Board of Directors

Fall 2020 Board Election Results

Meet the co-op board. We’re community-owned and these owner-elected representative oversee our grocery store. Interested in joining the board? Click here to find out how.

Andrea Larson Perez

The Astoria Co+op is an important part of my life! It’s where I spend the majority of my food and wellness dollars, where I connect with the local food economy and enjoy meeting friends and newcomers in our community. I strive to offer some benefit to the organization that means so much to me. Being a member of the Board is truly an honor and privilege I value.

As far as my background goes, my career was spent in public relations, marketing and sales primarily in the publishing industry. Locally, I offered consulting services to local businesses in the healthcare and fishing industries, among others. After writing for others for years, I decided to move into that arena for myself. I have authored two local history books with Arcadia Publishing: Camp Rilea and Astoria in Vintage Postcards. Other than the long list of writing projects I will be working on over the next twenty years, I devote my time to my family, travel and other artistic endeavors.

It’s worth noting I worked part-time at the co-op for nearly 3 years. I enjoyed every single minute of that experience! It was a logical progression for me to seek membership on the co-op Board to contribute in a new way. I am so happy my interest has been supported by co-op owners.

I am a native Floridian. I moved to Sacramento, California after high school and made my forever move to the Lower Columbia in 1994 first residing in Ilwaco, WA and Astoria in 1998. My husband and our two sons enjoy calling Astoria home.

 

Norma Hernandez

I was born and raised in the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico and prior to moving to Astoria in 2003, I lived in the northeast for 20 years, both in New York and Boston. I moved to Astoria to work at an oyster company in Bay Center, WA. where I became aware of the needs and challenges of the Latino community in the region. My passion for social justice kept increasing after working as executive director of Lower Columbia Hispanic Council and then working for the Clatsop County Public Health, currently as a WIC coordinator.  I also serve on the board of North Coast Food Web, and Astoria Parks.  You can listen to me on  Sonidos Latinos on KMUN 91.9 FM, monthly.

 

 

Todd Holm

My partner Lyuba and I moved to Astoria in 2008 when I accepted a regional position with US Bank. Before that I lived in Vancouver, Washington for pretty much my entire life. We enjoy fishing, crabbing clamming and foraging for mushrooms.

I discovered our co-op within days of being here and I joined the instant I was offered membership. We enjoy the best produce in Clatsop County, great organic products and the “full circle” mentality that our co-op supports. I cover the Oregon Coast and travel quite a bit within the northwest corner of our state and have been to several other co-ops and I must say that what we have here is very special indeed. The staff is phenomenal and it makes for great shopping every time I go there.

I was thrilled when I was asked if I was interested in being a board member and I am looking forward to helping our store grow and continue to flourish as we move towards getting a larger facility.

 

 

Venus Fromwiller

My family has lived in Astoria since 2006.  We love living on the Best Coast, especially here on the North Coast and feel very fortunate to call this place home. My education, career and hobbies have always been wellness-focused. I believe good food, good nutrition and good people play a key role in wellness and disease prevention. The co-op includes all of these things and plays a vital role in the health of individuals and our community and also in the health of our local economy and environment.  I have enjoyed seeing the co-op grow and welcome new members. My hope is that the co-op is the place where people can get all their grocery needs met, in a welcoming environment, knowing they are receiving quality food at a competitive price while supporting their community.

 

 

Ryan Newstrum

A native of Seattle, I spent nearly 23 years working for REI, America’s largest consumer cooperative. From my beginnings working a graveyard shift stock position to eventually planning the company’s revenue, traffic, and membership budgets, I have an intimate understanding of many of the challenges a co-op faces. My long tenure allowed me to see how we all benefit when integrity and nurtured humanity is a business priority, and the consequences to culture, morale, and community when it isn’t. 

I strongly believe in the co-op’s commitment to a thriving local economy and am heartened to have firsthand experience in seeing that their service and donations are given in earnest. Serving on the co-op’s board of directors allows me to use my prior experience to contribute to the co-op’s health, as well as gain a more intimate understanding of the community’s varied perspectives and priorities.

I’m so happy to have relocated to Astoria with my family in mid 2019. This PNW gem has everything I need and nothing I don’t. I look forward to connecting with you all in the arts, outdoors, and produce aisles!

 

Erin Kester

 

Erin Kester

I grew up in a small community in Central Wisconsin, but have called the Pacific Northwest home for over 20 years.  I work for a renewable energy company where I engage in regulatory and policy issues to ensure the continued development of renewable energy resources in the Western U.S. Joining the Co-op Board fulfills my desire to contribute meaningfully to the North Coast community and work with a local business that has shared values and makes a big impact.  It’s been exciting to watch the Co-op transition into the beautiful new store – increasing opportunities for local growers and suppliers, as well as expanding job opportunities for the local economy.

My partner Ryan and I spend a lot of time restoring our 1917 historic craftsman home with the hope that it will be enjoyed by many for another 100 years. When we are not working on house projects we like to get outside as much as possible camping, hiking, traveling and spending time with friends and family.

 

 

Vance McDermott

I have lived in Oregon for 10 years now, two of them being here in Astoria, after growing up in the Bay Area of California. Most of my working life has been in the grocery business, working for 12 years at a national chain of small natural food grocery stores. Through that experience I know how important it is for a business to grow organically while prioritizing community and worker well-being, ultimately creating the most equitable and healthy business possible. 

I am proud to work at a community-owned store and I believe that is the Astoria Co+op’s greatest strength. The North Coast has a growing local food scene that is poised to continue to expand with the co-op’s help in bringing products to the market and people together. 

Being a member of the Board gives me an opportunity to serve my community and contribute to the health of our local economy. With great enthusiasm I hope to use my experience to help the co-op continue its mission of bringing good food to good people.