Board of Directors
As the next annual Frontier Co-op Board of Directors elections approach, we want to offer our members the opportunity to participate in this summer's election not only as voters, but as candidates as well.
If you are considering being a candidate for the Frontier Co-op Board of Directors, please read carefully the Board candidate information below. If you need additional information, we are happy to have you email us.
To apply to be a Board candidate, please submit your resume and a brief cover letter explaining your interest in the Board to our Nominating Committee at: Board Nominating Committee; Frontier Co-op; P.O. Box 299; Norway, IA 52318
You may also submit your resume and cover letter via email.
The deadline for submissions is February 1st. The Nominating Committee submits its recommended slate of candidates to the full Board for approval in April, and member voting begins in July.
Frontier Co-op Board Candidate Information
Both the Board and Management Team appreciate your interest in being a member of the Frontier Co-op Board of Directors. The goal of the Nominating Committee is to provide members with a slate of candidates that reflects a broad range of experience in areas such as finance, business management, organic agriculture, co-op organization and the natural products industry. Your participation helps us find the best possible candidates to ensure effective governance, financial oversight, and strategic support for Frontier.
Eligibility: Per Frontier's bylaws, candidates must be "formally associated with a member organization which may include being a member, shareholder, director, trustee, officer, employee, partner or proprietor." Additionally, "no Director shall be associated with interests adverse to Frontier."
Board Make-up: The Board is made up of nine people, six member-elected Directors, two at-large Directors selected by the Board and an automatic position of Management Director filled by Frontier's CEO.
Meetings: There are three in-person meetings per year, two held at company headquarters in Iowa and the other at a location to be determined. Phone conference calls are scheduled five times with additional calls as needed.
Committees: There are three standing committees: audit, governance and executive. Board members are required to participate in at least one standing committee.
Terms: Member-elected Directors have three-year terms and at-large Directors have two-year terms. Terms are staggered so approximately the same number of Directors are elected each year. Terms begin 20 days after voting ends.
Compensation: A yearly stipend is provided, and travel, meals and other Board-related expense are reimbursed.
Timeline: The Board Nominating Committee finalizes nominations in April and voting begins in July.
Board of Directors
The Frontier Co-op Board of Directors brings a broad range of experience in areas such as finance, business management, organic agriculture, co-op organization, and the natural products industry to the task of overseeing Frontier. There are six board members elected by the members, two At-Large Directors appointed by the board, and an automatic position of Management Director filled by Frontier's CEO.
In this year's Board of Directors election, members chose incumbent Tom Stokes and newcomer Phil Meldrum for the open patron seats. Another new face, Kevin Malchoff, was appointed as an at-large director on August 16, 2018.
The current members of the Frontier Board of Directors are:
Dean LaVallee Dean has more than 25 years experience in the food industry spans, including leadership roles in accounting, financial planning and analysis, and manufacturing. Since 2011 he has been Chief Financial Officer responsible for Finance and Information Systems for Blue Diamond Growers, the world's largest grower-owned almond cooperative. Blue Diamond, which is headquartered in Sacramento, California, has grown to $1.7 billion in sales, doubling in revenue since 2011. Dean holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, and the professional accounting designations CPA and CMA. He currently lives in El Dorado Hills, California, with his wife Cheryl.
Jesse Singerman Jesse has over 35 years of experience in distribution, retail grocery and the natural and organic products industry. She served for more than 20 years as President and CEO of Blooming Prairie Warehouse, a major cooperative natural products distributor. She currently operates Prairie Ventures; a consulting firm focused on local food businesses. In addition to Frontier, Jesse has served on the boards of directors of many organizations, including the National Cooperative Bank, the National Farm to School Network, the Organic Trade Association, the Food Marketing Institute, the Iowa Cooperative Foundation, and the Iowa City Public Library. She holds a MBA from University of Chicago and a MA in Clinical Psychology from University of Iowa.
Kevin Malchoff Kevin grew up in Sodus, New York — a small farming town on the shores of Lake Ontario — where his first job (at age 8) was picking cherries for 50 cents a pail. He went on to receive a BS in Agricultural Economics and then an MBA in Marketing from Cornell University. He worked in food marketing and food service for 43 years until his retirement. In 1981, he began work at Rich Products Corporation, a $250M family-owned frozen food company. During Kevin's 37 years in leadership roles at Rich’s, the company grew to become one of the largest family-owned frozen food companies in the world with sales of more than $3.5 billion. After retirement, Kevin remains on Rich's Board of Directors and is active in numerous agricultural and educational organizations.
Leah Bailey Leah has more than 30 years of consumer products experience — the majority of it in the personal care market and packaged goods. She has held both marketing and general management positions at Quaker, Jovan, Alberto Culver, GTE and most recently as CEO of Paris Presents. She gained exposure to the environmentally aware market at Paris Presents when the company launched EcoTools, now one of the top-selling brands of cosmetic accessories in the mass market. Leah earned her BA degree from Johns Hopkins and MBA from Harvard. She lives north of Chicago with her husband Rob and their two teenage daughters, Samantha and Ally.
Lindy Bannister (President) Lindy is currently Regional Director for the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association. From 2005 to 2012, she was the General Manager of The Wedge Community Coop (a long-time Frontier member) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She held a number of food-related jobs previous to that, including owning her own restaurant on Vancouver Island in Canada and working in conventional grocery for 21 years, eventually running stores for Albertsons and HEB across the western US and in Texas. Her commitment to cooperatives is an expression of her personal business ethic of treating everyone fairly and doing the right thing without calculation, "just because it is the right thing."
Pedro Garcia Pedro is a financial and strategic advisor to leading companies in the natural and organic products industry. He attended Princeton University and has spent the last 19 years working in business finance, mostly in national and international firms. He has worked as a partner in his own firm during the last ten years, focusing on natural and organic food companies. Pedro and his wife Karen live in Brooklyn, New York with their two young girls — Sophie (13), and Claire (11).
Phil Meldrum Phil began his professional career in 1979 managing a specialty food store and has worked in the culinary field ever since. In 1996 Phil founded FOODMatch to distribute healthful, authentic, responsibly produced Mediterranean food. FOODMatch is still family owned and operated and has become the preeminent producer and importer of Mediterranean olives, antipasti and ingredients in the United States. Phil is closely involved in community organizations that fight hunger and promote healthy eating, such as urban pantries and community outreach centers.
Tom Stokes Tom has worked in the food industry for 43 years, with most of that time spent at Tree Top, Inc., a farmer-owned cooperative fruit processor headquartered in the state of Washington. Tom was CEO of Tree Top for 15 years and had Board/Leadership involvement in many industry organizations, including Grocery Manufacturers Association, Juice Products Association, US Apple Association, Apple Processors Association and NW Food Processors Association. He lives in Central Washington with his wife Lynda. They have four children and six grandchildren.
Tony Bedard (Management Director, Treasurer, Secretary) Tony came to Frontier Co-op in 1991 and subsequently held positions of increasing responsibility in Operations. He has been Frontier's CEO since 2003. Prior to joining the company, Tony was a Production Manager with Winnebago Industries. Tony holds a B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa and an M.S. in Manufacturing Management from the GMI Engineering & Management Institute.