Board of Directors

La Montañita’s mission is to provide to our member-owners, at the lowest price possible, exemplary customer service, environmentally sound products, and the highest quality natural and organic food. We are committed to ethical business practices, participatory management, and cooperative principles. Our intention is to provide to the entire community, through practice and education, a working model for a healthy, sustainable, future.


Global Ends Policy: A co-operative community built on beneficial relationships based in healthy food, sound environmental practices, and a strong local economy with results that justify the resources used.


Upcoming Board Events


The Board


Gina Dennis

I live in Albuquerque. About 12 years ago I became an Environmental Lawyer in Washington, DC and Maryland. I am also a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional- a green building specialist. In 2009, I established Relerience, a sustainability strategy consulting company that focuses on green buildings and environmental protection, which I brought with me to New Mexico when I moved here in 2015. I am a member of the Joint Task Force Committee for the Victory Hills and Clayton Heights Neighborhood Associations in Albuquerque. I also serve as the Coalition Secretary of District 6 Coalition of Neighborhood Associations. I also serve on the Governing Board of The International School at Mesa Del Sol, a charter school in Albuquerque. I also volunteer for the Sustainable Environment Committee and the Homelessness Committee of the St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Albuquerque. Term ends December 2016.


James Esqueda

As a child I would join my grandfather for long walks along the Harwood irrigation acequia from Los Griegos to Matthew Meadows. In 1999 La Montañita opened our Valley store in the same neighborhood my grandfather and I would take long walks along on hot summer days. We would admire the green pasture fields and the beautiful horses along the irrigation ditches on the way home. In the spring of 2004 I became a member and employee with La Montañita at the Valley store and am currently the Nob Hill Grocery Bulk manager. I am a year round bike commuter, urban homesteader, husband, father to two beautiful children, coffee lover and backcountry enthusiast. I value sustainable practices as well as ethically grown and produced food. My goal is to extend the availability and education of these elements to our minority communities. Term ends December 2018.


Greg Gould

For the past 15 years, I’ve been studying the relationship between social behavior and food. As a substance abuse counselor, I advise my clients on the dangers of sugar and salt. Food is at the core of the human experience, so it’s endlessly fascinating.  I’m distressed at the low quality of the average American diet, pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, GMOs and industrial meat. Improving people’s diets with locally grown and produced organic food would increase community joy. I’m an advocate of community joy via food sharing. I also play in a band with my son, tentatively called the Provocateurs.. Term ends December 2017.


Marissa Joe

Bio coming soon


Chad Jones

Chad Jones is a writer and economist who regularly bakes brownies, sourdough, and/or cakes. His favorite vegetables are onions. He was trained in group dynamics, facilitation, and the craft of asking questions as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in New York City. On 9/11, he was eight blocks north of the World Trade Center in Tribeca, working in the municipal workforce development agency. He is a member of the Santa Fe NAACP and has previously served on the boards of Grassroots International, Resource Generation, and The Stone House. He lives in Santa Fe with his partner and daughter where he gardens, hikes in state and national parks, and visits the public library.


Elise Wheeler

Bio coming soon

Contact Us

E-mail if you need more information or have any concerns.

The Policy Governance Model

La Montañita’s Board governs through a process called Policy Governance. The model emphasizes the board’s role in clearly stating what the organization is to accomplish (Ends Policies) while avoiding unacceptable actions (Executive Limitations Policies). The Board also writes policies about its own governing process as well as policies that describe its relationship to the General Manager. As you examine our policies, it’s important to understand that the Board’s job is to explain through its policies what it expects of the organization and then delegates all related issues beyond the written policies on Ends and Executive Limitations to our General Manager. So, as long as the General Manager accomplishes our Ends and avoids those situations described in Executive Limitations, the board is satisfied. We as a Board strive to do our job and allow our General Manager to do the work we delegate to her/him. The General Manager demonstrates accountability to the Board by producing regular reports explaining how he/she is complying with Board policies. For additional information about the model go to:

Our Ends

  • Increased access to, and purchase of healthy foods.
  • A growing regenerative agriculture sector that uses sound environmental practices.
  • A thriving and sustainable local economy that benefits members and community.
  • A strengthened co-operative community.

Cooperative Principles

  • Voluntary and open membership
  • Democratic member control
  • Member economic participation
  • Autonomy and independence
  • Education, training, and information
  • Cooperation among cooperatives
  • Concern for the community

How it Works...

  • La Montañita Co-op members elect other members to serve on the board. The nine board members spend many hours making sure the Co-op provides what you, the members, want. The Board of Directors also sets goals and provides the vision and guidance for the organization.
  • The Co-op board hires a General Manager to manage the business as a whole.
  • The General Manager hires and oversees the staff to take care of the co-op for other members.

Be Informed

Attend Board Meetings

Regular Board meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at 5:30 PM, and member-owners are welcome to attend. We are in the process of moving to a new location (tbd). If you would like to attend and are unsure where we will be meeting, please contact us at The first hour (5:30-6:30 pm) is a Community Education Session, during which co-op Board, staff, and member-owners explore a topic that relates to our role in the community. Agendas are posted on the bulletin boards in the stores three days before the meetings, and on our website here.

Be Up-to-Date

Read summaries of meetings and approved board minutes.


How You Can Become a Board Member

As a member, you are eligible to run for the board. Every fall, members elect candidates to the Co-op’s nine-member Board of Directors. Contact us to become a candidate in the next Board of Directors election. Economic Democracy is the key in the cooperative philosophy, and it distinguishes cooperatives from the standard corporate structure.

Board Committees

Member engagement, Finance, Nominations and Elections, Bylaws, Board Development. For more information regarding the board’s committee work, please email the board at