Board members are elected for three-year terms. The first year in each listing is the year the board member was elected.
Caroline Kinsman | 2012/2021 | Board Chair | Board Development 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 quadruple-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!
Ryan Peters | 2017/2020 | Board Vice Chair | Member Affairs Committee Chair
Ryan Peters is the Board Vice Chair and Chair of the Member Affairs Committee. This is his third year serving on the Community Food Co-op Board. His day job is in sales and business development for a specialty frozen-fruit distributor. He has worked in the food industry for 10 years, experiencing a wide range of roles including part-time farmer, food start-up entrepreneur, and food service truck driver. In his free time he enjoys studying the future, with an emphasis on technology, economics, history, intercultural communication, and wellness. He was born in Hawaii and still loves ocean sports. He received his BA in Communications with a minor in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Hawaii Hilo.
Margaret Gerard | 2016/2022 | Finance Committee
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.
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.
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!
Melissa Morin | 2013/2021 | 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.
Terrance Morris | 2019/2022 | Member Affairs Committee
As a dedicated and seasoned community outreach specialist, with a superior record of successful community service and engagement, I am adept at working with a wide variety of community demographics to formulate beneficial programs and issue resolutions. I maintain a consistently positive and respectful attitude toward all. I am excited to be serving on the Co-op’s Board of Directors. This will be a fantastic way to be involved in making nutritious food accessible for everyone.
My commitment to organic and natural foods goes far beyond myself. I believe that cost is the greatest obstacle low-income individuals face in accessing fresh, and especially organic and locally produced, food. Every day I support individuals and their families with their food choices by showing them healthful and affordable ways to commit to eating tasty organic and natural foods.
Randy Rydel | 2018/2021 | Finance Committee Chair
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.
Laura Weiss | 2019/2022 | Finance Committee
I am excited to call Bellingham my home after 20 years in Portland. I was drawn here by the beautiful natural environment of Whatcom County, its forests and farmland. I have spent most of my career working on environmental policy and advocacy, and I believe the Co-op should continue to play a leadership role in promoting the growth of sustainable agriculture, energy efficiency, waste reduction and resource conservation. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, biking, taking yoga and ballet classes, and spending time in my garden.
With an MBA in Sustainable Business and having run a small, mission-driven business to reduce waste from single-use take out containers, I have a good understanding of the fundamentals of business and I am looking forward to using these skills to help the Co-op succeed and grow. As we see more consolidation in the food industry (e.g: Amazon buying Whole Foods), I believe the Co-op plays an increasingly important role in providing local, healthy food while supporting a sustainable environment and economy.