Northern Lakes Managers
Northern Lakes Management Team
Hello, my name is Mike Covelli and I am the General Manager for the Northern Lakes Cooperative. I have had the pleasure of being in this role since May of 2007. I am responsible for the development, growth, operations and financial success for all of the Cooperative businesses. I work directly with store managers on a daily basis to ensure that our customers get the best products and service that Hayward has to offer.
I have spent my entire career managing and leading people in various leadership roles for two major corporations. I have had various roles mostly in Facilities Management, most recent as Senior Director of Operations for the last 11 years prior to coming to the Northern Lakes Cooperative. I enjoy building teams and supporting staff development in order to raise our businesses to the highest possible professional level.
I relocated from Batavia, Illinois and have been a Hayward resident since 2004. I enjoy fishing, Grouse hunting and cooking new and different foods.
My office is located in the General Office Building which is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
General Office Manager
Hello, my name is Nina Nelson and I am a native to the Hayward area growing up in Moose Lake on a farm. I started working at the Co-op when I was 14 doing dishes and over the years worked in many of the different departments. The last 23 years I have been a member of the Administrative team and my current position is Credit Manager and Employee Benefits Coordinator as well as sharing payroll duties with Margarete.
I enjoy bike riding, canoeing and do some cross country skiing in the winter months. I also enjoy vacationing in Laughlin, Nevada walking along the Colorado River and hiking in the area. I have been married to my husband Raymond “Scott” Nelson for 32 years as of April 11th this year.
Hello, my name is Mollie Coddington. I am the Marketing Coordinator for all the Northern Lakes Cooperative. While learning more about the Cooperative Business I am focused on knowing more about our stores & our community. Advertising and Marketing have always been intriguing to me as it is not just one customer we focus on, we want to include our community and tourists to show them what our Cooperative has to offer.
Before moving to Hayward in 2004, I went to Dakota County Technical College for Graphic Design, which gave me a great stepping stone into art and computers. In my first semester I remember how amazing it was to see how advertising really makes an impact in everyone’s daily life. I grew up in River Falls, WI and we travel back often to see family and friends. My husband and I enjoy spending our time with our kids, teaching them and experiencing the beauty of the Northwoods.
Manager, Energy Center & C-Store
Hello, my name is Brenda Leonard and I am the manager of the Energy Center and Cenex Convenience Store of the Northern Lakes Cooperative. I am responsible for their growth, development and operational success. I work with all staff to ensure that products and services are delivered to our customers with professionalism and courtesy.
I began my career at the Northern Lakes Cooperative in November 2001, became manager of the Energy Center in November 2007 and of the Cenex Convenience Store in February of 2014. Providing great customer service is top priority and I enjoy helping develop our team to deliver that great service.
I am a graduate of the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College — Superior with an Administrative Assistant’s Associate Degree. My professional career has included administrative support roles in various businesses including health insurance, financial and real estate.
I have been a resident of Hayward since 1988 and have been blessed with being able to raise my son and daughter in this beautiful area. They are now married and have families of their own. Some of my favorite things to do are snowmobiling, fishing, listening to music, reading, cooking, having fun with my five grandkids and playing an occasional tune on the piano.
Assistant Manager of Cenex C-Store
Greetings from Russ Kolkind! I have been with Northern Lakes Cooperative since 2012 in multiple positions; currently I am a Project/Marketing Manager. Hayward/Stone Lake resident for 13 years, married to my beautiful bride Stacy, we have 3 kids, and 5 Grand kids! My focus for the NL Cooperative is to provide our customers a wonderful place to shop and utilize all of our services and to provide our employees a fun place to work!
Do-It-Best® Hardware Manager
I was born and raised in Minneapolis. One of my favorite memories is going to visit my Grandparents at their hardware store, “Welna Our Own Hardware,” where I would immediately go to the back room where all the toys were located.
I am a graduate of the University of Minnesota majoring in Forest Products. In 1984 my wife and I moved to Hayward where I started as a quality control technician at Louisiana Pacific. When Noresin (currently Arclin) decided to build a plant I took the opportunity to be one of seven original employees to build and start-up the new facility.
After 29 years in manufacturing, 12 years as Plant Manager, I decided to take a new direction with my carrier to become manager of the Northern Lakes Do it Best Hardware Store on February 5th. My experience in manufacturing provides many unique perspectives and talents which I am able to apply to retail, most importantly a customer perspective.
