Board of Managers
Iroquois Valley Farms is governed by a nine-member Board of Managers. Managers are made up of professionals from health care, a local mid-size family business, a socially-responsible financial advisory firm, a leading farmer advocacy organization, as well as several farmers. Managers typically serve for a term of three years.
The Board of Managers is composed as follows:
Stephen P. Rivard, M.D., Board Chair, Co-Founder and Corporate “Medical Director”
Dr. Rivard has a long history of entrepreneurship in the medical and health field. After earning his undergraduate and medical degrees from Loyola University of Chicago, he began a practice in the newest medical specialty of the time, emergency medicine. After 26 years – and having raised two children — he changed careers and founded Illinois Vein Specialists in Illinois in 2008, another growing medical specialty business. He also began diversifying his investments to focus on health and organic farmland. His interest in organic farming goes beyond profit. It also includes the mission of creating a more socially conscious and sustainable future for his children. Dr. Rivard is now reaching out to other physicians and health care professionals to bring attention to the varied health illnesses associated with our current food production system. Specifically, he is concerned about the growth of Type 2 diabetes, food allergies and various cancer incidences that may be associated with our food choices. He views investing in Iroquois Valley Farms as a chance to both reclaim our health and sustainably grow capital.
Andy Ambriole, Member of the Company, Manager, Farmer/Tenant
Mr. Ambriole, his wife, and his parents farm around 1,800 acres in Huntington County, Indiana near Ft. Wayne. Mr. Ambriole is the first farmer to join the Board and brings a wealth of experience and energy to the group. Currently, he farms 500 acres of certified organic land, half owned and half leased. An additional 300 acres of farmland is being transitioned to organic certification, including the Company’s Old Oak and Sparta Woods farms. Mr. Ambriole is an active user of cover crops (rye grass, buckwheat, oats, oil seed radishes and clovers) and has a custom cover crop seeding business, along with an organic fertilizer business using on-farm earthworm production. Along with the typical grain crops, he also grows organic greenhouse tomatoes and raises Nubian goats for local cheese production.
Mr. Ambriole was awarded Indiana State Star Farmer in 2008 and Huntington County Conservation Farmer in 2010. He is a Supervisor on the Huntington County Soil & Water Conservation Board and a member of the Organic Valley Grower Pool.
Sally Dodge, Member of the Company, Manager, Northeast Community Development Manager
Ms. Dodge is a long-time farmer, creative entrepreneur, successful business owner, and energetic environmental activist. She has been Northeast Community Development Manager for Iroquois Valley Farms since 2013. She manages her family’s 350 acre farm in Pownal, Vermont, leasing it to several organic operators, including a 250 member CSA, an organic dairy farm, and an organic beef operation. She co-owns a flock of Katahdin sheep, and with her partners, manages them by the Alan Savory Holistic Management system. She is a former beefalo farmer, raised and marketed grass-fed beef before its importance to consumers became widely embraced. She has been instrumental in promoting and strengthening the link between local family farmers, restaurants, and direct farm sales through farmers’ markets and CSAs. She is one of the pioneers of the locally-grown food movement, and created Taste Vermont, a bi-annual event in the ’90s which promoted public awareness of specialty farmers in Vermont, and their importance to the Vermont brand.
Ms. Dodge served for 18 years as a trustee of the Vermont Land Trust, where she took part in helping the organization move toward supporting diversified farms and farm acquisition programs. She is a member of the board of directors of the Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation, and serves as their liaison to the Wildlife Conservation Society.
She was educated at Miss Porter’ School, studied modern European government, economics, and culture during a seminal year at Franklin College Switzerland, before attending Bennington College and Wesleyan University.
She is an owner of The Mountain Goat, an outdoor outfitting store in Manchester, Vermont. She lives in Manchester with her husband, Dale Guldbrandsen, who partners with her in their Iroquois Valley Farms position. They have five children and five grandchildren.
Teresa Opheim, Manager
Teresa Opheim, previously Director of Young Farmer Land Access Program: Opheim focused on helping the young millennial farming tenants during the transition years. Teresa Opheim currently leads Practical Farmers’ Farm Transfer Programming to help new farmers secure land and help older farmers transfer their farms and businesses to the next generation. This work includes securing media coverage, holding workshops, partnering with other organizations and farmland investment efforts, and working with individual farmland owners to explore their farmland legacies.
