Franklin Community Co-op’s Board of Directors is an elected group of (up to) 11 member/owners who serve the co-op for three-year terms. The board’s responsibility is to assure that the values, purpose and mission statements of the co-op, as described in the Ends Policies, are properly carried out and shall direct and control its business and affairs in the interests of its members. This group has the legal responsibility to ensure the well-being of the co-op.
The Board supervises the General Manager who is responsible for carrying out board policies and store operations.
Board members receive a 15% discount at our stores for their service to the co-op. The board meets at least once a month, generally on the second Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are open to co-op members.
Board meeting agendas are posted on the co-op stores’ bulletin boards one week prior to each scheduled meeting. The most recent approved board meeting minutes are posted in both stores and available in the Board binder at the Member/Customer Service Desk at Green Fields Market.
The co-op’s board of directors appreciates hearing from you! They are available to answer questions and provide information about co-op governance. You can leave questions or comments in the Feedback Box at either store or member-owners can sign up for the Member Forum.
Board members can also be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Co-op’s Board of Directors
George Touloumtzis, President ’22
I moved to the valley from Boston in 2002 (with my partner Laura) seeking a setting more in balance with nature. We chose Greenfield in particular for two reasons: the great cycling routes that radiate out in all directions, and the presence of Green Fields Market. Co-ops to me embody a crucial holistic paradigm of how to live well on this earth. Since my formative years I’ve had a strong interest in collectivism and social activism. Once I moved out here, a latent readiness within me and the progressive momentum in this town somehow coalesced to trigger more vigorous community involvement on my part, culminating in my current service on the FCC Board of Directors. Other passions include bicycling, advocacy for multi-modal transportation, and downtowns — that wondrous blend of civic and commercial activity in a public space. It therefore feels important to me that both our stores are located in downtowns and are accessible by multiple modes of travel.
Peter Garbus, Vice President, ’21
My family and I moved to Greenfield in 2006. I am in my tenth year as the Principal of the Four Rivers Charter Public School in Greenfield. My wife is a labor and delivery nurse at Franklin. Our 21 year old son is a studio art major in his senior year of college and our 17 year old daughter is a senior at Four Rivers. We’ve really loved becoming a part of this community.
During my career as an educator, I taught high school English and history for 12 years and have worked as a school leader for 16 years. I’ve started a charter school in Fitchburg and wrangled 9th graders trying to understand why we were reading Shakespeare. I have overseen meetings with families wondering why classes were cancelled for a week in October while we waited for an occupancy permit, and I have set up structures for communication that allow every member of an organization to bring forward questions and concerns so we can fix what we’re able to fix. I’ve served on boards or leadership teams in each of the schools I’ve worked, drawn by the big questions and driven to think about the big picture. From that experience, I’ve become knowledgeable and skilled working with policy and organizational management. I oversaw all financial management of the last two schools where I’ve worked, though I’m certainly not an expert. As a school leader, I’ve gained considerable experience with managing complex organizations, labor relations, personnel management, some marketing, and leadership. I do not have other co-op or food-related experience, except for the significant changes that have occurred in my own relationship with food that western MA has inspired. I like to find the right questions to ask, and am open to conflicting evidence. When I work with a group of people on a challenging task, sometimes I’m the one redefining the task at hand and moving us forward, and sometimes I slow things down to dig in a bit deeper. I like to focus on the big picture while finding practical solutions that have positive impact. I hope to bring this temperament to an organization I care about.
I believe in the idea that cooperative ownership strengthens an organization by distributing commitment; it makes each one of us accountable for its success. We all need to care about the viability of our co-op in addition to caring about its products, for example. I think Green Fields Market and McCusker’s are essential components of our communities and worth advancing. When my family and I moved to Greenfield 10 years ago, the co-op instantly became a center of our community. We hope that continues for many more.
