Our Co-op

Board of Directors

2017 People's Food Co-op Board Elections

People’s Food Co-op holds a board election each year. This year three seats will be filled. Each person elected will serve a three-year term (January 2017 through December 2019).

The board guides the co-op by establishing the vision and ensuring the long-term vitality of the co-op. It ensures that the store operates within our value system while empowering staff to manage day-to-day operations of the store. We seek a wide variety of talent in new candidates.

If you’re interested, here is what you need to know:

  • Starting July 1, you may pick up an information packet at the customer service desk at either store or download the packet here.
  • You must fill out the three forms enclosed in the packet and return them by August 31, 2016.
  • During September and October, nominating committee members will evaluate each applicant based on his or her application, a criminal background check, a telephone interview, and an in-person interview. The committee will recommend candidates to the board based on these evaluations.
  • Applicants who are recommended by the committee and approved by the board will appear on the ballot. Applicants not approved may petition to be on the ballot using a process described in the information packet.
  • Candidate photos and brief descriptions will appear in the November-December Co-op Shopper. Candidate information will also be available in the stores, on the website, and in the email ballots co-op members receive in November.
  • Co-op members may vote by email anytime up to the Annual meeting Thursday, December 8 in La Crosse or at the Annual Meeting.
  • Results are announced within 10 days after the annual meeting. New board members start their terms in January 2017.



The co-op’s board of directors is excited to hear from you. They are available to answer questions, give updates on the progress of the People's Food Co-op, and provide more information. Feel free to send the board of directors a message using the form at the bottom of this page.


Heidi Blanke


La Crosse, Writer
Three years on joint board

I have both board and nonprofit experience, having served, most recently, on the Coulee Region Humane Society Board of Directors and as WAFER Food Pantry’s Executive Director. My strongest skills and abilities are a cooperative leadership approach, writing and communication, a capacity to think before reacting, empathetic listening, and the ability to bring humor into many situations.

Tessa Leung

Rochester, Restaurateur
Three years on joint board

I love the that we are able to showcase and support local and seasonal food in such a direct manner. I am the owner of Sontes in Rochester, a farm-to-table restaurant focusing on seasonal, locally grown food. We have a network of more than 40 local producers who supply us with everything from vegetables to meats to cheese, and many of these foods can be found at the coop too! I am a Rochester native and I love being involved in the community and showing off the diversity of products produced right here in Southeast Minnesota.

Katherine Logan

Rochester, Geologist/Hydrologist
Two years on joint board

I am honored to be a PFC board member. I have long made an effort to be involved in service to my community. I work in the environmental restoration/protection field as a geologist/hydrologist and know that many current food production practices are not sustainable. Providing a market for local, organic food is an important step in creating a sustainable agriculture model I support. I believe an active, integrated co-op can be a gathering place for creating a stronger, healthier community. I want to help the Co-op be as successful as possible. Please contact me or any of the other board members with your ideas or questions. We would love to hear from you!

Monica Lunde

La Crosse, Accountant
Two years on joint board

I am a LaCrosse native and an active member of the community. I have over 18 years of experience in retail accounting and will use this knowledge to further the growth of the co-op community. I am an advocate for fresh, local, and organically grown food. Our co-op provides a great opportunity for healthy choices while supporting many local suppliers. Cooperation between our two communities will strengthen the positive impact we can make in each of our local economies.

Jocy Poehler

La Crosse, Staff Attorney for nonprofit legal services organization
Four years on joint board

During college and before attending law school I worked at the La Crosse store for almost seven years, where I became very familiar with the operational workings and needs of the store and its staff. I am dedicated to fresh, pure food and products and informed decision-making. Through school and my time on the Board, I am familiar with the Board's legal and ethical responsibilities and try my best to fulfill those duties while representing our membership. In my 'spare time', I chase around two rug rats.

Verna Simon

Verna Simon, Biologist, Genomics Researcher
New board member

I’ve been an active member and shopper of food co-operatives since just after graduate school and I’ve always been interested in good food. As a vegetarian, I try to make good tasting, healthy food a big part of my regular diet. I enjoy cooking and entertaining, especially when I can showcase healthy food in the process. I generally keep myself busy by serving on my housing board, now serving on the Co-op board, sports, classic car shows, reading, listening to music and dancing (Middle Eastern dance and recently, Mohiniyattam). Professionally, I’m trained as a biologist and I work at the Mayo Clinic where I do genomics research.

Paul Sims


Rochester, Architect
New board member

My original membership at People's Food Coop started in 2003 at the La Crosse store and am very happy to continue my membership in Rochester. I strongly believe in supporting local vendors and in the importance of high quality foods as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Lisa Wiste

La Crosse
New board member