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.
As a native New Mexican going back several generations, I was raised farming and ranching as a child. The farmers were on my mother’s side and the ranchers on my father’s. Working with my maternal grandpa, I farmed and learned to appreciate the meaning and importance of pure food – the food we now call organic. Truth is, the organic principle was born on farms like ours. All winter long we cleaned out the barns and the corrales of the goats, sheep, pigs and chickens and used the manure to fertilize our land. Then in the Spring we plowed all of that right into the Earth.
I graduated from West Mesa High School with a few years of vocational training at St. Joseph’s College and TVI. I wanted to be a school teacher, but after a couple of years, I changed my mind and migrated to the food industry. I was the lead server for Gardunos and the corporate trainer for the entire wait staff. It was here that I developed my customer service skills. Then I discovered my talent in sales, and built a successful career in retail fashion for over 20 years. Still, my passion was simple: I just wanted to work with organic food and healthier choices. So I left my job at Dillard’s for La Montanita.
When I started at the Co-op eleven and 1/2 years ago, I wanted to work in Produce but landed instead in Grocery, It took another a year-and-a half but I finally got that job: working alongside local, clean and organic produce and farmers. I am proud of the Co-op that promotes and sells local. We’re a community-based organization, helping other local organizations and I believe in supporting our local economy. I also shop and buy local.
I live in Albuquerque. I was Elected as a National Delegate for Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic National Convention in July 2016. I also do community volunteer work as the Secretary of the Coalition of Neighborhood Associations in a District in Albuquerque. In that capacity, I listen and document the concerns of residents living in many neighborhoods in Albuquerque. I also serve as a Member of the Joint Task Force Committee for the Victory Hills and Clayton Heights Neighborhood Associations in Albuquerque. As a Joint Task Force leader, I am helping the Loma Linda Community Center acquire government funding for a new Gymnasium that will serve children with disabilities who live across Albuquerque. I also serve as a Member of the Governing Council (governing body) of The International School at Mesa Del Sol in Albuquerque. About 13 years ago, I became an Environmental and Real Estate Lawyer in Washington, DC and Maryland. I earned my Juris Doctor (JD) law degree in 2003 and my MBA in 2005. I earned my BA in 2000. Since 2009, I have owned and operated Relerience, a sustainability company that focuses on green buildings and environmental protection. I am also a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional- a green building specialist.
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.
I moved to New Mexico from the UK in 2011. Upon arrival in Albuquerque, I began working for the Co-op on Rio Grande and fell in love with the community spirit and ethical values. After my time at the Co-op, I moved back into my field of study. I hold a BS in environmental science and an MS in water management, and began my environmental career in the UK. I now own and operate an environmental consultancy in Albuquerque. Through my business, I have had the privilege of working closely with many local Pueblos; experiencing the wonders of Native American culture. I reside in the Nob Hill area of Albuquerque with my wife and two children.
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.
Bio coming soon.
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.
Allena currently works as a Product Owner and Systems Engineer at Sandia Labs, where for the past 11 years she has both worked on and audited large, complex systems. Prior to that, she owned her own software consultancy. Her non-profit work includes service on the Board of Directors of the non-profit Urban Options in Chicago, IL, which provided entrepreneurship training, internships and venture capital for Chicago youth; it is now a part of the Southwest Youth Collaborative in Chicago. Allena is active in the Agile community, holds a Masters in Computer Science, and is a Certified Project Management Institute Project Management Professional, a Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Master and Product Owner, and is a Certified Scaled Agile Framework Agilist. She formerly served as an Institute of Internal Auditors Certified Internal Auditor, and an ISACA Certified Information Systems Auditor. She is a United Way of Central New Mexico Women in Philanthropy contributor, and a founder of Climate Change New Mexico. Allena believes in zero-waste, sustainability, transparency, access to local and organic food for everyone, and cooperative values. Allena was born in Gila, NM, grew up in Espanola, NM, attended Santa Fe High, then went on to UNM followed by the University of Chicago, where she earned her MS. You can catch Allena shopping at all COOP locations – just look for her sidekick Arundhati.
I have been lucky enough to live all over the world and work with people from many backgrounds and cultures. I served in our military, did a stint in the corporate world and finished up developing/running the Veterans Resource Center at UNM. I retired here in New Mexico because I enjoy the beauty of our state and the people. I believe we all must take an active role in our community and world. The Coop’s mission of actively supporting local, pesticide-free/organic food, the best sustainability practices and most importantly family, will make our community stronger!
Send an email to TalkWithTheBoard@LaMontanita.coop if you would like to share any questions, comments or concerns with the Board of Directors. This shared Board email address is checked daily, so please use this email address rather than individual Board member email addresses for the most prompt response.
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: http://www.carvergovernance.com/model.htm
- 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.
- Voluntary and open membership
- Democratic member control
- Member economic participation
- Autonomy and independence
- Education, training, and information
- Cooperation among cooperatives
- Concern for the community
- 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 the Cooperative Retail Officer and Cooperative Operations and Support Officer to manage the business as a whole.
- The Cooperative Retail Officer and Cooperative Operations and Support Office work in the cooperative spirit to ensure effective leadership across the Co-op
- The Cooperative Retail Officer and Cooperative Operations and Support Officer hire and oversees the staff in their respective Divisions to take care of the co-op for other members.
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 TalkWithTheBoard@LaMontanita.coop. 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.
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.
Member engagement, Finance, Nominations and Elections, Bylaws, Board Development. For more information regarding the board’s committee work, please email the board at TalkWithTheBoard@LaMontanita.coop.