Co-op Leadership

Wasatch Board 8 copy

2016-17 Board of Directors

All photographs courtesy of Josh Scheuerman

                                                                               A behind-the-scene look at our true synergy...

Wasatch Board 18 

Thom copyThom Benedict (Treasurer)

I promised myself a long time ago: whatever I was engaged in had to benefit my community--local, global, environmental. Since then, I've applied myself in a variety of ways toward achieving this goal including working as a Student Conservation Associate on Grand Canyon National Park's revegetation crew, participating in the Aplomado Falcon endangered species reintroduction program, and serving as Education Director and, eventually, Executive Director for HawkWatch International. I've also had the privilege to work at two cooperatively owned grocery stores--Arcata Food Co-op in Northern California and La Montanita Co-op in Albuquergue, NM. For the past seven years, I've been the owner of Earth Goods General Store, Salt Lake City's first eco-store. Our mission was to help members of the local community move toward sustainability in their everyday home, school and work activities. I've been steward to a small plot of land at Wasatch Community Gardesn (WCG) for ten years and also serve on the WCG Board of Directors. I look forward to helping realize a community owned food store in Salt Lake City and patronizing a business with values aligned with my own.

Beth copy Beth Blattenberger (Secretary)

I moved to Salt Lake City from Seattle in 2012 to join family. In Seattle, I joined the Puget Consumers' Co-op and shopped there regularly for over 30 years. When on the road, I shopped at food co-ops up and down the I-5 corridor, including Mount Vernon, Bellingham, Everett, and even down to Shasta. I have done graduate study in both Economics and Architecture, and now spend my spare time studying Biology at the U of U. I am retired from Seattle City Light, where I worked on energy conservation, environmental compliance, and project management for design and construction of a number of new buildings. I believe strongly that our food choices are important not only to our own health but also to the health of food workers and the entire web of life on this onplanet, and to the future of the planet.  

Steph copyStephanie Buranek

I have natural foods store management experience ranging from operations and management, to inventory processes, employee menagement, food buying and prep. I also bring over twelve years of experience in commercial real estate leasing and sales with an emphasis on retail properites, including a strong overall knowledge of the retail real estate markters with a focus on the urban ocre and the central business idtrict of Salt Lake City.


Jodie copyJodie Grant (Chair)

While traveling for work, I stumbled upon the Bozeman Community Food Co-op and have craved a community-owned grocery store in my home town ever since. What better way to bring people together than through the food that we eat? Co-ops are uniquely organized to do just that. I joined the board so that I could help build such a place by spreading the word about all the good that can be generated in our own community through the simple act of buying groceries for our families. I have a Bachelor's of Fine Art degree from the University of Utah and a background in sales and sales management. I am using my professional skills to help realize the dream of a market that is owned collectively by all of us. 

 Ben copyBenjamin W. Jordan 

I was born and raised near Salt Lake City and recently completed the Certification in Fund Development for Nonprofits through the Nonprofit Academy for Excellence at the University of Utah. Additionally, I hold an A.S. in Environmental Technology and plan to further my education. My resolve is that Wasatch Cooperative Market will empower the community to be self-sufficient without continued environmental degradation. This will be done by aligning efforts in localizing economies, establishing food security, sharing expertise through volunteerism, and living simply. I'm also a board member of Citizens For Sustainability, Salt Lake City Open Space Lands, and the Bioneers local conference.

 Wasatch Board 3 copy copyKevin Parks

The future of a quality food supply is in our hands. We can sit back and allow large corporations to drive our food further from nature, or we can choose to take action by supporting local, sustainable producers, with an emphasis on organic. I joined the board of directors to help our Salt Lake community attain this healthy future sooner. My professional experience is focused on design, marketing, and websites and I leverage these skills to achieve the Co-op's mission.

  Wasatch Board 29 copyBarbara Pioli

Food and culture are two elements that have brought me tremendous satisfaction throughout my life. One of my most cherished childhood memories is biting into a fresh slice of German cheesecake when I lived in the small town of Dornigheim, Germany. My other special food memories, whether from traveling the world or picking vegetable from my own backyard garden, have one element in common - fresh, locally-grown ingredients. I come from a line of farmers and merchants (on my dad's side), and my oldest daughter's dream is to have a small, organic farm. As a WCM Board member, I hope to share this passion for tasty, healthy food while contributing my organizational skills during the Co-op's foundation years. I was the founding director of Art Access/VSA Utah, development director of the Utah Humanities Council for 11 years, and currently run my own nonprofit consulting business. My forte is in organizational and board development.

Allen 2 copyAllen Stutz (Vice Chair) 

My familiarity with retail food co-ops began in Seattle in 1995, when I became a member of PCC Natural Markets, the largest in the nation. My experience there changed my perception on food and I learned the value of a community centric market that also thinks globally. I earned a B.S. in Zoology and a B.S. in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation from the University of Washington. After 5 years working for the Forest Service researching California spotted-owls in a small CA mountain town (where I was able to shop at a co-op) I moved to SLC in 2007 to work with an environmental consulting company where I serve as the GIS Coordinator. I'm eager to see that the residents of SLC (and beyond for that matter) have the community enriching experience of owning our own natural food market. I want to buy my food from a market that I trust; one that is run by, and operated for, my community.

 Wasatch Board 2 copyErin Whitelock

 My journey to Wasatch Cooperative Market began in corporate industry. Over the years I worked in markeing and operations for a Fortune 100 company. Time and time again, I witnessed the business make decisions to benefit shareholders--they own the company, after all. The goal of modern business is to maximize profits and promote continuous econominc growth, oftentimes through unsustainble consumption. I found inspiration in the book, "The Great Turning," by David Korten. I have come to believe that the answer to healing our planet and our community lies in grassroots activism, energized from within the community, through the dedication of people within a community. For me, volunteering to help support and open the Co-op is a small action I can take to support an environmentally and socially sustainble future.






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