Board of Directors

The Belfast Community Co-op’s board of directors are Co-op owners directly elected by Co-op owners. The Co-op’s ownership has a legal responsibility to ensure our well-being, and the Board represents and acts for the Co-op’s owners, whose votes imply trust that the Board is representing their interests.

The Board of Directors has three primary duties:

  • To keep the Co-op accountable to cooperative principles
  • To ensure that we are adhering to the bylaws
  • To help us remain a sustainable business by ensuring sound management

To fulfill these responsibilities, the Board focuses on five areas:

  • Hiring, supervising, and evaluating the Co-op’s General Manager
  • Planning for the Co-op’s future and approving management’s plans
  • Approving capital and operating budgets
  • Recruiting new members to ensure a qualified and inclusive board
  • Making decisions about Policy Governance and other related matters

The Board Does NOT:

  • Make operating decisions for the store
  • Choose products
  • Supervise staff other than the GM

Board members are elected to one to three year terms and approximately one-third of the Board is up for election each year during a period that includes the Annual Meeting. 

The 2023 Board of Directors Election will begin at the Annual Meeting on February 26, 2023. This year, four seats are up for election. If you or someone your know is interested and would like more information, please visit: https://belfast.coop/bodnominations2023/ or email board@belfast.coop

Board Meetings

The Board meets at least monthly, generally on the fourth Wednesday from 6:00-8:30 PM. Meetings are open to Co-op owners, with specific time reserved for owner comments. Additional committee meetings happen throughout the month.

Date of next meeting: February 22, 2023

February meeting agenda

Board meetings are held via Zoom teleconference. If you would like to attend, register by clicking here.

Board meeting agendas are posted on the Co-op bulletin board and website one week prior to each scheduled meeting. Approved minutes of Board meetings are available on the website the week following the subsequent monthly meeting. Special meetings may be called as necessary by the Board, or by petition submitted by at least 10% of Co-op owners.

If you have additional questions, please email the Board at board@belfast.coop.

Sasha Breus

Sasha Breus

2021-2024

Organization and communication are the key elements of Sasha’s professional experience in scientific research, teaching, editing and writing. She thinks that collaboration nearly always produces better results and, as someone passionate about good, has worked as a baker, caterer, farmer and volunteer. Sasha believes that food-–as sustenance, as environmental stewardship, as an expression of love–and community are two critical components to a good life.

Ernie Cooper

Ernie Cooper

2022-2025

Ernie previously served as Board Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee, involved in adoption of policy changes that strengthened the Co-op’s financial foundation. He has long believed in the importance of the cooperative business model as an alternative to corporate commerce. His experience has confirmed that being an active, committed, contributing member of the Board is perhaps the most important community service he can undertake.

Susan Cutting

Susan Cutting

2021-2023

Susan has experience volunteering for local nonprofits as well as managing international and regional environmental programs. She finds the most gratifying piece to be collaboration, often with those of differing voices, and group facilitation. She carries with her a love for nature, her family and friends, a deep appreciation and respect for this community, and a passion for protecting the Earth.

Marion Grahek

Marion Grahek

2022-2023

I am inspired by collaborative community cultures with visions of improving our present and our future. My educational background focused on climate change research, providing a strong basis in understanding the challenges that our food system faces. Further, as a member of a community that was severely impacted by a climate change fueled natural disaster (2018 Woolsey Fire in CA), the threats posed by climate change do not feel distant or in the future, but present and current. I see health, for individuals and communities, as rooted in our food systems. And the only way to build resilience for our future is to build communities founded on kindness in principle and practice, with support to be healthy by having easy and affordable access to foods that fuel health. When I first came to mid-Coast Maine in 2019, I knew I was on a journey of discovery. It wasn’t until I entered the Belfast Community Co-op that I knew I was on a journey to my new home and community. The Co-op immediately felt like a place that embodies its values in practice, and has been a cornerstone in each visit to the region over the three years it took to make my transition from California to Maine a reality. The Co-op is the first place I visit with family and friends that come, to stock up on the foods that will fuel the foundation of health for our shared time. It would be an honor to support the mission of the Co-op as I build roots in a community I intend to call home for decades to come. 

John Krueger

John Krueger

2020-2023

John Krueger is excited to bring his skills, particularly those gleaned from his years on the MOFGA board, to the Co-op. John also has financial and management skills from his career as a Maine DEP Scientist and director, and as an elected official in local politics. John would like to assure that the Co-op’s values and Global Ends Statement continue to gain traction in the future so others can learn from the Co-op’s success.

Elaine Mack

Elaine Mack

2022-2025

Elaine has a longstanding interest in whole and local foods, and worked in a health food store in Chicago. Currently, she uses locally sourced ingredients in the making of the crackers I sell at the United Farmers Market of Maine. Elaine feels strongly that locally-sourced, natural foods should be available regardless of people’s race, income, or socioeconomic status. She would love to see the Co-op improve the number of lower-cost options offered.

Valerie Tate

Valerie Tate

2021-2024

Valerie began her career as an RN at an hospital in an underserved community, then became a labor leader of nurses. At the time of her retirement, she was the coordinator of the Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare, supporting the leadership of 85,000 nurses nationwide. Experience has shown her that, where there is conflict, there’s a respectful way to find common ground.

Collin Thompson

Collin Thompson

2022-2025

A former co-op worker and vendor Collin’s career has been spent in local agriculture; he has always viewed food cooperatives as a critical piece of the infrastructure of any community. The Belfast Community Co-op was a large factor in his decision to move to the region. Previously, Collin served on the board at the Marquette Food Co-op, and is eager to help our Co-op continue to use its influence in the community to do good.

Charles Pattavina

Charles Pattavina

2021-2023

A semi-retired emergency physician, Dr. Pattavina attributes his successes to a collaborative style of leadership and management. He has many years of experience on both nonprofit and for-profit boards and is a long-standing Co-op customer and community member, and aims to help the Co-op continue to adapt to meet the needs of the community.

Board Resources

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