West Side Farmers Market Leadership

West Side Farmers Market is a 501c3 non-profit governed by a volunteer board and an executive director.

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 2021 board of directors is open through November 30, 2020.

Please read the Board of Directors information packet before applying. You can find the packet here, and the application here.

More questions? Please contact us at board@westsidefarmersmarket.net we are always looking for volunteers to help at the market or to serve on a committee.

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

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!

Mackenzie Dolo-Tolstoy  Vice President/Secretary (2020)
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. 

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!