Cooperative Council

 

Cooperative Council Members (Board)

 

Each of the following council members owns one membership interest in the Co-op. Each of them is a volunteer and is not paid for their time working with the Co-op.

 

Corey Auger (Chairperson)

Corey has volunteered with Urban Greens since 2008 and was elected to the Cooperative Council in 2009. His passion for cooperative business, food security, and community development is what compels him to contribute his time to making Urban Greens a reality. In his day job, Corey works in the Business and Technology Planning Group at a major healthcare company. He studied Social Thought and Political Economy at University of Massachusetts Amherst where he spent 3 years working at the People's Market Co-op. He also spent time working at Willimantic Food Co-op (Willimantic, CT) and Fiddleheads Food Co-op (New London, CT).

 

Allyson Brathwaite-Gardner

Allyson is a licensed counseling psychologist in RI and MA. Her main interests are in college mental health, delivering culturally competent care and strengthening community in urban neighborhoods. She has a ¾ time appointment as a therapist at Brown University Counseling and Psychological Services. She also maintains a small private practice and an adjunct appointment at URI/Downtown Campus. Allyson has taught one or two college courses every semester since 2008 at the University of Rhode Island. She has taught a psychology course on Intimate Relationships as well as the Psychology of Social Behavior. At the University of Missouri-Columbia, during her doctoral training, she taught and developed several courses on diversity for undergraduates and graduate students. Allyson was born in Trinidad and Tobago and grew up in Queens, New York. She is married with a six year old son, Myles.

 

Antonieta Falconi (Secretary)

Antonieta is currently the CFO at Social Enterprise Greenhouse (formerly Social Venture Partners RI).  Her prior experience includes work in small business development for Social Enterprise Greenhouse and for the Latino Economic Development Center in Washington DC. She also worked in management consulting and as general manager of a small corporation.  Through her work and personal life she wants to support businesses with a social and/or environmental mission. She is particularly interested in organizations that help improve our food system.  Antonieta and her husband live on the West Side and became members of Urban Greens Food Co-op immediately after moving to Providence 4 years ago.

 

Byron McMasters

Byron specializes in intellectual property and technology law, counseling clients through all aspects of protection, commercialization and enforcement. Byron also litigates complex business disputes and advises clients on general business, employment and tax issues. Byron has served as lead or associate trial counsel in numerous cases for clients across a variety of industries in state and federal courts throughout the country, including patent, trademark, trade secret, software and commercial contract cases. Because he is a business lawyer first, Byron approaches intellectual property and technology issues not as isolated concerns but from the perspective of his clients’ global business goals and strategies. Prior to law school, Byron worked in a high tech environment performing computer code development and quality assurance testing.

 

Quatia Osorio:

Quatia Osorio, affectionately known as "Q," is a born and raised Providence resident from the Southside of Providence. As a graduate of Bryant University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Management, Q is now the owner of Mama Blu Diaper Service, a cloth diaper service based in Providence, and a certified full spectrum doula.  She is also a member of Unified Solutions, a nonprofit grassroots organization that encourages organizations to offer strategies and solutions to improve the lives of those they serve, and the owner of Our Journ3i, a community based initiative focused on promoting maternal and infant support against health disparities, especially within the African American demographic. Through these experiences and connections to the community, Q is committed to adding her voice to Urban Greens, and helping to support the Co-op’s community engagement.

 

Barbra Revill (Treasurer)

Barbra’s introduction to co-ops began when volunteering at the Flatbush Food Co-op in Brooklyn, NY working for the family membership hours.  Later, she was hired as staff and worked the register, and stocking dry goods. After graduating from SUNY Purchase, where she also worked at the on-campus co-op, she moved to Portland, Oregon. A decade in restaurant service led to a job at New Seasons Market, a progressive neighborhood grocery store, where she worked all aspects of the full-service deli and café. After moving to Providence and spending several years in food-manufacturing sales, she’s glad to be involved with Urban Greens.  Besides talking about food and markets, Barbra enjoys photography, cooking with her husband, and playing with their dogs.

