Board of Directors

Our all-volunteer Board of Directors includes owners who are committed to building a thriving community-owned grocery store. They come from diverse backgrounds, from farmers to chemists to engineers and stay-at-home moms and dads. If you’re a passionate co-op owner, email to learn how you can join our Board!

This will be the most momentous year in the history of the Co-op, as our board of directors will help lead us to Opening Day!

Leah Ciappenelli


Leah Ciappenelli is a 12-year resident of Sudbury and lifelong resident of the metro-west area. She has been a member of the co-op since 2017 and actively involved since last year as a member of the hiring committee. Leah is currently head of HR for an Advertising agency that specializes in B2C direct response advertisement for home improvement companies. Over the span her 20+ year HR career, she has worked for companies in various industries, from behavioral technology to public relations. As a Board Director, Leah is excited to help bring the Co-op’s vision to life. She cannot wait for the grand opening and to be a part of a movement that enhances our community on a myriad of levels.

Evan Merck


I moved to Maynard in 2020 and am currently the operations manager of Hi-Rise Bread Co. in Cambridge. Previously, I worked in Vermont as a farmhand on a small, regenerative grazing cattle farm and as a farmer/cook at a semester program after time in higher education administration in Boston. I enjoy gardening, playing cards, and dreaming of traveling to vineyards in France. My favorite place to work and live is at the intersection of food systems and the communities that give them life. I’m thrilled about the opportunity to work with the Co-op at such an exciting time!

Debby Andell


I stopped eating meat as a teenager, so I naturally gravitated toward food co-ops to find the alternative products I needed. Having happily shopped in other food co-ops, I am really excited about our store opening this year! I am member #190 and have volunteered where needed, including tabling, the Capital Campaign Committee and the Food Justice Committee. I am running for the board because I recently retired from Mass Audubon, and now have more time to dedicate to the organizations I am passionate about.
As a longtime Acton resident, I am also involved with the Swap Shop in Acton, the Acton Boxborough Farmers Market and Green Acton. The Acton Boxborough Farmers Market is producer-only, which means vendors may sell only the produce and/or value-added products that they themselves grow or make. As a market manager, I enjoy stocking up on Sundays with a wonderful variety of local products.

Mark Lo

Secretary (2023 incumbent, running for reelection)

Mark Lo lives in West Concord and has been volunteering for Assabet Co-op Market since shortly after he and his wife joined the co-op in 2020. Mark served as a member of the Store Development Committee from 2020-2021 and has been a member of the Outreach Committee ever since. He is strongly committed to supporting local agriculture and has been a member of local CSAs for more than 20 years. He loves food, cooking, and even grocery shopping! Mark’s recent volunteer experience includes five years as a board member for Concord-Carlisle Youth Hockey, for which he also served as Ice Scheduler and Goalie Coordinator. Professionally, he has more than 25 years of experience as a technical writer in the software industry.

Amanda Patel


I live in Maynard and work at Suffolk University as a management professor. I teach organizational behavior and human resource management and do cool (totally unbiased opinion) research on employee health and well-being. My research includes how our workplace eating behaviors affect our coworkers’ perceptions of us! At home, I craft, refinish furniture, and bake with my family. I support the co-op because its mission for a positive impact on well-being at so many levels is an important endeavor. I hope that by running for the board I demonstrate to my children the importance of service to one’s community.

Siobain Mitchell


Siobain has been with the initiative since its beginning. She believes the Co-op will be an integral part of a thriving local economy and will make the area more resilient. Siobain has a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and worked for 10 years in mortgage banking before taking time off to raise her family. Since then she has gone back to school and is now working towards CFP® certification.

Nancy Kerr


We came to West Concord in 1987 when our daughter started kindergarten. I am now retired from working as a Nutritionist (WIC Program) and later at an Employee Assistance Program. My time is free to concentrate on our exciting new co-op!

Besides anticipating the opening of ACM, I have been helping settle newcomers, using my intermediate Spanish to help ease the process. My first ‘adult’ job was as Manager of the Yellow Sun Coop in Amherst. It was my home and my social life. I know what co-ops can do for a community. Good things will happen here! Huge thanks for those who have brought us this far; I’m ready to pitch in.

David Gerratt


An Acton resident for nearly 30 years, David served on the board of a storefront co-op in western Mass. and worked as a communications consultant and graphic designer with national, regional, and local co-op organizations. He has been working with the Acton-Boxborough Farmers Market since its inception in 2009. David owns and operates two home-based businesses. DG Communications works primarily with organizations that promote environmental health and social and economic equality — the Union of Concerned Scientists, Farm Aid, and Oxfam America are among his long-term clients. And Fugitive Productions brings musicians, storytellers, and comedians to local venues.

