Meet our Board of Directors!
As Summer 2018 arrives, so does a newly formed Board of Directors for the High Falls Food Co-op. Read on to get a closer look of who they are, and please feel free to attend the next Board of Directors' meeting convening on June 18th at 5:30 PM at the Marbletown Community Center!
Steve Goodman, Co-President:
Bronx born and raised, Steve earned his BA degree in Mass Communication from CUNY Lehman College, leading to a long and successful career in advertising. After a brief stint in Manhattan, he and his bride Robbin settled in Queens, where they started a small backyard organic vegetable garden and he became a vegetarian. Alas, the country life beckoned, so five years ago they packed up their dogs and moved to the Hudson Valley.
Shortly after moving here, Steve joined the co-op and attended a semi-annual members meeting to see what was going on behind the scenes. He has now been on the board of directors for 3½ years, been Chair of the Communications Committee and then Vice President. As Chair of the 40th anniversary committee, he helped put together a fabulous free party for the community, with music, food and a raffle benefitting local non-profits.
Now as Co-President, his goals for his remaining six months on the board are to honor all that we love about our co-op, increase member involvement, and use the latest tools available to help the co-op survive and thrive for the next 40 years.
Mary Jo Johnson, Co-President:
Mary Jo is a cancer survivor, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, and returning board member. When Mary Jo moved to the Hudson Valley, starving for the sight of stars and the smells of earth, she headed straight for the Coop produce section and become involved at the first opportunity. For Mary Jo, healthy food and a clean environment are not just resources to be cherished, nurtured, and shared as widely as possible—they are gifts, and therefore an invitation to participate in a reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship with all that is.
As a returning board member she is amazed by the transformations that have occurred over just one year, and looks forward to working with the many new talented members who share a vision for a cleaner, healthier and more cooperative world.
When she is not at the coop, you can find her giving acupuncture and massage treatments at the studio behind her house (OpenPathwaystoHealth.com), working on a new healthcare coop for the Hudson Valley (Apricot-Forest.com), doing her best to keep ahead of grass and thistles, and caring for her wife and furry family (one dog, three cats).
Ben Basile, Director of Communications:
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 the Director of Communications on the Board. www.benbasile.com
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.
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 health and sustainable local economy.
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, 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.
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 Coop. 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 fiancé and Mainecoon cat, either creating art and music, thrifting for vintage clothes, or hiking in the woods.
Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Liana is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, tap dancer, and integral member of the local music scene. Along with her career as a performer, Liana also has experience producing live music events and working for non-profits, and she previously worked in the prepared food department of the High Falls Food Co-op. Currently, Liana works as a home care aide for elders in the community.
Liana is excited to join the Board of the Co-op and hopes to utilize her fundraising experience to be of help with planning future events and community gatherings.