Staff & Board

Thanks to our Food Co-op Initiative staff & board members, we’ve been going strong for over ten years starting over 130 food co-ops!

Meet our Staff

Stuart Reid, Executive Director

Stuart ReidStuart began his career in grocery as a carry-out and stock clerk for the Windom, Minnesota Hy-Vee store back in 1972, never believing for a minute that he would still be working in the grocery business 40+ years later. He probably wouldn’t if he hadn’t discovered food co-ops in Minneapolis when he moved there for college. Since then he has volunteered, co-managed, managed and served on the boards of many food co-ops, worked for the co-op-owned DANCe warehouse, and helped open the Just Food Co-op in Northfield as their first general manager. Stuart has been part of FCI since its earliest years and sees no reason to do anything else.


Jacqueline Hannah, Assistant Director

Jacqueline HannahJacqueline worked in retail management for 25 years before joining FCI, 17 of those years in the natural foods industry, and 9 in the co-op natural food industry as general manager of Common Ground Food Co-op in Urbana, IL. During her time with CGFC she led the co-op through two expansions, the founding of their Food For All economic access program, a rebrand, andisg the fastest growing retail food co-op in the nation from 2008-2013.

In 2010 Jacqueline was named one of the “40 Under 40” business people of excellence by Central Illinois Business Magazine; in 2011 she was awarded the Innovation Award for Economic Development Impact by the University of Illinois; in 2013 she received the Cooperative Service Award from the Indiana and Illinois Cooperative Development Centers; in 2014 she was awarded Co-op Executive of the Year by the Illinois Cooperative Council.


Mary Stennes Wilbourn, Outreach & Operations Coordinator

Mary Stennes WilbournMary manages our data, website, and outreach, and will likely be the first person people speak to when they contact Food Co-op Initiative. She brings extensive experience in nonprofit and higher education office management, communication, and advocacy. Mary spent four years as communications and operations manager for a social justice organization in Minnesota, followed by several years as an office management consultant and freelance writer. Prior to that, she spent ten years in the career center of a busy midwestern university, managing the office and the on-campus employment program. She coauthored a job search handbook for college grads, and established one of the first online job databases in the country. As she transitioned into the co-op world, her experience in working with diverse communities and in community organizing has proved invaluable.

2016-17 Board Members

food co-op initiative

BOARD AND STAFF: Standing: Pat Connealy, Gerardo Espinoza, Sheila Conboy, Leslie Mead, Sverre Roang, Marilyn School, Stuart Reid (staff), Allan Gallant, Mary Stennes Wilbourn (staff). Kneeling: Jacqueline Hannah (staff), Rochelle Prunty, Chris Clamp, Anya Firzst. Missing: Richard Dines.

Sverre Roang, Chair
President & CEO, FAC

Anya Firszt, VIce Chair
Blooming Prairie Foundation, Chair
General Manager, Willy Street Co-op, Madison, WI

Marilyn Scholl, Secretary
Executive Director, CDS Consulting Co-op

Patrick Connealy, Treasurer
Senior Vice President, National Cooperative Bank

Allan Gallant
Blooming Prairie Foundation

Gerardo Espinoza
Executive Director, LEAF

Leslie Mead
Executive Director
Cooperative Development Foundation

Chris Clamp
Director, Center for Cooperatives and CED, Southern New Hampshire University

Rochelle Prunty
General Manager, River Valley Market

Richard Dines
Engagement Consultant, CUNA

Sheila Conboy
General Manager, East Aurora Food Co-op

New Co-ops Start . . . With You

We want to keep our services and resources free and accessible to startup retail food co-ops. If you have benefited from what's offered here, or want to support others, consider a donation in any amount.

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