Board of Directors

Vote for our board of directors!

Your Vote is Your Voice! Many companies are run with the goal of earning money for their shareholders and the shareholders that have the most money invested in the company get the most votes on how the company is run. A cooperative is different. At a co-op, each member-owner gets 1 vote, whether he or she just joined the co-op on a payment plan or has invested $1,000. It is this democratic process that makes our co-op different from so many big businesses. No matter how much you shop at Mississippi Market, a little or daily, if you are a member-owner, you get a vote. Please use that vote- We’re listening!

This year’s election includes the opportunity to vote for donation recipients, a proposed change to the articles of incorporation, and the board of directors.  Please review this newsletter or the same information online to inform your decisions.

Use one of these venues for casting your vote:

  • Online at by 8am on October 30
  • In either store’s seating area by 8am on October 30
  • At the annual meeting – Final ballots accepted 6pm-6:30pm.

If you have any technical difficulty with online voting, please contact 952-974-2339 for assistance.

Mississippi Market’s strategic drivers:

  • Achieving operational excellence
  • Becoming the most trusted advisor
  • Delivering exceptional customer service
  • Fostering growth in the local food economy
  • Supporting & developing an engaged workforce

Click here to meet the member-owners running in this year’s election.

Mississippi Market’s board of directors is made up of member-owners, elected by member-owners, and represents member-owners’ collective vision for the future of the co-op.  Please use the board’s designated email address to contact them:

Member-owners are welcome to attend monthly board meetings.  Visit our events page to find the next meeting- They are typically on the last Tuesday evening of the month.

To read the approved minutes from past board meetings, please visit the customer service desk at either store location.

Meet Mississippi Market’s board of directors: 

  • Nabeel Ahmad, Secretary

    As the VP of eDiscovery Operations for Merrill Corporation, Nabeel leads a team that guides clients through complex forensics, legal and technology issues. He has also worked with non-profits in various governing and non-governing capacities from housing issues to public media. He is an avid home cook, with an interest in the science, history and philosophy of food. He is a passionate believer in using local foods systems as a vehicle to improving our communities. Nabeel sits on the board’s Executive Committee.

  • Julia Burgess, Treasurer

    Julia brings fifteen years of professional experience in accounting/finance in the banking and financial services industry to our board of directors. She has experience leading complex projects and teams, communicating with diverse audiences and cultures and strong management capabilities. Julia is passionate about the nutritional and health benefits of unprocessed, organic foods and ensuring access to these in our community. Julia sits on the board’s Executive and Finance Committees.

  • Sara Kujawski

    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 Governance Committee.

  • Aleksey Kulichenko

    Aleksey holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota. He was founder and President of the Applied Economics Organization, as well as a member of the National Agricultural Marketing Association at the University of Minnesota. He is passionate about local economies and a proponent of pesticide-free and GMO-free foods. He brings a variety of experiences to the co-op in tax and finance. Aleksey sits on the board’s Finance Committee.

  • Jon Olson, President

    As a manager in the MnSCU system for 20+ years, Jon worked with hundreds of Minnesota companies, helping them grow through training, organizational development and strategic improvement. This big-picture understanding of business operations lends itself to the work of the board. Jon is most passionate about local, sustainable food production and its positive impact on the health and well being of consumers and the environment. He sits on the board’s Executive, Finance and 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 Merchandising Coordinator. 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, Vice 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

    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 Governance Committee.

  • Stephen Streng

    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.

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