Brenda Burmeister

Brenda Burmeister
Patient Relations Liaison, M Health Fairview

Why do you want to serve on the Eastside Food Co-op Board of Directors?
I've lived in northeast Minneapolis since 1989 and became a co-op member before there was a co-op. It's been amazing to see it come to fruition, and l feel it's time for me to do more than observe and consume the fruits of others' labor.

What kinds of skills, interests, and experience would you bring to the board?
I have a passion for healthy food, the environment, and building relationships. rm an RN and have worked in health care all my life in a variety of settings. I traveled to East Africa with the Peace Corps in the 80s, and that is where I really learned the value of community, cooperation, and patience.

My current position in patient relations has opened my eyes to the need for people to feel valued, listened to, and taken seriously. No matter how fast we grow technologically and have the ability to get .. stuff' almost instantaneously, nothing can replace personal relationships.

I grew up in rural southwestern Wisconsin. the beautiful Driftless region where many organic farms and cooperatives thrive. When I walk into Eastside Co-op, it feels like home; like I belong there.

Eastside Food Co-op is founded on the 7 International Cooperative Principles. Please choose one of the principles and describe how you think the board can encourage and foster this in a cooperative.
That being said, I understand not everyone feels this way, members and non-members alike. The co-op is doing so many things right, it's difficult for me to find fault. At the board meeting I recently attended, I was struck by a presenter who was reaching out as a representative of the arts community, to build a stronger relationship with the co-op. This is something that I (naively) assumed was already in place, and it made me wonder about other potential opportunities to collaborate with community members and organizations.

Tell us your experience in working with fiduciary responsibilities for an organization.
My experience with corporate leadership and fiduciary responsibilities is mostly by default related to my work and life obligations at the time, most recently being the ongoing collaboration with medical and multidisciplinary health leaders to review and resolve patient grievances. This includes thorough investigations as well as analysis to determine the root of the concern and thoughtful determination of outcomes.

Tell us your experience in collective-decision making.
I am resourceful and detail-oriented, and will look forward to learning more about the principles and policies that have helped build and maintain our co-op. l believe my passion, curiosity, and commitment will benefit the board in discovering opportunities and encouraging even more community members to feel '"at home" at Eastside.