Board of Directors

Reed Curry, President (Term expires June 2017)

I believe everyone living in Barre deserves access to healthy, fresh food.  Granite City Grocery is volunteer-run and I am energized by the community of support driving GCG's development.

My fiance, Jake, and I moved to Barre City in 2013.  We feel like we've found our home here and are happy to play a role in Barre's on-going revitalization.  

I grew up in the Adirondack Mountains and work in Burlington, where I am the Community Campaign Manager for United Way of Chittenden County.

Contact: reedcurry@gmail.com

Clay Whitney, Vice President

(Term expires June 2017)

I work for a cooperative (Cabot Creamery), am a member/owner/volunteer of another (Adamant Co-op), and a member/owner of Granite City Grocery.  Part of my job is to visit food co-ops around the country to cooperate with them in accordance with the 6th Rochdale Principle, “Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.”  I attend national and regional co-op meetings (CCMA, NFCA [New England], MAFCA [MidAtlantic]), work with NCG (National Co-op Grocers), and have helped to organize a first-time meeting of all the various types of co-ops in Philadelphia.  I also work with individual, and groups of, food co-ops to try to solve distribution problems.

While presenting available outreach support, and programs aimed at cooperative education and volunteerism, to the co-ops I visit, I learn a great deal about what other start-ups are doing that is successful, and what existing co-ops did to get themselves to their opening day and to prosper since then.  There are many common hurdles, a good number of unusual ones, and many creative ways co-ops have found to get over them.

I’ve never been to a food co-op that is the same as any other.  Every co-op is an expression of the community it’s in, the people who own it, and the people who staff it.  Barre needs a co-op that will meet the needs of local natural and conventional food shoppers in much the same way City Market – the most successful single co-op in the U.S. -- did in Burlington with a mix of products.  Our grocery will be the “beating heart” of Barre: a center of community; a resource for locally produced food as well as national brands; and a source of local pride.    

Since joining the GCG Board in January of 2015, I have participated in our meetings, taken a co-op training course, and joined the Member Development/Community Outreach Committee.  The Committee works to reach out to individuals, employers and civic groups to find new member/owners; develop events for owners and to attract new members; and create marketing materials to promote the GCG in and around Barre.  I’m looking forward to continuing to help give direction to our co-op so it grows…opens…meets your needs…and thrives.

Contact: 454-8029 / cwhitney@cabotcheese.coop

Phil Kolling, Secretary (Term expires June 2017)

I am the Executive Director of SerVermont, Vermont’s Commission on National and Community Service. We promote, support and recognize volunteerism and community service in Vermont through AmeriCorps and other volunteer initiatives. We manage the AmeriCorps programs in Vermont, organize several annual conferences and trainings, and manage the Governor’s Service Awards each year.

My background is in management of organizations in the government and nonprofit sector, particularly organizations in phases of startup, expansion, or reorganization. I enjoy bringing ideas and concepts to fruition, and growing organizations creatively. I have directed a newly opened and growing Boys and Girls Club in Everett, MA, launched an AmeriCorps VISTA program in Vermont, and served as an AmeriCorps member in Vermont and Maine. I hold a Master of Science in Management of Mission Driven Organizations from Marlboro College School of Graduate and Professional Studies, and a BS in Community Development from the University of New Hampshire. I serve as a Justice of the Peace for Barre Town, and as a board member for America’s Service Commissions.

Moving to Barre Town while the Big Dig was underway downtown, my family and I bought into the future vision for Barre. I feel that a downtown grocery is a key component to the completion of that vision. My hope is that one day in the near future my family will be able to ride our bikes down the bike path to town and visit our local cooperative grocery. I believe that a strong downtown grocery will serve as a community gathering place and great place to get groceries while knowing that I am not only getting food, but supporting the local community. Barre is a great community, and a downtown grocery will make it even better. 

