It takes more than a village to build a food co-op. We need the entire community onboard! Find out more about the dedicated board, staff and most importantly… volunteers who have helped make this idea become a reality.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Thomas Spahr, Chair
By day, I am a realtor and local business owner. By night, I am a dedicated father, a passionate cook, a connoisseur of taquerias, and a major advocate for cooperative business development in Northeast Denver.
Raised on a micro-farm specializing in Thai produce in Atwater, CA, I have seen first-hand the impact of carving out a niche community for the sake of economic self-reliance. I spent many summers (begrudgingly) harvesting kaffir lime leaves, bird’s eye chilis, lemon grass, Makua, etc. The summers of hard labor inspired me to go to college.
In 2003, I became a first-generation college graduate, earning my degree in Community & Regional Development from the University of California Davis. In Davis, I lived in cooperative housing and became a member of the Davis Food Co-op, while serving on the Board of the Solar Community Housing Association, directing the annual Whole Earth Festival, hosting a weekly African music radio show, and operating my own concert promotion company.
My wife, Claire, and I relocated to Denver in 2007 to soak in sun, mountains, culture, and new economic opportunities. After our son was born, we moved to Stapleton, drawn by the strong sense of social connection within the community. We chose Stapleton after searching the entire metro area because the neighborhood met all of our criteria for an ideal community, except for one small aspect. It didn’t have the walkable, bikeable independent shops, restaurants, and grocers that we loved in our older, more established neighborhood.
Undeterred by the lack of retail amenities, I feel energized that this community will rally around the co-op concept and create something unique for ourselves and our children that will be the envy of the rest of the Denver metro area.
Carolyn Pace, Vice Chair
I am a recent addition to the Nourish neighborhood on the Aurora side. My partner and I just bought our first house a few blocks from the Co-op’s future location. I love the neighborhood’s diversity and proximity to art and culture. Although we’re a destination for ethnic food, there are not many opportunities to buy local, organic, and sustainable food here. I’m passionate about making those choices available and affordable for the whole neighborhood.
Jackie Hill, Secretary
Like many Stapleton residents, I have been frustrated with the inability of our community to secure a commitment from a natural grocery store. Rather than spend another year complaining about it, I decided to get involved and join the campaign to bring a community food co-op to our neighborhood. As a previous resident of Lowry, I also understand that this frustration is shared by our neighbors in Lowry, Park Hill, NE Aurora and Montclair. I love that this co-op will exist because we, as a community, decided to make it happen. This is a very concrete, “real world” way in which we can affect change in our community by creating a natural and organic grocery store that is accessible and affordable for all of these communities.
In my professional life, I am a corporate governance and securities paralegal for public companies. I currently work for Chipotle Mexican Grill and previously for The WhiteWave Foods Company, both leaders in the area of responsibly produced products and community outreach. I hold degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Denver Paralegal Institute and University of Denver. When I am not working I am busy keeping up with my four daughters, my husband and our dog.
Nick Massie, Treasurer
I’m an eight year resident of Stapleton and have two Swigert Eagles who are growing up fast. It is important to mee to see opportunities for locally sourced healthy foods to be sold in my neighborhood, and made available to my family and my neighbors, especially where transportation may be difficult.
For the past four and a half years, I have been the Director of Finance & Administration (CFO) of a Denver not-for-profit small business lender called Colorado Enterprise Fund. My organization is part of the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F), and among our other work we are working to strengthen Colorado food systems by providing capital to producers, distributors and retailers. To Nourish I bring expertise in systems, operations, corporate finance, human resources, budgeting, mangaement of regulations and compliance, relationship building, strategic planning and project management.
I have carefully cultivated a network of small business professionals who are willing to advise on all aspects of co-op operations and can provide connections to a greater network of professionals in finance, food systems, real estate, philanthropy and much more.
Prior to my current role, I received my MBA in Entrepreneurship & Finance from the University of Colorado, Boulder. For the eight years leading up to graduate school, I was an Operations Officer for a commercial insurance company.
Anita Marie Murano
I am an ESL teacher of Elementary age children. I have a MATESOL certificate for teaching English and BA in International Relationships and Activism from the American University in Washington, D.C. I am excited to be on the board to bring a fresh perspective and a desire to create a community space along with local food. My husband, Bruce, lives with me in Original Aurora.
I bring an activist’s eye to the board. Coming from a political and community organizing background, I see how the whole effects the individual. Coming from the Aurora neighborhood, I want to include all people and voices. We joined the co-op to strengthen the community. I know food brings people together whether at the table or at a store.
My husband and I moved from New York to Denver in the spring of 2015 and I immediately sought out a way to plug into the community and a cause. I discovered Nourish through yard signs and began volunteering in 2016. In January 2017, I joined the board, bringing a background in data management and analysis at Food52.com and J. Crew in New York as well as my financial and marketing consulting experience to the team. My focus is on solidifying effective messaging, collaborating with Anneli on Outreach and Membership, and supporting finance. My motivations are simple — I care for those around me because it is the biggest impact I feel I can make. Nourish allows me to do this in a lasting way.
Kim Soko Schaefer, Project Manager
Kim is a purpose driven consultant. She works with entrepreneurs, non profits, social enterprises, cooperatives and conscious companies to improve their ability to create positive impact in the world. Her expertise lies at the intersection of management consulting, social science, and creative thinking. She’s best at organizing and focusing confused organizations, being honest and straight with leaders about the things no one else will say, and coming up with fresh perspectives on old problems.
Kim has more than a decade of experience working with organizations in the US, UK, Australia and East Africa. She holds an MBA with a focus on social impact from Melbourne Business School and a BA in Communications from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, skiing, camping and any other means to explore this wonderful world in which we live.
Anneli Berube, Outreach Coordinator
Anneli has over five years experience community organizing with Colorado nonprofits including Environment America and Sierra Club. She has been trained by one of the top grassroots organizing nonprofits in the country on a range of environmental issues. She has developed and implemented campaign plans for state and federal causes, recruited and trained hundreds of volunteers and interns, and managed three summer fundraising offices that raised over $300,000 in small donations.
Anneli is also a board member of the West Colfax Food Co-op and involved in Denver’s vibrant, local, sustainable food community since January 2015.
These are just a few of the HUNDREDS of volunteers who have helped us over the years. Remember, this is YOUR store, and we want each and every one of you to help build our success. If you want to join the movement and do your part, there a million ways to get involved. Please check out our Volunteer page for more information, or simply email our volunteer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.