From Left: Alex, Kristel, Candy, Teasha, Mike, Mark, Roya

2016-2017 Board of Directors

Roya Damsaz, Interim President

Roya is an application engineer working in the custom HVAC industry for the last two decades. Working in this field, she’s learned to be a creative thinker and a problem solver. She and her husband have been vegetarian for some years and are moving towards becoming vegan. They both consider this an ethical obligation towards mother earth and all beings. Living in north Minneapolis, she is determined to help improve the quality of life for her community by challenging the existing environmental, social, educational, and criminal justice inequalities.

In the last few years she has mentored at Familywise and Achieve Minneapolis. She is an adventurous cook and always looking for new ingredients and recipes. To her, gardening and cooking are means of bringing people together and building a united network of kindness. As Thich Nhat Hanh says “We are here to awaken the illusion of separateness.”

Teasha Reid, Vice President

Teasha has been a property owner on Glenwood Avenue in the Harrison Neighborhood for 19 years. She misses the neighborhood grocery store, “Skyline Grocery.” It was convenient with fresh meats, fresh vegetables, and affordable prices. Teasha’s passion is to work, support, and educate on behalf of Wirth Co-op Grocery, so that the Harrison neighborhood and surrounding communities can have a local grocery store again. Teasha has a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Counseling and Psychotherapy from Adler Graduate School, and has worked for over 10 years with children and families in need of behavioral modification. When she is not working or volunteering with the Co-op, she is teaching aqua zumba, senior strength classes, golfing, sewing, swimming, and eating healthy. Teasha has been with the Wirth Co-op board since the early years.

Mark Parriott, Treasurer

Mark has been a North Minneapolis resident for three years and loves the neighborhood. By profession he is a database analyst and has supported and volunteered for AchieveMpls, the PCYC, Emerge, and Antioch. Mark believes that it is very important that our city has a model of healthy living since there is a predominance now of fast food which is usually unhealthy. He hopes his efforts can introduce more healthy food to our community and also raise the profile of North Minneapolis. In Mark’s view, the Co-op can be more than just a place to buy good food; it can be a teaching tool. He is passionate about improving the quality of life for residents of North Minneapolis.

Kristel Porter, Secretary

Kristel has lived in North Minneapolis for over 30 years, is a Northside home owner and serves as the Executive Director of Cleveland Neighborhood Association. Porter is a Director on the  North Side Resident Redevelopment Council Board and one of the founders of the United Black Legislative Agenda. She is a single mother of three children who are all active youth leaders in the movement for social, environmental and economic justice. Porter has been a member of cooperatives for over 30 years and has been a member of Wirth Co-op for over 2 years where she chaired the Hiring and Membership Committees. She enjoys gardening, raising her hens, camping, fishing, riding bike, rollerblading through North Minneapolis and swimming. Just a few of her many passions are to familiarize and educate her community about clean energy, agriculture, and healthy eating.

Kimberly Caprini, Board Member

Kimberly is a Northside resident and small business owner.  She is an advocate for North Minneapolis Public Schools, sitting on several site councils/committees in schools and at Minneapolis Public Schools headquarters.  Kimberly is also a community activist and currently in her second term on the Board Directors for the Cleveland Neighborhood Association.  She enjoys spending time with her husband of 18 years and their 2 teenage daughters.

Kimberly believes that Wirth Co-op will be a very valuable resource for her community not only by providing healthy food choices but also because it will be a focal point in the neighborhood.  She is most excited about the opportunities that the store will provide through community outreach and several exciting events throughout the year.  While for decades North Minneapolis has been referred to as a “food desert” she believes that Wirth Co-op, along with other new and upcoming restaurants and all the food and health-related educational opportunities, will change the narrative from inside our community.

John Flory, Board Member

John is the Special Projects director for Latino Economic Development. Development projects have included Cooperativa Mercado Central , Mid-town Global Market and lead staff for client real estate projects. He has been a small business lender for LEDC for 14 years, including real estate lending. John is currently supporting development of Latino and Hmong agricultural cooperatives. He previously worked as a small business consultant and micro lender for Whittier CDC for 15 years; and seven years as a manager of small cooperative grocery stores. John has been a part of Wirth Co-op from the early years and his contributions were crucial to the development of this cooperation.

Michael Jonak, Board Member

Michael is a licensed attorney with experience in family law and housing cases. During his years of practice, he has worked with Legal Aid and Volunteer Lawyers Network. He is a member of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, MN350, and Showing Up For Racial Justice. He enjoys gardening and producing his own food. To him, gardening and affordable, accessible healthy food are essential to having a healthy, sustainable community.