Board of Directors
President - Gail Falk
As a working volunteer for the Co-op, I have come to appreciate our hard-working staff and the way the Co-op serves as a meeting place for the greater Plainfield community. As a board member, I would like to help the Co-op continue to grow as a place of connections among local producers and local consumers. My vision for the Co-op is to be a place where Plainfield neighbors want to come to buy and to sell beautiful, healthy food at fair prices. I will encourage the Co-op to continue to be welcoming to people of all ages and differing abilities and backgrounds. For many years I supervised a staff of 27 people and managed the budget. I have served on the boards of a number of nonprofits, including the Unitarian Church and the Women's Health Center of West Virginia. I hope my skills and experiences can help the Co-op thrive in the coming years.
Vice President - Giordano Checchi
Mr. Checchi is a graduate of the School of Engineering of Politecnico di Milano, and he owns a degree from the School of Management (SDA) of Bocconi University in Milano Italy. After a beginning in oil and gas exploration, he made his most valuable experience in transfer of technology, project management, and sales of capital equipment. His career spans four decades and includes experience in worldwide sales and marketing of industrial know-how and capital equipment, the establishment of turnkey manufacturing facilities all over the world. He established and managed subsidiaries for several European businesses in U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Italy in the industry of primary and secondary woodworking. He has spent half of his working life in Italy and half in the U.S. and has served as the CEO of 4 large corporations. Currently, Mr. Checchi is President of Sunomi LLC, a sale and service company, representing manufacturers of equipment for the green, recycling, and bioenergy markets, and he has served as Adjunct Professor of Engineering at Norwich University.
Treasurer - Bob Fancher
I recently moved to Plainfield and quickly saw that the Co-op is an important part of the local community. I found that in addition to offering healthy living choices, it is a gathering place - a hub of the community. I was very interested in what I saw and wanted to become a part of it and help out where I could. Before coming to Plainfield, I had served over 15 years on Boards for advocacy groups for people with mental disabilities. I recently retired from my full time job as a corporate Information Technology manager and now I have a small web design firm. I hope to bring what I have learned from these experiences to my position on the Co-op board. The Co-op is in a unique position to support its members, its employees, the local producers and the Plainfield area. I look forward to being a part it.
Secretary - Sarah Phillips
I moved to Plainfield village in 2001 with my partner, Jeff Swift, and we joined the Co-op on our second day in town! As a grocery and gathering place, the Co-op is part of why we choose to make Plainfield our home. We now live at New Hamburger (a housing co-op) with our three kids, and our family berry batch sells fruit to the Plainfield Co-op. I believe deeply that Co-ops build strong communities because of the way they help us learn to work and grow together. While a graduate student, I stocked shelves at the People's Food Co-op in Ann Arbor, and I was a member of the Plainfield Co-op's last capital campaign team – through these experiences and others, I have a deep appreciation for the work of Co-op staff, management, board and members. I want a Plainfield with a lively working landscape and local food system, and the Co-op is key to making that happen. For these reasons, it is a privilege to serve the Co-op on the Board. Currently, I lead the Vermont Office of Economic Opportunity in the Agency of Human Services, which provides funding and support to community organizations across the state working to address poverty and homelessness. In previous lives, I worked at Capstone Community Action and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea.
I have been a member of the Plainfield Co-op since 1974 when it was a bulk foods buying co-op and the present store space was the breakdown and distribution center. From 1995 to 2009 I was the Vermont Program Coordinator of the American Friends Services Committee. In addition to teaching grade school in Brooklyn for seven years, I have been a community organizer/outreach worker for Central Vermont Community Action Council, an anti-poverty agency, where I initiated the organizing of the Vermont Foodbank. I have served as advocacy director for the rights of people with disabilities, and been a program director and instructor of adults at Woodbury College. I have a BA in American History from St. Francis College in Brooklyn and a MA in Systematic Theology from St. Michael's College in Colchester. In October, 2009 I founded Vermont Action for Peace and continue to organize opposition to war and the causes of war, abolition of nuclear weapons, creating a statewide support network for migrant farm workers, and opposition to the reinstatement of the death penalty in Vermont. With my wife, Sarah Norton, I manage a small homestead in Marshfield, from which we sell organic, free range chicken eggs to the Co-op. I am hoping to serve on the Co-op board as a way of giving back for all the wonderful years of being a member and seeing the Co-op grow while staying true to its original founding vision. I see food and other co-ops as integral parts of an emerging peace economy in Vermont.
Since first working on a farm when I was 17 years old, I have seen the importance of food co-ops in strengthening community and building market opportunities for local food and agriculture. I moved to Plainfield in 2013 and was immediately impressed with how much the Plainfield Co-op contributes to the high quality of life in our small town. I am honored to join the Board and hope to be helpful in sharing my experience with the local food supply chain, business management, and community organizing.
Annual Meeting Minutes
Board Meeting Minutes