Board of Directors

Board of Directors:

  • PRESIDENT: Kathleen Burke, Community Member
  • VICE PRESIDENT: Jay Smeltz, HR Coordinator, W.S. Badger
  • SECRETARY: Susan Ashworth, Director of Community Relations, Home Healthcare, Hospice & Community Services
  • TREASURER: Erik Walker, Project Manager, Bensonwood
  • Anton Elbers, Owner, Orchard Hill Farm
  • Sarah Harpster, Gleaning Coordinator, The Community Kitchen, Inc.
  • Lisa Mahar, Monadnock Waldorf School
  • Joe Marks, President, Baudelaire Inc.
  • Bob Oberlander, Construction Accountant, Bensonwood

Board Meetings are held the 3rd Monday of each month at 4:45pm in the Southwestern Community Service Railroad Square Senior Housing Conference Room (49 Community Way, Keene).    If you are interested in attending, please contact the board at

Copy of annual meeting 2011Policy Governance

As a democratically controlled organization that follows the cooperative business model, store patrons who purchase a member-ownership in the Co-op elect—on the basis of “one-person-one vote”—a Board of Directors to represent them and provide governance and oversight. Board members are elected to three-year terms, with elections taking place during the annual owners’ meeting and celebration held every October.

The nine-member Board of Directors meets monthly, and owners are welcome to attend meetings.  As representatives of the owners, Board members try to stay aware of owners’ needs and aspirations for the Co-op. The beginning of every meeting includes a time during which owners can provide input and ask questions.  A major aspect of the Board’s governance responsibility is hiring and overseeing the General Manager, who serves as the Co-op’s chief executive officer and person in charge of operations. Working in partnership with the General Manager, the Board helps ensure that the store is run in a way that is financially responsible, socially conscious, and genuinely responsive to the wide interests of the owners.

The Board conducts its business in accordance with the “Policy Governance Model” of board leadership, where its primary role is to define the broad goals of the Co-op. We refer to these goals as “Ends” since they articulate the key results we aim toward, such as promoting healthful living, and fostering the growth of local and regional food systems.

The Board is also responsible for establishing a comprehensive set of policies that define the roles and responsibilities of the General Manager and the Board of Directors. Generally speaking, the Board sets policy objectives for the General Manager and the Co-op as a whole, while the General Manager oversees and manages the complex day-to-day operations. The Board and General Manager, working collaboratively, are responsible for carrying out the policies.

Together with all its owners, we strive toward the benefit of the Co-op and the wider community.