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 partner with Gravis Law, PLLC, and serve 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 | 2017/2023 | 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 | 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 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.
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.
Alex Chose | 2020/2023 | Member Affairs Committee
An upbringing rooted in both the Pacific Northwest and rural Appalachia unveiled for me a kinship connecting communities across regional divides; a kinship formed from the heartfelt stewardship of the land and the sustenance found in its yield. I have seen community collectiveness around localized food systems invite people to engage with and transcend difference for the well-being of the collective whole. As a result, I am passionate about the opportunity to serve on the Community Food Co-op's Board of Directors. I am committed to supporting cooperative efforts that empower communities to build, strengthen, and promote equitable access to consumer choices that are fresh, local, and sustainable.
My background includes a B.A. in Human Services from Western Washington University, a year of service with Common Threads Farm, and multiple years of involvement in the Co-op's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives. I am a sitting co-chair of the Co-op's Organizational Social Responsibility Committee, and a deli team member in the downtown store.
TQ Nguyen | 2020/2021 | Finance Committee
I started shopping at the Co-op in the late '80s. A newcomer to American life, my positive 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 small 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!