Meet our Board of Directors
From the beginning, one of the main principles of operating Co-ops has been the importance of democratic control, whereby a Co-op’s Board of Directors serve as the elected representatives of the membership— ensuring that members’ voices are heard and that the core values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity are upheld. The Board of Directors of our Co-op are deeply involved in ensuring the Co-op’s success and longevity, taking into account the Co-op’s original vision and it’s ability to contribute to our community. Each member is driven and insightful and allocates important time out of their calendar each month to spend on brainstorming new strategies for progress. Meet them all (virtually!) below and come to one of the Board of Directors’ meetings held the 3rd Monday of every month from 5:00 - 7:00 PM at the Marbletown Community Center to get involved and meet them all in person!
Sarah Nason, Co-President
Originally from Michigan, Sarah’s passion for the outdoors led her to the Pacific Northwest, where she spent nearly 20 years on the shores and slopes of Washington State. In early 2017, Sarah moved to the Hudson Valley to be closer to her family, and since then she has always been a familiar face at the Co-op.
Sarah has a Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Management and has worked in the fields of environmental conservation, food justice, corporate accountability and civic engagement. Sarah’s desire to build community and share her love of the outdoors with young people led her to spend nearly a decade volunteering as a mentor and snowboard instructor for Seattle youth. Her previous board experience includes the Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network and the board of the Service Board. She currently works for Wild Earth, a local organization that cultivates character, confidence, passion and perseverance in young people through transformative experiences in nature.
As part of the Co-op board, Sarah looks forward to serving her community, protecting local food systems, and supporting a healthy and sustainable local economy.
Ben Basile, Co-President
Ben Basile has lived in the Hudson Valley his entire life. He holds an Associate's Degree in Business at Dutchess Community College and a Bachelor's Degree in Music from SUNY New Paltz. Basile wears many hats: world traveler, musician, educator, band leader, eagle scout, and amateur chef. Over the past year, Ben has been part of the Communications Board and has offered valuable insight from his visits to Co-ops around the country.
Currently, Ben makes his living as a freelance musician and educator. As a musician, he has a passion for leadership and management and will utilize these skills in his position as Co-President of the Board of Directors. www.benbasile.com
Dglas Boyce, Director of Communications Committee
Since childhood, Dglas has been surrounded by amazing chefs (both in his family and otherwise), and maintained a love for fresh, ethically sourced food that is more than just sustenance. Before moving to the Hudson Valley, he was a long time member of a Co-op in Brooklyn and he deeply believes in the values of the cooperative model.
Dglas attended Parsons School of Design, and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology where he went on to work for design and advertising for many prominent fashion labels. Over the years, Dglas has traveled extensively through Asia and Europe and his exposure to world cultures has taught him how cultures can work together to make life better for all.
Since his fashion career, Dglas has overcome chemotherapy, and become a Certified Yoga Instructor and Personal Trainer. As part of the Board, he hopes to utilize his experience in business, his creativity, and his knowledge of wellness to add valuable perspective and continue working towards the success of the Co-op.
I received my accounting degree from San Jose State University in 1996, after working in the restaurant industry for 15 years. While obtaining my CPA license with a local firm, I had clients that ranged from technology start-ups, tire retailers, real estate developers (ugh!) to a family owned propane delivery company. Moving to New York in 1999, I’ve held positions as controller and operations director for a marketing research facility, a news video delivery company, an educational software start-up and finally as CFO for internet advertising start-up. Since retiring in 2010, I’ve been privileged to travel as a financial consultant for the non-profit organization Bpeace, helping women-owned businesses in conflict affected countries. In Rwanda, I got to help the first ice cream store in the country, working with employee-owners to better understand their business by diving into the P&L and product pricing. I’ve also been to El Salvador to assist with better reporting for the owner of a retail pastry chain and budgeting with a pita manufacturer.
I started visiting this area and the store 10 years ago, and my husband and I realized our dream of moving here three years ago. I’m excited to be working with the co-op, both for the opportunity to build community and to help improve an already great organization.
Fun fact: the town that I grew up in northern California was half the size of High Falls.
Born and raised in New York State, Emmet is a chef, musician and activist. Emmet was Program Director of Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls in Brooklyn for 9 years, and was a founding board member of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance. In 2014, Emmet attended the Chef's Training Program at Natural Gourmet Institute, and has been working as a health-supportive and plant-forward personal chef and boutique caterer since completing the program.
Emmet has been involved with Co-ops for most of his adult life - he first discovered the cooperative model through housing coops in Buffalo & Brooklyn, which led him to serve on the board of the North American Students of Cooperation. His love of local, organic food (and the community that can be built around it) brought him to the Park Slope Food Co-op, the Greene Hill Food Coop, and - since moving to Rosendale - the High Falls Food Co-op!
Emmet is very excited to help support the High Falls Food Coop in its mission, and to continue to build community with local farmers, growers, movers, change-makers and fellow coop members.
Zack Brown grew up in the Hudson Valley. His family helped start the Co-op 40 years ago and he has been in and out of the Co-op in all of its locations his whole life. After living out west for years, Zack moved back to the Hudson Valley to be closer to family and the amazing local food being grown and produced here. He works as a builder, caterer, and private chef. As a board member, Zack is excited to continue to support the vibrant local food scene that is surrounding this Valley.
Donna Perry, Director of Governance Committee
Donna first got involved in the Co-op as a working member, and then she served on the Board from 2009 to 2014, first as a member and as secretary for three years. Now retired after a career as professor of English and Women’s Studies at William Paterson University, she welcomes the chance to be part of the new team.
Since she left the board, she has remained active in various Co-op writing/editing activities, including the employee handbook, the bylaws revision, and other promotional materials. Other community involvement includes volunteering as part of the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener Program (she completed training three years ago) and singing in the women’s ensemble, Bloom. Donna has published three books and is working on a memoir about growing up Catholic and working-class in Lowell, MA.
Kelly Collinson, Staff Representative
A native of New Jersey, but a true Hudson Valley lover at heart, Kelly has been involved with the High Falls Food Co-op in a multitude of roles for the past 6 years. First as a customer, then as a cashier, then as the Assistant in the Meat and Cheese Department, and now in her role as the Manager of the Meat and Cheese Department, Kelly is diligent, devoted, and community-oriented. At the mark of her two- year anniversary as Manager of the Meat and Cheese Department , she now takes on the role of Staff Representative to the Board of Directors.
When Kelly is not at the Co-op she practices holistic healing, always strengthening her connection and contribution to the earth and community.
Evan Adams, Staff Representative
Originally from New Jersey, Evan grew up visiting the National Parks, bird-watching and learning about local plants and animals from his father. From a young age, Evan was drawn to the beauty of nature and music, and he has been playing drums and composing music since the age of 9.
Evan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Business from SUNY Oneonta and has retail health food store, food manufacturing, and non-profit experience.
Since moving to Rosendale, Evan has been a frequent customer and working member of the High Falls Food Co-op. Evan is honored and excited to be part of the Board and is enthusiastic about fostering community and communication and working towards the success of Co-op and the local environment as a whole.
On days off, Evan can be found with his wife and Mainecoon cat, either creating art and music, thrifting for vintage clothes, or hiking in the woods.