The Wild Oats Board of Directors meets monthly, usually on the third Monday of the month, at 7:15 pm at 296 Main Street in Williamstown (next to Wild Oats Market). Board meetings are open to all active member-owners of the co-op. The Wild Oats Board of Directors represents the interests of co-op members—overseeing co-op operations, setting membership policies, and ensuring that the principles of the co-op inform all of its activities. To contact the board, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wild Oats’ Board of Directors for 2016-2017 are:
Shannon and her husband Chris moved to North Adams from Chicago in 2003 and have been active members of Wild Oats Market ever since. Ten years ago they built a house in Pownal, Vermont and started a small farm where they raise lamb, turkeys, laying hens, vegetables, fruit trees and honeybees. Their children Emilia and Luca help them care for the farm. Growing organic food and supporting small local farms is central to their family life. Shannon has a background in public health and community development and is a member of the Pownal planning commission and the Southshire Community School board. She also works with Berkshire Grown to organize the Williamstown Holiday Farmers’ Markets.
Tom Cragg and his wife Melissa both retired in late 2015 and moved soon thereafter from the Detroit area to South Williamstown. After receiving his MBA from the University of Michigan, Tom worked at General Motors for twenty-five years in the areas of finance, labor relations and health benefits administration. After leaving GM in 2008, Tom helped set-up and manage a $60 billion health care trust for 800,000 UAW auto retirees. Tom and Melissa have two grown children living in New York City.
Barb arrived in Williamstown 19 years ago with her husband, Mike and seven children and found the beautiful village would become her lifelong home. She became acquainted with Wild Oats in its old location as a volunteer and was the fridge and freezer gal every Tuesday and Thursday. Growing up in a family catering business led her to have her own and went on to have a career in marketing focusing on growing retail businesses. After moving to Massachusetts she got involved in the event business and managed events from 150 to over 6,000 people. Barb has always been interested in healthy eating and lifestyle which led her to become a graduate of Institute of Integrated Nutrition in 2012. She loves the vision and mission of Wild Oats and hopes to be a beneficial part of helping to shape its future.
Rose came to Williamstown in 2000 to serve as School Superintendent of the Williamstown Elementary District. During her 15-year tenure, her role as Superintendent expanded to include Lanesborough and the Mt. Greylock Regional School District. Rose has presented at national and international education conferences and has served in multiple leadership capacities. Locally, she has served as the president of the Berkshire County Superintendent’s Roundtable and as a board member of the Williamstown Community Chest. She deeply values having a food cooperative in Williamstown, and she looks forward to actively supporting the accessibility of fresh, healthy food choices for her community. She lives in Williamstown with her husband, Steven Green.
After several years as a frequent visitor to the Berkshires, Bill Gentry moved from New York City to the Williamstown area to teach economics at Williams College. Bill along with his wife, Dana Pilson, and daughter, Katie, quickly became frequent shoppers (and members of) Wild Oats. They enjoy the high-quality, healthy food along with the sense of a community-oriented store.
Amy Johns came to Williamstown in 1994 to attend Williams College and remembers biking to Wild Oats to get ingredients to make chocolate cake for her friends. She’s been in the area ever since and is now the director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at the college. Amy is passionate about sustainability, social justice, and finding the joy in low-impact living. She, her husband and son live in Stamford, Vermont, in a self-designed solar house and just this year got their first chickens and bees.
Margaret’s service is inspired by her desire to help ensure that the co-op can continue to provide the community with local, healthy, sustainable products in a cooperative setting. Margaret has been a member of both Wild Oats and Caretaker Farm since moving to Williamstown in 2003. She is also a current deacon at the First Congregational Church, Williamstown and is a past two-term Williamstown Elementary School Committee member and chair. Originally trained as an attorney, Margaret is currently the Director of Gift Planning at Williams College.
Lee Venolia arrived in Williamstown in 1988 to teach biology at Williams College, where she met her husband, Jay Thoman, who still teaches chemistry there. They have been Wild Oats members for about 30 years, and Lee used to volunteer in the refrigerated, produce and bulk departments. Lee now calls herself a food activist, having been involved in the campaign to preserve Caretaker Farm, and on the boards of Berkshire Grown and Hoosac Harvest. She is interested in making sure that everyone has access to healthy, local food.