Oryana Natural Foods Market
Oryana Natural Foods Market
260 East Tenth Street | Traverse City, MI 49684 | (231) 947-0191

To place Café orders call (231) 346-2852 
Monday - Saturday 7:30am-9:00pm | Sunday 9:00am-9:00pm


Board Candidates

Meet the 2018 Board Candidates

These are the candidates (in alphabetical order) who are running for four open board seats. Voting will take place in the store beginning March 23, at the General Ownership Meeting on April 19 and online voting. (If you supplied us with an email then you will receive a message from us entitled 'Oryana Annual Election 2018,' which has instructions for voting for new board members online. You can also vote the old fashioned way, in the store with a paper ballot.) Please take time to get to know the candidates and also make sure your ownership is current so you can vote.

Note: You must have been an owner for 30 days before being eligible to vote, as per the Oryana bylaws.

Kathy Baylis Monteith

My Oryana membership started in the early 80s.  Fast forward 30+years…kids are grown and this is a great time for me to give back to an organization that has supported my family through education, community, and healthy choices.

I share Oryana’s commitment to sustainable community development and high-quality, locally-sourced food.  I believe in “Food as Medicine.”

My strengths include a commitment to being a team player, communication skills, and an ability to acknowledge and seek answers to things I don’t know.  I believe in win-win problem solving.  My formal education includes a BS and Certificate in Physical Therapy from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and MA in Health Care Administration.  In the mid-80s, I established and managed Munson’s first Outpatient Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Department.  

I currently own and operate a Pilates-based Physical Therapy and Feldenkrais movement studio that I founded in 1998.  My small business background has focused on supporting successful physical rehabilitation and wellness-oriented programs. I have experience in commercial property management, finance, and human resources.

As our community experiences an influx of large grocery chains, I see an increasing need to market to people about the Oryana’s broader vision including commitments to:

  • choosing and promoting the cleanest, lowest impact, and highest quality products.
  • educating people about the environmental and economic benefits of locally sourced items.
  • creating value for our member-owners
  • teaching healthy food choices and preparation  

Oryana’s growth challenges also may include concerns such as maintaining a community leadership position, accessibility, and parking lot congestion. 

The opportunity to represent my fellow owners is the most important responsibility of this position.  I have served on two non-profit boards, enjoy connecting with others, and will gladly be available for input. 

Kaitlyn Burns

Hello! I am a mother, artist, athlete, Traverse City native, and a cooperator. I am inspired by this wonderful place we call home and the incredible community that we are a part of. I want to be a part of something bigger than myself and make a true impact on the world—one of the many reasons I love being an Oryana owner.

First drawn to Oryana because of the high-quality food offerings, she opened my eyes to the social, economical, and environmental benefits of a cooperative. Oryana is a true democracy where I can vote with my dollars. I was inspired to run for the Board of Directors in 2012 because I was (and still very much am!) passionate about the interconnectivity of healthy food, the environment, and social well-being.

Six years later, I am still just as geeked about the co-op. Serving on the board has helped me understand the different ways that Oryana strengthens our community and local economy by making more happy, healthy people! From good food to sustainable business practices, from supporting local nonprofits and organizations to the incredible staff members, it’s been amazing be a part of the co-op’s continuous growth. In my three terms I have had the privilege to serve on several committees, including two years as Vice President, and look forward to continuing to serve as an owner representative for current and future generations of Oryana cooperators.

Looking ahead, Oryana has an exciting and challenging journey as we work together to achieve our vision. I am fully committed to helping achieve this vision, and continuing to enhance and strengthen our community through The Ends.

Along with six years of experience serving on the Oryana Board, my educational background weaves together art, business, and human-centered design. Currently I work with nonprofits and small businesses, assisting with communications and organizational capacity. I am confident that my education, work, and life experiences will continue to be an asset as an Oryana owner representative. Thank you for your consideration!

Jim Dagwell

Laura Dagwell and I at our business, Traverse Tax & Accounting, began building a stronger community in the same year Oryana began building community, in 1973.  Since arriving in Northern Michigan, I have embraced activities that contribute to the protection of the natural beauty that surrounds us, helping to shape growth in a smart, reasonable manner.  Oryana plays a significant role ensuring that this growth is healthy…not just for its owners, but also for all of the citizens of our region.  A growing, profitable Oryana provides a model workplace for over 100 employees, and contributes dollars, goods and services that enrich our community, directly in alignment with my values.  I am honored to share my time and skills, giving back to the community in this, my 9th year of Oryana Board service.  I am Oryana’s Board Treasurer, Chairman of the Financial Due Diligence Committee, and sit on the Board’s Executive Committee.

Facing intense competition from conventional grocers and new participants to the organic food industry creates significant challenges in profit margin compression.  Establishing a livable wage structure while dealing with natural attrition to size the co-op to match current sales volumes are areas that present tremendous challenges to the General Manager, management, and staff.  Dealing with these issues is strongly supported by experienced board members who are up to speed regarding Oryana financials. I bring to the board 40 years of experience in business operations, marketing, and business development, and a deep understanding of the checks and balances of co-op financials to ensure that the cooperative is profitable at times of growth and contraction.

Regaining market share, controlling costs, and maintaining a modest profit in the face of significant competition is a challenge that we are all up to achieving.

My intention is to continue to ensure that Oryana remains financially healthy, so that it thrives, increasing its ability to be a major asset to our community well into the next century. I seek your vote.  

