Your Co-op Board – Working Hard Behind the Scenes!

From left to right, back row: Rae Webb, Craig Force, Tom Green; front row: Heather Sullivan, Kelly Nadeau, Siobain Mitchell, Jason Sobel.

Siobain Mitchell – President (up for re-election in 2020)

Siobain has been working on the initiative since its very beginning. She is truly inspired by the cooperative business model, and the values and principles that form its basis. She believes that the food co-op will be an integral part of a thriving local economy, and that having a food co-op that participates in a strong regional food system will make the area more resilient. She wants the food co-op to serve as a gathering place, one that is accessible and welcoming. She believes that neighbors who know one another, businesses that buy from and sell to one another, communities that support their local food producers—these all make us stronger, and improve our health and well-being.

Siobain has a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and worked for ten years in Mortgage Banking before taking some time off to raise her family. She and her husband moved to Maynard in 2004. Besides working on the Co-op, and spending time with her not-so-little-anymore daughters, she enjoys cooking and gardening (though she wishes she was just a little bit better at both!)

Craig Force – Vice President (up for re-election in 2020)

Craig and his family moved to New England from Dallas, TX. After an exhaustive process of searching for a fantastic place to raise their young family, Craig and his wife Karyn, agreed upon Maynard, MA and became residents in late 2014. Craig learned of, and became an Owner in, the Assabet Village Cooperative while buying local produce and enjoying family entertainment at the Maynard Farmers Market. Desiring to contribute in a more direct and hands-on way to help secure the future of AVCO, Craig chose to run for election as a board member.

Believing strongly in simplicity, serenity and global sensibility, Craig co-founded and was president of a retail company focused on promoting Eco-Friendly Lifestyles while residing in Dallas, TX. His company – An EPA Green Power Partner – sold sustainably sourced and fair-trade products and maintained a carbon neutral footprint throughout the lifetime of its operation. Craig is inspired by the dedication of the AVCM board members and is confident his background in new business start-up and diverse experience in retail business operations will be a compliment to the board’s substantial strengths.  In his spare time, Craig builds pirate ships, knight castles, and train cars in his basement with his boys.

Heather Sullivan – Clerk (up for re-election in 2018)

Heather Sullivan has been a volunteer for the Co-op since the Fall of 2014, shortly after becoming an Owner.  She believes in increasing access to local food & education, and feels the Co-op will play an integral role in achieving this in Maynard and the surrounding communities.  Heather has been supporting local farms for several years, participating in produce & meat CSAs and purchasing from her local Farmers’ Market.  She is excited to join the team and take on the challenge of getting the doors of the Co-op open.

Heather is a native of Massachusetts originally from Acton, and has lived in Maynard since 2005 with her husband, two dogs and bionic cat.  She has a B.S. in Business Administration from Northeastern University, a Masters in IT Management from Brandeis University, and her Project Management Professional certification. For the past 15 years she has worked as a Senior Database Administrator, leveraging a love of learning to pick up multiple technologies and methods over the years.  She loves to travel, making it a goal to explore at least one new city every year.  She also enjoys exploring locally with her dogs, and recently took up Square Foot Gardening after finding maybe she does have a green thumb.

Jason Sobel – Treasurer (up for re-election in 2018)

Jason joined the Board of Directors in July of 2014, and is excited to help bring the vision of the Assabet Village Cooperative to fruition.  Jason has a B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Vermont, and is a licensed professional engineer.  Jason lives in Maynard with his daughter.  When he’s not working on Co-op stuff, Jason enjoys working on various projects around the house or in the yard.

Jason believes that the Assabet Village Cooperative will be an enormous asset to Maynard, will provide convenient access to locally grown foods, and will attract more people to the town from the Metrowest area.

Tom Green (up for re-election in 2018)

Tom grew up in dairy and truck-farming country in Western New York, and he has been shopping at Co-ops, farmers’ markets and farm stands for years. He was thrilled to learn that there will be a Co-op in the Metro West area where he can buy healthy food while supporting local food producers. Tom became an owner in January and soon began volunteering for the Co-op. After seeing the enthusiasm and dedication of the current Board of Directors, he was delighted to join the Board in June 2015.

Tom and his wife, Jeannie, have lived in Hudson for 34 years where they raised their two daughters while working for many different established and start-up computer companies. Tom is no stranger to serving on boards – he was on the Hudson School Committee for 18 years and served on the building committees for both the renovated Farley School and the new Hudson High School. He is recently retired and is now getting back to and spending more time on activities which he has always enjoyed: cycling, travel, genealogy, and gardening. The Co-op’s Square Foot Gardening class provided a lot of information which helped his return to gardening this Spring.

Kelly Nadeau (up for re-election in 2019)

Kelly joined the Board of Directors at the end of 2013. As a former co-chair of MaynardCAN! (environmental group based in Maynard) and active member of the Maynard Litter League (she and her son love to pick up litter around town!), Revitalize Maynard Collaborative  (working to enhance Maynard’s downtown area) and Maynard 4-H, she has been a passionate supporter for a food co-op in the Metro West area. As a strong believer in the Transition Town movement, she believes that a food co-op will ensure that our local food supply and economy will be more resilient, while becoming a fun, vibrant, centerpiece in our community.

Kelly has lived in Maynard since 2003, has a BS in chemistry from Union College, and treks into Cambridge each day to be an analytical chemist at a biopharmaceutical company. Her attention to detail, willingness to work hard, and strong community focus will help see this project through to completion.  She is excited to be a part of this passionate, dedicated group as we work to open the doors of the Co-op to the community.

Rae Webb (up for re-election in 2019)

Rae is a farmer, a parent, a partner, a volunteer, a worker, an artist and an organizer. She was the Board Chair of a housing cooperative in Chicago for three years, during her undergraduate studies. Rae has graduate training in Socio-cultural Anthropology and a passion for democratic work environments and food justice. She is excited to be a part of a coop again.

Lori Switaj (up for re-election in 2019)

Lori (formal name: Laura) joined the Board of Directors in November 2017. She first volunteered for the Co-op in its early years and felt empowered to help strengthen our community and the local food contributors. Lori‘s deeply committed and excited to help bring the vision of the Assabet Village Co-op Market to a thriving community store, and she brings valuable experience to your Board, including innovative technology and business structure development.

Lori‘s currently enrolled in a program to receive a certification in Construction Project Management and is aiming to complete her M.S. in Civil Engineering from WPI. She earned a B.S. in Applied Biometry through studies of Biogeography, Glacial Geology, Wildlife Law, GIS and Environmental Modeling. And she earned certificates in ADDA-International Architectural Drafter, LEED Green Associate, and HAZMAT 40-hour Certification. She lives in Maynard with her son, Dillon, and her husband, David.

Amy Kaiser (up for re-election in 2020)

Amy has lived with her wife and daughter in downtown Maynard since summer 2016 and been a member of the board since October 2017. She loves the small town intimacy and the walkability of Maynard and can’t wait for the day we can shop in town while supporting local farms, businesses and fellow owners. She holds an M.S. in epidemiology from UMass, Amherst and in her day job develops disease forecasts. She’s also always been fascinated by entrepreneurship and how businesses shape our communities and lifestyles. In her spare time she enjoys walking along the Assabet River, tackling house projects and spending time with her family.