top of page
Owner Fest header graphic 04192024.png

What’s Owner Fest, you ask? It is the Co-op's Annual Meeting where we provide a year-in-review, a financial update, answer questions from attendees, and announce the winners of the Board Election. Don't let the word "meeting" throw you off - it isn't all business! We have a lot of fun too. Owner Fest is a great way to connect with Co-op staff, our board members, listen to live local music while drinking and eating some great food! 

Join us at this year's Annual Owners' Meeting!

Those in attendance will be entered into a raffle for Co-op gift cards. Board candidates will also be in attendance, so the event will provide a  great opportunity to meet prospective candidates as well as other Co-op owners, too. Owners will also have one last chance to vote for the board of director candidates if they haven't had the opportunity to vote ahead of time. At 6:30pm, the polls will close and the meeting portion of Owner Fest will begin with reports from General Manager Francis Murphy and from our board members. Owners will also have the opportunity to direct any questions to the board about Co-op matters.

at 17th Street Warehouse  •  214 N 17th St, Murphysboro, IL 62966  •. April 27, 2024. • 4:30pm-9pm

Social 4:30 PM

Get social while enjoying complementary beer and wine (with the purchase of dinner ticket). 


Keynote Speaker 5:00 PM

Jon Steinman, author of Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants, highlights the role that food co-ops have played in the evolution of the food system and provides a comprehensive overview of where food co-ops find themselves today. He offers a refreshing and motivational outlook for how food co-ops can continue their longstanding role as changemakers. 

Meeting 6:00 pm

Owners‘ meeting and last call to vote for the 2024 Co-op Board of Directors. Ballots close at 6:30pm. 


Dinner 7:00 pm

Enjoy a catered dinner from the Co-op and 17th Street, followed by live local music from Mark Stoffel, drinks, and socializing. 

Dinner will start promptly after the meeting. Owners can choose either:

A. 17th Street BBQ: 

Pulled pork sandwich, roasted rosemary potatoes, and seasoned green beans

B. Co-op Prepared Vegan & Vegetarian Option
Cajun Okra Casserole and Creole Roasted Yams (A New Orleans inspired meal- a rice casserole with onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic, tomatoes, okra, and sweet corn with a complementary side dish)

Tickets are necessary to attend the dinner and cost only $5 per person. A ticket includes a dish of your choice, non-alcoholic drinks, and two drink tickets for either beer or wine. There will be a cash bar. (Ticket sales will be available in-store and online April 1 - April 25) 


Pre-event registration will be used to calculate the quantity of food needed. Owners are asked to register in advance whenever possible. However, tickets will also be sold at the door for $10 each.

>> Click here to pre-register and make your dinner selection(s).


Meet The Candidates

It's time to vote for the Co-op Board!

How to vote:

Login with your USERNAME as the first name of the primary owner. Your PASSWORD is your owner number. 


If you do not know your account information or are having trouble logging on, please call the store at (618) 529-3533 or email Voting is open April 6 through April 27, 2024. New board members will be announced at 6:31pm at Owner Fest on April 27.

Barbara James


I am running for re-election because I am committed to the Co-op’s mission to serve our community. I know how to help people work together productively, and I enjoy doing it! 


Over the past six years I have learned a great deal about how to help provide that service. I prepare for all board meetings by carefully studying the general manager’s detailed reports and have a reputation for asking penetrating questions, particularly about finances. I feel humbly responsible to the employees and their families, to the owners, to patrons, to producers--to all who are committed to the Co-op mission. 

Over thirty-five years at JALC, I taught communications, served as a faculty union president, completed mediation training (at SIUC), and eventually worked as an academic chair. After I retired, I enrolled in a nursing program, obtained an LPN license, and worked for DCFS. I have served on a number of other community boards, including the Women’s Center, Church Women United, Habitat for Humanity, and the Thrift Shop. 

Lauren Bonner


2024 Lauren Bonner IMG_0985.JPG

When I joined the Neighborhood Co-op many years ago, I was drawn by its small, local flavor and the sense of community I felt when I shopped there. Since then, as I've continued to learn about the cooperative model and the mission and values of the store, I've had the privilege of channeling my passion for a values-driven organization by serving on the Board.

Additionally, I feel that board service parallels my professional life as a public servant. As a federal employee, I answer to Illinois constituents and convey their concerns to Springfield and Washington; in the Co-op setting, I'm tasked with serving the owners as well as the community.

Most important, I feel that my seven years of experience as a director could be valuable in helping the Co-op successfully navigate significant leadership changes in the coming years, and I'm eager to rejoin the Board during this season of unique challenges and opportunities.

Quianya Enge


quianya enge headshotnc.jpg

As an active member of this community for 5 years, I am a community developer with extensive professional experience and significant executive leadership accomplishments in business and philanthropy. Being a member of the Co-op board allows me to continuously pursue applicable ways to solve community-based problems.

This opportunity and others are moments where I can create positive societal changes through DEIB+J initiatives. The Co-op is a space where our community can find ethical practices such as impact investing and conscious consumerism in Carbondale, which are important to me. Social entrepreneurship is my way to connect to my life’s purpose, help others find theirs, and make a difference in the world.

Alessandra Nicholson


Alessandra Nicholson.jpg

As a candidate for the co-op grocery store board I bring a deep-rooted commitment to farm-to-table principles, sustainability, and profitability. With a heritage rooted in farming and sustainable living, I learned early the importance of caring for the earth and utilizing its gifts responsibly. My grandparents lived close to the land and I learned quickly how a season could make or break our family. The principles of providing care and comfort lead me to a frontline healthcare service career and to active community involvement.

With 16 years of experience in healthcare, I understand the significance of access to wholesome foods as a fundamental right. I have actively contributed to community-building efforts, organizing meals for the homeless to do my part at ensuring food accessibility for all.

In my nearly 9 years of management experience, I have honed skills in operations, budgeting, procurement, and customer service. These skills, combined with my ongoing education in farming and local food networks, uniquely position me to contribute to the Co-op's success. My goal is simple: to meet or exceed the objectives set by the Co-op owners.
With a diverse background in management, healthcare, and community engagement, I am dedicated to fostering a strong, connected community centered around sustainable, locally sourced goods.

Dawn Stayton


dawn stayton img_4417.jpg

The part of the Neighborhood Co-op's mission that I am most passionate about is the ability of our locally governed store working with the local food system to provide healthy choices to the people of our community. I feel the support of local small businesses is an integral part of the longevity of our area.  Service to others is something that I have always felt called to do. My recent areas of service have included Church Youth Group Leader, Church Small Group leader, facilitator of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University Classes for adults and youth, Rotary Club Member and Membership Chair, Carbondale Chamber of Commerce member with service on the Annual Banquet Committee and Murphysboro Apple Festival Parade volunteer. I feel that my interest in being personally fiscally responsible would lend a hand in guiding the Co-op to serve its members to the best of its ability by also being fiscally responsible. Since my husband and I moved here a little over 3 years ago, our desire has been to help reinvigorate Carbondale and the surrounding areas. Serving on the board of the Neighborhood Co-Op would be another way that I feel I can contribute to this cause.

bottom of page