Hello fellow Co-op members and shoppers! I’m one of the new board members and wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself. When I moved up to the area full time (from Connecticut) 3 years ago, the Co-op beckoned as a welcoming place to shop and to connect with like-minded people. I knew that they were looking for new board members at the time, but it took me a little while before I had the courage to jump in.
I love the idea of being involved in a business like this that is dedicated to building community spirit. I have always been believed in service and have actively volunteered throughout my life: helping to restore the Hopper House in my hometown of Nyack, NY; working at the Children’s Museum in DC while in college; getting involved in administering Little League and Boy Scouts; serving as PTO co-president while my children were in elementary school; currently active with FOSTL, BRAT and a weekly volunteer at the Springfield Food Shelf. I share my volunteer experience because I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since 1991. Prior to that, I had worked as a researcher at National Geographic and also as a paralegal. While I don’t have much business experience, I am willing to learn. I’m excited about getting involved in guiding the Co-op on its next phase of development.
I would like to see it become even more of a community hub in the future, which is why I have chosen to join the Community Engagement Committee. One of my own hobbies is foraging, for wild mushrooms in particular. I hope to arrange a class on this topic in the upcoming year. It would include a field trip to my farm to see what we might find in the woods. One organization our family has supported over the years, since we started spending our vacations up here, is the Vermont Land Trust. I recently attended their annual meeting and was able to take a tour of one of their conserved farms, Pete’s Greens in Craftsbury. It was such an interesting look into local food production and fascinating to have the opportunity to meet Pete himself. This is the type of experience I hope to bring to our own members and the community at large. As they say, “No Farms, No Food.” Please feel free to contact me if you have any ideas or suggestions in this area. I look forward to working to make the Springfield Co-op a responsive, engaged local business in the coming years.
Carroll Oursler Veltrop