The Board of Directors ensures the needs of Member-Owners are being met. The directors work as a team to set policy, hire and evaluate the General Manager, maintain the fiduciary responsibility of the Co-op and represent the membership as it creates the vision that guides the Co-op into the future. Each director serves a three year term, with three seats up for election every fall.

Liz Kolbe
Board President

Occupation: Horticulture Coordinator, Practical Farmers of Iowa

Board Member Since: 2014

Committees: Chair of the Education and Outreach Committee

Why I Serve: I believe cooperatives like Wheatsfield are vital to economical and community development around local food and agricultural systems. We are lucky to have such a great resource (for food and information!) in Ames.

Favorite Products: Rosmann Family Farms popcorn, Lee’s Greens greens, Kalona SuperNatural sour cream, Jeni’s Ice Cream

Ron Eichmeier
Board Vice President

Occupation: Regional Vice President – Farm Credit Services of America, Retired

Board Member Since: 2017

Why I Serve: I grew up on a farm and have worked in the ag sector all my life. My passion is agriculture, and strengthening the connection between those that produce the product and those that consume it.

Favorite Products: Brown Cow Yogurt, freshly ground pork sausage, and summer fruit selections

Sarah S. Davis
Board Secretary

Occupation: Associate Teaching Professor, Dept. of English, Iowa State University

Board Member Since: 2020

Why I Serve: The Co-op is a hub of our community. Being an active member-owner and board member is a great way to invest in strengthening our community bonds and building a future guided by cooperative principles.

Favorite Products: Co-op Made Italian sausage, Grace’s Sunflower Cookies, and Co-op Bakery Ciabatta buns.

UPCOMING BOARD EVENTS

February 2023 Board Meeting

February 15 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

March 2023 Board Meeting

March 15 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

April 2023 Board Meeting

April 19 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Becky Mattan Pratt
Board Treasurer

Occupation: Founder and President of management consulting company, Mattan Pratt Consulting, L.L.C.

Board Member Since: 2021

Why I Serve: Wheatsfield’s mission, vision and values align with my passions around sustainability, accessibility to healthy, delicious food and supporting organizations in addressing the needs of their communities. Wheatsfield board service allows me to explore these passions and support the co-op’s continued success using my background in banking.

Favorite Products: Local salad greens, cured olives with herbs, bakery fresh breads and Picket Fence Creamery chocolate milk.

Jeff Kushkowski

Occupation: Professor, University Library, Iowa State University

Board Member Since: 2019

Why I Serve: Wheatsfield’s success is due to the dedication of staff, volunteers, and members who support the store. I want to be a part of that continued success by serving as a Board Member to support Wheatsfield’s mission to provide local and sustainable food to the community.

Favorite Products: House-Made Blueberry & Maple Bratwurst, Kalona Sour Cream, Prairie Breeze Cheese, and more!

Emilie Ruehs

Occupation: Rehabilitation Counselor, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Board Member Since: 2021

Why I Serve: I believe everyone should have accessibility to high quality, local goods and foods and Wheatsfield already serves as a central hub for progression and inclusivity within the Ames community.

Favorite Products: Wheatsfield Mediterranean Hummus, Wildbrine Spicy Kimchi Sriracha,  Field Roast Veggie Burgers, & Chao Tomato Cayenne Cheese.

Duane Pitcher

Occupation: Finance Director, City of Ames, Retired

Board Member Since: 2023

Why I Serve: Wheatsfield Co-op provides an important prepared food, grocery, and community service option not offered elsewhere in Ames. I hope to contribute to helping Wheatsfield continue to achieve its mission of providing a local community-based food option.

Favorite Products:

Maral Erol

Occupation: Professor, Interdisciplinary Social Scientist, ISU

Board Member Since: 2023

Why I Serve: I see Wheatsfield, and co-ops in general as a good model for community-based response to making healthy, sustainable, local food accessible for everybody. Serving on the co-op board is a good opportunity for being a part of this model, and giving back to community.

Favorite Products: Fresh bread, local salad greens, bulk aisle (especially the almond butter), goat cheese, pumpkin muffins.

Deb Russell

Occupation: Certified Public Accountant, Financial Executive, Retired

Board Member Since: 2023

Why I Serve: Wheatsfield is a cooperative that provides quality food and wellness products sourced responsibly from local producers whenever possible. It is an important and trusted resource for the community of Ames and surrounding area. As a board member I want to support this organization and see it continue for years to come.

Favorite Products: Fage yogurt, organic eggs, the whole produce section, bulk nuts, spices and peanut butter, Picket Fence milk, fresh salmon.

Derek Franklin
Student Board Member

Occupation: Graduate Research Assistant, Iowa State University

Board Member Since: 2021

Why I Serve: I’ve been honored to be the student representative on the Wheatsfield Board of Directors, where I’ve learned a great deal about the history of the co-op and what it takes to keep Wheatsfield humming. My position is to ensure that students have a voice at Wheatsfield, as the leadership at Wheatsfield wants to be mindful of students’ perspectives. Most of my time on the Board has been spent learning, and I’m really grateful for the patience of fellow board members who have been willing to explain financial terms and backstories to me throughout our meetings.

Favorite Products: Americano from the Deli Beverage Bar and Co-op Made Brownies.