Board Candidate Bios:
Lynn Benander is a community entrepreneur. She has helped build community-owned businesses across the Northeast, bringing quality jobs, sustainable products and services, and valuable assets to local communities. She has worked with non-profits, governmental entities, community development corporations, planning commissions, businesses, institutions of higher learning, and cooperatives supporting grassroots community economic development focused on justice and sustainability.
Co-op Power is a multi-race, multi-class network of local energy cooperatives across Massachusetts and southern Vermont. As President and CEO of Co-op Power, Lynn provides support to the local economic development efforts of member community energy cooperatives, building sustainable and just energy options and strengthening the local energy economy in their communities.
Jeanne Douillard 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.
Jon Shina, formerly of Brooklyn, and now a resident of Greenfield, has worked for the Franklin Community Co-op for over 4 years, at both Green Fields Market and at McCusker’s, primarily in our Produce department (but, you might find him behind a register, too!). He believes that our cooperative is a place that people rely on to find good, affordable food, and that it serves as a welcoming place for community gatherings. He’s been a member since moving to Greenfield 5 years ago, and, outside of his work at FCC, is a musician, avid record collector, and enjoys spending time with his partner, Shannon, and their two excellent cats.
Peter Garbus 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.