Contact: philipkolling@gmail.com

Phil Cecchini, Treasurer (Term expires June 2016)

I have one of the best jobs I can imagine. I get to help people save money and be more comfortable in their homes while helping the environment. I am the Business Manager in the Weatherization Program at Central Vermont Community Action Council supporting the back-office systems and processes that help us excel and be leaders in our field.

Most of my career has been as the Chief Financial Officer, Finance Director or Controller of start-up and rapidly growing entities going through organizational change. In my roles as CFO I was a regular contributor at Board meetings and committees, including developing plans and pro-forma projections to support Board decisions.

I believe in the mission of GCG. Barre needs a downtown grocery store that provides a variety of healthy foods – a store that strives to meet the needs of its customers with exceptional service and fair prices. I believe my background with start-ups and growing organizations is needed in this phase of GCG’s evolution.

Alicia Bartlett (Term expires June 2017)

I have lived in Barre, Vermont since I was little. I went to Barre Town Middle and Elementary School and graduated from Spaulding High School. From there I went on to college to pursue my goal of becoming an elementary teacher. Growing up, I helped my family business called Moran's Pigs and Beef- from doing the farm work to the paperwork. I was able to get a lot of business experience that has helped me into today. I was in JROTC in high school and learned a lot of life and business lessons.

Barre has come a long way over the past few years and I believe Granite City Grocery is going to help make Barre a better place to live. I believe Barre needs a place where everyone can shop for affordable food. Healthy food is a big part of a happy community.

Cathy Chodorkoff (Term expires June 2017)

I have lived in Marshfield with my family for 40 years.  I am currently employed by Capstone Head Start in Barre as Associate Director for Operations and am in my 13th year there.  I was previously employed for 12 years as the financial director of The Institute for Social Ecology in Plainfield which ran college level educational programs.  Previous to that I was general manager of the Winooski Valley Coop in Plainfield for several years, and before that I was employed as the manager and a buyer for the Goddard College Bookstore.  I have also been a self-employed baker, and freelanced as a bookkeeper and a 
proofreader.

While employed at Goddard I was elected as staff representative to the Board and served a one year term.  I was also a grievance officer for the staff union.  I served on the Board of the Jaquith Library in Marshfield for nine years, two as chairperson.  I was on the Board of The Center School Playgroup pre-school in Plainfield for four years, where I also served as interim co-director for 6 months.

I am a member/owner of GCG and am currently serving on the Board.  The business area of Barre has been on an upswing, but a downtown without a place to buy food doesn’t fully serve those in town; specialty shops and restaurants are nice but of no help to people in need of food for themselves and their families.  My hope is that in ten years Barre will be thriving and GCG along with it as a local, affordable food source and community resource.

Denise Gagne

Currently, I work 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 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 (Term expires June 2018)

My background is small business start-ups; my formal education was focused on developing local economies. I assisted with the coordination of the Barre Heritage Festival for four years. This will be my fourth year working with the Granite City Grocery.

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.

Barre has seen many changes in the last two years. We have seen out city undergo an impressive facelift, and she is still growing. Granite City Grocery is part of that growth. I am looking forward to it becoming the heart that will anchor our ever growing community.

Food is communal. I believe that the Granite City Grocery will be a place for Barresians to purchase healthy affordable food. It will be more than just a store; it will be a gathering place and a community center. Founding the Granite City Grocery makes Barre a better community and a better city for us all to live in.

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 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.

Chris Riddell (Term expires June 2018)

I’ve been a member of the GCG board of directors since May 2013.  Prior to joining the board, I was a member of the steering committee and have been involved with co-op since October 2012.  I also served on the board of the Plainfield Food Co-op from 2007-2008.  I believe in the cooperative principles.  I'm also committed to bringing fresh food and a greater sense of community back to downtown Barre, where I've lived since 2011.

During my time on the board, I’ve attended several webinars on topics such as the stages of co-operative development and membership recruitment.  I’ve managed complex projects and budgets, both as an IT consultant and previously as a dean at Goddard College.

Contact: cmriddell@gmail.com

 


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