Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is made up of owners who are elected for three-year terms by popular vote. They operate under the Policy Governance method, using consensus to reach decisions. The board creates and reviews broad goals to provide direction to the general manager, who is then responsible for identifying the steps necessary to achieve these goals. 

Board Meetings

Board meetings are held in the Community Room at the Neighborhood Co-op. Meetings are typically held on the fourth Monday of the month. However, OwnerFest serves as the April meeting. Also, due to overlap with national holidays, the November and December meetings are typically combined, with one meeting being held on the first Monday of the month. If you would like to contact the board, please email them at BoardLink@Neighborhood.Coop

Are you someone who likes to work as a team, is interested in helping guide the co-op to a successful future, and likes to be a part of something important? For more information about running for the board click here.

About Us: Co-op Board
Meet our current board members and officers

Richard Thomas - Chair (Years Served: 2016 - Present)

Richard is a retired geneticist and has been involved with co-ops since the early 1970s, except for a couple of decades living overseas. Much has changed in that time, but the mission remains. He is excited to see how the cooperative movement adapts to the challenges ahead and attracts the young people we need to perpetuate the movement.  

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Barbara James - Vice Chair (Years Served: 2018 - Present)

Barbara is a retired English teacher and busy grandmother of fourteen wonderful young folks.  As a board member since 2018 she has enjoyed helping achieve the Co-op's mission and helping guide the impact the Co-op has on the region's economy through jobs, tax dollars, fund raising events, and efforts like the Link Program.  

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Erika Peterson - Treasurer (Years Served: 2020 - Present)

Erika has enjoyed shopping at the Co-op for twenty years, and works in administration at Shawnee Health Service. Her college housemates nicknamed her "Miss Produce" and let her do all the fruit and vegetable shopping for them.  


Margaret Anderson  (Years Served: 2016 - Present)

Margaret is most passionate about the Co-op’s mission to support local, small scale agriculture and access to healthy and fresh produce. She holds her Masters of Science degree in Forestry from SIUC and works for the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service. She resides contently in the woods of Makanda with her husband Jesse Riechman, son Jasper, two determined cats and one feisty fish.  

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Lauren Bonner  (Years Served: 2016 - Present)

Lauren has been a Neighborhood Co-op owner for over ten years, and enjoys serving on the board. Her day job as an employee of the federal government finds her communicating with Illinois residents and assisting them with various governmentally-related needs; the evening frequently finds her navigating the Co-op aisles with an eager toddler. She is excited to continue board service and looks forward to the challenges and opportunities that the coming year will bring.   


Kristy Bender  (Years Served: 2014 - Present)

Kristy and her husband Eric live in Makanda with their four young children. She is currently a stay at home mom which has taken on a whole new meaning this past year! They enjoy spending time outside together exploring all southern Illinois has to offer.  

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Quianya Enge  (New 2021)

Quianya is from the inner city of Chicago. She’s a Doctoral student in Higher Education and Administration. Her career goal is to make an impact in various inner city communities by introducing entrepreneurship. Her focus and master’s degree is in workforce education and development.   


 Ron Mahoney  (Years Served: 2020 - Present)

Ron tries to enjoy every day. His favorite things to do are watch movies, shows, plays, and sports. He looks forward to the Olympics. He is also is learning how the Neighborhood Co-op is surviving in this pandemic.   


Jak Tichenor  (Served 2013-2016, 2018 - Present)

Jak has been in broadcasting since the age of 15 including nearly 40-years working at the WSIU stations in a variety of capacities.  He loves the Co-op because of its values and the vital role it plays in the local economy and the quality of life of our region.  

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Ginger Golz - Secretary 

Ginger is a Carbondale native who has a background in social work. She hopes that a change in consumer choices can help slow climate change while improving the health of our community. Ginger appreciates that the Co-op not only increases accessibility to sustainable options, but also that it demonstrates a shared value set through reducing the store's carbon emissions, promoting local farmers and artists, and providing educational presentations on environmental issues to the community.