Breadroot Board of Directors 2018

Lindsey Hays (President)

A native of Western Washington, I grew up with a family in the grocery business and learned a lot about the for-profit grocery world. When I struck out on my own, I started shopping for groceries at my local co-op. I liked the idea of supporting a business with a mission not only to serve quality food but also to benefit its members and the environment. As a registered dietitian, I help my clients plan and prepare meals that support their health goals. A key ingredient to this process is a local shop with a great selection of healthful groceries and supportive staff. A thriving co-op is an incredible asset to a community, and I’m glad we have Breadroot here in Rapid City. My experience in elected positions on the executive board of a professional organization for dietitians taught me that a small group of dedicated volunteers can really make a difference.

Dowell Caselli-Smith (Vice President)

After serving three terms as President I now serve as Vice President. I also served a term as Board Treasurer. Now, as Vice President I hope to work with the new President, Finance Committee and the General Manager to continue refining our monthly and quarterly reports to the full board and member/owners.  It is exciting to be a part of a vibrant board and thriving organization with a great future ahead. I hope my experiences heading up a small business loan fund, operating a few small business ventures over the years, and teaching about co-ops in my sociology courses will be of value to Breadroot. We are fortunate to have become affiliated with the National Cooperative Grocers Association and CDS Consulting Services. They have helped us a lot and have the resources and courses to move us forward in sustainable and meaningful ways. We as board members can and are experiencing growth along with our management, employees and our store. Thank you for entrusting me with this responsibility for your investment in a vibrant and growing cooperative!

Pete Fischer

I am pleased to serve on the Board of Directors, and I look forward to strengthening Breadroot’s role within the community by promoting local food through member-owned cooperative economics. Originally from Sturgis, I attended the University of South Dakota where I earned my law degree and MBA. After law school, I entered private practice with a firm in Sioux Falls, primarily representing business clients and financial institutions. I am enjoying the current chapter of my legal career here in Rapid City as a corporate attorney for Black Hills Energy. In my free time I can be found hiking, biking, kayaking, and playing guitar.

Jeanne Berry

Proudly married 20 years to her husband Tom, Jeanne Berry has 2 children, 3 step children, 8 grandchildren, and 1 great-grand daughter. Jeanne is a retired physician of Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, Hospitalists, and Palliative Care. Some of her previous cooperative work includes helping organize and incorporate the Co-op Natural Foods in Sioux Falls during the 1970’s. Her hobbies/interest include; gardening, quilting, knitting, pottery, cooking, and teaching.

Dora Tilles

Mrs. Olimpia Tilles started her educational leadership career at Tallahassee Community College, Florida in 2013. With a Master of Science in Human Resource Management and a Professional Human Resource Certification, Mrs. Tilles quickly progressed from a Human Resources Specialist to a Business Analyst of Human Capital Management. Her three-year term at Tallahassee Community College has generated numerous success stories.

During her tenure as a Human Resources Specialist, one of her main achievements was the design and launch of a new performance improvement plan for Classified Staff, called the Talent Management System. Subsequently, Mrs. Tilles organized and trained all college managers and staff on the new performance improvement plan. Also, in the fall of 2013, she designed and launched a new employee orientation program.

As a Business Analyst for Human Capital Management within the Information Technology Department, Mrs. Tilles was responsible for the administration of Human Capital Management related functions and the coordination of the Human Resources transition from an antiquated database system to the progressive, cloud-based Workday platform. During this time, she acted as the liaison between the College and all external constituents.

Her newly discovered passion for the academia, had led Mrs. Tilles to embark on a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership journey at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. With a growing passion to share her knowledge, she also became an instructor at Tallahassee Community College and subsequently at Bryant and Stratton College – Online, Black Hills State University, and Western Dakota Technical Institute.

Among her many achievements, Mrs. Tilles has been a recipient of the National Association of African American Studies and Affiliates National Conference Award (2017), Florida A&M University Graduate Studies and Research Poster Competition (2015), Golden Key International Honor Society (2015), and the Holmes Scholars Organization Membership (2015). In the past, she was also a member of the Tallahassee Community College Institutional Accountability Committee (2015), Workday Steering Committee (2014-2015), Women’s History Month Committee (2015), and is currently an affiliate of several national educational and research organizations.

In her spare time, Mrs. Tilles enjoys exploring the outdoors with her family, traveling and cooking recipes from cuisines around the world.

Karen Psiaki

(pronounced “psyche”, the “p” is silent)

I moved to the Black Hills from northern New Jersey in 2006.  I grew up in the New York City tri-state region.  I always worked in sales and marketing.  For a few years I ventured into food importing and production.  I was a very small-scale food entrepreneur.  It failed financially, but I learned a lot.

Cooking is fun.  I like to open the cupboards and just invent. My first cookbooks were vegetarian from the hippie era, and I still have them – much tattered – though I am not a vegetarian.  I have dabbled in and I would say I have respect for a number of dietary systems.  I think that makes me different from the average “business person.”

This past year I have been happy to learn the Board’s role in tracking Co-op performance.  I have served on a number of boards in the past 25 years, but all of them were non-profits.  This is a new experience, and I encourage all our members to give it a try.    

Integrity lives in a very personal way for me:  doing what I know to do; doing what others would expect me to do.  It includes a fundamental commitment to the quality of my work, which usually takes some rigor.  Sometimes that gets a little serious.  So I also have an ongoing commitment to shun drama as a means of getting things done.  I’m passionate about inclusion, diversity, and getting communities to open up and work together in productive and unpredictable ways.  I think that leads to the miraculous.

I write and sell advertising for Black Hills Faces magazine.  I play piano a little and I like to sing.  I see the Co-op as a place to meet people I find interesting.  The Co-op is also a place where we can experiment with a group structure that is neither “non-profit” nor purely profit based.  There is a third path between these where we, as members, can unite our buying power with shared values to affect the local market place.

Jennifer Benning (Secretary)

I have been a Breadroot member since I moved to South Dakota in 2010 and I have served on the Board of Directors as the Secretary since July 2015.  I came here to start a sustainable engineering program at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where I am also a newly-tenured professor of environmental engineering.  As a researcher in contaminant transport in the indoor environment and outdoor environment and as a mother to an 11-year old, I am very knowledgeable and passionate about purchasing food and household products that are safe for my family and safe for the environment.  As a consumer, I sincerely appreciate Breadroot’s commitment to providing safe, healthy, and affordable food and products.  I am excited to share my knowledge and passion for the protection of human health, environmental health, and sustainable communities, as well as my experience in education and community outreach and management experience, with the Breadroot Co-op Family.

Tom Berry (Treasurer)

After a lifelong career in forestry management and marketing of forest products, I have retired. I grew up in Michigan and graduated with a forestry degree from Michigan State University. My work included forestry consulting through a regional food co-op based in Duluth, MN. Most of my working life was spent in marketing of manufactured forest products. I am currently involved with the Black Hills Area Boy Scouts Council, South Dakota Project Learning Tree as Board Chair (Environmental Education). I have served on the Board of Black Hills Habitat for Humanity as Treasurer. My wife, Jeanne, and I have five grown children between us with eight grandchildren and one great grandchild. We enjoy organic gardening, fishing, camping and travel.

 Karen Mielke