Board & Staff

NFCA Board of Directors, 2024

John Crane (General Manager, Portland Food Co-op, ME)
Katharine Arnold (Board & Manager, Buffalo Mountain Food Co-op, VT)
Lucy Georgeff (General Manager, High Falls Food Co-op, High Falls, NY)
Michael Wells (Board of Directors, Putney Food Co-op, VT)
Mary Mullally (Storekeeping Manager, Hunger Mountain Co-op, VT)
Chris Whiton (Operations Manager, Littleton Food Co-op, NH)

George Touloumtzis  (Board Member, Franklin Community Co-op, Greenfield & Shelburne Falls, MA)

A child of the ’60s, I have long had an underlying interest in collective and cooperative endeavors.  When living in Boston for a number of years I was a member-owner of the Harvest Co-op (RIP) out of principle, though I was neither an active shopper there nor in any way involved in governance.  But when I moved to Western Mass in 2002, I chose to live in Greenfield largely because of the presence of Green Fields Market (then Franklin Community Co-op’s only store) — in the heart of downtown — intentionally buying a home within walking distance.  I became a frequent shopper and a working member (dishwashing on Sunday mornings).  I also attended a few Annual Meetings.  But it wasn’t ’til a crisis in 2013 (involving a GM turnover) that I became involved in governance, serving on the FCC Board for eight years (six as President).  After a term-limit imposed one-year hiatus (during which I continued to attend Board meetings and serve on Board committees), I’ve just finished up the first year of another three-year term.

Beyond the confines of my home co-op, I’ve had a lot of opportunity to sample the broader cooperative ecosystem, attending many NFCA events and seven CCMAs, and partaking of numerous CDS/Columinate training/networking sessions.  I have several times heard from cooperators in other parts of the country how envious they are upon hearing of NFCA as a regional entity, a co-op of co-ops.  As a passionate fan of P6, it’s made me proud to know that FCC was a founding member.  It would be an honor to serve on the NFCA Board and contribute in whatever way I can to the continued success of this organization, as well as utilizing my expanded knowledge and experience to enhance my service to FCC.

Philip Trevvett (Director, Urban Greens Co-op Market, RI)  

After living in Washington Park, the West End, Olneyville, Smith Hill and College Hill over the past 20 years, Philip now lives in the Elmwood neighborhood of Providence. He works at Harvard Medical School in Harvard Catalyst’s informatics department. This work has helped him develop strong project management and team building skills that have been extremely useful during his time on the Urban Greens board. He has also volunteered over the years with a number of agricultural and local food system businesses and nonprofits.

Philip has served on the Urban Greens Board for nearly ten years and served 2 years as chair. He was one of the core board members involved in getting the co-op open: leading the effort to successfully raise over $1million in startup capital, as well as spearheading community outreach and member drive efforts prior to the store’s opening. Since the co-op opened in 2019, Philip has focused on the board’s internal development through both recruitment and internal governance training, as well as developing management structures for the relationship between the Board and the General Manager. Philip is excited to support the development of current board members and help ensure the long-term stability of the co-op.


John Crane, President (General Manager, Portland Food Co-op, Portland, ME)

John Crane began his career in the co-operative world in 2002, when he was hired as the supplement buyer for the Rising Tide Co-op in Damariscotta, Maine. During his nine-year tenure at Rising Tide, he served as Grocery Manager, Point of Sale Manager, and Assistant General Manager. In 2012, while working as the Information Services Manager for a Portland company, he joined the Portland Food Co-op buying club (the retail store had not yet opened). He served on both the business planning and space design committees during their start-up phase and also served on the Board of Directors. In 2015, John left the Board to become the co-op’s General Manager.

Michael Wells, Secretary (Board President, Putney Food Co-op, Putney, VT)

Michael has been an active participant in food co-ops since the early seventies. He’s served on the Putney Food Co-op Board since 1990, is currently Board President, and is passionate about the Co-operative business model. Michael has been a Putney representative to the NFCA since its inception and was elected to the Board in 2015. He feels that the NFCA is a unique and successful organization that is strengthening regional Co-ops and our communities, leading the way toward a more integrated and effective Co-operative Economy. Michael is a retired building contractor.

