2019 Board Elections

We’re pleased to announce the five candidates running for the St. Peter Food Co-op’s Board of Directors!

The St. Peter Food Co-op offers electronic voting—all current owners received an email or letter in the mail with instructions on how to vote for the candidates of their choice. Owners – If you are unable to vote electronically, the Co-op’s staff will be happy to help you cast your ballot in the store.

Each of the numbered answers corresponds to the numbered questions below:

  1. Why would you like to serve on the St. Peter Food Co-op Board of Directors?
  2. What skills, experiences, or expertise would you bring to the Board that would directly contribute to the fulfillment of Board responsibilities and expectations? Include any involvement with the Saint Peter Food Co-op, other cooperative enterprises, other boards, or non-profit organizations.
  3. Please review the cooperative principles, discuss which one is most meaningful to you and why.
  4. What opportunities and challenges do you envision for the future of the St. Peter Food Co-op?
  5. Why do you believe Owners should choose you to represent them?

The Co-operative Principles

  1. Voluntary & Open Membership
  2. Democratic Member Control
  3. Members Economic Participation
  4. Autonomy & Independence
  5. Education, Training & Information
  6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
  7. Concern for Community

Kyle Chambers

Kyle E. Chambers

Associate Professor at Gustavus Adolphus College; Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  1. I’ve served as Board President for the past 5 years and would like to continue in that role to provide Board continuity as our organization transitions to a new General Manager. Being on the Board of Directors is one way that I can express my gratitude to an organization that cares for us daily through its focus on improving health, community, and our local economy.
  2. I’ve been a director on the Co-op’s Board since 2013. I’m good at managing projects, facilitating meetings, and creating & organizing digital resources. I’m also very familiar with Board governance, policies, & procedures.
  3. As a cooperative, the St. Peter Food Co-op is founded on the principle of “voluntary and open membership”. I value this principle because in practice it means that everyone is welcome. The Co-op provides all community members with a safe and welcoming place to commune.
  4. The grocery sector is highly competitive and continually changing, and yet our Co-op’s strengths, including relationships with local producers, concern for community & democratic ownership are timeless and will help sustain us.
  5. I have an established record of successful leadership and will continue to help the Co-op advance the vision of the owners to create “a healthy, sustainable, and just community locally and beyond”.

Joan Easton

Joan Easton

Semi-retired; Ph.D

  1. As a current Board member I am eager to continue working toward the further development of the St Peter Food Co-op as we move through a period of transition.
  2. I have been a board member as well as a volunteer in a number of non-profit organizations in different parts of the U.S. and the world. These experiences have given me a broad working knowledge of board governance.
  3. 7 – Concern for community – is most meaningful for me, though I couple it with # 1 – Voluntary and Open Membership because the St. Peter Co-op “work(s) for sustainable development” in a diverse, multi-cultural community.
  4. This year we have a familiar face as the new General Manager and the opportunity to transition gently into a new era. And, the entrance of Hy-Vee into the St. Peter market provides an opportunity and a challenge for growth in our community.
  5. As an incumbent, I have experience on this Board which I would like to further develop for the benefit of the Co-op and the community. I want to help plan the continued success of our community asset.

Nicole Goebel

Nicole A Goebel

Benefits Specialist – Gustavus Adolphus College; English Teaching Major, Spanish Minor, MSU, Mankato; SHRM-CP

