Breadroot Board of Directors 2019-2020
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.
After serving three terms as President, a term as Vice President and a term as Board Treasurer. Now, I hope to work with the 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!
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.
Jessica A. Ries
My name is Jessica Ries. I am blessed with a magnificent husband, 3 boys who light up my world, a beautiful husky who is an escape artist and an avid talker, as well as our newest addition, a gorgeous newfoundland puppy. As a family, we have been volunteering at food banks, missions, and homeless shelters for over a decade. It gives us all great joy to share those experiences together and meet new friends along the way.
Becoming a member of Breadroot Natural Foods Co-op has been one of the best decisions our family has made. We love being able to get real food while supporting (mostly) locally sourced farmers in our area. The openness and the friendly and vibrant atmosphere are unique to Breadroot and something we have not found anywhere else. That kind of environment is cultivated by all of us and it is something that I am very proud to be a part of.
It is an honor to be able to serve on the Board of Directors and continue our mission to lead our community to be better fed and healthier. I look forward to growing in health with you all.
Karen Psiaki (pronounced “psyche”, the “p” is silent)
Cooking is fun and food is important. I like to open up the cupboards and just invent. My first cookbooks were all vegetarian, from the hippie era, and I still have them – very tattered and heavy on dairy ingredients. 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 the person asking the hard questions. Now I have partners (fellow Board members) who are more schooled than I, and more disciplined in their approach to the business. I am happy to cede the difficult questions to them.
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 corporate 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.
Integrity lives in a very deep 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. This takes some rigor and sometimes that gets serious. So I also have a commitment to shunning drama as a means of pulling my weight, having my way or getting things done. I’d like the Co-op to be a place of membership diversity, which includes diversity of ideas. When people get inspired to open up and work together that can lead to the miraculous.
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.
Dr. Kelsey Murray, a native of Rapid City, SD, joined the Board of Directors in September 2018. She is the owner of Crossover Biomedical, a genetics and genomics consulting company, and is Program Director of Environmental Engineering at Western Dakota Tech. Dr. Murray’s research works to establish connections between the environment and human health, with particular emphasis on pathogenic and antibiotic resistance potential of microbes in South Dakota surface waters. Currently, she is a collaborator on a national-award winning aquaponics project. Aquaponics is a synergistic food production platform that combines techniques in aquaculture and hydroponics to simultaneously raise edible plants and fish. Dr. Murray continues to develop sustainable agricultural opportunities in South Dakota to increase awareness of and enthusiasm for locally grown nutritious food.
I am a semi-retired pediatric dentist. Most of my career was spent in the United States Public Health Service and the United States Air Force. Although public health was a primary focus of my career, food/nutrition was not always one of my primary concerns. Over time I have become interested in food production and how food, generally, affects health. Further, having lived on Pine Ridge I became aware of what a “food desert” is and how it affects people and their choices, and subsequently, their overall health. This interest extends to how my cattle and produce are raised. Board membership would provide an opportunity to continue learning in these areas. I have time and energy to devote to the Board and am always interested in learning and contributing to my community.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Hello, my name is Tyler Reif, I was born and raised in Deadwood. I’ve previously lived in Montana and Oregon, I recently moved back and am happy to call the Black Hills my home again. I love to spend my days outdoors exploring, identifying wild plants, and gardening, which lead me to work in Glacier National Park on a trail maintenance crew. Food is another passion of mine, I enjoy growing, harvesting, preserving, cooking, and eating all different cuisine. I have an extensive background in the culinary industry as well as butchering. I prefer to take a holistic approach to food, I believe that locally sourced food is more nutritious and environmentally conscious. After moving back to the Black Hills, I felt the need to be more involved with my local community. Joining as a board member at Bread Root Co-op, allows me to pursue my passion and continue learning while being involved in a healthy and sustainable thinking community. I look forward to participating with a group of like-minded individuals.
I have spent my career in Commercial Food Service Operations managing restaurants and Public School nutrition programs. I married my beautiful bride, Leah, in 1994 and we moved around the Midwest following my career with Brinker International. Most of our vacations centered around coming to South Dakota (Leah was born in Winner), so when the opportunity arose, we moved to Rapid City. We have been here for 15 years now and consider Rapid City our Forever Home.
We have shopped at the Coop for years, but just recently became members. Through conversations with Board members, I felt that my work experiences might help me contribute to the Breadroot Coop’s continued growth and I am excited to be a part of this dynamic team.