We have many challenges and more importantly opportunities as a Cooperative and specifically as a “Do It Best” hardware store, to create a strong future for the Cooperative, our Employees and our Community. Our employees continue to be a bright spot providing customer-valued solutions and superior service, making your visit productive and enjoyable; something the big box stores do not offer.
Please join me and the “Do it Best Team” and give us the opportunity to be your first choice in home improvement.
Thrify White Pharmacy Manager
I have worked in pharmacy practically all of my life. My grandfather, Orville Morse, started Morse Drug Store in Elgin, Ill. I started working there at 7 years old. Over the years I held every possible job in the pharmacy, I learned the business from the bottom up. When my grandfather retired, my father Steve Morse (also a pharmacist), bought the store. About this time, I met my future wife Kit, since she worked at the store also. After graduating from Elgin Community College, Kit and I got married and went to pharmacy school together at North Dakota State University in Fargo ND. As a new pharmacist, I worked for my father a couple of years at the family business. Then I purchased one of the 1st personal computers ever made. I decided to return to college to become a computer engineer. My goal was to design computers for the pharmacy industry. Instead, I landed a job with IBM in Rochester MN, and worked for 10 years designing computer chips and software. I missed serving patients in pharmacy and returned to the pharmacy profession to manage several pharmacies: Snyder Pharmacy in Zumbrota MN, Snyder Pharmacy in Rochester MN, Shopko South Pharmacy in Rochester MN, and lastly Walmart Pharmacy in Hayward WI. Yet I still longed to work in an independent pharmacy where I could return to my roots of customer service. I found my opportunity at the Co-op Pharmacy. I strive to take the skills I have learned from chain store pharmacies, combine the personalized experience I can offer at an independent pharmacy, and create the best pharmacy service possible. I am proud to be part of a local business, especially a Co-op. The revenues we generate as a local business stay in our community. Each dollar spent locally, changes hands at least 10 times locally before leaving our community; creating jobs, lowering taxes, reducing unemployment and crime, and improving our community. This contrasts with chain stores, which send all their profits to the main office out of state, depleting the community of jobs, causing higher taxes, increased unemployment and crime. I know chain stores bring products and services not previously available, but I know the work I do at the Co-op will strengthen the foundation of our community. I look forward to serving you.
Auto Center Manager
I am Bruce Ostrom and I joined the Northern Lakes team in 2007 as Manager of the Northern Lakes Auto Center. As Manager, I’m responsible for the daily operations and staff of the Auto Center.
My family has lived in the Minong area since the late 1800s and I have lived there since 2000. I love living in the “Northwoods” and hope that I can stay here for the rest of my life. After work I enjoy hunting, fishing, riding ATVs, and picking berries.
At the Auto Center we have very highly-trained technicians with state of the art tools and knowledge to fix any vehicle correctly.
Feed Mill Manager
I’m Joy Wadas, Manager of the Feed Mill. Having worked here for more than 15 years I have come to really enjoy building relationships with all of the customers who shop locally with us, four-legged customers as well! Our Feed Mill team is dedicated to helping our customers make informed decisions about pets, livestock and wildlife.
Originally born and raised in northwest Indiana, I received a degree in Agricultural Animal Science at Purdue University and am a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in the state. In my time away from work and wildlife, my husband and I enjoy our time together whether it’s spent with our animals at home or attending a hockey game together.
So when you’re in the neighborhood, stop on in. The knowledgeable staff at the Feed Mill would be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns that you may have. And please do bring your four-legged friends along, we’d love to visit!
Hello, my name is Dustin and I came to the Northern Lakes Cooperative in the spring of 2006. I started at the Feed Mill and then moved into the Maintenance Department. I look to serve the Cooperative businesses to the best of my abilities, as the Co-op looks to serve you to the best of our abilities.
Gadgets Store Manager
Hi, my name is Maura Harrington. Some of you may know me as the cell phone lady due to my previous 8 year cellular career in Hayward. I am the store manager at Gadgets – have been since July of 2014.
Like the rest of Northern Lakes Cooperative, we at Gadgets have experience a lot of change in the past 12 months. We opened our new location inside Do It Best Hardware next to the Auto Center, we welcomed new staff, and have a vast new electronics inventory. Of course, our superior computer repair and sales, services we have become know for, continues to grow.
I moved to Hayward about 13 years ago from the Minneapolis area primarily because I had family members who had moved here previously. While I would not necessarily be described as particularly outdoorsy, I have grown to appreciate the beauty of this area. More than anything, though, I have had the privilege to meet and work with many of the fabulous people in the Hayward community and am now fortunate enough to see a number of you at the Coop. I hope to work with you all again very soon!