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

 

Sam Larson- Vice President

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

 

 

Melissa Weyland - Secretary

Melissa.weyland23@gmail.com

Melissa dairy farms 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 isn't dependent on synthetic inputs to thrive. Melissa also works off-farm at CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley, the nation’s largest farmer-owned organic co-op. She is a Midwest Regional Pool Manager where oversees one-hundred farms throughout east Wisconsin. Melissa serves on the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council, the NWTC Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Committee and is a Certified UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer. Melissa was recognized as one of the Fox Cities Future 15 Young Professionals of the year in 2019.

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: 2022

 

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

 

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

To say that local food means a lot to Tracy is an understatement. She started helping local farmers when she was only five years old selling their produce at the Green Bay Farmers Market. She quickly learned where good food comes from. Fourteen years ago her and her husband Richard started Olden Produce, LLC now Olden Organics. It is a 100 acre, year round Certified Organic fresh produce farm located in the Town of Rosendale. They sell their produce and line of Veggie Creations at local farmers markets, privately owned local grocery stores, and other Wisconsin Food Co-ops. Tracy and Richard live on their farm with their four Australian Shepherds, Adelaide, Brizbane, Sydney and Leopold. Tracy also 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

 

Molly Smiltneek

mollynorton@uwalumni.com

 

Molly Smiltneek is a lawyer and a mom who cares deeply about her community.  At her core,  she is driven to address injustices so that people in the shadows have the opportunity to be empowered. She thrives on gathering and synthesizing information to discover meaningful solutions and actions. For that reason, she's often drawn to social justice work seeking systemic change, particularly immigration and immigrant rights. In her role as an immigration attorney and advocate, she works to empower the Fox Valley's immigrant community.  She regularly presents "Know Your Rights" talks to the immigrants in our area and also works to educate the entire community about US immigration policies and priorities and the challenges facing immigrants through community talks. 

In recent years, she has also worked toward systemic change related to poverty and food insecurity (heading up a local Little Free Pantry initiative) as well as education equity and literacy (brought to her attention due to her daughter’s struggles with dyslexia and our education system’s inability to teach her to read among other things).Out of college at UW-Madison, Molly worked at the Wisconsin Alumni Association in Advocacy and Outreach to advance the Wisconsin Idea and fight for state support of higher education.  There she learned the importance of engaging stakeholders and speaking a language they understood to encourage buy-in, action and success.Molly subsequently moved into the legal field, receiving her JD from Marquette. She has experience working in non-profits, corporate immigration law firms and large corporations. No matter the setting, her goal is to make policies, requirements and rules, that some may perceive as limitations, work for her clients.  

Has served since: 2019

Current term through: 2020


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