Board of Directors

Nick Landry, President 

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.

Clay Whitney, Vice President

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.

Phil Kolling, Secretary

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. 

Phil Cecchini, Treasurer, Site Committee Chair, Finance Committee Chair

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.

Jo Perreault, Membership Development Committee Chair

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.

Kyle Lanzit, Community Outreach Committee Chair

(Update coming soon!)

Chris Riddell

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.

Jan Zemba

I am a relative newcomer to Barre City, having moved here in September 2014. We lived here for a year in an apartment, found we liked the area and bought our house. It took us a little while to find your group, but it was an easy decision to join Granite City Grocery - I believe that co-ops can be strong members of community life. My work has always been in education - I teach science and math at the Initiative, a Waldorf high school on Goddard's Campus. At a startup everyone wears many hats - beyond teaching I carry many of the administrative tasks for the school: scheduling, registrar, finance management, all of which I have also done on occasion at previous schools.

I served on the school's board when I lived in Saratoga Springs (Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs) and previously on a church board, serving at different times as a general member, secretary or treasurer. Serving on the Board of a non-profit such as these or the Granite City Grocery, I know it is important to retain a clear picture of the goals of the organization. The work of the Board is to support the mission and move it forward, not to drive one's personal agenda. This work has been really
rewarding and I enjoy the opportunities for collaboration and community work.

I bring strong organizing capacities, ability to take minutes, and familiarity with spreadsheets, balance sheets, QuickBooks (in a school and non-profit setting, not retail). I have experience with consensus decision making as well as voting board structures. The current group of teachers I work with is entirely horizontal, with no administrative head, so I have a lot of experience with collaborative decision making as well as turning tasks and work over to an individual and empowering them to make
something happen!

I am now in the position of having time available and am looking for places and organizations with which I'd like to spend it. I like fresh food, local food, supporting my home community and it's growth. I think the more we can make good food accessible the better for everyone! The school that I work at has students cooking lunch for each other, often from local foods, as an integral part of our week. Beyond that, supporting the forward movement of the co-op is supporting Barre- as simple as that. My hope is that we will find the right place and time for the beginning of GCG. With that solid beginning my hope is that in ten years, the co-op will be an integral part of Barre's community- a part of the business life of the city as well as the social and communal life of residents and those who work in Barre. I've seen partnering with Barre businesses occurring- very encouraging steps! Often it can be
difficult to go from an idea or possibility into manifesting a plan of steps to make it happen or to evaluate it's possibilities. I see that as a real strength that I can offer.

I am also willing and able to assist in ways other than serving on the board. Regardless of my service on the board, supporting GCG is something I'd like to do.


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