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Meet Your Board
I first fell in love with the Co-op in 2003 during a brief interlude in my life when I moved from my rural hometown in Western, NC to live with people I’d never met in Moscow, ID. The store felt comfortable, surrounding me with familiar natural food and holistic medicine with which I’d grown up. My life has been a winding path throughout the US, but since marrying my husband, Nathan Hamlin, and moving to Pullman 8 ½ years ago, the Co-op is my go-to store and I love being there!
Growing up on a farm and among farmers, I’ve experienced firsthand what nutritious, sustainable food means to a family and to a community. My family depended on it. Homegrown vegetables were my first source of income. I have a deep respect for this way of life (and a particular love of rich soil oozing between my toes and the hot sun bating down on my back). I have especially enjoyed talking with the local farmers and artists, learning what I can about their methods and products and visiting and building relationships with some who serve this area. Now as a wife and mother I am committed to the health and well-being of my family through local and sustainable food.
In the last 20 years, I have worked in marketing and education. I have also traveled overseas and lived and worked among many diverse people groups in Austria, Peru, Costa Rica, Mexico, Eastern Germany, Russia and Italy. Through these experiences, I have gained respect for those different from myself and an ability to cross lines to build important relationships. My personal interests lie in cooking, reading ancient books, practicing qigong, hiking in beautiful places, gardening, taking in cultural experiences and teaching. I consider it an honor to serve on the Co-op Board of Directors as a way to give back to this community which has served my family so generously.
My love of agriculture was largely inspired by my grandfather. When I was 4, he was already teaching me about soil fertility with in-pasture lessons on nitrogen. At 12, he explained the meaning of “organic”, as we sold vegetables together at Hamilton, Montana’s first Farmer’s Markets. The impact of these early experiences didn’t resonate with me until I was college age. Spending time on a Biodynamic farm in Costa Rica supported my choice to pursue a B.S. in Agroecology from Montana State University in Bozeman (with it’s awesome Co-op where my husband, Shane and I often enjoyed shopping and studying together!) once I got home. After graduation, I was inspired to serve a two-year term with the U.S. Peace Corps, working for the World Food Programme, in Lesotho. Our life on the Palouse began in 2013 as we left Peace Corps for my research assistanceship studying soil acidification in the Crops and Soil Science Department at WSU. On our first trip to the Co-op and the Moscow Farmer’s Market, I knew I was really home again. Both have been an integral part of our family life since! In grad school, support from my advisor and our whole department allowed my passion for applied agricultural research, outreach, sustainability, community building, and leadership, to blossom. The birth of my daughter coincided with the completion of my M.S. in Soil Science. Right now, I am kept busy savoring every moment I have with her, while working as an Apartment Coordinator for WSU Family Housing. I am honored to have been chosen to serve on the Board, and I am excited to bring my experience and perspective to the governing table of this bastion for “good” food and community.
I was born in New Orleans and lived there until I left for college in Shreveport, LA. Over the years I’ve reflected on the influence of New Orleans on my life. In his book “American Nations” Colin Woodward classifies New Orleans as “New France.” It is culturally unique not so much because of the French influence, but because it was a melting pot bringing together Germans, French, Spanish, Italians, Africans, Mexicans and God only knows who else to create a gumbo of interweaving cultures. New Orleans is a party town with Mardi Gras and scores of other festivals and parades. I mention these things as I’ve come to realize that the joie de vivre that characterizes my life has its roots in that “somewhat” insane culture.
I went to Centenary College in Shreveport where I met Carrie at a Freshman Barn Dance. Dating a chemistry nerd isn’t exciting, but we’ve been married for 49 years so something worked. After graduate school at West Virginia University, I accepted an invitation I couldn’t refuse from Uncle Sam and joined the Navy. I taught at the Navy Nuclear Power School and then at the Naval Academy. In 1988 I was offered a position at the University of Idaho.
Carrie and I have had a 30-year love affair with Moscow and its people. What is there not to love about a town that has a fabulous Farmer’s Market, Metropolitan Opera at the Kenworthy, Boy Scouts, and a CO-OP dedicated to bring nutritious, local food to the people. It’s as if I have been able to pick up a bit of my beloved New Orleans and set it down in rural Idaho. There’s a reason I am very much at home here.
Laissez les bons temps rouler
Laurene is a lawyer, mediator, and life coach. She joined the Co-op days after moving to Moscow in 2003 and has served in a variety of volunteer roles, including barista, burrito wrangler, sample server, and committee member.
To stay energized, Laurene teaches and practices yoga, slacklining, skiing, dance, and her passion, AcroYoga. She loves to travel, eat, drink, dance, and entertain.
Laurene and her herd of cats live in her dream house on Hayes Street in Moscow. Her favorite foods from the Co-op include Panzanella rosemary flatbread, cream-top milk, and satsumas.
I was born and raised on the Palouse, and the Moscow Food Co-op has been a part of my life since before I can remember.
