I have served the Vancouver Food Co-op as a member of the Site and Feasibility committee, and I currently chair the committee overseeing store operations. I will continue to share in the work of developing our co-op as a member of the board. I have served on various boards, both no-profit and for profit. I have over 30 years experience in business that is relevant to the challenges faced by the VFC, notably with start-ups and with mutually owned volunteer directed businesses. I am looking forward to continuing to contribute to the success of an organization that is focused on providing access to real food, supports local businesses and embraces the democratic principals of mutual, cooperative ownership. Our co-op should be the leading Clark County enterprise where these purposes converge. I am pleased with what's been achieved to date with the launch of the VFC store and how far we've progressed in only a few months of operation.
I have lived in Vancouver since 1973 following the road west permanently after my graduation from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to earn my Masters from Portland State University. My teaching career of 33 years has all been in Special Education, beginning with the Washington State School for the Blind as a classroom and Physical Education teacher and now as a teacher at Covington Middle School in the Evergreen School District. My wife and I have lived in the neighborhood for the past 12 years and have raised three adult children. We are still in the process of raising one teenager. Our family supports the idea of a sustainable economy. We support small/local businesses whenever possible and feel that a food co-op is a necessary step for Vancouver. Having a local, non-corporate alternative place to shop would be a welcome addition to our community.
I have a strong background in accounting operations and business management coupled with an MBA from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. I can remember as a kid growing up in Aberdeen WA bartering my Dad's services as a physician for local produce that his patients raised, everything from fruit and berries to smoked salmon from the Quinault Indians. I feel it would be just kind of neat to be able to provide a place where that could happen again on a community-wide basis.
My wife of Shiela of 37 years and I reside in the Heights area of Vancouver where we enjoy gardening, home improvement, lots of volunteer activities and running (well, at least I do!).
My background is in Urban Planning and Natural Resource Management, and I am currently a planner for a consulting firm in Downtown Vancouver. I volunteer with several groups that promote local food production, and also food access for underserved areas and populations of Clark County. Having a member-owned Cooperative Grocery store in Vancouver is an essential part of ensuring our community’s food security. The Co-op will increase the viability of local farms, while providing consumers access to nutritious, locally produced foods. I'm very excited become of part of our Co-op’s progress!
Marj Casswell, currently semi-retired, a writer and painter, has 40+ years experience working with non-profit organizations, most recently as consultant in project planning and management, including 20+ with credit union cooperatives. She grew up on a farm in Maryland where fresh, local food was the norm, is an environmentalist and promoter of sustainable living.
I come from a family of organic gardeners. My mother still gardens at 95. I have a B.A. from the University of Dayton, an MLS from Dominican University and over 23 years of library experience in library management, program development, library education and community services at state, regional and local levels in Minnesota, Ohio, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. I believe in the concept of a food co-op and would like to help it grow into a full service community owned market for local growers and businesses and the people who buy their products. I began attending board meetings as a co-op member, met the store manager and many volunteers. I am truly impressed by their commitment and what has been accomplished on a small budget, in such a short time. Starting an online store is truly a creative way to begin in these challenging financial times!
I'm from the Pacific Northwest, where my family's farm still raises organic beef. I graduated from Washington State University with a degree in writing. I have volunteered in the Master Composter, Master Gardener, and Master Food Preserver programs since 2001. I have acted as coordinator for Clark County's Naturally Beautiful Backyards program, co-owned a CSA in north Clark County, worked as a land use planner for a local surveying firm, served on the Clark County Food System Council, and am co-founder and owner of the Urban Farm School. I recently was the part-time manager of the Vancouver Food Cooperative store. My passion is local food education and connecting people with healthy food options within their community.
Volunteers who serve on the board, participate on committees and help with various activities ensure that our people-powered organization thrives. If you are interested in helping, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Board minutes and other documents will be added to this website soon.)