Board directors are elected for three-year terms. The first year in each listing is the year the Board director was elected.
Ceci Lopez | 2016/2023 | Board Chair | 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 faculty member 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.
Ryan Peters | 2017/2023 | Board Vice Chair | Board Development Committee
I am the Board Vice-Chair and serve on the Board Executive Committee. This is my fourth year serving on the Community Food Co-op Board. My day job is in sales and business development for a specialty frozen-fruit distributor. I have 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 my free time, I enjoy considering the future through the lenses of technology, economics, history, intercultural communication, and wellness. Born in Hawaii, I still love ocean sports. I received my BA in Communications with a minor in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Hawaii Hilo.
James Erb | 2021/2024 | Board Development Committee
I am excited to join and serve on the Board of our Community Food Co-op. My family have been members of the Co-op for over a decade. We share the Co-op’s vision to create a just and livable world with a sustainable economy founded on informed choice and cooperative values. We also enjoy the great selection of quality products offered by the Co-op, including the many delicious gluten-free items. The GF Tiramisu from the bakery is incomparable.
While I am now a public service lawyer currently working in the Bellingham City Attorney’s Office, I worked numerous jobs in the service and hospitality industries before and during college and law school. I have great appreciation and respect for the management team at the Co-op as well as the staff that work hard every day serving members. I am looking forward to using my education, experience, knowledge, and skills in service to the Co-op and, by extension, our community. I am glad to be a part of the team.
Margaret Gerard | 2016/2022 | Member Affairs 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 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, 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. I also serve as the Co-op’s Farm Fund Committee Chair.
Terrance Morris | 2019/2022 | Member Affairs Committee Chair
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 is 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 | 2018/2024 | 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 the organization's long term goals. 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 the 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. The beautiful natural environment of Whatcom County, its forests and farmland, drew me here. 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.
TQ Nguyen (Staff Director) | 2020/2023 | Finance Committee
I started shopping at the Co-op in the late '80s. A newcomer to American life, my experiences with inclusivity and acceptance at the Co-op informed my education about the organized power of consumer-led ethical businesses to support the occasionally conflicting needs of individuals and communities and at the same time foster sustainable, responsible economic growth.
I have worked in several U.S. cities and in Vietnam, where I co-managed several entrepreneurial businesses. Working for corporate businesses, nonprofits, activist groups, and independent film ventures, I gained insight into how some organizations accomplished and demonstrated actual good, while others intended good work but were not effective. Through smaller business ventures and anti-poverty and environmental advocacy work, I learned that well-targeted, assistance-focused organizing strategies and smart policies could do much to lift individual circumstances and build capacity for organizations. Currently, I am a member of the Co-op’s Pricing Team.
My approach is nuts-and-bolts because I love the creative challenge of realizing passionate ideals for a just world. I am a pragmatic dreamer; capacity building, inclusive problem solving, and inspired efficiencies excite me!
RJ Halloran | 2021/2024 | Member Affairs Committee
I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, but I knew from the moment I took Exit 252 to tour Western Washington University that I wanted to live in Bellingham. I graduated with a B.S. in Kinesiology in 2017 and plan to attend Occupational Therapy school after I explore more of the community building opportunities with which I have been blessed. I hope to bring my experience connecting people and my friendly, outgoing nature to the Member Affairs Committee, where I can support ongoing efforts to engage with the Co-op membership and the community.
As the youngest person on the Board, I can share the perspective of WWU students and recent alumni, especially those who live within walking distance of the Co-op. I believe firmly in the Co-op’s strategic goal of “Access to Healthy Food” and feel that everyone, old and young, housed and unhoused, rich or poor, has the right to nutritious, affordable food.