Abra works as a program manager with Food Secure Canada (FSC). Prior to joining FSC in Sept 2012, she worked extensively throughout BC on food systems, agriculture, organics, and meat systems.
Abra grew up on a farm in the Okanagan Valley and, as part of a family of 13, learned the value of co-operation and hard work from an early age. She is also a firm believer in the importance of democracy, striving to create engaged “food citizens” through her work. She is a founding member of the BC Food Systems Network, the Canadian Biotech Action Network, and the Kootenay Local Agriculture Society and sits on various food and agriculture-related boards.
Leon moved to the area seven years ago and lives in the Slocan Valley with his wife, Kate and their three children. He grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan immersed in cooperative values. His grandparents were leaders in the cooperative movement starting in the 1930’s in Saskatchewan and both his father and grandfather served as directors of the local co-op and wheat marketing pool. One of his favourite things about the Co-op is its commitment to supporting local farmers and food producers.
Leon is a corporate and commercial lawyer and has been practicing law since 1994. He has worked with many small and medium sized businesses and has accumulated valuable experience that he contributes to the success of the Co-op. Leon also has a business degree and experience with finance and accounting. He sits on the Finance and Policy Committees of the Board and is also the liaison to the Board for the Redevelopment Committee.
Susan has served on the Co-op’s Board of Directors since September 2011 and is currently chair of the Finance Committee, is on the Member Outreach Committee and was chair of the Member Loans Committee during the Member Loan Campaign.
An abiding passion in healthy, delicious food was initially inspired by her mother and grandmother. Susan’s multifaceted work background has included tree-planting cook, fitness-spa chef, restaurant owner, deli manager at the Co-op, accountant assistant and coordinator of a regional resource library. She continues to work as a yoga and chi kung instructor. She has been a Co-op member pretty much since moving to the Kootenays with her family in 1981.
Susan says the Co-op’s mission, principles and buying guidelines encompass many of her core values. Assisting in furthering our position as an increasingly important community resource, while advancing the cooperative business model locally and beyond, is a pleasure.
Jon studied Hotel and Food Administration at the University of Guelph. He went on to work in restaurants across Canada and France and these experiences launched him on a complimentary career as a food journalist. In 2006, Jon created Deconstructing Dinner – a weekly one-hour radio show and podcast produced at Kootenay Co-op Radio. Before it went off the air in late 2010, the show was being broadcast on 50 radio stations in Canada and the US and continues to be ranked as the top Canadian food podcast by iTunes. In 2011, Jon met James Beard Award winning filmmaker Declan O’Driscoll and began working on resurrecting Deconstructing Dinner as a documentary television series and multimedia project which was launched on ichannel in September 2013. Jon is an active public speaker and has been in involved in many West Kootenay food initiatives. Jon has been a Board Director of the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative since 2006.
Paula can remember shopping for groceries at a co-op when she was a kid. At the time, she wished her parents wouldn’t insist on buying the ‘health food’, yet those early eating patterns have influenced her shopping habits – and her values – as an adult. Professionally, Paula works in communications with SelfDesign, a lifelong learning community. She is proud to sit on the Kootenay Co-op’s Board, with social, environmental, and economic values all guiding our mission, and hopes her contributions help ensure our region can cultivate an abundance of good, clean, and fair food. Guided by the concept of ‘food as medicine’, Paula appreciates the Co-op’s commitment to providing the freshest, most sustainably-produced, local food for our community, and the ease this brings to her own grocery shopping.
Elizabeth has lived in Nelson since 2005 and has enjoyed its amazing support for the arts, healthy living and community. Since moving here, she been involved with the Nelson Figure Skating Board, Capitol Theater Pantomime (community theatre), and building a successful bodywork business on Baker Street.
Elizabeth became a board director in the Fall of 2013 and immediately threw herself into the successful Member Loans Campaign (October 2013) and says she deeply appreciated how extremely welcome she was made to feel as the Board’s newest member.
She currently sits on two board committees and has enjoyed learning more about the link between our plates and where and how our food is grown, supported and processed. It is an exciting time to be involved with the Co-op and Elizabeth looks forward to participating actively in the Co-op’s growth in the coming months and years.
Cathy Ann has been the Employee Director on the Board since the fall of 2013. During the day, she is the Customer Service Assistant Manager. She has lived and worked in the Nelson area since 1990 and my 1st job was as a cashier at the Kootenay Co-op (then located in the Gerrick’s Cycle building). At that time the Co-op was preparing for the move to our current location.
During her hiatus from the Co-op, Cathy Ann build the successful Kootenay Coconut Soaps business and became a supplier.In a wonderful twist of fate, Cathy Ann has returned to employment at the Co-op as it prepares for yet another big move!
She is pleased and proud to be serving the Co-op both as Employee Director and as part of the staff and looks forward to serving the membership and staff as we move forward with planning all aspects of the news store.
Contact the Board of Directors.