Meet the Team!
Bluenose Gopher Public House would not be possible without our member-owners who volunteer their time and energy to work both behind the bar and outside of the bar. There are a variety of ways you can volunteer your time as a member, whether it be serving on our board or on one of our committees, pouring a beer or glass of wine, planning and implementing an event or project, or simply promoting and bringing in people! How would you like to contribute? Let us know by contacting Luwaina at email@example.com.
Luwaina AlOtaibi, Chief Operating Officer
Luwaina is a long time member-owner who has been volunteering her time at Bluenose since we started up our cooperative back in 2014. She has contributed countless hours over the years bringing in new members, hauling demo debris, scraping and painting walls, installing flooring, etc. and then stepping up to volunteer her time to pour beers and help manage the public house once we opened. As our first Chief Operating Officer (COO), she launched and manages our food, works with committee members to plan and put on multiple events, schedules and works with our member volunteers, and makes sure we have everything we need to run our public house and co-op. She does all of our ordering, so you can thank her for the good beverage you are tasting for the first time or drinking on the regular!
To contact Luwaina, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heath Armstrong, Cook and Beer+Wine Tender
Heath is a long time volunteer and member-owner of our cooperative. He spent many hours scraping and painting our ceiling and walls in addition to a lot of other tasks before we opened. Then he stepped up when we opened to volunteer many hours as a bartender and kept our palm tree plants alive! Heath is now a part time cook because of his dedication to Bluenose and his passion for cooking. He makes a mean panini sandwich, so stop by to try one today!
Tyler Knutson, Beer+Wine Tender
Tyler started volunteering his time soon after we opened and has been a member we can always count on when help is needed and regularly takes on a shift or two a week! Not only is he dedicating his time behind the bar, but he is also doing an amazing job bringing people in as patrons and as new members. Tyler wears many hats in Granite Falls and volunteers a lot of his time for our community, so we feel very lucky he is willing to share some of his time and energy at Bluenose!
Betsy Pardick, Beer+Wine Tender
Betsy is a long time volunteer and member-owner, who has always been an awesome cheerleader of our cooperative. As soon as we opened, she stepped up to volunteer many hours bartending and teaching a few of us how to pour a good beer! In addition to pouring a perfect beer, Betsy has been bringing her passion for music to Bluenose by hosting an open mic every other week on Friday nights and an open jam EVERY Sunday! If that isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is! We are grateful for her weekly contribution of time and energy dedicated to cultivating community at Bluenose through music!
Jenny Luepke, Beer+Wine Tender
Board of Directors
The Bluenose Gopher Public House Board of Directors is made up of seven patron members that are appointed or elected by the cooperative's member-owners. The public house 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. There is currently one board seat open. If you are interested in serving as a board member, please contact us at email@example.com.
Jessica Gorman, Board Member
Jess moved to the area in January of 2017 and works in the Granite Falls and Western Minnesota arts communities as a Community Artist. She hailed from Denver Colorado, one of her many past homes, seeking the pace and kindness of our rural region. She is passionate about the intersections of community, art and history.
She received her Bachelors in Political Science from the University of Arkansas, and has worked in government administration with the Denver Court System and the City of Renville. These days Jess is starting to be called that “Yellowstone Lady” thanks to her ongoing photo documentary “Follow the Yellowstone Trail” and work with The Yellowstone Trail Alliance of Western Minnesota. Jess is the storefront artist of The Yes! House, Granite Fall’s new developing community space.
Board Member since 2018.
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 propel the idea for a public house 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 Rural Program Manager and Main Street State 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 is serving her second term as a Granite Falls City Council Member and rehabbing her historic church building.
Board Member since 2014.
Vice Chair and Financial Officer
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.
Board Member since 2017
Melissa has been actively involved as a cooperative member and is very invested in the ongoing success of Bluenose Gopher. She loves the community focus and partnership potential of Bluenose, not to mention the delicious craft beer and wine, and is offering up her skills and service to help this cooperative flourish!
Melissa graduated from Willmar Senior High School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and History from Bemidji State University. She has background in working with people with disabilities and at-risk youth, and currently work as a Configuration Analyst for PrimeWest Health, a county-based public health insurance provider located in Alexandria, MN.
Board Member since 2019.
Doug is a local kid, who decided to move back to the area in 2012 to raise his family. Along with his wife Nicole, they have three kids all under the age of nine. Doug is currently a high school teacher in the town of Belview.
Doug has a BA in criminal justice and has five years experience in working with non-profit organizations in the Seattle, Washington area. He is currently pursuing his MA in special education at Bemidji State.
In his spare time Doug enjoys brewing beer with his father in-law, Terry. He can be seen fishing along the river in Granite Falls during the summer and enjoys all kinds of different craft beers and wines.
Board Member since 2019.
Dave Willander, Board Member
Board Member since 2018.