Welcome to Our New Board Members

After a long and careful search, our Board of Directors has appointed three member-owners to fill existing vacancies. It is an important responsibility to choose replacement members for a Board elected by co-op Member-Owners, and we have filled 3 seats since early last fall. So let me introduce Dee (Deidre) Fitzgerald, Aubrey Saxton, and Meena Neva.

Dee joined the Board in November, filling a vacancy created when Dan Maynard-Wyzik resigned his position. She will serve until the election next fall. Dee is a longtime resident of the region and co-op Member-Owner. She currently works as the Marketing & PR Manager for WS Badger Company and is an active volunteer with Monadnock International Film Festival and residents at American House. She described her relationship with our co-op as “a home away from home,” and she appreciates the degree to which our co-op is “More than just a local grocery store providing jobs and healthy and natural foods, it builds bridges, opens doors, creates new possibilities, and is an anchor in the community.”  In her first few months, Dee’s contributions are already being felt, and we all are appreciating her warmth, maturity, and openness.

The Board Nominating Committee is responsible for reaching out to potential candidates to run for the Board and leading efforts to fill interim vacancies. We are happy that with the appointment of Aubrey Saxton, we again have a co-op vendor on the Board. In her application, Aubrey said, “It would be hard to find someone whose life has been more greatly impacted by the co-op than my own. The opening of the co-op literally changed everything for me. They are my highest grossing customer and carry the widest range of my products.”  Most of us know her as “The Saxy Chef” for her delicious pies, cookies, and other baked goods you can find in our co-op. Along with Dee, Aubrey also appreciates all that our co-op means beyond being a place to shop. Aubrey is filling Kate Kirchhoffer’s term, which will end with the Board election in the fall.

Finally, the Nominating Committee of Jed Hart and Lisa Mahar brought us the nomination of Meena Neva to fill the seat vacated when Peter Starkey could not take his seat after being elected last November. We are grateful for Meena’s willingness to take on this job for the remainder of that 3-year term. Meena and her family have lived in the Monadnock Region for more than 17 years and have been co-op Member-Owners since the store opened. Meena’s day job is as a social worker and discharge planner for the Intensive Care Unit patients at Cheshire Medical Center. Her passion rests with food, and she says, “The basic need of food is universal. Ongoing thinking and acting around MFC’s current and future role in community impact, food access, production, procurement, justice, sustainability, democracy, and connection is valuable, timely work indeed.

As your Board Chair, I am thrilled to be working with a full complement of members, especially this group of dedicated and smart cooperators we have working for our membership.  I hope to see some of you later this spring at our events to recruit new Board members, and remember we welcome your thoughts and ideas as we navigate our co-op through these challenging times.