Laura Mattei


I want to help the Co-op realize our dream of building our store and strengthening our local economy and community. In these extremely stressful times, it feels even more important to strengthen our local connections and communities. I have been a member of the Co-op since the very early stages (Member #20) and I have a long track record of volunteering to support our coop. I volunteered in the first year making phone calls to recruit members, then volunteered over the years at tabling events. In the last three months, I have been active with our Capital Campaign contacting other Owners about the opportunity to invest in our store. I am passionate about healthy food, healthy land management and taking care of our environment and the planet. I have over 25 years of experience working as a program manager with non-profits in the field of land and water conservation. I enjoy cooking, hiking, biking, lake swimming, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing.

Donna Brown

Director (2023 incumbent, running for reelection)

I am a life-long resident of the area and a wife, mother, and now grandmother. My greatest strengths are my strong community ties and wealth of experience. I earned my MBA while raising two children and working full time at a private school in various roles in the finance office as well as the summer program. I’ve been a co-op member since 2017 and served on the Capital Campaign Committee that raised $2 million. I have been a board member in the past for a housing co-op and currently serve as a board member for Assabet Co-op Market and Sunshine Nursery School.  My husband and I have shopped at various co-op markets over the years in the New England area and are thrilled that Assabet Co-op Market will be opening in 2023!

Tom Lena


Along with his wife, Tom is a former member of the Harvest Co-op, a trained yoga teacher, composer and player of meditation music, and group leader based within the Cambridge wellness community. After completing his graduate business studies at Harvard Extension School, he developed a small local business, now serving the natural product industry for 30 years. Tom is also the current Treasurer of the Gift & Decorative Accessories Center Association, a local industry nonprofit, based in Hudson. Passionate about co-op values, Tom is Member #1338 and is thrilled to be cultivating a thriving culture that empowers community.

John Aslanian

2023 Nominee

John is a native of Detroit, a resident of Arlington, and has roots in central Massachusetts. He is a strong advocate for local food systems and sees the Co-op as a major step forward for the region. When he’s not growing veggies, exploring on his bicycle, reading old books or visioning up Solarpunk solutions, you can find John teaching in Lynn where he is a dual language liberal arts professor at North Shore Community College. He has previously held positions at Boston University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design and spent several years living abroad.

John is a member of the Arlington Transportation Advisory Committee, a certified permaculture designer, and holds a masters degree in International Educational Development with an emphasis on Latin America and community-based environmental solutions. He loves being a dad.

Leah Wang

2023 Nominee

I live in Maynard with my husband, Kevin, and our cat, Miso, and we’ve been so excited for the Co-op to open its doors – the time has come!

For the past 10 years, I’ve been working and volunteering in agriculture, local food systems, and food security. These days, I work to advance criminal justice reforms nationwide as a researcher and analyst. So many values I hold dearly are now converging under one roof – so to me, serving on the Board represents an incredible opportunity to ensure the Co-op is a functional, thoughtful, and socially just enterprise.

Outside of work, I’m puttering in my garden, rock climbing, or fermenting things.

Amanda Sutliff

2023 Nominee

Originally from New York, Amanda has called Massachusetts home for 20 years. She lives in Acton with her husband, Todd and their son, Jack. She is passionate about building community through food – from volunteering at local farms to supporting local food businesses. She is always rooting for any venture that helps connect people with local makers and producers.

As a professional, Amanda has held a variety of marketing roles throughout her career. She pivoted from international education to working with B2B technology companies in 2012 and has been working in software ever since. Today she leads analyst relations for a cybersecurity company called Secureworks. When not working, Amanda can be found in the mountains (white or green!) hiking, skiing or camping with her family and friends.

John LoVerso

2023 Nominee

John and his wife raised three children in Southborough, where they’ve lived for over 30 years. They’ve always had a large vegetable garden, supplemented by CSAs. They’ve loved supporting local farms and businesses (all of their children have worked at small farms in Framingham) and are excited for the Co-op to open to help bring more local products to the community. Now retired, John spent his entire professional career in Massachusetts working as a software engineer. He currently dabbles in home automation, as well as volunteering for Meals On Wheels.

As a member of the Co-op since 2018, John has volunteered at many tablings and currently serves on the Strategic Planning Committee. He would like to help the Co-op at the next level as the store opens and begins operations. John will bring his time and technical acumen to the board of this vibrant Co-op community.