Owner Fest 2022

Co-op's Annual Owner Meeting happening Saturday, April 30th!

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! 


About the Night

Social 5:00 PM

Be Happy Social Hour with live local music!


Meeting 6:00 pm

Meeting (Last call for voting. Ballots close at 6:30 pm)


Dinner 7:00 pm

Catered dinner from the Co-op and 17th Street

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 15 - April 27) 


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


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 p.m., 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.

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

17th Street - pulled pork, baked beans and potato salad 



Co-ops Green Curry Vegetables - green peas, red bell pepper, broccoli, and onions in a sweet pineapple lime curry sauce.  Served over locally grown organic brown rice. Along with Potato Samosa - potatoes, green peas, ginger, cilantro, and spices in a puff pastry shell.

Location: 17th Street Warehouse -  217 N 17th St, Murphysboro, IL 62966

Meet The Candidates

Richard Thomas.jpg

Richard Thomas


After 17 years as a Neighborhood Co-op owner, and five and a half years serving on the board of directors, I find myself still excited about helping move the Co-op forward. The last two years have been hard on individuals and businesses, but the pandemic has shown the strength of the cooperative model and local food networks in the face of national supply chain disruptions. Your Co-op is a bright spot in the region’s otherwise tough business environment. Your board has worked to support the General Manager and the Co-op staff in these trying times, and we all look forward to a return to normality. In the past year we have simplified our process for the annual evaluation of the General Manager while maintaining the same required level of monitoring throughout the year. The time saved helps the GM in the difficult task of keeping the wheels on in these “interesting times”. It also frees more time for your board to further the mission of the Co-op. We are especially focused on broadening the appeal of the Co-op throughout the community. I would appreciate the opportunity to continuehelping with this work.


Sage Banks


I am most passionate about the Co-op’s mission to buy from local farmers and merchandisers. I can tell the care that has been taken to select items that are from organic and sustainable sources. The commitment to purchasing Fair Trade items is readily apparent, as well. When I come to the Co-op, it feels like home to me, because it truly represents many of my values. 


I have been a resident of Carbondale for four years now. I was visiting Carbondale long before that. I have been a member of the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship since 2016, and I am active in our Social Action Committee. I have also volunteered with Rainbow Café, Sparrow Coalition, and at events such as the Alternative Gift Fair and Spirit of Christmas.


My background is in Nursing. I hold a Doctorate in Nursing Leadership and a Masters in Nursing Education. I would bring the background of caring for our community’s health. I am also a firm believer that our mental health affects our physical health, and vice versa. I believe in a holistic approach to health, with what we put in our bodies being a huge part of that.


Amy Etcheson


I moved to Carbondale in 2007. The Neighborhood Co-op quickly became one of my favorite destinations, especially on Saturday mornings when my family would walk there for breakfast before visiting the farmer’s market. Over the years, I’ve met countless people at the Co-op, many of whom remain good friends. Because the Co-op is a hub of my neighborhood, I’m most passionate about the Co-op’s mission to cultivate community. However, the Co-op’s mission to “provide wholesome foods economically” also speaks to my foodie heart. I’ve always been passionate about food. Growing up, my family ate healthy, home-cooked meals together most mornings and evenings. My grandparents lived on a small farm that provided homegrown produce and pasture-raised meat to my entire extended family. During college, I worked as a server at an upscale French restaurant for an owner/executive chef who was passionately committed to carefully preparing fresh ingredients. My professional career began in Boston at a company that published multiple IACP and James Beard award-winning cookbooks. In 2008, I became a member of the first CSA in Southern Illinois. Currently, I am interim director of Southern Illinois University Press, where we publish a mix of scholarly books and books about our region. I have graduate degrees in the performing arts, publishing and writing, and business administration (MBA). If I am elected, I will bring a mix of business acumen, marketing experience, creativity, and a lifelong passion for
food to the Co-op board.