  1. I started my career at Taylor Corporation working with a variety of vendors, creating marketing materials, online website development and new product development. I currently am employed at Gustavus Adolphus College focused on the compensation and benefit work for our Gustie employees. I look to bring my experiences to serve and support the St. Peter Food Co-op. This store is a gem in the regional area and I always highlight it to new staff and faculty coming to the area.
  2. I’ve served on Strategic Planning teams for both Loyola Catholic School and Gustavus Adolphus College. I’ve been on the Board of Trustees for Loyola Catholic School and also served on the Finance Council for Loyola and St. John’s Catholic Church. In my career I have done a lot of budgetary work, from large national accounts, to departmental spending. I also co-initiated the Green Team at The Occasions Group (a division of Taylor Corporation) which served as a sustainability-focused initiative to reduce energy and waste in several of the Taylor companies.
  3. 5 Education, Training, and Information is the most important principle to me. I am a great supporter of educational principles in general and believe that through community outreach and sharing of knowledge, we can help better inform the Cooperative Community about products, product impact and the good work done throughout the cooperative.
  4. I often hear about what a destination the St. Peter Food Co-op is within the local community. Its location is ideal for passing traffic too, and I would like to see a stretch-goal of increasing traffic from the Mankato and surrounding communities. Product pricing and variety can be challenging if comparing to a larger big-box store or online site. However, one cannot replace the community feeling one has when stepping into the Co-op’s inviting atmosphere where employees provide exemplary service. I look forward to discussions of capitalizing on the strengths of the Co-op to continue to grow.
  5. I am a staunch supporter of the St. Peter Food Co-op and I believe that my career experience and service on previous boards will enable me to be a productive, contributing member to the Board of Directors. I look forward to helping enact positive change and forward momentum while maintaining the inherent strengths of this wonderful store.

Galen Holzhueter

Galen Holzhueter

Head Landscaper; Bachelor of Science in Education, Master of Science in Educational Leadership

  1. I am 28 and have been passionate about health and wellness most of my life and a member at the Co-op for 5 years. During those 5 years I have grown in my passion for the Co-op, as its values and core principles very closely match up with mine. I am constantly searching out opportunities that line up with my personal values and core principles, and the Co-op Board of Directors matches that search. I think I can bring value to the board and help the Co-op continue to grow as a local, community-oriented business helping people in their health and wellness.
  2. In my fairly short adult life, I have been able to be a part of numerous boards and committees. Currently I serve as a member of a strategic planning committee, chairman of a school board, and treasurer of my church. These and other previous board positions have been great opportunities to get to know how boards and committees function. My current position of church treasurer involves creating and tracking a budget, overseeing bookkeeping, and preparing and presenting financial reports. I think this financial experience would be very valuable to the Board.
  3. My top strength according to the Gallup Strengths Finder is “Learner.” In my life, this results in me constantly looking for new things to learn, new experiences to have, and new risks to take which will help me in the future. I also constantly look for ways that I can help others learn in similar ways and help them grow and reach their full potential. Because of my Learner Strength, Cooperative Principle #5, “Education, Training, and Information” is most meaningful to me.
  4. The plant-based eating movement is booming right now, and I see that as a great opportunity for the Co-op to get in on, especially when it comes to the Deli. People are curious about plant-based, and the Deli could be their first experience which could propel them toward this large movement.
  5. I referenced Gallup Strengths Finder earlier, and I’ll give my Top 5 strengths, as they explain me as a person. My top strength is “Learner” which means I love to learn and grow, and I love to help others do the same. My other Top 5 are “Belief” (I seek out organizations, people, and opportunities which align with my personal beliefs and passions.), “Responsibility” (I take personal ownership in what I do and the responsibilities I am given.), “Achiever” (I like to get things done and make sure things get done well.), and “Harmony” (I seek out areas of agreement and cooperation.).

Terri Stratton HIckey

Terri Stratton Hickey


  1. Be a part of an innovative team to continue the quality and community minded approach the St. Peter Food Co-op provides.
  2. I have a 35+ year RN medical background. I feel this assists me in my holistic approach the Food Co-op also likes to do as well. I’m a life-long St. Peter resident – so I am quite interested in our future.
  3. 5. I love to teach. Assist others in life learning. We all do this actually, even when we don’t realize it. I love the classes we already provide at the Co-op, and I would help strongly support them and add more if a board member.
  4. Staying current with the changes of the times, yet maintaining our unique methods as well- this is what keeps our members here and will add new ones.
  5. I will definitely be open to hearing and knowing your ideas or concerns. I would express each and every one at board meetings. I’m not a political “ yes” person! I think you’ll like me. ?. Thank you!

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