Hans Geier (Vice-Chairman): Hans was formerly an economist with the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). He has been involved with cooperative education since 1996 and risk management outreach and education for fisheries and agricultural producers since 2002. As a farmer in Delta Junction he has produced potatoes, hay, canola, and barley. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Alaska Farmers Union. With these multiple roles, he is on the forefront of production, policy, and feasibility of fisheries and agriculture in Alaska, with many industry contacts.
After spending his formative years growing up on family farms in Minnesota, he received his first degree in Agricultural Business Management (specialty in Cooperative Management) from Southwest State University (SSU), Marshall Minnesota in 1982. During his tenure at SSU, he was deeply affected by the implosion of the farm economy happening in the Midwest, and how important the Farmers Union cooperative movement was in helping farmers who were in distress. He moved to Washington State University (WSU) to attend graduate school, and worked for WSU Extension Service until he completed his journey to Alaska in January 1992.
After receiving a MS in Natural Resources Management at UAF in 1994, he entered employment at UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences. With an additional appointment to UAF Cooperative Extension Service specializing in risk management outreach to Alaska producers in 2004, he achieved faculty rank in 2005.
With this education and background, Hans brings an intimate knowledge of agriculture and fisheries in Alaska, and a detailed knowledge of policy and commodity markets.
Brian Grinston – Brian moved to Fairbanks after vacationing here in August 2007. It was love at first sight… the mountains, the peacefulness, and the lack of rush hour traffic. After flying back to the Chicago/Milwaukee suburbs, he immediately gave his two-week notice and donated nearly all of his possessions to charity. On 09/07/07 he loaded up the car and headed north, to the Alaska Highway. Brian says that when he sees something that he truly wants, he goes after it. His motto is “Life is short. Get off your butt and live it, before it’s gone.”
Brian is a Marine who served during the first Gulf War. He ran a supply warehouse and maintained accounting records for the military. Some of his other jobs have been Assistant Manager for Walgreens, Accounts Receivable Supervisor for Solo Cup Company, Billing Supervisor for Stericycle, and Payroll Manager for Nenana Lumber Company. Currently, Brian is an Aviation Records Auditor for Everts Air.
Brian’s desire to help Co-op Market stems from his support of Alaskan-owned companies, his personal mission to help improve the quality of life for his fellow Alaskans, and his strong commitment to volunteering. Many folks know Brian through his volunteer efforts at the Electronics Recycling Center, Fairbanks Rescue Mission, Veterans Stand Down… and also the many weekends that he’s already volunteered for demolition work parties at our store site. He hopes that his business knowledge and organizational skills will help make Co-op Market a huge success for Fairbanks.
Teresa Jacobson, CMT, CHHC – As a lifelong Fairbanksan and small-business owner, Teresa Jacobson is deeply invested in the local community. She began working as a Certified Massage Therapist in 2000, and since has worked with thousands of clients in the Fairbanks North Star Borough. As her aspiration to better serve the wellbeing of her clients, family, and friends continued to increase, Teresa pursued studies with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (State University of New York Purchase College) and she now also works as a Certified Holistic Health Coach. Her passionate belief in the necessity of real, whole foods and the power of food as medicine, has naturally led to an interest in the successful development and launching of Co-op Market.
Concerned about the food desert in South Fairbanks, she feels strongly that the trend of urban shift is leaving the city hollow. The location of Co-op Market will help enliven the downtown area and afford quality food options to residents. By investing in the urban areas and locating such valuable assets as Co-op Market in the downtown areas, the city begins to feed itself, both literally and in terms of a more filial reaching-out to one another.
Teresa believes that Fairbanks must eventually become self-sufficient, and that the success of Co-op Market will make great strides in that direction.
Teresa enjoys gardening, coffeeing with friends, watching NOVA, and making awesome stuff. She lives in North Fairbanks with family.
Elijah (Eli) Lyke: Eli is a new Fairbanksan by way of Minneapolis. He moved here with his wife, Erin, who grew up here and their dog and cat. They have settled comfortably in the eclectic Slaterville neighborhood.
For the last 12 years he has worked in the cabinetry and carpentry field and currently works at Dreamworks Cabinetry in Ester.
Eli’s vision for the Co-op is to see more sustainability and livability in our community: sustainability in providing food that is better for our planet, and sustainability in being able to spend and invest in a grocery store that keeps money local and returns more of it back to the community.
He sees the Co-op bringing livability to our community, by bringing healthier food choices and by creating a grocery store that is more assessable to pedestrians and those using public transit. His primary goal is to serve the Member-owners of our Co-op.
For the last year Eli has served on our Board of Directors. During that time he has brought in Member-owners through speaking engagements, attended the Up & Running, Up & Coming Food Co-op Start Up Conference, and provided valuable guidance for Co-op Market.
Angela Matz – Angela has lived in Fairbanks for 13 years after moving around the country for quite a few years before that. She is a wildlife toxicologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She loves to spend time outside, whether canoeing, hiking, mushing, skiing, or sitting on a hillside in the sun.
Angela and her husband (and their six dogs) are happy to call Fairbanks home. Living this far north does require them to make some hard choices in their use of fossil fuels, materials, and food.
Angela is pleased that people have gotten together to increase sustainability and food security options through Co-op Market, and she wants to contribute by working on the Board of Directors.