2017 Cooperator of the Year: Jade Vantreese
by Kris Buettner, Outreach Assistant and Member Affairs Committee Member
Congratulations to our 2017 Cooperator of the Year: Jade Vantreese!
Her work to promote the cooperative business model, bring awareness through education to food justice issues, and build an equitable food system is inspiring to all who know her, and her accomplishments continue to grow as she works and lives cooperatively for a more just and equitable society.
While working at the Community Food Co-op, Jade was elected by coworkers to serve as the staff representative on the Board of Directors. She also served on the Co-op Board’s Members Affairs Committee, seeking ways to engage member-owners with cooperative values and strengthen the fabric of our community. She was an active participant in the Domestic Fair Trade conferences held in Bellingham, and worked to support farmworker rights and small cooperative businesses.
While studying and working in environments steeped in cooperative principles, Jade continues to raise her children in cooperative housing. She graduated from Fairhaven College with a concentration in alternative food systems and sustainable agriculture and economics. While on campus, she spearheaded efforts to create a food bank at Western Washington University, which is now a reality.
Jade now works with the Puget Sound Food Hub Cooperative, where she is responsible for marketing and development while working with farmers and buyers to promote the mission of the cooperative. As if that wasn’t enough, she is also working on a master’s degree in public administration at Evans School of Public Policy, University of Washington, and has participated in many conferences and trainings on cooperatives.
Jade was recently highlighted in Cooperative Spirit magazine for gathering stories of people living and working cooperatively, intended for a future book. Our community is very lucky to benefit from her studies and her passion for creating a more just and sustainable society. Thanks, Jade!
2017 Volunteer of the Year: Frances Charlock
by Karl Meyer, Outreach Team
We are honored to recognize Frances Charlock as the 2017 Community Food Co-op Volunteer of the Year.
At our Annual Meeting and Party, at which the Co-op prepares food and beverage for over 600 members, Frances has been an able and steady volunteer helping with the beverage station year after year.
I am grateful for her commitment to volunteering in the community and know I can always count on Frances to be upbeat and eager to help at this event and at our other events throughout the year.
Frances also volunteers at Sustainable Connections, Womencare Shelter, and The Lighthouse Mission. During our interview, Frances mentioned her favorite part of volunteering is getting to know the people she gets to work with. Her weekly shifts at The Mission have made her familiar with the community there and she speaks highly of that connection. She said it was a “kick in the pants” getting to know folks at The Mission and now they all look out for her as she bikes around town.
Frances does not drive a car and uses her bike extensively. She and her partner also play piano and sing as part of their volunteer service.
It’s been a pleasure working with Frances. I also enjoy the way she ends her emails with: “Tickle my memory with all the good things you’ve done for me, so that I have a thankful, happy, spirit today!”
Thank you, Frances!