Board of Directors

Montavilla Coop Board of Directors

The 2013 Montavilla Co-op Board of Directors is comprised of:

Benjamin Cutler

Benjamin CutlerBen Cutler is the Vice President of the Montavilla Food Co-op Board of Directors. Growing up in Portland, good food has always been an integral part of Ben’s life. It’s not surprising to find that he now works for the region’s largest distributor of organic produce, Organically Grown Company, a grower and employee owned company. Ben lived in and worked for the student housing cooperative sector from the late 90’s and into the next decade, serving on the board of directors of the Students’ Cooperative Association in Eugene, Oregon and on the board of the North American Students’ of Cooperation (NASCO). He also was a member owner of Genesis Juice Cooperative, a former worker cooperative that produced organic, raw juices. Ben has a strong commitment to the cooperative movement, healthy foods and a vibrant community.

Mark Holden

Mark Holden
Mark Holden serves as Secretary on the Montavilla Food Co-op’s Board of Directors. Mark has lived in Montavilla since early 2011. He has been involved with the Montavilla Food Co-op since the summer of 2012.

Mark strongly believes that he, his family, friends, neighbors, and other Montavilla residents should have a grocery store within bicycling or walking distance — but not just any grocery. Mark wants a grocery store that sells food that he can feel good about. In other words, food and other necessary products that are as natural as possible (reducing long term effects on our bodies) made from environmentally sustainable methods.Mark balances strong leadership skills with a sense of humor, allowing him to coordinate, assist, and work with fellow board members, volunteers, member-owners, and the community at large. Mark inherited his father’s belief that it’s important that we work hard for what we want but not take ourselves to seriously.

During Mark’s Board term,  he hopes to accomplish what is necessary to see to it that the Montavilla Food Co-op opens during that term.

“Co-op to me means citizens working together to take back control of what we purchase and put into our bodies. At a co-op you not only get to vote on co-op store decision,s but you also vote with your money when shopping at a co-op. We must unlearn the American custom of getting what we want, when we want it, as cheaply as possible. In my mind, nothing costs nothing. Quality food and grocery products are affordable for many.” — Mark Holden

Connie Jan

Connie Jan

Connie Jan holds the role of Treasurer on the Montavilla Food Co-op’s Board of Directors. Connie moved to Portland from Illinois. She got involved with the Montavilla Food Co-op in 2012 at our Annual Pancake Breakfast.

Volunteering is in Connie’s blood, having grown up in a family that actively volunteered in their community. Connie has continued that tradition in many ways — from teaching metal-smithing and bookbinding to kids to serving on the Board of Directors for Sisters of the Road to working hard for your Montavilla Food Co-op.

Connie supports the Co-op because, like many of us, while she enjoys the many Asian markets in Montavilla, she also feels there is a shortage of locally sourced fresh foods. To Connie, ”co-op” means “we all work together for the greater good.”

Connie’s ambition, stubbornness, passion for health and community, and a lifetime of volunteering and previous BOD experience make her a Montavilla Food Co-op treasure! Her goal for her term on the Board is to get through the feasibility study and be at the grand opening of the MFC store.

“I became a member/owner of MFC in July, 2012 and I look forward to answering the question ‘Where is the Co-op?’ in the near future.” — Connie Jan

Amanda Ryan

Amanda RyanBoard President, Amanda Ryan, is a Chef and a farm and food advocate. She has a long appreciation of food that goes back to growing up on a small farm in Vermont. She learned to appreciate the hard work that goes into producing our food and the difference farm fresh makes at an early age. Amanda is currently working in the Food & Nutrition Services department at OHSU and is a regular volunteer with the Oregon Food Bank’s Nutrition Education program; where she teaches cooking, budgeting and nutrition classes to low-income demographics. Amanda wants the Montavilla Food Co-op to be part of supporting the local economy, where farmers in the community can sell their goods and where the community can go to purchase food they can trust. As President of the Montavilla Food Co-op, she intends to help provide access to local, affordable and healthy food to those that shop at the store.

Photos: (c) Russell Young Photography

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