2017-2018 Board of Directors

Abra Brynne

Abra Brynne grew up on a farm in the Okanagan Valley and, as part of a family of 13, learned the value of co-operation, good food, and hard work from an early age. Abra has worked closely with farmers and on food systems for more than twenty-five years, with a priority on food value chains and the regulatory regimes that impede or support them. She led a team that undertook the community consultation and drafting of the RDCK’s Agriculture Area Plan. For three years, Abra worked with Food Secure Canada as the lead on a national initiative to support regional food systems. She is a founding member and currently the Director of Engagement & Policy of the BC Food Systems Network. Locally, she is the Co-ordinator of the Central Kootenay Food Policy Council. She has volunteered on numerous boards over many years, including the Co-op. She has been a member of the Co-op since moving to the area in 1990.

Alexandra Forsythe

My name is Alexandra Forsythe, and I was born and raised in Nelson, BC. After living away for 7 years I was ready to come back to my roots. Now living back in Nelson, it’s time for me to get active in the community. I’m a Registered Massage Therapist, which allows me to hear the voices, wants, and needs of our local residents. Millennials are great at having opinions, and I want to put these opinions into action. I want to help in taking the next step and initiate change and healthy growth in our community.

Ina Pockrass

Ina Pockrass is a retired attorney and eco-entrepreneur. She has extensive experience on non-profit boards from small, local organizations like Sustainable Berkeley, to organizations with international scope, like Women’s Earth Alliance. Ina co-founded an educational organization designed to transform the dental industry, the Eco-Denistry Association, and has collaborated with stake-holders to develop standards for environmentally-sound dental offices. She has utilized her legal, strategic, and negotiation expertise to the benefit of the many organizations she has worked with, and she has been passionate about the role of food a s a force for changes since the 1970s, when she founded a small catering company in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ina has ties to the Kootenays starting in 2000 and is now the proud steward (with her husband) of 24 acres in the Harrop-Procter area, where she is growing blueberries and other fruits and vegetables using sustainable methodologies.

Maggie Jones

The natural/organic and local food movement has always been a part of my life. From working in natural food cafés and stores to growing my own food on our farmstead, it is my passion.

I also spent 18 years working in the brokerage/distribution end of the business and developed a deep appreciation and understanding of the work done by the manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

I am an easy-going, committed, hard-working team player who enjoys a challenge. I love to cook and I have taught classes for the co-op for many years. I am very excited about having the opportunity to serve as a board member for Kootenay Co-op.


Maureen Kelsey

Maureen grew up in South Slocan and returned to Nelson last spring after living in Calgary. She has worked in Human Resources for over 20 years, mainly enhancing organizational and team effectiveness. She has a background in Training and Development, Teambuilding, Resourcing, Performance Management and Coaching. She’s a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Facilitator and an Insights Discovery Licensed Practitioner as well as a current member of the Human Resources Management Association of BC. She also has valuable experience in Facilitation and working closely with teams and their leaders to develop and enhance team effectiveness and communication. She believes in building and maintaining strong relationships with her family,  friends and community. She enjoys how the Kootenay Co-op’s values of cooperation, honesty, openness and being socially responsible are aligned with her values and she’s glad to have joined  the Co-op at this very exciting time.


John E. Kingsmill

A retired businessman with many years of experience in law, technology and fruit variety management, John has been the General Manager and CEO of a fruit variety rights management company and have been an adviser to a number of boards of directors. He is also a Volunteer Advisor with Canadian Executive Services Organization which provided consulting services to First Nations organizations, small- and medium-sized enterprises and governments internationally. He brings his experience in law, strategic planning, budgeting, fiscal management, new marketing initiatives and employee retention. He brings his experience in entrepreneurial legal background and business management experience and hopes to contribute to the emergence of a Co-op that is even more responsive to the needs and expectations of all of its stakeholders.

Shannon Hammond (Staff Director)

The Co-op has been a part of my life almost since I can remember. My parents were early members in the eighties, and I bought my own membership when I was a young adult in the nineties. So when I started working at the Co-op in 2006, I already understood and valued the Co-op structure and the Co-op’s place in our community. Working on the front lines for most of my time at the Co-op has given me a good sense of how our members perceive us, and I am also pretty well connected with many staff.


Contact the Board of Directors

Learn about joining our Board here.