Board of Directors

The Bethlehem Food Co-Op board is elected at the annual membership meeting on the first Monday of October per our bylaws. The following individuals are the current team of leaders working hard to bring a community-owned grocery store to our community.

Kelly Allen

Kelly Allen is a Professor of English at Northampton Community College and Coordinator of the NCC East 40 Community Garden. In addition to his faculty and administrative roles, he is also the the co-founder and manager of the Farm Market at NCC, the 2014–2015 chair of the NCC National Endowment for the Humanities Agriculture and the American Identity, and Project Director of Food in the Public Square, which was an examination of food culture in the Lehigh Valley. Presently he is working on the development and growth of the Bethlehem Food Co-op's Community Hubs Program. 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.

Nick Blankenberg

Nick is originally from New Jersey and has lived in Bethlehem since 2011. He joined the Co-Op with his wife shortly after moving here, but because of children never managed to become as involved as he wanted. He sees the Co-Op as a path to improving food-security in Bethlehem and hopes that it can be an important part of a more sustainable Lehigh Valley. His family has spent the last 5 years working to turn their city lot into an edible forest garden. Now that the children are getting older and the garden is better established, he is ready to commit more time to the Co-Op. He spends his weekdays working as a registered nurse at the 17th and Chew Street hospital in Allentown.

Jennifer Dize

Jennifer Dize has resided in the Lehigh Valley since 2007, and currently lives in Bethlehem with her wife and their brood of dogs and cats. Jenn and Emily are pioneer members of the co-op and have been active since its inception. Jenn began work at Lafayette College in December 2015 and, with a much shorter commute than her previous employment, is eager to commit more time and energy to the co-op. Jenn has worked in student affairs at colleges and universities for more than 10 years and is experienced at building community, leading teams, and programmatic efforts.

Marsh_Colleen.jpgColleen Marsh

Colleen grew up in the Bethlehem area and currently lives downtown with her husband, daughter, and two cats. She graduated summa cum laude from Moravian College with a BA in Graphic and Interactive Design, and currently works for the College as the IT Project Manager. Outside of work, she is an active volunteer as a Girl Scout leader for several troops, has a work-share at a local CSA, and co-leads the communications committee for the Bethlehem Food Co-Op. Her family enjoys hiking, camping, foraging/fishing/hunting, art, theatre, and cooking. Colleen is passionate about improving our food system and feels that the Bethlehem Food Co-Op is crucial to that improvement in the Lehigh Valley.


Carol Ritter

A lifelong organic gardener, Carol has a special interest in a community- owned grocery store in downtown Bethlehem with many healthy options for all. She is enthusiastic about supporting local providers and educating the community about sustainability and local impact.

Carol was born and raised in Bethlehem and co-founder of Carol is an accomplished, award-winning Professional Speaker, Fundraising Strategist, Results Only Executive Coach, Featured Writer and Small Business & Non-Profit Consultant. Carol has presented to over 1/2 million educational, non-profit, and small business leaders nationwide. Carol’s team have raised millions of dollars for Lehigh Valley non-profits and has developed strong, innovative boards and committed volunteer teams.

Carol currently serves on the Board of Directors for Lehigh Valley Reads and the Zoning Board for the City of Bethlehem. Formerly, she served as President of the National Speakers Association in Philadelphia and as board chair for St. Lukes Hospital VNA and Hospice. Her awards include, Pennsylvania’s Speaker of the Year, Most Likely to Succeed in the Speaking Business and recently the GOOD SCOUT award given by the Boy Scouts of America.


LaKeisha Thorpe

LaKeisha is Assistant Dean of Moravian College's Graduate and Adult Studies and has been in higher education for roughly 12 years and teaching for the past 6 years.

Her doctoral research is squarely grounded in the narratives surrounding food habits, food pathways, and their importance to our cultural identities. Her work, an arts-based research project, theorizes what might happen if we became the culture and ethnicity associated with the food we ingest.

She frequently presents on issues of transdisciplinary study, blended learning, and arts-based research methodologies. Recently she has presented at Cedar Crest College, Providence College, and Bryn Mawr College and The University of Rochester. She is a writer, director and executive producer on short films, and web series. She's been an editor, a guest lecturer, is a published author, and spent 4 years as a radio show host in Philadelphia, Pa.

She graduated from Goddard College with her MFA-W and earned her Ph.D. from California Institute of Integral Studies.


Tracey Werner

Tracey Werner is a marketing and public relations professional and owner of Blabbermouth Communications in Bethlehem. Her local clients include nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses in the community. She grew up in Allentown and is proud to be a lifelong Lehigh Valley resident currently living in downtown Bethlehem. She’s passionate about buying local and supporting local businesses whenever she can. Tracey is also an episodic volunteer with the nonprofit Easton Main Street Initiative and has been for over a decade.


Former Directors

Javier Toro

Emily Hoffert

Kelly Allen

Gary Warren

Heather Manning

Deb Fritz

Joseph Amedeo

Andrew Bench

Matt Hengeveld

Jon Soden

Varee Var

Santiago Rivera

Cathy Reuscher

Jaime Karpovich

Matty Sarro

Amber Ott











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