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Meet the Hudson Grocery Co-op Board of Directors

Hudson Grocery Cooperative Board of Directors (l-r) Kathy Tobias, David Larson, Don Kirkpatrick, Secretary Jacki Bradham, Vice President Dietmar Schlei and Treasurer Sarah Atkins. (Not pictured: President Suzanne Hambleton)
Hudson Grocery Cooperative Board of Directors (l-r) Kathy Tobias, David Larson, Don Kirkpatrick, Secretary Jacki Bradham, Vice President Dietmar Schlei and Treasurer Sarah Atkins. (Not pictured: President Suzanne Hambleton)

During the annual Hudson Grocery Cooperative (HGC) owners meeting in November 2013, held at Pitchfork Brewery, members in attendance elected the HGC 2014 board of directors.

Suzanne Hambleton is returning as the HGC President. She works as an environmental engineer and has been involved with HGC from its inception on the elementary school playground. Suzanne looks forward to creating a stronger local economy by providing markets for St. Croix valley farmers and food producers.

Dietmar Schlei will serve as HGC Vice President. Dietmar is a 3M retiree, a scientist with a diverse background and past executive director of the Germanic-American Institute. He brings to the table a career’s worth of innovation, collaboration and professionalism. An important aspect of the Co-op for Dietmar is for it to provide quality food and products with a focus on locally source and sustainably produced goods.

Jacki Bradham, HGC Secretary, recently retired from St. Croix Economic Development Corp. and lives in North Hudson. The co-op will benefit from Jacki’s diverse background in marketing and community outreach, as well as her current work as a volunteer with civic organizations. She is interested in the potential for the Co-op developing a community kitchen.

Sarah Atkins is returning as Treasurer for 2014. No stranger to the business world, Sarah owns and operates Archovations, a business-to-business company located in downtown Hudson. She joined the board in 2012 because she wanted to participate in a positive group with a common mission. Sarah supports bringing another locally-owned business and more jobs into Hudson. The Co-op owners will be local residents who purchase one-time owner memberships.  She noted that there are approximately 200 owners so far, and the store will ultimately need one thousand owners to open.

Don Kirkpatrick is an educator and school administrator. He grew up in downtown Hudson and remembers the convenience of having a grocery store downtown. He hopes the Co-op will bring diversity to the downtown economy.

David Larson is an attorney and army veteran. He lives in North Hudson. In earlier years he was a supporter of the Seward and Linden Hills Co-ops in Minneapolis. Currently, his law practice includes a specialty in housing cooperatives. David is an advocate of neighborhood cooperative grocery stores, which help keep grocery dollars in the community.

Kathy Tobias is a health and wellness coach. Her experience owning and operating a successful small business will be invaluable to HGC. She is interested in the development of the health and wellness aspects of the Co-op, including educational resources and potentially community classes.

The Hudson Grocery Cooperative’s mission is to open a community-owned, full-service grocery store that offers diverse food and product choices including organic, sustainable and regionally sourced options in the St. Croix Valley for residents, visitors and commuters. HGC serve as a local resource by providing practical health and food-related information, supporting responsible economic development, and working to build community through food.

HGC is currently seeking member/owners. Ownership is open to individuals, families and businesses. Lean about the cooperative by visiting: www.hudsongrocerycoop.org.

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