Board of Directors

2015_10_29_MM Annual Meeting-7_web

Our 2015-16 Board of Directors Back Row: Tracy Sides, Mia Taney, Stephen Streng, Debbie Brown, and Megan McGuire. Front Row: Hlee Vang, Matthew Orensteen, Fun Fun Cheng, and Sara Kujawski

2016 Board of Directors Election

Vote NOW in the 2016 board of directors election! Member-owners may vote for up to three candidates.

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. 

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.

Prior to applying to be a board candidate, we invite you to attend a Board Meet & Greet or a board meeting to talk to a current director for more insights into the role.

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 2015-16 Board of Directors: 

  • Debbie Brown

    Debbie is a safety and health professional who has worked for industry and government for 20 years.  She has a master’s degree in health sciences and passion for preventing illness and injury. Debbie believes that good food and exercise are critical for our health and is proud that Mississippi Market educates people about wholesome foods.  Debbie loves good food, enjoys cuisines from around the world, and experiments in the kitchen figuring out ways to make something that’s quick, healthful and interesting over several days (3 Days 3 Ways!). Debbie sits on the board’s Finance Committee.

  • Sara Kujawski, Secretary

    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. Megan sits on the board’s Governance Committee.

  • Fun Fun Cheng

    Fun Fun has an M.A. in Library & Information Science and has worked in libraries of all types and sizes.  She has been an overseas English instructor, library supervisor, small business owner, and lifelong volunteer.  She has also served on the leadership team of a homeschool educational co-op.  Fun Fun has a strong belief that everyone should have access to healthy food and that the sharing of food is a powerful way to build community.  Thus, her volunteer work in the last few years has dealt with food access.  In her spare time, she loves to cook and to eat with family and friends.  Fun Fun sits on the board’s Governance Committee

  • 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, 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, Vice President

    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 Executive Committee.

  • Stephen Streng, Treasurer

    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.

  • Hlee Vang

    Hlee is an Attorney and currently works as an Assistant Public Defender with the Hennepin County Public Defenders Office.  Hlee also has her own Law Office where she specializes in providing legal services to Businesses and Health care professionals.  Hlee is focused on creating social justice and positive change through food, art, and law.

Board Files »