A Word from the Board

A Word from the Board

By Janet Sturm, Board Member, Co-op Owner

It is bittersweet to be writing this newsletter saying goodbye to Sarah Christensen, our talented General Manager for the past 20 years. Sarah was destined to guide others in the world of cooperative groceries. She began at GreenTree as a cashier in 2003, then served as the Bulk Buyer, and transitioned into her position as General Manager 18 years ago. She is a true leader who models every day how to serve our Mt. Pleasant community with positivity and grace. Additionally, she played an integral role in bringing our small but vibrant Co-op into its impressive 10,000 square foot space in December of 2021.

Using her gifts across the United States, she also serves as president of the National Co-op Grocers Board of Directors. In January of 2024, she will bring her talents to Oryana Community Co-op in Traverse City, Michigan, taking on the role of CEO. We will miss her very much. Before she heads off, we need to share some final accolades.

In 2023, Sarah received the Mt Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce Rising Star Award (2023). Under her leadership GreenTree also received an impressive list of grants and awards in the past
three years that warrant sharing:

  • Michigan Celebrates Small Business 50 Companies to Watch (2021)
  • Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Value Added and Regional Food Systems Grant (2021)
  • Small Business of the Year by the Great Lakes Bay Regional Chamber Summit (2023)
  • Mid-Michigan Development Corporation (MMDC) PITCH Competition Winner (2022)
  • Lake Trust Credit Union Make it Mt. Pleasant Grant Recipient (2021)
  • City of Mt. Pleasant Downtown Blade Sign Grant (2021)
  • Baldwin Family Foundation Grant (2020)
  • Cooperative Development Foundation Howard Bowers Fund Grant (2020)
  • Mid-Michigan Development Corporation Match on Main (2020)
  • Sisters of the Precious Blood (2020)

The GreenTree Co-op Board is grateful for Sarah’s years of leadership. As a thank you, our Board Members gifted her a special blanket from the Ziibiwing Center that she can use to remember her roots in Central Michigan and keep warm in her new northern Michigan home. Oryana Community Co-op is fortunate to have Sarah at the helm and we and wish her well in Traverse City.


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