The Bluenose Gopher Brewery Board of Directors is made up of seven patron members that are appointed or elected by the cooperative's member-owners. The brewery is a cooperative. As such, there is no owner. We are run by a Board that is made up entirely of volunteers who take no pay for acting in a board capacity. NOTE: we have three open seats available on the Board. Please contact us at if you are interested in serving as a board member.

Sarina Otaibi, Chair


Sarina moved to Granite Falls in January of 2012 and quickly became an active member of the community. Her love for community building, historic preservation and rural downtown development helped to propel the idea for a small brewery infused with history and community to be located in downtown Granite Falls, right along the Minnesota River. 

She received her BBA in Marketing from Stetson University in Florida and a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Maryland, College Park. By day, she is the Minnesota Main Street Coordinator at the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, helping cities around the state revitalize their downtown districts by maximizing both their people and built assets for economic vitality. Sarina also is serving her second term as a council member on the Granite Falls City Council, serving as a board member on the Granite Falls Historical Society, and rehabbing a historic church. To learn more about Sarina's professional experience, visit her LinkedIn Profile.

To contact Sarina, email 

Board Member since 2014.

Andrew Hodny, Vice Chair


An Aberdeen, SD native, Andrew enjoys craft beer and summer evenings. He obtained a law degree from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a Bachelor's degree from Augustana College in Sioux Falls. Additionally, he also grew his business acumen through coursework in business law in Jonkoping, Sweden. He is a problem solver and works as an attorney.

Andrew has a fondness for travel, film, and reading. Certified as an MN Master Naturalist, he cares about nature and science and is a life-long learner.  Andrew's goal is to plant a seed of a sustainable, community driven, locally focused business in Southwest Minnesota. As the vice chair of the board, he also contributes to the brewing process and would be happy to answer any of your questions about the brewing!

Board Member since 2014.

Mary Gillespie, Records Officer


Mary grew up in Granite Falls and moved back in 2000, after living around the country and abroad. With a new found appreciation of the beauty and history of her hometown, she became active in historic preservation - opening a B&B in a historic octagon house - and local organizations. She is the Chamber of Commerce Director at the Granite Falls Chamber of Commerce, and a board member of the Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway Alliance, Granite Falls CVB, Granite Falls Riverfront Revitalization, and the Granite Falls Historical Society. Mary is excited for the Granite Falls Historical Society at the Andrew Volstead House Museum to get more exposure and visitors because of our prohibition themed brewery, she is the treasurer of that organization. 

Mary has business experience with her antique shop, B&B and a degree in Small Business Management and Photography from Urbana University, Urbana, OH.  She has further graduate study in sociology at Southern Oregon University. Mary is passionate about developing Granite Falls through tourism, art and historic emphasis in promoting the town. She is very excited about our Minnesota River location, unique old building, cooperative business model and plans for great beer and food.

Board Member since 2014.


Kyle Haugen, Financial Officer

Kyle Haugen.jpg

Kyle grew up in nearby Clara City, MN and moved back in June 2017.  He has also lived in Mankato, MN and most recently in the Glenwood/Brooten area.  Kyle studied accountancy at Ridgewater College and has been with the Audit Department of Citizens Alliance Bank since 2011, currently serving as the Internal Audit Supervisor.  Kyle brings knowledge of financial tracking and reporting, corporate governance, internal controls and regulatory compliance.

Kyle appreciates a good craft beer and the community events that breweries and taprooms promote, such as music, art, and the celebration of all things local.  A lifelong lover of music, Kyle tries to take in as many live shows as possible.  He also enjoys spending time with his family, especially his very active 14-year old daughter.  In his down time Kyle is an avid reader and enjoys gaming with his friends.