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 info@assabetmarket.coop to learn how you can join our Board!*

This will be the most momentous year in the history of the Co-op, as our new Directors will help lead us to Opening Day 2022!

Nancy Kerr

Board Nominee

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.

Mark Lo

Board Nominee

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.

Evan Merck

Board Nominee

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!

Amanda Patel

Board Nominee

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.

Debby Andell

Board Nominee

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.

Tom Lena

Board Nominee

I am running for re-election to the Board to apply my passion for the power of cooperatives to transform community. Serving on the Board these past two years, I’ve learned how a small group of people can come together and make a real difference. While I have helped the Board move from operations to governance, form a Co-op Leadership Team with our GM, and successfully empower them to secure a lease for our future store, there is still so much more I hope to contribute. I understand how to assess the information vital to decision-making, a thriving culture, and getting great results. Outside of my career in the natural products industry, I am a trained yoga teacher, musician, and along with my wife, a group leader based within the Cambridge wellness community.

Donna Brown

Board Nominee

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, and I now work in the business office of a private school and serve as assistant director of their summer program. I’ve been a co-op member since 2017 and served on the Capital Campaign Committee, helping to raise more than $2M for our store. I’ve also served as a board member of a housing co-op and I currently serve on the Board of Sunshine Nursery School.

Leah Ciappenelli

President

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.

Siobain Mitchell

Director

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.

David Gerratt

Director

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

Director

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.

Tom Lena

Director

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.

Steve Kaplan

Director

I believe in supporting our local food producers and making fresh, locally grown products easily accessible in our local area. I have lived in the Acton/Maynard area for the past 30+ years working in IT (many years at Digital and the Mill). This includes a few years at a natural products e-commerce company. I look forward to a store where people feel invested in where they shop while supporting their neighbors and surrounding communities.