2016 Board Candidates

These are the candidates for the board seats with terms expiring in 2018.  You can vote for candidates at the annual meeting on June 29 or online here.

Candidates were asked to address the following areas in their statements:

  • Current employment and work experience
  • Previous Board experience
  • What skills would you bring to the Board of Directors for Granite City Grocery (including training, education, or experience that qualifies you to sit on the Board)?
  • Why would you like to serve on GCG’s Board of Directors?
  • What is your vision for GCG 10 years down the road and what role would you play to achieve that vision?
  • Can you make commitment for the entire length of the term to the responsibilities outlined in the candidate’s packet?

Phil Cecchini

I have over 35 years in a variety of roles in the accounting and finance departments of a variety of businesses. I have held titles of CFO, VP Finance, Controller for start-ups and non-profits.  

I have been on the Board of Granite City Grocery for 2 years,  one year as Treasurer.  I have also been board treasurer for a trade association- Building Performance Professionals Association and, in my role as CFO, been staff supporting Corporate boards.

I have experience with start-ups focused on the finances of several organizations. Including serving as Treasurer of GCG.  I have participated in Coop trainings provided by The Neighborhood Food Coop Initiative and CDS Consulting. 

I would like to continue to help make the coop a reality in Barre. 

GCG will be a profitable Coop supporting the people who live, work and play in downtown Barre.

Yes.  I am prepared to continue to make the investment of time to support the coop.

Denise Gagne

Currently, I am not working except to care for my husband and my ward, both of which are handicapped. I also prepare taxes at my house for several people.  In 2014-2015, I was the Volunteer Tax Preparation Coordinator at Capstone  Community Action in Barre. I owned and operated Abacus Bookkeeping and Tax Service in Montpelier for 7 years and built the business from 5 tax clients and 7 bookkeeping clients to 375 tax clients and 37 bookkeeping clients. I sold the business in April 2014 and took my job at Capstone in October 2014. I am an Enrolled Agent with the IRS and enjoy preparing taxes.

Over the years I was the president of the board of Abacus, on the board of a restaurant I used to own, and was the board secretary for The Mountaineers for a

year.  I would be able to bring my expertise in decision making and brainstorming to the board as well as varied financial expertise and tax liability for different scenarios.  I feel that my years of LIFE will bring knowledge and insight into different aspects of my service with the board.

I would like to serve on the board of GCG because I feel that GCG is much needed in Barre and will be a catalyst to build and grow community and participation. I have watched the growth of Hunger Mountain from it’s infancy to what it is now and can envision the same for GCG and would like to be part of that vision.

I have lived in Central Vermont for most of my 62 years and have seen things start that I have shook my head over and have seen them fail. I have also seen startup business whose vision was complimentary to Vermont and its basis and have tried to encourage and assist in any way that I could with their success. I envision GCG being one of the businesses that succeeds and I desire to be a part of that success.

Nick Landry

I currently work as the Executive Assistant to the City Manager. My previous work experience varies from print and digital media design at Copy World to conflict resolution at Washington County Mental Health. In addition to developing an array of skill my work experience has also served to develop a large social network with the business owners of Barre.

My previous Board experience is derived from my current term of the Board of Directors for Granite City Grocery. During this time I have learned a great deal about procedure, process, and teamwork.

As a current member of The Board I have received training from CDS at the CBL101, the FCI conference in Keene, and the past two Board Retreats. I also bring the social network and ties to local governance through my work at City Hall mentioned above.

The greatest asset that I will bring to the board is my unwavering desire to build a better Barre. Granite City Grocery is the next step forward for Barre. I have been part of this project since moving back to Barre three years ago and I am committed to seeing this project through. During this phase of our development my skills and experience would enhance the abilities of our Board of Directors.

Ten years from now Granite City Grocery will be a social hub that represents the heart of the City of Barre. In addition to be a source of healthy and affordable food it will also be a civic resource for citizens to access the support and education that they need to enjoy an elevated quality of life. I know that I will still be a part of our cooperative family but I do not know what role I would play at that time.

Jo Perreault

I am a retired Legal Assistant with 40 years experience in both the public and private sectors of Vermont and New Hampshire, with paralegal skills.  My ex-husband and I owned/operated Quality Market, Inc., 155 Washington Street, Barre, VT for 25 years. It was a family owned business started by his father in the 50’s and Michael took it over following his retirement. When requested, I assisted in hiring and training staff and worked at the store during the Holiday season(s) only, preferring to work in the private / government sectors full-time.

I also worked for 11 years as a Guardian ad Litem in Washington County Civil, Juvenile and Criminal courts, retiring one (1) year ago. Without question my most challenging / learning experience. I work well with all private and governmental agencies / individuals. I am a team player in all that I do. I am former President of the Washington County Legal Secretaries Association, and former VT Director for the National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS).

I have the ability to do legal research. I am on the Barre City Board of Civil Authority, Justice of the Peace, Notary Public. I am also an active member of the Vermont Council on Aging, Barre Senior Center, American Legion Auxiliary Post 10 (Barre) Secretary, Member/Lector St. Monica’s Catholic Church, Member, North Barre Manor Tenants Association.

I was born, raised, educated, married and worked in the Barre /Montpelier areas for most of my adult life. Because of our former business and my time in Vermont State Government (17 years) I know many prominent families and business owners within the area and State government.

I have witnessed many changes within the downtown over the last 50 years, and want to be a part of this continued positive change. I would especially enjoy seeing GCG and its members become as large and successful as the Hunger Mountain Store in Montpelier, and look forward to meeting and working with the community at large.

I very much enjoy having more free time and planning my own schedule. I will commit my time and energy to the Association whenever I am asked, and hope to bring a positive influence throughout.

Chris Riddell

I am currently the director of technology for a small consulting firm that helps nonprofits use technology to raise money and build supporters.  Previously, I have been an independent technology consultant, and I worked for 8 years at Goddard College overseeing both information technology and library services. 

Before joining the Granite City Grocery board in 2013, I served on the board of the Plainfield Food Co-op.  I currently serve on the Barre City Board of Civil Authority and the Board of Abatement in my role as a justice of the peace.

I have attended a number of workshops and training sessions on a variety of topics related to co-op governance, board leadership, co-op startups, and finances.  I have also gained a lot of knowledge from my fellow board members and through our annual retreats led by one of the most knowledgeable consultants in the food co-op space.

I believe in the mission of the co-op, and I feel that contributing my time and knowledge through serving on the board is the best way for me to support that mission.  I truly want to continue working towards making our store a reality.

I envision a revitalized downtown Barre with Granite City Grocery as its centerpiece.  Our thriving store will be a vital source of fresh food, education, and a space for community events.  I will be a shopper, active co-op member, and volunteering in whatever capacity is needed to keep our co-op strong.

Being part of starting up our co-op is a priority for me.  I hope to continue serving the co-op for another term.


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