Category Archives: Board Candidate

David Ellis

My name is David Ellis, Pit Boss, Machete Boys BBQ. In addition to chasing BBQ Glory, I’m a father and I work in IT for a logistics company in Minnetonka. I’ve been cooking competitively for 3 years. The first two I competed in the backyard circuit and this last year I made the jump to pro. I think making the jump to pro is where I could contribute most to the society as we try and encourage more Backyard Cooks to make that transition.
I think other than funding, what hinders many of those cooks are tools and experience. It would be awesome to work with other society members to help develop the backyard cooks and provide them with the tools they need to become successful on the Pro Circuit. This could include, invitational cooks with live judging, classes coordinated by the society geared toward the 4 meat categories, instructed by other successful Minnesota Teams. Many of the cooks need simple guidance on things like selecting a cooker, where to buy competition meats, where to find rubs, what things should they be bringing with to a competition. Some of this information we address in Spring Training but it would be great to develop a library we could publish that would be accessible through a membership portal online.
I really liked the idea of the 1:1 that occurred during MIM, it would be great to see this extend beyond that competition. I think as more successful teams from Minnesota enter and compete more on the National Stage the more the society would benefit and I believe some of those cooks exist within our existing membership and just need the encouragement and tools to get out there and cook more.

Thanks for your consideration,
David Ellis

Kristen Spain

Hi all! I’ve been involved with the MN BBQ Society since 2016. Initially, I became a certified KCBS judge and enjoyed judging at competitions and meeting other BBQ folks. In 2018, I helped out a backyard cook team for a contest and became a member of the Machete Boys BBQ team. My love for all things BBQ has continued to grow year over year. I’m interested in the board because I’ve become passionate about BBQ and really enjoy all of the members of the MN BBQ Society. It’s rare to find a group that encourages, helps, and cheers for each other as much as this group does. As far as my qualifications, I’m happy to help in any way that I can. I have served on the Board for a professional organization here in town for the last 5+ years. As a leader within that organization, I’ve done strategic planning, membership coordination, social media publications, website design and administration, event coordination, vendor relationships, gathered sponsorships, arranged for guest speakers, budgeting, and membership appreciation gifts and events. Currently, I’m the Communications Director for that group. In addition, I enjoy writing and publishing newsletter articles and updates for groups; I’ve done this for multiple groups over the years. I also have a passion for photography and meeting new people. If elected, I’d look forward to collaborating with the fellow leaders of MN BBQ Society to continue bringing the passion of BBQ to our members and others.

Thanks for considering me for the board, and

Cheers to great BBQ!

Jason Thompson

I am very excited about opportunity to join Minnesota Barbecue Society With over 37 years of experience in cooking and barbecue , much of that in Southern cooking , and a high proficiency in barbecue , I am prepared to become an immediate contributor to your team.
My background includes cooking for large groups of customer service as well as cooking clients. I have many years of experience working under high pressure situations.

In addition to this experience, I am very familiar with the Twin Cities cooking scene and surrounding areas, having lived here most of my life.

Sincerely,
Jason Thompson

Nathan Herme

I began my affiliation with KCBS as well as the MBA several years ago. I was involved with a small event in Mankato MN. I then proposed the idea of bringing a KCBS sanctioned event to Mankato. The next year I spent traveling across Minnesota and Iowa researching and studying contests. I wanted to know what made an event not only successful but an event that teams wanted to come to and what makes an event that is sustainable year after year. I became the KCBS Event Organizer and Branded the Bend of the River Cookout hosted in Mankato MN. This event is now called the Mankato Cookout. During the year on the road and then organizing that event I met and am still known by so many people and teams throughout Minnesota and the surrounding states. We as a group in Mankato were able to see that event grow and become sustainable and it is still currently running. I have met and been taught much by the member and organizers of the MBS as well as the KCBS reps that have become my friends in the past 7 years. Our contest in Mankato began small with 28 teams our first year and 32 amateur teams in 2013, 2014 we had 50 pro teams and 52 amateur teams cooking and in 2015 we brought in 48 pro teams and limited our amateur contest to 28 teams. Today the Mankato Cookout is a 2 day back to back event and one of the few in the area.

