Board of Directors

Brenda Haines - President

Brenda@bluedoorconsulting.com

Brenda Haines is co-founder/co-owner of Blue Door Consulting, an Oshkosh-based marketing consulting firm she started with a business partner in 2002. Through her consulting practice, she helps organizations of all sizes – from start-ups to national brands – grow and prosper. A country kid who grew up less than a mile from her grandparents’ farm in Western Wisconsin, Brenda remembers vividly childhood summers spent weeding her parents’ vegetable garden and picking wild berries in the woods. She is a passionate believer in the power of community ownership. She serves as Board Chair for Verve, A Credit Union – one of Wisconsin’s largest credit unions. She is a past president of the American Marketing Association – Northeast Wisconsin Chapter (another start-up!). And, she is a speech coach for the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh’s Youth of the Year. Brenda and her husband, Alex, are also members of the Willy Street Co-op in Madison.

Has served since: 2013

Current term through: 2021

 

Melissa Weyland - Secretary

Melissa.weyland23@gmail.com

Melissa grew up dairy farming with her parents and three siblings west of Neenah. From their start in 1990, the Weyland’s believed in farming in harmony with nature. By following biological farm practices, they focused on building soil health and fertility to nurture a robust, resilient farm ecosystem that wasn’t dependent on synthetic inputs to thrive. The Weyland’s have been Certified Organic since the year 2000. Today they milk 100 cows and operate around 1600 acres as a family.

Melissa also works off-farm at CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley, the nation’s largest farmer-owned organic co-op. She serves as a Regional Pool Manager where she works with over one-hundred organic and transitioning producers throughout eastern and north central Wisconsin. In her position, Melissa acts as a liaison between the cooperative and its members, serves as a regional ambassador, is responsible for member recruitment, oversees integrity and provides local support as a co-op and organic expert.

When not eating or cooking, Melissa enjoys gardening, reading, running, yoga and spending time with her cows. She is an advocate for clean eating, healthy lifestyles, and the local food movement.

“Now more than ever in my lifetime, we are seeing consumer and agriculture trends shifting rapidly, relatively in unison. I am excited and committed to fostering these changes as we move to a more secure and equitable food system from our seeds to our forks!”

Has served since: 2017

Current term through: 2020

 

Peter Westort – Treasurer

Peter retired as an accounting and tax professor from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2015. He earned a Ph.D. in Accounting from the University of Oregon, an MBA from the University of Southern Maine, and a bachelor’s degree from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. He is also a CPA and was a Fulbright Scholar in Alexandria, Egypt for the 2011-2012 academic year. He and his wife, Mary Ann, have lived in Oshkosh since 2003. They have both been active in AFS (American Field Service), the high school student exchange program for more than 20 years having hosted 13 international exchange students. Peter is a board member of AFS-USA as well as the treasurer of the local area team. He has also been very active in the VITA program, an IRS sponsored program, where UWO student and local volunteers coordinate with the Oshkosh Area United Way to provide free tax return preparation services for low and moderate income taxpayers. Peter also serves on the Allocations Committee of the Oshkosh Area United Way. Peter believes that the Oshkosh area should have healthy, affordable, and sustainable food options from providers who are responsive to community needs.

Has served since: 2017

Current term through: 2019

 

Za Barron

barrone@uwosh.edu

Za is a member of the Geography and Environmental Studies faculty at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where she teaches courses such as environmental conservation, environment and society, and economic geography. In her research, she studies how different people participate in biodiversity conservation policies and practices and is heading up a new project on sustainability in the Fox River Watershed. She is a member of the Community Economies Collective (communityeconomies.org), an international group of scholars working on envisioning and enacting ethical community economies. Before coming to Oshkosh, Za completed a three–year postdoctoral appointment at Harvard University and previously served in the Peace Corps in West Africa and Americorps in New Mexico. The Co-op is a business that is structured around ideas that she is deeply committed to: supporting and proliferating economic models and practices that empower people, build community, and are environmentally sustainable. Her dream for the Oshkosh Food Co-op is a thriving gathering place where people come to purchase food, to work, to meet friends, and where stepping through the doors makes you feel like you are part of a community.

