Board members are elected for three-year terms. The first year in each listing is the year the board member was elected.
Melissa Morin | 2013/2021 | Board Chair | Board Development Committee
I am excited to be serving on the Co-op’s Board of Directors. It’s a great way to be involved in making nutritious food accessible for everyone, developing a healthier food system, and supporting a fair, local economy – all of which are things that get me going! I enjoy the Board's work of implementing the Co-op’s strategic plan and love seeing co-op principles in action, especially as they relate to increasing the availability of healthy food and reaching the diversity of folks in Whatcom County. When at work, you’ll find me managing communications at the Whatcom County Health Department, where I get to put my passion for health & well-being into action on everything from homelessness to environmental health. When at play, I’m most likely to be found in a bookstore, a kitchen, or the mountains.
Caroline Kinsman | 2012/2021 | Board Vice Chair | Finance Committee
Growing up on a small, family-owned dairy farm in the foothills of Mt. Rainier, I learned at a young age the value of a community connected to its food. My husband and I raise two spunky daughters, and I want the next generation of shoppers to understand a different way to do business—one that incorporates a triple-bottom line and values responsibility over profit. I like how the cooperative principles focus on the things most important to me in economics: taking care of employees, regenerating the planet, engaging in social justice, and facilitating food access and equitability. I’m eager to see cooperative practices become less of an “alternative” way to do commerce!
Brent Harrison | 1987/2019 | Finance Committee Chair & Farm Fund Committee
I am on the Board because I enjoy working with a group of committed people who share my enthusiasm for fostering co-op principles and specifically the values of our Community Food Co-op. I am a long-time local organic farmer who is dedicated to maintaining the rich, natural environment Whatcom County enjoys. I offer modest involvement as a mentor in Sustainable Connection’s Food to Bank on Program, and also enjoy volunteering with NSEA (Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association).
Phil Buri | 2017/2019 | Board Development Committee
I have been a member of the Community Food Co-op since my wife, Darcie, and I moved to Bellingham in 1995. Twenty-two years – and three kids later – I am delighted to return to the Board and give back to the Co-op I love. We raised our kids on organic food, and as they now go out in the world to seek their fortune, I want to help the next generation of families support local farmers and respect our planet. This is my second stint on the Board. I served twelve years from the late 1990s and stepped down to allow others to serve. When asked to fill a vacancy in 2017, I jumped at the chance. Outside the Co-op, I like to bicycle around Lake Samish and play my violin with the Bellingham Community Chamber Orchestra. I have been a lawyer for 30 years and practice law with Karen Funston and Tom Mumford at Buri Funston Mumford, PLLC. And starting in fall 2017, my wife and I will have an empty nest with three kids in college. Yikes!
Margaret Gerard | 2016/2019 | Member Affairs & Farm Fund Committees
I have been involved in the farming community in Whatcom County since 2007. First working on organic farms, and now as a small farm owner of Grateful Bounty Farm. I am passionate about strengthening our food system, building local resilience, and providing access to healthy food. I have experience in leadership roles as a farm manager, and have experience working collaboratively with a group of people on the Twin Sisters Farmers Market. On the Board, I enjoy serving as a voice for the local farming community and an advocate for the continued support of local farms. My background in farming has helped me to recognize the connection between soil health, plant health, and personal health. For each of these areas to thrive, a vibrant local food system is necessary. My work allows me to be very connected to our local food system, and apply my knowledge to contribute to the Co-op’s goal of local food system development.
Seth Mangold | 2016/2020 | Member Affairs Committee
I have proudly served on the Co-op’s Member Affairs Committee (MAC) since my hire in 2012, and continue to serve as the staff representative on the Board. During my time on MAC I have become familiar with many of our policies, helped to workshop ideas for new projects and member engagement, and awarded grants including our Community Shopping Days. As the staff representative I am able to provide the crucial perspective of the floor staff, sharing the daily and long-term relationships we have with Co-op member-owners. I look forward to continuing to further implement our Strategic Plan and facilitate an increase in staff involvement. After all, staff are members too!
Ceci Lopez | 2016/2020 | Board Development Committee Chair
I am passionate about alternative forms of business and hope to use all my academic, professional, and personal skills to further the goals and plans of the Co-op. I am a partner with Gravis Law, PLLC, and served on the faculty at Fairhaven College, where I direct the Center for Law, Diversity and Justice. I earned my law degree from the University of Washington (UW) School of Law and stayed an extra year to obtain a Master of Tax Law. Prior to attending law school, I managed a low-income farmworker housing program in Bellingham. I volunteer at the UW low-income taxpayer clinic, serve as vice-chair of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation Pro-Bono and Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics committee, and have volunteered with the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center. As a 10+ year Co-op member, I both appreciate and support the continuous efforts this organization musters to bring us clean, just, and sustainable sources of foods in a way that minimizes our impact on the earth, and maximizes our human values.
Ryan Peters | 2017/2020 | Member Affairs Committee Chair
I'm happy to be putting my head together with fellow Board directors and Co-op management to make our co-op the best it can be. Overall, I'm enthusiastic about cooperatives and grateful for the opportunity to engage with, learn about, and help promote this alternative business model. I work in sales and marketing for a natural food company and am knowledgeable and passionate about this industry. In my free time I practice Capoeira Angola with a group here in Bellingham. I also love to eat and make fermented foods, and lead the occasional workshop on fermenting. I currently serve on the Member Affairs Committee.
Randy Rydel | 2018/2021 | Finance Committee
As a longtime Community Food Co-op member, I am thrilled by the current strategic plan and excited to serve on the Board of Directors working to implement this plan. I am a Certified Public Accountant and thrive on numbers, so I am looking forward to the challenge of balancing the Co-op’s goals of providing healthy food access to all while still maintaining its economic resiliency. On a workday, you will find me sitting in front of a computer, managing the finances of Whatcom County Public Works department. When I am not computer-bound, I may be found with my family riding the trails up at Galbraith, enjoying the cool waters of Lake Whatcom, or exploring our National Parks, most likely with an organic apple in hand.