Jeanne Douillard, Treasurer ’21
My husband, Armand Proulx and I moved to Greenfield, MA in 2005 and we joined FCC soon after arriving here. We owned our own health food store in North Carolina in the 1980’s and have had a lifelong interest in good food. Being part of a cooperative – a business owned by members – was something we supported wholeheartedly. We have a daughter, Rachelle Douillard-Proulx who has just completed a Global Masters degree program in International Relations. She studied in five different countries in Europe and Asia. I have had a rather eclectic career. I received a BA in biology and a certificate in Medical Technology in the 1970’s. I have been a teacher, medical technologist, lab manager, health food store owner, potter, and began a gallery in North Carolina which exists to this day. I was also manager of the nutrition department at Bread and Circus, a Financial Analyst with Babson Capital Management and director of the Visitor’s Center in Greenfield, MA. I currently work as a part-time potter and am involved in several writing projects. I became a published author in 2015. I am pleased to be involved with Franklin Community Coop at this important time in our history. We will soon be celebrating 40 years in business and are in the midst of many important projects.
Andy Grant, ’21
Andy Grant works with the nonprofit Sociocracy For All (so4all.org), helping to support a worldwide community of practice in self-governance and consent-based decision making. Formerly of Greenfield, Andy lives in a cohousing community in Amherst with his partner Mona Shiber an artist. His Quaker values are reflected in a concern for social justice. He is a father of two young adults, an avid photographer, and a lover of nature.
Annie Winkler, ’22
Annie Winkler has lived in the Connecticut River Valley since 2003, uses they pronouns, has a dog named Toast, and believes in building community resilience and consent-based decision making. Annie is a worker-owner at Real Pickles where they put their values into practice by helping to create regionally based food systems and sustainable, human-scale jobs. As a lifelong learner, Annie has focused on governance and decision making, environmental science and natural history, and anything that is system based. In non-work time, Annie enjoys singing bass with Soubrette, a jazz choir based out of the Vermont Jazz Center, elaborate cooking projects, epic sledding, hiking and swimming adventures, and time with their family.
Rachael Katz, ’22
Rachael Katz is an entrepreneur, artist, mechanical engineer, and real estate developer, living and working in downtown Greenfield. She has created and run multiple successful businesses, including among several others, an optics manufacturing company, a skate shop, and most recently, The Greenfield Gallery. She is also responsible for the rescue and renovation of the Botsford Block, known through the 90s and 00s as the Rooney’s building, where her studio and The Greenfield Gallery are located. Katz currently serves as Chair of the Crossroads Cultural District Committee and Secretary on the Progress Partnership Inc board, and she is acting as lead artist and project manager on Greenfield’s first large scale, multi-site, public art installation, expected to be installed in June 2019. Her other interests include acting, singing, and learning new making skills. “I believe strongly in the coop business model as a way to strengthen our communities and I look forward to contributing to the success and vibrancy of the Franklin Community Coop through a position on the Board. My decades of experience in business have given me the background to succeed in this position and my love of Greenfield and Franklin County give me the motivation to do my part to help FCC thrive and grow.”
Bob Sagor, Clerk, ’22
Bob Sagor, of Greenfield, and his wife operated a small farm in the 1970s raising vegetables, dairy cows and hens, selling vegetables to a local grocery store. Bob then attended veterinary school and worked first with dairy cows then with other animals through his 30-year veterinary practice in Greenfield. He offers knowledge of public health issues and food safety, extensive business experience including in labor relations, financial analysis and investment, leadership and group facilitation skills. “Great insitutions and sevices do not just happen. The co-op is a valuable resource for those of us who live or work in Franklin County and it only exists because of local people who have given time and talent to make it happen and to keep it going. I have time in retirement to give to the Co-op and enthusiasm to support an institution that is very important to my wife and me. The Co-op is our main source of food. We like to eat locally sourced foods and we care a great deal about the quality and integrity of the foods we eat.”