Nadia Daniels-Moehle

My connection with Oryana is lifelong and I feel like serving on the board is the next step. To me, serving on a board is a political statement: using privilege to work at making a community better. Our culture suggests that the benefit of work is payment, I disagree. I believe that work, service, is its own reward. And while I plan to attend college, eventually, I’m intentionally taking time to learn about my community, what my community needs, and how I can best serve my community. 

Oryana and I share many values, among them are living with intention and investing in community. Healthy food is at the core of my life, it has (literally and figuratively) shaped me into who I am today. I believe that healthy food is something that can strengthen our intentionality and deepen our connection with each other. 

Being young I would bring the perspective of the my generation to the board, and hope to engage more young people in community building through health and food. I’ve been involved in many organizations; even though I am young I bring lots of experience. I have a strong background with writing, researching, web management, public speaking, and leadership skills. I am also interested in data, research, writing, and using these tools to facilitate outreach.

I think Oryana’s biggest challenge is to be accessible and affordable to a diverse range of customers. The intentionality and willpower needed to pursue a lifestyle that supports healthy food is great and the sheer cost can be daunting to many.  But coming from a life-long, very satisfied, heathy eater there is no better reward than knowing you are taking care of yourself and the environment simultaneously. I think challenges bring people together and make communities stronger. 

I would represent the owners through my commitment: I have been a lifelong member of Oryana, I have been volunteering since I was a child, and I have never missed a General Membership Meeting. I am looking forward to attending my 17th meeting, hope to see you there! 

Greg Holmes

I am honored to submit my application to become a member of Oryana’s board of directors. 

Oryana has been a vital part of my family’s life for nearly 20 years. My daughter, Emerson, now 17, first learned to cook as a very young child at the co-op when she used the microwave to warm a tempeh reuben sandwich. The Oryana community stood behind my family and me when I was sick with cancer, and played an important part in my recovery. Oryana is a place where each member of my family looks forward to going to, a place that shares our values. In short, we believe that Oryana is a place that cares.

Now it is my turn to offer to give back to the Oryana community.  I believe strongly in the fundamental values of the cooperative and am eager to contribute in any way I can to their promotion. Those values include honesty and openness--two values that I believe are the essential foundation of any healthy relationship. Caring for each other is critical for not only the survival of Oryana but for the very survival of the planet.

Many people believe that the biggest challenges that Oryana will face are from real and anticipated competitors. True, those are challenges that exist, or will likely come to pass and need to be dealt with head on. However, I firmly believe that Oryana offers something that the larger chain stores just can’t match, and that is a shopping experience in an environment where people actually care. Who among you wants an Amazon drone to deliver your broccoli? I believe that people are hungry, and will become even more so, for “high-touch” experiences in an increasingly isolating high-tech world. I am a “relationship-centric” soul, and would promote that if I become a board member.

I will be happy to represent all owners of the cooperative if elected. I have much to learn but I know how to do one thing, and that is to listen, something I’ll look forward to doing as a board member.

Holly Jo Sparks

I have served on the Oryana Board of Directors for four years, representing our diverse ownership and community. I cherish Oryana not only for its role in our local community, but also for what it means to the global economy. Cooperatives value equality, equity, democracy, and openness — qualities that are increasingly in short supply among government and business today.

For 20+ years, I’ve been a co-op professional. My enthusiasm and experience contributes to Oryana’s governance. I split time between co-op consulting, managing rental property in Interlochen, and directing housing cooperatives in East Lansing. I studied housing, community and economic development at UNC Chapel Hill and at MIT, from which I hold a degree in City Planning. I once spent a year researching co-ops, farmers and other businesses that partnered with regional hospitals and educational institutions (i.e. “Eds & Meds”) to build healthy, thriving local economies. In short, I travel a lot and am proud to serve as a link between Oryana and the cooperative movement at-large.

When I was initially elected, Oryana was about to open a second store following many years’ sales growth. Since then, the retail and technological landscape has changed, and Oryana faces the challenge of repositioning itself in the face of competition.

Lean times call for courageous leadership. I have demonstrated that I’m not afraid to speak my mind, thoughtfully engage my peers, and listen to owners. I am eager to continue building strong community-based economy that offers cooperative solutions for food, finance, housing and healthcare.

Blythe Webster

It has been a privilege to serve for the past two years on Oryana’s Board of Directors.  I would like to take the knowledge I’ve gained and continue to help our Co-op grow and thrive.

I believe in the importance of access to healthy food produced in ways that are environmentally and socially sustainable as well as meaningful participation in our local economy.

In addition to the experience I bring from my previous term serving on the Board, I also bring my understanding of the coop as a staff member.  I have worked at Oryana for 6 years, most recently as Human Development Generalist for the past two, and have found that both of my roles with the Co-op enrich each other.

Oryana has been challenged with increased competition both for consumer’s dollars and attention. The Co-op has the opportunity to continue to differentiate itself through supporting local producers, providing access to good food, contributing to the community, and helping people understand the value of ownership that is unique to the Co-op.

I bring an open mind to Board discussions with the understanding that our owners hold a diverse range of perspectives. I will continue to learn about issues that affect the Co-op, the values our owners hold and how Oryana can both meet the challenges and better serve our owners and the community.



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The Next Board Meeting

The next meeting is the General Ownership Meeting
Thursday, April 19, 5:30 pm

Traverse City Central High School Cafeteria
​1150 Milliken Dr. T.C.

Everyone is welcome.