Opheim served as the Executive Director of Practical Farmers of Iowa from 2006 to 2016. She served as Executive Director of the Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Working Group and has worked for the Iowa Environmental Council, the Environmental Law Institute and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Opheim has journalism and law degrees from the University of Iowa. She is the author, along with members of Practical Farmers, of an upcoming book on farmland legacies – The Future of Family Farms: Practical Farmers’ Legacy Letter Project. She is co-author of the book Our National Wetland Heritage, published by the Environmental Law Institute. Teresa and her family now reside in Minneapolis.
Arnold Lau, Member of the Company, Manager
Mr. Lau is an independent securities and commodities trader. He was previously a market maker on the Chicago Board Options Exchange for 16 years and has been a member of the Chicago Board of Trade for 20 years. He holds degrees from Lawrence University and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mr. Lau is a life member of the Nature Conservancy and the Sierra Club, and since 2010 has co-managed Two Roads Farm LLC, a 320 acre organic farm in central Illinois.
Andy Loving, Member of the Company, Manager, SRI Financial Advisor
A resident of Louisville, Kentucky and a Certified Financial Planner,® Andy has been a financial advisor since 1993, specializing in sustainable, socially responsive and community investing. Serving clients in more than 25 states, Andy has moved tens of millions of dollars into community investments and has matched appropriate clients to a range of fair-trade cooperatives and other alternative investments.
A native of central Illinois farm country, Andy earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1965 and master’s degree in counseling from Southern Illinois University in 1971. As cofounder of SEEDS, an award-winning magazine on hunger and economic justice, linking food production, land stewardship and financial capital.
David E. Miller, Member of the Company, Manager, Chief Executive Officer
After a 30-year career in corporate finance and real estate, Mr. Miller returned to his native Illinois landscape in 2005 by purchasing a 10 acre farm from a family estate of his relatives. Keeping the farm in the family, he re-connected with local relatives and friends farming organically. In 2007, he co-founded Iroquois Valley Farms LLC to enable a new generation of farmers and investors to support healthy food production. Mr. Miller is currently CEO and President of the Company.
Prior to developing sustainable farmland ventures, Mr. Miller held executive positions at Bank of America, Santa Fe Southern Pacific and First Chicago Corporation, including the management and oversight of large leasing portfolios. In 2008 he formed Working Farms Capital, an entity seeding new ventures in sustainable agriculture while providing transitional farm management services.
Mr. Miller is a 1975 graduate of Loyola University of Chicago, and a 1978 graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. Mr. Miller views education as the primary key to changing the health and economics of our current food production systems. In that capacity, Mr. Miller is a founding member of the advisory board for Loyola University’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability and is a recipient of the Institute’s first Damen Award, recognizing his services related to positive environmental change. Mr. Miller resides in Winnetka, Illinois with his wife and family. He continues to restore his small organic farm in Iroquois County, a family heritage since 1875, now being transitioned to native prairie and permaculture production.
Mr. Miller is a co-founder of Iroquois Valley Farms LLC, and has served as it Chief Executive Officer continuously since the company’s founding in 2007. He has previously served on the Board of Managers.
Coleen Reedy, Member of the Company, Manager
Ms. Reedy brings to Iroquois Valley Farms the broad business experience she gained through her management, executive and board level involvement with Reedy Industries, Inc. In her role as chief financial officer of Reedy Industries, Inc. for over 25 years, Ms. Reedy had responsibility for the management of the IT, Human Resources, Legal, Risk Management, Financial and Accounting functions of this privately held, third generation business. Ms. Reedy is committed to environmental causes including such organizations as the Nature Conservancy and Illinois PIRG; and is a regular donor to organizations whose mission is environmental health and sustainability. She currently serves on the board of “Feed the Dream”, a not-for-profit organization which provides nutrition resources, education, and training to women and young children in rural villages of Guatemala.
Harold Wilken, Farmer/Tenant, Manager
Mr. Wilken is a life-long farmer from Danforth, IL. He has been farming organically since 2003, and became Iroquois Valley Farms’ (IVF) first farmer when, in 2007, he was contracted to transition Iroquois’ Hoekstra property near Danforth. In 2008, he expanded his relationship with Iroquois by beginning the transition of the Martin farm. Both properties were duly certified organic and he continues to farm both of them. Along with his son, Ross (who is also an IVF farmer), he has undertaken to transition and farm additional properties for IVF. Mr. Wilken continues to expand the size and scope of his organic farming, now including such crops as pumpkins, black beans and ancient grains such as emmer and einkorn. He is establishing a grain milling capacity that should be operational by 2016.