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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

Most Recent Election for the Co-op Board of Directors

Active owners get to choose 3 members to elect to the Co-op Board of Directors in 2024. Meet the Candidates and vote from April 6, 2024 - April 27, 2024. Winners will be announced at Owner Fest on April 27th.

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? Click here to learn more about how to run for the board.

To learn more about the Board and the election

We encourage anyone who is interested in applying to attend a board meeting and/or speak with a current board member. You can contact the board by email at


Dec. 10 - Submission deadline for board nominated candidates

Dec. 11 - Board will approve and nominate the slate of candidates

Feb. 14 - Deadline for candidates seeking nomination by petition and who want to appear in the

Annual Report/Notice of Annual Meeting

Feb. 26 - Absolute deadline for candidates seeking nomination by petition

April 6 - Voting begins

April 27 - Winners announced at OwnerFest

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.


Sage Banks (Years Served: 2022 - Present)

Sage was born and raised in Southern Illinois and is passionate about shopping locally. She holds a master's in Nursing Education and a doctorate in Nursing Leadership. Outside of working in a nursing role, Sage is committed to the health and wellness of those in Carbondale and the surrounding area. 

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Quianya Enge  (Years Served: 2021 - Present)

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. 


Amy Etcheson  (Years Served: 2022- Present)

Amy Etcheson has been a Carbondale resident and Co-op member for nearly 15 years. She is a publishing professional currently serving as interim director of SIU Press and is proud to help develop books about our beautiful region. A bibliophile, foodie, and health enthusiast, Amy enjoys many outdoor activities, reading, and cooking nutritious meals for her family.

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Allegra Frazier  (Years Served: 2023 - Present)

Biography coming soon

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Donna Margolis  (Years Served: 2023 - Present)

Donna feels so fortunate to have the Co-op in her hometown – the availability of local products, bulk foods and Cocowhip all in the same place, truly amazing!  Her graduate degrees are in accounting and has served as a public accountant, CFO and  administrator/faculty at SIU. She is passionate about cultivating community, teaching yoga; and, bring balance into people’s lives through diet, routine and behaviors.


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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