Andee Crommett, ’23
I moved to the Connecticut River Valley over 20 years ago to attend college and ended up staying. The landscape, the people and the local food movement drew me in. While earning a B.A in Comparative Literature at UMass Amherst I began working in the social service field. Being of service to others has always been important to me. It’s one of the reasons I chose to run for the board. I also hold a M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from UMass Boston. As a certified rehabilitation counselor, I help expand quality of life opportunities for persons with disabilities. I’m interested in food justice as it relates to disability justice especially during this time when the Co-op is taking steps to expand. From personal experience I know that food is medicine. I work and live in Greenfield with my fantastic family. I enjoy all things sci-fi, homemade food, islands, chocolate, singing and dancing. My preferred pronouns are she/her but I’m also comfortable with they/them.
Margaret Cooley, ’23
Margaret Cooley has been an active member of the co-op since moving to Greenfield in 2004. She has served as executive director of Woolman Hill Retreat Center (in Deerfield) for over fifteen years. She grew up in Rochester, NY, attending public city schools, and graduated from college with a degree in Literature and Black Studies. In past lives (in western NY, western NC, western Mass and the Czech Republic) she has been a landscape crew member, vegetable-farmhand, community garden member, cross-country running coach, land survey crew member, substitute organist, chorus member, urban ranger, building manager, floral delivery person, youth program leader, and teacher, among other things.She cares deeply about the future of the co-op and its presence as a central business in downtown Greenfield and in Shelburne Falls. She is honored to help shape that future, to be part of the positive energy for our beloved co-op, for the Connecticut Valley region, and for our wider world.
Micah Roberts, ’23
I’ve lived in Greenfield, on and off, for most of my life. I’ve seen this town go through many changes. This is the first time I think I’ve ever really been excited about what I see ahead for our community. I feel as though my long relationship with the Coop maybe culminating in something special. Not unlike the move from Chapman St to Main St, this feels like a time of positive change, and not just for our stores, but for our entire community. So having the chance now to be involved with the Coop in a whole new way re-energizes me in my commitment to the place that has provided for me and my family for so many years. I get the ability to give back in a positive way, and to help to build a strong store that will continue to improve our town and our community. Not just for our members but for everyone.
Emily Gopen, ’23
When I first discovered the Coop 30 years ago, I knew immediately that I found my community – the store on Chapman Street felt, looked and smelled like “home”! Soon after I became a working member, I met Sonny (my husband), who was also a working member (a match meant to be!). I’ve been living at Windy Hill Community in Charlemont since then, with Sonny, kids, goats, chickens, gardens, cats, dogs and ducks, surrounded by 70 acres of forest. Every morning when I greet the day on my doorstep, I feel blessed … Shelburne Falls has been my extended Community since 1989. I’ve been a Pre-school Teacher, Carpenter, Architectural Draftsperson, Assistant Librarian, Environmental Education Teacher, and Artist. I also recently was employed at McCusker’s Market, experiencing our Coop from a different perspective. And the “Jewish Mother” in me has brought me to help feed people through the weekly free meal in Shelburne falls, and deliver free food around the area. Finding purpose in this precious life has been my greatest reward.
Franklin’s board uses Policy Governance, a detailed and comprehensive method that structures and organizes their work. This type of governance uses policies to guide the General Manager (GM) to progress towards stated goals (Ends) of the co-op while staying within established boundaries. Through reports from the General Manager, external reports, and the board’s internal monitoring, policies and goals are evaluated and updated regularly. The policies and Ends Statement serve as a guide for the General Manager and establish guidelines for the board’s evaluation of the GM’s performance.
Using Policy Governance helps ensure that the board does not involve itself in any areas of co-op operations, while ensuring that the store runs optimally. Through the Ends Statement, the board establishes the vision and goals that co-op management is to pursue and achieve. The GM decides how to achieve these Ends and presents the board with documentation showing that she/he has achieved them. The board then reviews the presented information, determining if the Ends have been met.
Bylaws & Ends Policy
A Statement of Ends is a co-op’s most overarching goal. Franklin Community Co-op’s current Ends Policy was adopted in February 2009.
We are incorporated in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
You can view our Bylaws here.