Members At Large
Bjorn Bergman – Board Secretary
Bjorn Bergman is the Outreach Coordinator at Viroqua Food Cooperative (VFC). He manages the P6 program for VFC and chairs their P6 Committee. This experience gives him insight into how P6 is being perceived at a shelf level by customers and by staff at his store. He believes that P6 is extremely valuable when it comes to differentiating food co-ops from other grocery stores and wants to spread the word to other retail and producer co-ops about becoming members.
Pauline Thiessen is the Fresh Foods Manager at Ozark Natural Foods leading both the produce and prepared foods departments along with being the liaison for P6 at her coop. Her passion is to work with local food producers, particularly farmers, and local foods network development. She brings over 15 years of experience sourcing local foods, advocating for sustainable agriculture, and developing new revenue streams while being rooted in the cooperative business model. She believes that the P6 program has been key at her store in strengthening relationships with small, local, and cooperative producers leading to significant increases of P6 products purchased since the program was implemented at ONF in 2014. She is excited to work with the board to strategically use the P6 program in supporting the resiliency of coops across the nation and help build back the cooperative trade movement. She resides at her 78 acre homestead farm near Marble, AR.
Cecil Wright – Board Treasurer
Cecil Wright is one of the Founders and is presently the Board President for Maple Valley Cooperative. He served on the P6 Interim Board before the 2015 P6 Board elections. He is a maple farmer and before founding Maple Valley Cooperative, he worked on the executive team at Organic Valley for 18 years. He believes that the coop movement is the most effective and efficient way to create an economic model that builds wealth in communities and for individuals of all income and diversity levels. He has been and continues to act as an advisor for numerous cooperatives such as the Northcountry Coop Development Fund (NCDF), 5th Season Coop, Pine River Food Coop, and a mental health cooperative.
Eric Newman – Board Vice President
Eric Newman is the Vice President, Sales for Organic Valley/Organic Prairie, a farmer owned cooperative comprised by over 1,800 farmers from 36 States in the U.S. Canada and Australia. He began his career in the food industry managing restaurants, institutional foodservice operations and a Community Food Co-op in Bozeman Montana. Eric has worked for CROPP for 19 years. He is committed to family farming, cooperative economic systems and organic agriculture as solutions to our environmental and social challenges. He is excited about being on the P6 Board because he believes it is critical to create consumer awareness of cooperative business models as a viable alternative to a purely capitalistic economic model.