Has served since: 2017

Current term through: 2020

 

Elizabeth Redman

Elizabeth Redman had always wanted to return to her hometown of Oshkosh and looks forward to helping downtown Oshkosh continue to grow and thrive. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Biological/Pre-Medical Illustration from Iowa State University, Redman fell in love with local food during her time abroad in over 25 countries. Redman earned her Masters Degree in Sustainable Food Systems from Montana State where she also ran her own catering and private chef business. In Santa Fe, NM Lizz helped start a cold-pressed juice company and craft ice cream shop- each focusing on local sourcing and sustainable business practices. Lizz currently works at the Howard in downtown Oshkosh.

She believes that our food choices are powerful ways to help make meaningful change to our bodies and our communities.  She is thrilled to be a part of the Co-op board and looks forward to bringing fresh and healthy options to Oshkosh.  

Has served since: 2018

Current term through: 2021

Sam Larson

larsonsj@uwosh.edu

Sam earned her Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the University of Colorado – Denver and moved to the Fox Valley in 2017.  She joined the faculty in the Department of Public Administration at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, where her scholarly interests focus on social equity, community resilience, program evaluation, and grant writing. Sam was especially inspired to move to the region as it provides greater opportunities to expand her urban farm. She grew up on a family farm in rural North Dakota and has reconnected with those roots over the past 10+ years. Along with her partner (who was raised on a dairy farm near St. Cloud, WI) Sam has found immense joy in planting a garden each spring, canning and filling her pantry every fall, throwing harvest parties, and brewing her own hard cider and beer. She has studied and personally experienced the emotional, physical, and social benefits of growing her own and supporting local food systems. Sam is looking forward to tapping her passions and professional skills to do so as a board member on a broader, community level.

Has served since: 2018

Current term through: 2020

 

Warren Bergmann

bergmann413@hotmail.com

Warren Bergmann came to know and love co-ops in the '80s, as a volunteer/member/owner of the Outpost Natural Foods Co-op in Milwaukee (where he is still a member today). He is a semi-retired music teacher and school administrator who continues to be active as a music festival adjudicator, summer camp orchestra director, and substitute teacher. He volunteers at the social justice organization Fit Oshkosh, Inc. as a writer and proofreader. He is an active member of the Oshkosh Scrabble Club.
In June 2018 he and his wife, Terry Hope, switched from the standard American diet to eating only whole, plant-based foods, joining an ever-growing number of people world-wide who are preventing and reversing heart disease, diabetes, many cancers, and other debilitating diseases through nutrition. This nutritional emphasis in his life was an important factor leading him to a seat on the OFC Board. 
Warren believes in the co-op as a source of empowerment for its member/owners and its host community, a vending opportunity for local growers, a vital force in our our local economy, a place that advocates for and educates about truly healthy nutrition, and as a purposefully inclusive community hub.

Has served since: 2019

Current term through: 2022

 

Tracy Vinz

Tracy Vinz has been farming her entire life, and currently runs her farm Olden Organics, a year round Certified Organic fresh produce farm located in the Town of Rosendale. She sells their produce and line of Veggie Creations at local farmers markets, privately owned local grocery stores, and to other WI Food Co-ops. Additionally, she proudly serves as a member of the Oshkosh Farmers Market Board of Directors. 

Has served since: 2019

Current term through: 2022

 

Susan Vette 

 

writeideas2@icloud.com  

Longtime Oshkosh resident, graduate of Rose C. Swart Campus School, Oshkosh High School, UW Madison. Professional career as an advertising copywriter and account executive (Marshall Field & Co. Chicago,) Compton Advertising, (San Juan, PR,) Directions, Inc. (Neenah,) Geer Murray (Oshkosh;)self-employed marketing communications consultant as Write Ideas. Actively served on boards of Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra (president),) Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services (founder Men Who Cook); Grand Opera House Foundation (president and acting executive director;) Mercy Health Foundation (president;) Women’s Fund of the OACF (treasurer and current governance committee;) Affinity Health System (professional activities committee;) Evergreen (chair operations committee;) UW Oshkosh Foundation; Tempo Fox Valley and Tempo International; Service League (President;) Leisure Hour Art Club (President;) active volunteer mediator with WCRC; Co-vice chair Mercy Hospital capital campaign; Oshkosh Rotary club honoree Paul Harris; Oshkosh Chamber Alberta Kimball Award; Governor’s Award for the Arts. Emeritus member WF and Mercy Health Foundation boards.

Has served since: 2019

Current term through: 2022


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