West Side Farmers Market is a 501c3 non-profit governed by a volunteer board and an executive director.
Meet the Executive Director
Molly Phipps – Executive Director
Molly Phipps is the Executive Director of the West Side Farmers Market and has been integrally involved with the market since 2013. She has a Bachelor’s in Geology-biology from Brown University and a PhD in Science Education and Oceanography from Oregon State University. Molly has been a climate scientist, a teacher, a mentor, an educational researcher and evaluator, and an environmental educator in a search for the best way to create a positive impact on the environment and community well-being. Building and strengthening the West Side Farmers Market represents an intersection of a number of Molly’s interests: food, climate change education, and community. As we move away from a fossil fuel-dependent food system we need to drastically change our ways of feeding ourselves and taking care of each other at the local level. By nurturing and supporting small-scale farms and farmers, teaching people the joys and benefits of eating local food, and encouraging a more interconnected and self-reliant community, Molly has found her way to make a meaningful impact on climate mitigation and adaptation.
Meet the Market Manager
Steve Bivans – Market Manager
Steve Bivans, the Big Man in the Kilt, has been the market manager for the last five seasons.He’s the author of five books on various topics, including sustainability and community building. He joined the West Side Farmers Market as a way to put into practice many of the ideas from his first book, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth, in which he argued that our food system is at the core of many of the challenges we face. He is passionate about building community through food and fun. His philosophy for the market is simple: “If it’s not fun, we’re not doing it.”The last two seasons he’s also been a part-time vendor at the market, with his partner Patience Felt of Payshee’s Popcorn, so he has experienced the market from every angle: as customer, as organizer, and as a vendor.Steve believes the future of our “Petite but Powerful” market depends upon the continued support of its amazing vendors, volunteers, and customers and is dedicated to being there, every Saturday morning to make sure things run smoothly, with a smile.
Meet the Current Board
Lindsay Bejblik: President (2020)
Lindsay has been a part of the West Side Farmers Market from its inception. Over the years she has worn many hats to insure the functioning of the market at its greatest capacity. From fundraising, to arts and entertainment coordination, to operations, Lindsay’s dedication to the growth and continuity of the market has been steadfast.
Lindsay speaks fluent Spanish and has substantial board experience and non-profit leadership including serving as Assistant Outreach Manager for Peace Action: the nation’s oldest and largest peace and social justice lobby. Additionally, as an urban farmer and permaculture expert, she brings relevant knowledge to the fundamental premise of the market. Serving on the West Side Farmers Market board allows Lindsay to apply all of her passions.
Linda Bishop (2020)
Linda is a former SPPS science teacher who is fully enjoying her retirement. She grew up near Minnehaha Falls in Mpls. but moved to St. Paul to attend Hamline University where she attended her first two years and 5th and 6th year of college; completing her Bacholors of Science at the Uof M and her post bac teaching degree at Hamline. Linda has lived in the Midway and Phalen neighborhoods and now the West Side where she has been for six years. Having owned a hobby farm in Afton, she is no stranger to hard work. Her children helped her board and care for 19 horses, primarily Morgans, and care for chickens, ducks, three peacocks (Ricky, Lucy and Ethel), and three sheep. Prior to teaching, Linda worked in retail, the food industry, and as the Volunteer Coordinator at the Ramsey Co. JDC. She owned and operated a small business in catering, home staging and decorating which she still enjoys today. Discovering the WSFM two years ago led her to become interested in the Treasure Table as a volunteer and serving on the board. Today, Linda’s interests are focused on becoming an avid member of the Market and gardening, cooking, sewing and mixed media art. Her family loves animals and have a Schittzu, a Louisiana Catahoula Hound, and four cats. One of the cats was a stray and turned out to be a Norwegian Forest Cat!
Dr. Dolo-Tolstoy brings a wealth and depth of experience to psychology and the international fields of education and training, program development with multiple technology platforms, and conflict transformation. She mentors, coaches, and provides support to learners in the areas of humanities, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and communications.
She has taught and initiated education and counseling programs around the world in Indonesia, China, Cambodia, Kuwait, Oman, Switzerland, and Mali (where she was raised and has dual citizenship).
