Board of Directors
Cooperative Principle #2 — Democratic Member Control
North Coast Co-op is a wholly member-owned organization governed by a Board of Directors elected by our membership. Elections occur annually in the fall. Two of the seven seats on the board are dedicated to employee members of North Coast Co-op. Board members serve a three-year term, unless they were appointed to fill a vacancy.
Our current board members and their terms are:
Brenda Harper - President Term: 11/2022 - 11/2025
I was born into a military family in Japan. I lived in many places before spending most of my growing up in a small town in Delaware. My educational background is in Education and Nutrition, with degrees from The Ohio State University and University of Central Arkansas. I have worked for the State of Arkansas, taught elementary school in the Little Rock School District, and then completed a degree in Dietetics & Nutrition before a visit to Humboldt County in 2002 turned into my new place of residency. My involvement in the natural foods industry began in late 1990s, most recently as an employee of the North Coast Co-op, from which I retired in 2016. I have stayed abreast of Co-op happenings since then and now as a Board member I’ll have a hand in keeping our Co-op the #1 grocery store in our area. I look forward to you reaching out to me to discuss your ideas about all things related to the Co-op. You can reach me by phone at 707-498-0761 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Connors - Treasurer
Term: 11/2022 - 11/2024
I am passionate about great food and drink. There's little I enjoy more than a great meal with great people. My partner and I love exploring the world’s culinary diversity, discovering new and ancient ingredients and techniques, attending cooking classes, and connecting with farmers. One of the most impactful experiences in my life was managing Toyon, one of the Stanford Eating Clubs, providing meals and celebrations for my peers. I am very fortunate to have been exposed to and learned from an incredible diversity of individuals and organizations in my career, ranging from start-ups to the Fortune Global 500. After university, I worked for a handful of businesses and eventually founded my own consulting practice. I work with a family winery, volunteer for a local bakery, and am a Director of our Co-op. I love engaging with people and thrive in collaborative settings. I'm passionate about creating, improving, and refining systems and products that solve problems, deliver value, and put smiles on faces. We thrive in community - I'd love to hear from you! email@example.com
Roger - Vice President
Term: 11/2022 - 11/2025
I am an old-comer to the Arcata Co-op, having been involved since around 1977. Probably the most useful thing I can share is I am very available to promote your ideas and desires to sustain our Co-op. My phone number is 444-9901 and I'm in the Arcata Co-op most every day, on my evening transition from work to home. I encourage you to reach out to board members, store workers and your fellow members to keep us going well.
Laura Jones - Director
Term: 11/2021 - 11/2024
I grew up in Southern California in the Fifties-Sixties. I arrived in Humboldt County in 1970, graduated from Humboldt State in 1975, and got a job at the Arcata Co-op in 1978. I retired from the North Coast Cooperative, Inc./NCCI in 2012. I am proud to be one of the Co-op's many member-owners who have helped along the way - from renting the first small storefront to a buying a grocery store's building. Selling food at good prices, supporting local farmers and producers has helped the Co-op pay workers and give members a return on their investment. I will do my best to help the Co-op/NCCI remain a store that strives to sell great food at good prices so it can the money to pay the bills and make a a modest profit so it can pay its workers, reward the member-owners, buy from local farmers and producers and, grant money to community organizations.
George Wintersun - Secretary Term: 11/2023 - 11/2026
I am a now-retired computer scientist who moved from Redwood City to Eureka in 2004 with my wife Patricia-Anne. She had been a member/employee of the Briarpatch Co-op in Palo Alto until it closed, and we were specifically looking for a place with a food co-op. We were happy to find the Northcoast Co-op, and we've been members ever since. I was raised in rural Pennsylvania, and I remember helping with dinner as a child and watching my older siblings' culinary forays. My experience with organic foods, farmers' markets, and co-ops didn't start until I moved to Santa Cruz for graduate school in the 1980s. It was a revelation, and the Northcoast Co-op (along with our awesome local farmers) continues to advance values consistent with that revelation. Values that boil down to "good food and good community." I'm delighted to join the board of the Co-op and look forward to learning and helping to further its mission. I encourage members to reach out to me with any ideas/interests/concerns by emailing GeorgeWintersun.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ellis Smith Employee Director Term: 11/2023 - 11/2025
I was born and raised in Monterey County, CA and I graduated from Humboldt State University in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in Marine Biology. I've lived in Humboldt County on and off for the last decade, but what's constantly drawn me back to this place is the sense of community and interconnectedness here, a rare feeling that's been gradually eroded in many other areas of California. I look toward a future of mutual aid, restorative justice, and environmental healing - a better world built by our hands. The Co-op, to me, has the potential to set an example of cooperative values for the community as a whole; after all, a place where the community can come together over good food is a great starting point for a more just and kind Humboldt County. Working at the Co-op is heartening and inspiring to me, and I'm delighted to serve the wonderful employees, members, and customers of the Co-op as an employee member of the Board of Directors. I hope that as a member of the Board, I can be a voice and listening ear for employees and patrons alike. Please say hi to me if you see me at work!
Mimi Smith Employee Director Term: 11/2023 - 11/2026
I was born and raised in San Diego and moved to Humboldt County in 2020. I have been in love with this area ever since. I find constant sources of inspiration while living here, from the abundance of nature to the amazing art, but most of all I find myself inspired by the sense of community. There is a palpable drive to support your neighbors and create a thriving environment to live in. I feel the North Coast Co-op really represents that drive, and as a senior clerk I take pride in being able to work with the members, customers, vendors and coworkers who help create that community. I look forward to representing the Co-op’s members and employees as a board member. You’ll often find me at the customer service desk in Eureka, come say hi!