2014 Board Candidates

At the October 6 membership meeting, Bethlehem Food Co-Op members will have the opportunity to vote for the first elected board. The following individuals have accepted nominations to run for a seat on the board.

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Bios were provided by the nominees.

Ballot Requirements

Ballots may be filled out in person at the general meeting on October 6th, or mailed to Bethlehem Food Co-Op Election Panel c/o SoBeCoWorks, 1349 Lynn Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18015. Mailed ballots must be received by October 6th. Download the ballot here!

No proxy voting is allowed. One vote is permitted per household. In person voters must deposit their ballot in voter box by the end of the general meeting. This vote is not valid unless at least 10% of voting members have submitted a ballot.
Ballots must include member household number. If you are unsure of your member number, please email Cathy Reuscher at cathy@bethlehemfood.coop .

No write-in votes are allowed. Please select no more than 8 candidates. Once a General Manager is hired, he or she will fill the 9th seat. Until that time, the board chair (elected by the new board) will hold tie breaking authority.

For any resolution, related to the amendment of the bylaws, to be approved, 20% of the membership must vote for the resolutions to take effect.

For a full description of voting and bylaw amendment requirements, please see the Bethlehem Food Co-op bylaws (sections 4.5 and 8.6), available at: http://www.bethlehemfood.coop/bylaws 


Kelly Allen
Kelly AllenKelly Allen is an Associate Professor of English at Northampton Community College. In addition to his faculty role, he is also the developer and coordinator of the NCC East 40 Community Garden, co-chair of the NCC Sustainability Committee, and the 2014–2015 chair of the NCC National Endowment for the Humanities (program title: Agriculture and the American Identity). The line that divides his personal and professional interests is often blurred. He has a deep commitment to social, agricultural, and environmental justice, all of which he tries to address in the classroom and in his day-to-day life. Kelly has been married to his best friend, Meg, for seven years and they share their lives with their son Jude and daughter Wren.

Joseph Amedeo
Joseph AmedeoJoseph volunteered at one of the first Bethlehem Food Co-op meetings during the United Nations’ International Year of the Cooperative. During the past two years, along with our outstanding interim board members, Joseph has collaborated on the design of our logo and branding, coordinated travel logistics and tours of regional cooperative grocery stores, attended national conferences, business networking events and site visits on behalf of the  Members. A graduate of Penn State’s Stuckeman School of Design, he has contributed as architectural consultant, researcher, educator, and planner on multidisciplinary projects in three continents for over a decade, most recently at his independent design studio, maintaining Accredited Professional standing in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating program since moving to downtown Bethlehem in 2009. In the twentieth century, he was a competitive figure skater and operated an urban music-education studio before changing careers.  Joseph is passionate about portable bicycles, adaptive reuse,  sustainable communities, and bagels. He is always inspired by our regional cooperative neighbors and their hard work to support local farmers, producers, and ecosystems.

Matt Hengeveld
Matt HengeveldMatt is the Editor of the Bethlehem Food Co-Op's quarterly newsletter The Sprout and has been involved with the cooperative for over a year. In addition to The Sprout, Matt is also the Managing Editor of Sing Out! folk music magazine, a 65 year-old publication currently operated out of Bethlehem. He enjoys working with local food providers and believes that effective usage of communication mediums (such as social media, newsletters and word-of-mouth) is key to ensuring the positive growth and sustainability of our cooperative.

Heather Manning
Heather ManningHeather lives in Bethlehem with her partner and two children (Lucas, 9 and Miles, 2). She worked in the mental health care profession for nearly 15 years before taking time off to devote to her family. She is currently a blogger for the Appalachian Mountain Club - Kids Outdoors and also works at the Coalition for Appropriate Transportation. She serves on the Swain Association Board at her son's school and is an avid runner. Heather serves on the interim board, is the Chair for the Outreach Committee for the Bethlehem Food Co-Op and is eager to make our co-op become a reality.

Santiago RiveraSantiago RiveraSantiago serves as the interim board’s sergeant-at-arms (to keep us on track!). He is a real estate investor and owner of SoBeCoWorks (A Collaborative Work Space), located in South Bethlehem. Santiago has served as a member of the Board of Directors for several non-profit agencies including Community Action Development Corporation, Alliance for Building Communities, Rising Tide Community Loan Fund, Puerto Rican Cultural Coalition & is a ITE Committee Member with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. Santiago has lived in the Lehigh Valley since 1992 and has been a small business owner since 2002. He has been married since 1986 to Margarita Gonzalez-Rivera.

Jon Soden
Jon SodenJon serves as the interim board’s treasurer. He was the owner and operator of Body Dynamics, Inc. in Bethlehem Township from 1993 through 2001. In 2002, he joined Legg Mason as a financial advisor. Since 2006, he has been a partner in Magellan Financial team. He has been actively investing since college, when he served as a member of the Amhrein Investment Club at Moravian College, beginning in 1989. In addition to working with the co-op, he leads sustainability efforts at Moravian College and is a competitive marathoner and triathlete, finishing the Ironman four times. He and his wife, Teresa, live in Bethlehem Township.

Varee Var
Varee VarVaree moved from south-central Pennsylvania to the Lehigh Valley in 2009 with her husband Eric. She loves everything the Lehigh Valley has to offer! You will most likely find her at local festivals and farmers markets trying out new and palatable food. She has worked in the behavioral healthcare field for over 10 years and is interested in learning about natural ways to improve health and wellness.

Gary Warren
Gary WarrenGary was appointed to the board in June 2014 to fill a vacancy left by Amber Ott when she moved to California. He has lived in Bethlehem since 2003. He is a father, farming enthusiast, avid cyclist, conscious eater, kombucha maker, and unabashed  disco dancer.  After actively serving as a co-op volunteer since its first meeting, he is proud to now serve on the interim board of directors.

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