Mackenzie has transitioned from academic teaching to working in training and organization management still focusing on well-being and creative solutions. She can empower clients with the ability to take nebulous dreams and channel their energy into being able to forge practical solutions that assist with their life goals.
When Mackenzie is not teaching or traveling, she enjoys gaming and researching community building and the visceral impact of virtual environments, user-centered design, hope and wellbeing model of development, transition adjustment and conflict transformation.
Laura Gosewisch – Treasurer (2019-2022)
Laura has been a vendor with the West Side Farmer’s Market since 2016 when she and her wife Cathy started the Vital Ground Farm Network – a collaborative for farmers and entrepreneurs that cultivates relationships between makers, consumers, and local food. When she’s not farming, she is running her massage therapy practice or speaking at conferences for women, farmers and entrepreneurs.
Jane Oslund (2020)
Jane has worked at BankCherokee on the West Side for over 15 years, she has been involved with a number organization that help support the West Side community and all it has to offer.
BankCherokee’s main branch is located on the West Side of Saint Paul and has been for over 100 years. The Bank is a third generation family owned community bank and is proud to be values driven, relationship focused, family oriented, and community engaged.
BankCherokee has supported the West Side Farmers Market for the last four years sponsoring the Community Table our first year and the Community Chef Table the last three years. As a volunteer, Jane has assisted with Marketing for the market as well as helping to launch the Community Chef Table with signage, budgeting and engaging chefs to demonstrate at the market each week.
Nettie Pignatello (2019-2020)
Gina Rios (2020)
Gina is an Entrepreneur, Brand, and Marketing Strategist who presently manages the Girl Scout River Valleys Community Program Partnerships.
Gina is passionate about food, sustainability, and community and has formerly co-owned a CSA, The Bistro Farm; owned a paleta business, Pick- A-Paleta; and managed and revisioned the Urban Ventures Urban Farm program. She is honored to be on the board and part of the WSFM Community.
Barb Rose Vice President (2019-2020)
I have lived on the west side since 1983; that’s more than 35 years- longer than I’ve lived anywhere else in my lifetime! The West Side has had its ups and downs since I’ve lived here, but I have always been proud to call it home. I have been honored help lead the growth and development of our small yet very powerful neighborhood farmers market. It’s important to me that our neighborhood has a visible place where neighbors can not only find affordable, nutritious tasty and local food but also discover a fun and welcoming place to meet neighbors and build community. I will continue to hard to make sure everyone who lives in the neighborhood feel like they belong at WSFM and that it continues to be part of what make the West Side such a unique and special place!
Tera Scovill (2020)
Tera and her husband, Marc, moved to the West Side in June of 2014. Although a relative newcomer to the community, she quickly fell in love with the West Side Farmer’s Market and recognized it as a true gem in the community. Helping the farmer’s market continue to flourish and connect to the greater community is exciting.
She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and currently works for Freshwater Society, an environmental nonprofit. She has a passion around environmental stewardship and is a Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteer. Her background is in project coordination, administrative support, sales, and customer service.
She is honored to be on the board and looks forward to applying her skill set, passion, and energy to further the growth of the market and serve the West Side Community.
Laurie Sovell (2020)
Laurie grew up in that other Twin City and became a West Sider, along with her two kids and husband, 17 years ago. She loves the river and works to connect people all over Minnesota with our waters by helping them track river health. She has a particular interest in the connections between food systems, watersheds, and people and can’t wait to dive into the work of the WSFM!
Michele Webb Secretary (2020)
Michele Webb, aka The Cookie Dealer, owner of Michele’s Cookies, mom of 3, wife, artist/creative talent, chef/teacher and outgoing human. Going on year two of this diverse, delicious and incredible market… so proud to be a part of it! My culinary adventure has finally led me to selling my own food, and for that I’m grateful and have regained an energy I was lacking for so many years. Now that I’m on the board, I can’t wait to share my experiences, food triumphs and failures and anything else useful.
Interested in joining the board?
Board members are nominated each fall for the following year. First time board members serve one-year terms, while subsequent terms are for three years. Nominations for the 2020 board of directors closed on November 1, 2019.
Are you interested for the future? See here for Board Member Expectations
More questions? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org we are always looking for volunteers to help at the market or to serve on a committee.