About the Board:
The Terre Foods Board of Directors has opted to pursue a model called "policy governance" for the purposes of leading the Terre Foods Cooperative Market. The hallmark of policy governance is to make a strong division between the domains of day-to-day operations, and the overall ends and goals of the cooperative. The domain of the Board is to determine the overall goals, to create policies that reflect these goals, and then to ensure that these goals are appropriate, and are being met. The domain of Operations is to implement the policies created by the Board, and then report on the success of these implementations. Operations will be headed by a General Manager, who will be in charge of all cooperative Staff.
The General Manager will report to the Board. Until a GM is hired, the Steering Committee takes the role of Operations. Upon hiring a GM, the Steering Committee will take on a subsidiary role to the GM and will, eventually, become defunct as staffing is hired to fill the role.
Most of the members of the Board are also on the Steering Committee although the roles are distinct, and there are several people on the Steering Committee who are not on the Board. In addition to our Board and Steering Committee, TFCM has several area committees:
- Membership: recruiting and maintenance of TFCM Membership lists;
- Community Outreach: organizing and developing events for TFCM members and Terre Haute Community;
- Communication: publicizing events and keeping community awareness of TFCM.
Our Board, 2017
TJ Hellmann, President
I am a graphic designer, web developer, activist, and father of two young kids. My wife is originally from Terre Haute and we moved our family here in the summer of 2013. I am passionate about environmental justice and food justice. Prior to moving to Terre Haute, I lived in Boston where I worked as a community organizer for 5 years for a local environmental nonprofit as well as served as the community garden coordinator for our neighborhood’s urban garden. I also was a board member for ACE (Alternatives for Community and Environment) - an environmental justice organization with a youth-led food justice program. I currently am a member-owner of a design cooperative that works with environmental organizations to build and design communication tools.
I am very excited by the energy and vision behind Terre Foods and the huge impact I know it will have here on our community. I look forward to contributing however I can to continue involving more people in the process and working with everyone to make this collective vision a reality.
Jennifer Hale, Vice President
As a native of northern Vigo County, I have spent equal time in the family fields as I have living an urban lifestyle.
While obtaining my master’s of urban planning and policy in downtown Chicago, I was able to see the importance of fresh food. Churning out papers on mediocre fare was not fun, but for a girl on a budget, those fresh items were just too expensive because they were not local.
My biggest ‘light bulb’ moment was when I served one of my family-grown tomatoes to my significant other (who had always lived in urban areas). When he declared that he would never eat a store-bought tomato again, my gears started turning. I realized that I actually have a lot of knowledge when it comes to growing fresh foods (compared to someone who may not even think twice about where that frozen bag of veggies comes from).
As a part of Terre Foods Co-Op, I want to educate people about the benefits of eating fresh food; I want to connect the growers to those wanting to learn about planting; I want to see downtown Terre Haute thrive because its residents and workers will have access to fresh food; most of all, I want to help create a sustainable place to raise my family.
Mathea Tanner, Treasurer
Mathea has volunteered for Terre Foods for 5 years. She's worked with Chili Cookoff, Blueberry Festival and the Downtown Farmer's Market in several capacities. She asks a pretty pointed question: Since we all need to eat, why shouldn't what we eat be fresh, local, real food? Having grown up in Chicago, access to fresh, local, real food was often tricky. Good news is that we're surrounded by farm fields here in Indiana and have many good people with a passion to transform that into something quite meaningful. She's a business analyst, with extensive experience in business operations and project management. Mathea knows that cooperatives can actually encourage positive migration into towns like Terre Haute, as well as drive economic growth and connect people for work on community projects
Brian Payne, Recording Secretary
As a professional civil engineer, I count myself fortunate to get to enhance the quality of life in communities throughout Indiana for a living. However, I also recognize that communities need more than just clean drinking water, sanitation, and drainage to thrive. I firmly believe in the mission of food cooperatives, and have been an owner in three different coops before moving to Terre Haute. I’m eager to help the dedicated folks that have been working so tirelessly to bring the Terre Foods Cooperative Market to Terre Haute. I look forward to the market’s healthy, transformative potential for the families and economy of our local community.