, I wanted to give back to my immediate local community in a different way by supporting a local business that is owned by its shoppers.” He became a River Market owner because of his past involvement with co-ops for over 40 years and his strong belief in co-ops as a superior economic model; River Market gives him “confidence that the food and personal products he buys are top quality; and he especially appreciates having access to fresh ingredients and local products.” What’s Dave’s favorite part of shopping at River Market? “I love to shop local and every time I shop I like the feeling of supporting a local business.” And why should others consider joining the co-op board? To be part of guiding a business that is thriving by putting community first.” Away from the co-op, Dave is Grants Manager for an affordable housing nonprofit. He’s one of the founding members of the North Hill Community Garden and is chair of Heading Home Washington, Washington County’s effort to end homelessness in the county. He lives in Stillwater.
Chris Kohtz, Vice President 1, co-chair
In his fifth year on the board, Chris is the Board’s co-chair, chair of the growth committee and 1st Vice President. He originally became an owner to shop local and support local producers. He enjoys the atmosphere of the store and the role that River Market plays as an anchor business on Stillwater’s mainstreet. “My favorite items at the co-op including hand-picking free-range eggs and Bob’s Red Mill products. He ran for the board to deepen his involvement with a local business that provides a critical outlet for local producers. Chris recently left his 25 year career in broadcasting and media to launch his own business. Chris lives in Lake Elmo.
Tara Kadow, Vice President 2
In her second year on the Board, Tara is 2nd Vice President and serves on the Board Development and the Executive Committees. Why’d she run for the Board? “It’s always been an interest of mine and being an owner of the coop gave me the opportunity to do so. (Being on the Board is) very rewarding, you get to serve with a great group of individuals and it’s educational. I became an owner because eating organically is extremely important to me I want to support local farmers and to be involved in a community that has the similar values.” Tara is an Executive Assistant and is involved with FutureWalk – a strategic initiative by the New Richmond Area Community Foundation focused on “Creating Our Community’s Path to Tomorrow. ” She resides in New Richmond, WI.
Karl Diekman, Treasurer
2012-13 is Karl’s 5th year on the Board, a role he took on because he wanted to “see the co-op prosper.” He has served on several committees including, currently, the Policy & Rules, Growth and Executive committees and is the current Treasurer. Among his reasons for being a River Market owner and shopper, “Healthy Food (which tastes better and is environmentally friendly), more non-mainstream food items, and local suppliers. His favorite part of shopping at the co-op? “You always run into friends and neighbors.” (Serving on the Board) is a rewarding experience in many ways and you get to work with nice people. Karl lives in Stillwater, is a Symphony Orchestra musician and is the Board President of Music Saint Croix.
Silvia Conger, Secretary
Silvia has served the Board since 2008 including roles on the Board Development, Executive, and Policy and Rules Committees. She currently is Board Secretary. She ran for the board because of her “deep appreciation for (and fascination with) River Market combined with a desire to contribute to its long-term organizational health.” Why did she invest in ownership? “A cashier asked us if we would like to do that. It made sense to support a business we count on and it enhanced our sense of community. “I love seeing the abundance of food reliable for quality, freshness and relative lack of cruelty.” Why should someone consider running for the board?
If it were not for my neighbor who was on the board and asked me to run, I might never have submitted an application – even though the idea previously crossed my mind. To anyone who ever thought they might want to try it out, yet who does not have a neighbor on the board to encourage them; why not take the first step and submit an application?”
Silvia is a Stillwater business owner (a health insurance agency) and is a director on the board of Winds of Peace Foundation
Matt Ludt just started his fifth year on the board. In addition to serving for three years as Board President, Matt has sat on the Bylaws/Policy & Rules Committee. With a background in volunteering and governance, Matt joined the Board for many of the same reasons he became an owner: to invest in and support a local co-op. As a local attorney passionate about the cooperative model, Matt is involved in several groups that foster greater cooperative economic growth and collaboration in Minnesota and in Wisconsin’s Polk & Burnett counties, where Matt and his wife live. Regardless of where an owner’s passion lies — food quality, the environment, our community, local sourcing or jobs, et cetera — Matt believes that an once that owner pauses at the invitation to run for the board, they should: the co-op needs passion from all walks of life, viewpoints, and skills to serve our owners well.
Newer Stillwater resident Elissa Cottle joined the Board October, 2012 and serves on the Growth Committee “to get involved in the community and contribute to an organization I care about.” Election to the board gave Elissa an opportunity to connect with the co-op beyond the regular owner benefits of shopping, the newsletter and owner discounts. Elissa is a writing teacher, editor, freelance writer, poet, children’s tutor and mother. Additionally she belongs to the White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, is assistant basketball and baseball coach of St. Croix Valley Athletic Association and volunteers with FamilyMeans’ teen center in Cimarron community.
Nathan is serving his first term with River Market Board and currently serves on the
Policy & Rules Committee. Why’d he run for the board? “I liked the thought of being a part of the driving force behind the future of the co-op. I had zero Board experience, so I was unsure of just what it meant to serve on one. But that challenge of not knowing intrigued me.” On why he became an owner, “To support local farmers and producers. Having the availability of fresh, organic food. Purchasing discounted bulk items.”
“I love walking into the store and seeing friendly faces, smelling the mixture of fresh produce and patchouli and the feeling I have of being a part of a like-minded community.”
Being a new board member, what would he say to somebody to encourage them to join the board? “Try it…you might like it!” Away from the Board, Nathan is a Paramedic, Preceptor for paramedic students, Certified (CPS) Child Passenger Safety technician and Youth T-ball coach. Nathan lives in New Richmond, WI.