 

Joanne Rich

Joanne Rich became involved with Food Co-ops as a working member of the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn in the early ‘90s.  She’s lived in Europe and the Caribbean and has worked in independent school admissions and fundraising. As a volunteer, staffer, and board member of Southside Community Land Trust, local agriculture and food security became issues dear to her heart. She’s been an Urban Greens member for many years and is thrilled to pitch in to getting the co-op down the homestretch to opening.

 

Georgina Sarpong

After graduating from Johnson & Wales University in ‘11 with a Bachelors of Science in Food Service Management, Georgina devoted her time to volunteering with Southside Community Land Trust, the West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation board of directors, and the Rhode Island Food Policy Council. She now serves as Markets Program Manager at Farm Fresh Rhode Island, where she helps coordinate, promote, and organize year round farmer’s markets. As a unique connection to the rich network of RI farmers and producers, Georgina is interested in offering her time and resources to the success of Urban Greens, specifically around store planning and inclusion.

 

Seth Sokoloff

Seth is more of an advocate than an activist. While he lived in Narragansett RI,  he enjoyed a brief introduction to cooperatives at the URI food co-op before moving to Oregon where he volunteered at First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op in Corvallis, Oregon as a bulk foods stocker. He was soon after hired as a paid staff member and filled many roles, including the one closest to his heart, Bulk Foods Department Head - a position he held for over 8 years. In addition to his service at the co-op, Seth was a member of the Board Development Committee. A great believer in the strength of diversity, Seth became involved with Urban Greens soon after returning to RI not only because he embraces the cooperative principles, but because of Urban Greens Food Co-op's commitment to local food production and community inclusion.

 

Pearl Smith

Pearl became interested in Urban Greens Food Co-op and serving on the board for many reasons. Being part of the Co-op allows her to challenge the food choices determined by large multi-national corporations. On  a personal level, after spending a career asking folks to sign a union card, work a phone bank, attend a meeting, or contribute to a PAC, she was ready when was asked. Pearl believes there is no  better way to serve a community than to join the efforts to make food choices local and accessible.

As a research and political staff member for two large labor organizations in DC for two decades, she supported organizing campaigns and coordinated GOTV efforts around the country. In retirement, Pearl owns a small editing and research business for local clients that share progressive values.  As a volunteer, She has taught strategic research at CWE Providence and the Boston Labor Guild, helped with fundraising for NAMI of Bristol County and handled media for 3,000 member union retirees group. As part of the Co-op’s community investment group, she witnessed the work of staff and volunteers. She feels privileged to join this very talented and hard working community affecting change in and around Providence.

 

Fay Strongin

A graduate of Haverford College with a degree in Political Science, Fay is currently pursuing a Masters of City Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously, Fay worked as an urban farmer at Providence's Sidewalk Ends Farm, which she co-founded in 2011. As a farmer, Fay was an appointee on the RI Agricultural Land Preservation Commission, a member of the Providence Community Growers Network Council, and served as a consultant at the City of Providence Healthy Communities Office where she worked on projects related to the city's Lots of Hope urban agriculture initiative. She has been an Urban Greens member since 2011 and sees the Co-op as an opportunity to unite her commitments to local agriculture, planning, and community economic development.

 

Cassie Tharinger

Cassie has been involved with Urban Greens Food Co-op in various capacities since 2004, when she first became active in the UG Buying Club, and has been involved with assorted community initiatives in the city relating to food, farming, & the arts. She has worked professionally in arts administration, farming and orcharding. Currently, she is the Market Manager for a year-round farmers market at Mount Hope Farm in Bristol, RI, and is the Director of the Providence Neighborhood Planting Program, a tree planting program that engages communities throughout Providence. Cassie grew up in the food co-ops of Vermont, and believes strongly that the cooperative economic model is a powerful and radical one; one which empowers individuals and communities and can help bring health & equity to our food system.

 

Philip Trevvett (Vice-Chairperson)

Philip works at Harvard Medical School in the Center for Biomedical Informatics. He has lived primarily in Providence since 2002. He has volunteered with farming & food businesses and organizations such as Red Planet Vegetables, Beltane Dairy Farm, and Farm Fresh RI, and is an avid community gardener. He believes strongly in the need for regional food systems and local infrastructure and sees food co-ops as a key piece of the puzzle.