Board Members


Tom Wickersham, Board President, Operations Co-chair & Communications Member

Term Ends 2019

Cedar Falls, IA
Program Director, Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa

Tom is passionate about food co-ops. He was very involved with the Davis (CA) Food Co-op, and through that involvement grew to appreciate the cooperative business model. In many ways it's a better approach to the standard corporate model we are confronted with at almost all aspects of our lives. The co-op approach is human-centered and sustainable. He helped plan the first community meeting to launch the Cedar Falls Food Co-op in September 2012 and has been involved since.

What are your hobbies? "Right now I think the hobby I enjoy and work on the most is being involved in my community. I love going to theater and music productions. Seeing bands. Going to exhibits. Checking out new places in town. But I also love meeting the wonderful people of the Cedar Valley."

What is your favorite thing about food co-ops? "I absolutely LOVE shopping at food co-ops because of the community spirit co-ops foster. From the people who work there, to the customers, to the growers… co-ops are great centers of communities."

What is your favorite vegetable? "Spinach. Yum!"



Joy Thorson, Board Vice President & Membership Committee Member

Term Ends 2019

Cedar Falls, IA

Joy became a member-owner and motivated volunteer for the Cedar Falls Food Co-op 2 years ago because she wants to see a community-owned, healthy grocery store available in the Cedar Valley which will provide better food options and support local suppliers. She sees the Co-op at a perfect way to fulfill these needs and build even more community in Cedar Falls.

What are your hobbies? "Community Theatre...both Cedar Falls & Waterloo, three grandchildren and one on the way!"

What is your favorite thing about food co-ops? "Of course, I love to see all of the fresh and healthy food options especially from local suppliers; but I am thrilled to see another way that communities come together behind their local food co-ops and how co-ops support each other."

What is your favorite vegetable? "In the spring, asparagus; otherwise, roasted broccoli and/or cauliflower."


Kristel McClenahan, Board Treasurer & Finance Co-chair

Term Ends 2017

Cedar Falls, IA
Customer Service

As Roots Market was closing, the owner mentioned the community meeting about starting a local food co-op. After attending the meeting, Kristel was hooked.  She is a member of Willy Street Co-op in Madison, WI, where she lived prior to moving to Cedar Falls.  Willy Street Co-op always feels like home when she visits Madison. And virtually every other co-op she's visited since then evokes the same emotions.

What are your hobbies? "Organic gardening, spending time with my cats (usually with my husband), perfecting sourdough & soup recipes, and food co-op research."

What is your favorite thing about food co-ops? "A locally and cooperatively governed food store, selling healthful and ethically produced food and goods, emphasizing local products and giving back to the local community.  How much better can you get?!"

What is your favorite vegetable? "Brussels sprouts."


Jess Cruz, Board Secretary & Communications Committee Member

Term Ends 2018

Cedar Falls, IA
Exhibit Preparator at UNI Museum

When discussing Cedar Falls with people outside of the area, the first thing Jess mentions is how amazing our community is. "There is a genuine sense of investment in each other; a willingness to see each of us to work together to create a better whole." For her, the beauty of a co-op is that it is a physical representation of the community spirit. She wants to see the Cedar Falls Food Co-op as evidence of the dedication of our community to being responsible, authentic, and devoted to our collective success. She became involved with the co-op in 2015 because she loves supporting local agriculture and being able to know where her food comes from and how it's grown/raised.

What are your hobbies? "Knitting, sewing, baking & running."

What is your favorite thing about food co-ops? "I love that co-ops are the embodiment of community spirit. We all are working together to create something that everyone can benefit from."

What is your favorite vegetable: "Brussels sprouts!"


Brenna Griffin, Board Member & Membership Committee Member

Term Ends 2018

Cedar Falls, IA
English Teacher at Peet Junior High

Brenna has been a part of the Cedar Falls Food Co-op effort since late 2012. She believes a food co-op will enrich our community in so many ways, food and beyond. I want to be part of this amazing historical opportunity.

What are your hobbies? "Reading, writing, cooking, yoga & wrangling my young daughters."

What is your favorite thing about food co-ops? "I am always drawn to the deli counter and interesting sandwich options. Sandwiches taste so much better when someone else makes them."

What is your favorite vegetable? "Not a fair question. Currently, Brussels sprouts."


Dan Heit, Operations Co-chair

Term Ends 2017

Cedar Falls, IA

Dan joined this effort because he believes in having fresh, local, healthy and organic products that are readily available in a market that is owned by it’s members and a vibrant part of the community that it serves. He's been involved in bringing a co-op to Cedar Falls since September 2012.

What are your hobbies? "Spending time with family and friends, boating, traveling, gardening and many more activities."

What is your favorite thing about food co-ops? "I love the fresh, local and healthy food options that are available and the way coops encourage community involvement.  The fact that they are owned by the members means that more of my money stays in and helps each community they reside in."

What is your favorite vegetable? "Cayenne peppers."


Sheri Huber-Otting, Board Member & Operations Committee Member

Term Ends 2018

Cedar Falls, IA
Food solicitor at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank

Sheri joined the CFFC party in 2013 as a member of the operations committee. She is passionate about local food accessibility for all as well as promoting local farms.

What are your hobbies? "Nature photography and hiking."

What is your favorite thing about food co-ops? "What I love most about coops is how fresh and local the food is."

What is your favorite vegetable? "Tomato."


Amber Mann, Board Member & Communications Co-chair

Term Ends 2017

Cedar Falls, IA
Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at AEA 267

Amber is very interested in getting a food co-op going in CF and wanted to be a part of the process. She has always loved shopping at food co-ops and thought it would be an interesting and fun endeavor. So far, that has proven to be true for her! She joined the effort in the beginning while fairly new to the area and thought it would be a great way to meet new people in the community.

What are your hobbies? "Walking/hiking with my dog, reading, blogging, cooking, going to concerts, spending time with family and friends."

What is your favorite thing about food co-ops? "I love walking into a food co-op and knowing that I'm surrounded by fresh, local and organic food. I love the personal and community feel you have with a food co-op that you just don't get with your typical grocery store.  Food co-ops aren't full of over-processed junk, and I always know I'll be able to buy wonderful, healthy food."

What is your favorite vegetable? "Cauliflower."



Terry Stewart, Board Member & Operations Committee

Term Ends 2019

Waterloo, IA
Retired Military and Retired Federal Service (DOD)

Terry was born and raised in IA. He & his spouse, partner and all-around-farm-hand, Nita, raise organic produce, plants and herbs that they sell at the Cedar Falls Farmers Market and from their greenhouse. They're members of two other Co-ops and a food buying club. He is really excited about the Co-op coming to town and having the convenience of a local store that not only will provide us with local, healthy, nutritious organic food but also a family/community like environment where you can share and learn about food, family health, etc. To Terry, shopping at a Co-op is more like an adventure than the boring, tedious shopping trip at the regular grocery store.

What are your hobbies? "Fishing, woodworking, building or repairing things. I hope to start building an airplane sometime this year."

What is your favorite thing about food co-ops? "The variety is amazing, the bulk food section, the very friendly people, and maybe my favorite is the DELI !! Getting something to eat from the deli is always an important part of the shopping adventure at a co-op. "

What is your favorite vegetable? "Just about anything fresh, but I am partial to heirloom tomatoes, sweetcorn and beets (cooked, roasted or raw)"