The 2018 HPC Board of Directors
They are generous with their time, joyful about Hampden Park Co-op, cooperative as a team, enthusiastic about the future of our store, and productive where it counts. They all believe that by serving us – a local business that embodies their values – they are making a real and lasting difference in our community.
UPDATE: The Annual Meeting resulted in some director changes for 2019: Amanda Peterson and Collin Russell will be joining our board; Rachel Fang was relected for another term. Bios and photos for Amanda and Collin to come. We sincerely thank the departing board members for their service: Luca Cowles, Lynn Englund and Dylan MacWilliams.
Kate Gray – Board President
Kate's Term: 2016–19 • Preferred Pronoun: She/Her
Kate loves all food co-ops, especially Hampden Park Co-op. So she is honored to lead the co-op into the future as the President of HPC’s Board of Directors! Kate lives in Hamline-Midway and works in the field of youth and community development. She recently completed a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine’s, and she follows the principles of Servant Leadership. In her free time you will find Kate working in the garden, cooking, practicing yoga, riding her bike, or reading a book. Fun fact: she and her partner served as Peace Corps volunteers in Morocco, working at a youth center in the Sahara Desert!
What does Kate love about HPC? I love their bulk peanut butter options and the blueberry scones baked fresh every morning.
Mark V. Chapin – Board Member
Mark's Term: 2018–19 • Preferred Pronoun: He/Him
Mark has been a member of the Hampden Park Co-op since 2008. He previously served on the board of River Market Community Co-op in Stillwater, and the board of HPC. When one of our board members had to step down in 2018, Mark was willing to step in and fill the vacancy. Mark works for Hennepin County as the Director of Resident and Real Estate Services, and he is an avid booster of hockey as a lifetime recreational activity for everyone.
What does Mark love about HPC? I love the welcoming and knowledgeable staff members, the size of the store, and how easy it is to shop here.
Rachel Fang – Board Member
Rachel's Term: 2015–18 • Preferred Pronoun: She/Her
Rachel has been a member of the co-op for more than 25 years and has been a member-worker (a.k.a. volunteer), paid employee, and board member during that time. She is currently in her third year on the board. Rachel lives in St. Anthony Park, and has immersed herself into the history of our co-op to write articles in the past for the HPC newsletter. She is currently finishing her PhD in Housing Studies. In her spare time Rachel loves gardening, appreciating music, reading fiction, and spending time outdoors.
What does Rachel love about HPC? I love HPC’s small scale, its historic building, and the wonderful fruits, vegetables, soups and sandwiches I am able to buy at the co-op.
Ablavi Handziak – Board Member
Ablavi's Term: 2017–20 • Preferred Pronoun: She/Her
Ablavi was born in Togo, West Africa, but raised in Saint Paul. She completed her BA degree from the University of Minnesota in 2013 with a major in Political Science, Global Studies, and French. After graduating, she worked at the UMN central Human Resources department for two and a half years. Currently, Ablavi works full time at the Carlson School of Management. She tied the knot in July of 2018; the newlyweds look forward to all of the projects to be done on their new house in Saint Paul.
What does Ablavi love about HPC? I love the fresh food, location, and the intimacy in getting to know the staff over time.
Yaya James-Lu’Becke – Board Member
Yaya's Term: 2016–19 • Preferred Pronoun: She/Her
My name is Ayanna but I prefer to be called Yaya. As a Minnesota native hailing from North Minneapolis, I can say that I am new to the co-op scene and I am very eager to serve and learn. I have dreams to attend law school and one day open a firm of my own! I am pretty down to earth and I love to meet new people. It will be my pleasure to serve on the board.
What does Yaya love about HPC? I love the exposure to grocery items that I otherwise would not have access to. In my neighborhood there are many “food deserts.” I am grateful to be a part of this co-op which is dedicated to teaching the community about, and feeding them, a variety of healthy foods. As a result, I can take my exposure back to my community and encourage others to take part in locally sourced foods.
Sarah McRoberts – Board Member
Sarah's Term: 2017–20 • Preferred Pronoun: She/Her
Raised in Iowa, Sarah came up to Minnesota for grad school. She is a Computer Science PhD candidate at the UMN, studying youth video creation and sharing. Hampden Park Co-op has been an essential escape for her from the day-to-day woes. Sarah used to volunteer on the cheese shift, and the store hasn’t been able to shake her as she transitioned from the cheese board to the board of directors! When she is not grabbing one-more-thing-I-almost-forgot at the co-op, Sarah is organizing craft and reading groups with her friends, or reading with a cup of coffee in her hand.
What does Sarah love about HPC? I love the efficiency of the store size, the cheese selection, and the way the co-op has brought me deeper into my community.
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Extending an Invitation to Serve
Being a member-owner, a shopper, or employee is a simple way to be engaged at Hampden Park Co-op. But for those who may be looking for ways to generously and enthusiastically elevate their engagement, consider joining our board of directors in the future. Find more information here.
Photographs by Linda Andersen.