Several years in Western Oregon taught me that there's no place like home, and so in 2004 I returned to Moscow and began working in the Co-op bakery. In 2008 I graduated from the U of I with a degree in Range Management, but decided to keep baking after meeting my husband, Geoff.
In 2016, my family moved to a 55-acre farm outside of Deary. I now split my time between building a house, growing a farm, and raising our 2 kids, Sage and Wade.
David Nelson is the Chief Technology Officer in charge of software development for Soteica Visual MESA, LLC.
Dr. Nelson is the primary architect and lead developer of Visual MESA, the flagship energy management product of Soteica Visual MESA, LLC. Soteica Visual MESA, LLC provides software to manage energy use in real-time to oil refiners, chemical manufacturers, ethanol plants and district energy installations. Major customers include ExxonMobil, Chevron, Repsol, BP, Shell, Ineos, and the Texas Medical Center.
Before Soteica Visual MESA, LLC, David founded and served as operating manager and owner of Visual MESA, LLC and its predecessor company Nelson & Roseme, Inc. since 1997.
David started his career in 1989 at Chevron Research & Technology as part of their Energy Management Team and Advanced Computing Team. David has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, and an M.S. and B.S. from the University of Idaho.
David is happily married and has two daughters, and he shares with them a love of rafting and the outdoors. He is involved in many volunteer activities, including but not limited to Rotary Youth Exchange for District 5080 and serving as Chair of the Latah County Democrats.
I grew up in Davenport, Iowa, the son of a baker and a librarian. I worked in my dad’s bakery (actually named Dad’s Cookie Company) from the time I was in junior high school, and later supported my first year of graduate school by working night shifts as the lead in small organic bakery in Gainesville, Florida.
Eventually I ended up in Pullman in 1978 with a PhD in anthropology (archaeology), and I’ve been working at WSU ever since! I love the rolling hills, the mountains close by, and the two vibrant university communities. I met my (eventual) wife here, Marilyn Von Seggern, and we have two wonderful children, now living in Austin and Portland. We’ve been members of the Co-op for nearly as long as it has existed, and so I decided that it was time for me to do my part by serving on the Board.
Outside my job, I like to hike, bike, run, garden, read, travel, and play accordion from time to time. I’d like to sail, but alas, that’s hard in the Palouse.
I was raised on a farm in Eastern Oregon which undoubtedly contributed to my choice of agriculture as a field of study in college. I worked for Oregon State University in plant breeding and then became employed as an agronomist for a farmer’s cooperative. As the years went by I couldn't help noticing the negative effects commercial fertilizers and chemicals were having on the environment. It became increasingly difficult to be involved in that kind of farming. As I educated myself and became more passionate about what I saw happening I decided to completely change my career direction. I then worked for the Nez Perce Tribe for 12 years in several roles, first as an environmental inspector and most recently as a biologist, where I was fortunate to spend a lot of time backpacking in the Frank Church, Gospel Hump, and Selway Bitterroot Wilderness areas. Our family moved to Moscow in 2009, since then my son Landon has apprenticed with, and worked for, Affinity Farm, while my daughter Elle worked for Pokey Creek Farms at the Farmers Market. Also, my son Rayn has recently worked at the Co-op. My wife Kim and I live on a small organic farm near Moscow.
I love Moscow and the Co-op, and enjoy hiking, trail running, mountain biking, and playing guitar.
I am excited to be serving on the Board of our Co-op. If you see me around and have questions, concerns, or suggestions please stop and share them with me.
I’m a Washingtonian in my mid-twenties who endeavors to be an engaged citizen and enjoys getting others my age excited about getting engaged too. I live in Pullman, but I spend nearly all my time in Moscow. Some of my favorite local spots to hang out are One World, Safari Pearl, and Planet 3. I'm an alum of Warren Wilson, a small work college in Asheville, NC, a place I absolutely adored and sorely hope to revisit someday. I’ve farmed in Spain, couch surfed across the US, and frozen my butt off in the Pacific Ocean. I find greatest joy in life indulging in good food, reveling with good friends, and romping in beautiful nature spots.
I moved to the Palouse shortly after college with my fiancée for her graduate program at WSU, and immediately became a member and applied to work at the Co-op. I started in the bakery and later became a cashier, only leaving in late 2017 to begin working at my current job as an Americorps member with local nonprofit Backyard Harvest. During my time as a Co-op employee, I gained a wealth of first-hand experience of what it currently is like working on the floor of the Co-op on a day-to-day basis, and I am pleased to bring that level of understanding to the Board.
Food co-ops have been a central part of my life since my childhood. I grew up snacking on organic produce and other goodies from the Olympia Food Co-op and even had my first job experiences there volunteering as a grocery stocker (alongside my Dad, who has worked there my entire life). Over the years, I absorbed a lot of values from the people that worked at and frequented the store, and, to this day, food co-ops are places where I personally feel at home. I know I can count on finding communities of like-minded people at co-ops who value good food, social and environmental justice, and collaboration. Co-ops are truly some of the most important places in my life, and I am honored and invigorated by the chance to help safeguard and guide our Co-op as a member of the Board.