Over the past several years I traveled to, worked with, participated in and assisted at several other events assisting the organizers and the KCBS reps in any capacity that was needed. I have always enjoyed each event and learned that you cannot compare one event to another based on face value. Each event has its own merit, its own purpose and agenda. Each event has its own niche and the organizers know what they are doing and ensure that everyone has as easy and enjoyable weekend as possible. I have been recruited again this year to assist with a few contests, and will work with the leadership to make them successful. I hope to again bring another contest brought to the area that I will be more directly involved in and help grow the awareness of the MBS in the Twin Cities area.

As I was a key part of the developing stages and the introduction of a new event; the research, start up, marketing and involving new people, enabling them and helping them grow and become successful. These are the things I would like to bring to the MBS. To see the growth of the MBS and enable those that are involved to become more successful and to offer other opportunity for others to be involved. Not only to see the numbers of active teams grow but also the awareness of what we have here in the state of Minnesota, the talent that is here as well as the knowledge of Barbeque World. I would like to see our Barbeque Society be more known throughout the state of MN as well as our events be more publicized and further spotlight the level of competition as well as the level of talent here in Minnesota.

Thank you for your consideration to the Board of Directors, I look forward to serving with you and for the members and family of the Minnesota Barbeque Society.
Nathan Herme

Matt Mumme

My name is Matt Mumme and I am a part of the smoking team Dad Bod Barbacue. We have been competing in backyard competitions for 2 years (with the current members). We have very much enjoyed the preparation, the competitions and hanging out with other teams before and after the competition.

I have been married for 18 years (Michele) and have 3 daughters – Maddy (15), Ali (13) and Emily (11). I work in IT as Director of Application Development for The Occasions Group in North Mankato. I have been there just over 6 years. I oversee the software development team for a number of companies under the Taylor Corp umbrella. In my free time I like to barbecue, enjoy fine bourbon, coach softball for my daughters and visit as many National Parks, Monuments and Battlefields as we can.

As for how I would like to help the MN BBQ Society…I would like to see the number of competitions increased for Backyard competitions. I think this is vital to grow our sport. I’ll also mention that we were lucky enough to be paired with a pro team (Lucky 19 Sauce Company) at MIM. That was invaluable and something I’d like to see happen more often.

Allen M LeCuyer

I have been cooking in a mix of backyard and pro contests since 2016 under the team name Magnum P.I.G. We are a three generation team consisting of my dad, myself and my son. If you’ve seen some guys in Hawaiian shirts walking around that’s us. I am running for a position on the board because I think I can offer some creative ideas and a fresh perspective on how we can grow our community. Since I have competed in quite a few backyard contests over the last few years I can share my experiences and lean on my relationships with the backyard teams to work on getting more teams to try a backyard contest. After that I think we can do more to get those new teams to come back for another contest or two and get hooked like all of us are. I think my experience will help me work with the board and the community to help transition backyard teams to the pro side which we need for the long term health of the society. I also think we can do more on our website and Facebook page by way of detailed content. I know newer teams and members don’t really know what to expect from a contest and without much detail jumping in and trying a contest can be difficult, I think that applies to Spring Training and the banquet too, what can people expect and why should they go? If elected I hope to play a part in more communication with members and prospective members. If we can focus on the long term health of the MBS and our community, maybe my three generational bbq team can be a four generational team some day? A dad can hope… I hope to see you all at the banquet!