Katharine Arnold (Marketing & Member Relations / Director, Buffalo Mountain Co-op, Hardwick, VT)

Katharine has been involved in co-ops since the early 70s and continues to have a commitment and passion toward furthering the Co-operative Movement and the mission of NFCA. She has been part of the Collective Management Team at Buffalo Mountain Coop for over 15 years and was originally hired to open and manage their café. Currently, she is the Board-Staff liaison and the Development Manager.

Mary Mullally (Storekeeping Manager, Hunger Mountain Co-op, VT)

Mary has worked at Hunger Mountain Co-op for 16 years and currently serves as Storekeeping Manager, overseeing Receiving, Facilities, the Managers on Duty, safety and security. Her time at the co-op has provided her with a sound natural food/co-operative retail background and further developed her project management and leadership skills. She particularly enjoys serving on the NFCA Board of Directors because she values working collaboratively to strengthen our cooperative economy and sustainable local food systems. She is especially proud to serve NFCA, because it works to build collaborative partnerships to make healthy food more broadly available while simultaneously supporting our local producers. She believes the more we invest in our community, the stronger and more resilient we become.

Chris Whiton (Operations Manager, Littleton Food Co-op, Littleton, NH)

Before coming to the Co-op community in 2010, Chris had a diverse twenty-year background in the conventional grocery industry. During that time, he moved from Front End management to store management, as well as performing duties as a district auditor and inventory management trainer for ten New Hampshire and Vermont stores. Arriving at the Littleton Food Co-op during its first year of business, he assisted in developing the procedures and structure for front-of-store operations, HR practices. As the store grew and expanded, he moved on to Store Operations management, helping coordinate the various departments with scheduling, ordering, and growth opportunities. When not at the Co-op, Chris enjoys maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Hiking, biking, and skiing are just a few activities he fits in between work shifts. His small photography business works to bring awareness to environmental concerns and sustainability. Being part of the co-op family has brought his focus on the need for accessible and affordable healthy food options for everyone. The support that we can lend to local growers and producers is immense, and in turn, this support will enrich our community and help promote the co-operative model.

Lucy Georgeff (General Manager, High Falls Food Co-op, High Falls, NY)

Lucy has served as General Manager of High Falls Food Co-op (High Falls, NY) since November 2020. Prior to this, she spent ten years at the Springfield Food Co-op (Springfield, VT), first as the bookkeeper, and then as the finance and human resource manager. She came to food co-ops after several years working on diversified livestock farms. In both fields, she has seen the holistic results of local ownership of food systems, and she believes cooperative structure is fundamental for healthy communities and people. Lucy has worked with NFCA throughout her time in both co-ops and is excited at the opportunity to contribute to the vital work they and our co-ops do together in growing the co-op movement.

NFCA Board of Directors, 2022

TOP ROW: John Crane (General Manager, Portland Food Co-op, ME), Rachel Watrous (Store Manager, Fiddleheads Food Co-op, CT)

MIDDLE ROW: Sue Miller, President (Co-General Manager, Upper Valley Food Co-op, VT), Katharine Arnold (Board & Manager, Buffalo Mountain Food Co-op, VT), Kathleen Krider (Board of Directors, Willimantic Food Co-op, CT)

BOTTOM ROW: Michael Wells (Board of Directors, Putney Food Co-op, VT), Mary Mullally (Storekeeping Manager, Hunger Mountain Co-op, VT), Chris Whiton (Operations Manager, Littleton Food Co-op, NH)


OUR STAFF

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Erbin Crowell, Executive Director, Neighboring Food Co-op Association

Erbin Crowell serves as Executive Director of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA). Prior to joining the association, Erbin worked with the Cooperative Fund of New England and the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-ops and as an independent consultant.  For more than a decade, he was a member of Equal Exchange, a worker co-operative and pioneer in the Fair Trade movement, and serves on the boards of the New England Farmers Union and the National Cooperative Business Association.  Erbin holds a Master of Management: Co-operatives & Credit Unions from Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia where he serves as an adjunct lecturer.


Suzette Snow-Cobb, Associate Director, Neighboring Food Co-op Association

Suzette has been involved with food co-ops since the mid 80’s. Prior to joining the NFCA, she worked for Franklin Community Co-op for 20 years and served on the board of NFCA. Suzette currently serves on the board of the Valley Co-operative Business Association and as Stakeholder Director for Valley Alliance of Worker Co-ops board and holds a Master of Management: Co-operatives & Credit Unions from Saint Mary’s University, Nova Scotia.