Randy Ward

I’m Randy Ward and I’d like to tell you why I would like to be on the Minnesota Barbecue Society Board. My history in the barbeque industry extends into multiple directions. I compete in competitions with my friend Dan underneath the name Whitewater Barbeque. We also produce barbeque drums, and cater under the same name as a way to help pay for our competition expenses and supporting our fellow teams. We have helped with Spring Training for the past 2 years our first year we taught a class, and the second we cooked the brisket for the meal. On top of that we have participated in many other events, such as cooking for the KCBS Barbecue Judges Class.

As for why I want to be apart of the Minnesota Barbecue Society Board, there are many reasons. First being that I want to help Minnesota Barbeque grow through supporting new and existing teams, and competitions. I can do this because I’ve been involved in many different aspects of the barbecue industries and can therefore provide a unique skill set to the board. I’d like to say it’d be an honor if you chose me. The Minnesota Barbeque Society has a great board and I’d love to be apart of keeping Minnesota Barbeque great.

Dan Fagerlind

My name is Dan Fagerlind my team is Whitewater BBQ and we build whitewater drum smokers. I have been a BBQ society member for 5 years and have helped out at spring the last 2 years. I like the direction that the BBQ Society is going in and I would like to be involved in the future

Nathan Herme

Nathan Herme

To date I have been involved in the Minnesota Barbeque Society as a member for over a year now. I
have been the KCBS Chair and Organizer for the Bend of the River Cookout in Mankato / St. Peter for the
three years that this contest has been a Pro / Am cooking contest as well as the year previous when it
was strictly and amateur event. I have met and been taught much by the member and organizers of the
MBS as well as the KCBS reps that have become my friends in the past 4 years. Our contest in Mankato
began small with 28 teams our first year and 32 amateur teams in 2013, 2014 we had 50 pro teams and
52 amateur teams cooking and last year 2015 we brought in 48 pro teams and limited our amateur
contest to 28 teams.

Last year I worked with and assisted at several different events assisting the organizers and the KCBS
reps in any capacity that was needed. I had a great time doing this and will again this year offer my
assistance to any contest that needs help and or leadership to make it successful. I hope to again have
another contest brought to the area that I will be more directly involved in and help grow the awareness
of the MBS

As I was a key part of that event starting and become more known in the area, I would like to do the
same type of work with the MBS and see it grow further. Not only in numbers of teams but also the
awareness of what we have here in the state of Minnesota and the talent that is here. I would like to get
see our Barbeque Society be more known throughout the state of MN as well as our events be better
known. I would like to see the MBS Event be a greater kick start to the cook-off season become an event
that can bring in spectators and further spotlight the level of competition as well as the level of talent
here in Minnesota.

Thank you for your consideration to the Board of Directors, I look forward to serving with you and for
the members and family of the Minnesota Barbeque Society.

Nate Berg

Nate Berg

My name is Nate Berg and I would be honored to be the newest member of the Minnesota BBQ Society
board. Bbq has been a cornerstone of my life for the past 17 years, and I hope that my experiences such
as managing multiple restaurants and owning a retail sauce company can add new outlook to the board.
I have been married to my wife Lindsay since June 2017. We have two cats and two dogs, and hope to
one day build a family of two legged children.

Being one of the youngest pit masters on the competition Bbq scene, I think I have fresh ideas. My six
years in competition Bbq have molded the cook that I am today and I look forward to more growth.
Within those six years, I have accomplished many personal goals including multiple grand
championships and reserve grand championships, multiple first place category calls and countless top 10 finishes.

Employment and Experience:

Supervalu
PDQA Specialist October 2016-Present

Brothers Meat and Seafood
Lead Butcher June 2015-October 2016

City Slickers BBQ
Pitmaster/owner April 2013-Present

Famous Dave’s/RCs Barbecue State Fair
Manager 2007-Present

Graduate of the Culinary Institute of America 2010
Elected group leader

If elected to serve on the board, my goal would be to promote and grow the sport of bbq. I believe that
being an active competitor, I have views that can benefit other teams throughout the society.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions
Nate@cityslickersbbq.com