The Co-op is governed by a board, and everyone on the board is a community member or staff member and a Co-op owner.  Anyone who is an owner can run for the board, and every owner gets to vote for board members every year.

Board Members are committed to representing the Co-op’s owners, and voicing the values and goals of Co-op members. The main responsibilities of the board are to:

– Set the goals and values of the co-op (learn more here).

– Hire a General Manager, and evaluate their performance.

– Hold the GM accountable for the overall success of Co-op.

Our Co-op is built by Durham and dedicated to serving Durham. The Board exists so the Durham Co-op Market can achieve the most for its Owners and the Durham community!

Current Board Members

Summer Alston (summer@durham.coop) – Summer’s passion is Durham, and she embraces the Bull City’s grit and greatness. Through her work for the City of Durham’s Office and Economic and Workforce Development, Summer seeks to maximize the ways in which the private and public sectors collaborate to make Durham a resilient community, and a model for the region and beyond. The experience of every human in Durham is very personal to Summer. Summer is a contributor to notable Durham economic initiatives including development of The Chesterfield, the Durham Innovation District, and the current Durham Police Headquarters site. Summer has worked with Greenfire Development, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and Duke University. A Soul City, Warren County, North Carolina native, Summer now considers Durham home. She is a proud mom to Brenna and Obren, and life-mate to Bobby. A Tar Heel through and through, Summer holds a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has served the City of Durham since 2014.

Josh Collier (josh@durham.coop) has worked at the Co-op for nearly 4 years and joined the board in February 2020. With more than a decade of experience working with cheese and specialty products, Josh Collier, the DCM Specialty Coordinator, is the big cheese around here. Josh has spent the last 11 years working in the cheese industry – beginning in 2008 at Paxton and Whitfield in London. Fun Fact: Paxton and Whitfield holds the royal warrants to Buckingham Palace – which means that Josh has supplied cheese to the royal family! Josh became a Certified Cheese Professional with the American Cheese Society this fall, and we are so lucky to have him.

Amelia Freeman-Lynde (ameliafl@durham.coop) has called Durham home since 2011, following 10 years in New York City as a student and theater artist. From family meals in her Georgia hometown to becoming involved in Durham’s vibrant local food scene, her love of food has provided a connection to her community and a deep appreciation for sustainable food systems. She is committed to helping the DCM continue efforts to reduce its environmental impact through bulk and refillable products, minimal waste packaging, and local produce and goods.  In addition to her involvement with the DCM board, Amelia is the owner of the craft supply store Freeman’s Creative in Lakewood and is a dedicated crafter and chicken-keeper.

Lenore Hill (lenore@durham.coop), our Board president, was born in Durham and lived here for 14 years.  She studied computer science at Duke and worked in IT for 18 years. Lenore is now enjoying a not-as-lucrative career in fine art and jewelry making, but only feels starved shortly before mealtimes.  She also serves as the Treasurer of the Durham FM Association (amateur radio). She still loves cheese, even after discovering that she’s lactose intolerant. Lenore now lives in Hillsborough, with her husband, Jack. Formerly a blogger who primarily wrote about the Durham and Orange County restaurant scene, she loves baking and Jack’s vegetarian cooking.

Kim Ionescu (kim@durham.coop)  has lived most of her life between Durham and Chapel Hill, and she has spent most of her career in the coffee industry, starting with a barista job she took post-college when she found out the Regulator Bookshop wasn’t hiring. Though Kim didn’t drink coffee at the time, she got addicted to learning about coffee growing, coffee history, and all of the nuances of the trade that make coffee a vehicle for environmental and social change in a way that is different to most other foods. Her interest brought her to Counter Culture Coffee, where she spent the better part of a decade at the intersection of sustainability and procurement for the company as it grew from a regional to a national brand, and since 2015, Kim has worked for the Specialty Coffee Association, a non-profit trade group for the coffee industry, as its Chief Sustainability and Knowledge Development Officer. Having had a sustainability job title for the past fifteen years, Kim is skeptical of simple, one-size-fits-all solutions, but she believes that cooperatives offer an important alternative model for businesses of all sorts, from farming to grocery to banking, and she has been an owner of the Durham Co-op Market since its earliest days. Kim lives in Durham with her husband, Kieran, and two daughters, Adelaide and Winifred.

Loralyn Milcarek (loralyn@durham.coop) joined our Board of Directors in January 2020. Loralyn has been a part of food co-ops for over a decade, working in a variety of roles including cashiering, stocking, merchandising and marketing, communications and outreach, and now works as the Grocery Manager at the Co-op. Loralyn is passionate about cooperative ownership and putting wealth back into the community. She enjoys living in Durham where she gets to participate in the community, working with and meeting new people every day from different backgrounds. Loralyn wants to see people getting access to the food they want at great prices, and loves supporting cooperative-produced businesses like Equal Exchange, Frontier, Organic Valley, and more.

Michael Rodgers (michaelr@durham.coop) is enthusiastic about participating in the Durham Co-op’s mission to making healthy food accessible and affordable and using his own experiences to help the Co-op continue to grow and thrive. As a non-profit developer of affordable housing, Michael has a background in finance, construction, and commercial real estate and is excited to gain new experience and perspective with cooperative business. Michael and his wife are passionate about sharing their love of food with their two young sons, including trying new foods at home as well as exploring Durham’s incredible offerings. As an amateur BBQ aficionado, Michael loves experimenting with new methods, meats, and sides and  specializes in shredded pit beef, dry rubbed ribs, and smoked salmon.

Varun Singh (varun@durham.coop) moved to Durham recently, but has long held an interest in health, food, nutrition, and the way that our food systems support these. Varun would like to create a more equitable, just, nutritious, and sustainable food economy and tries to do a small part with a mostly vegetarian lifestyle, supporting farmers markets, and things like investing in backyard chickens and a coop. Varun helped run his mother’s restaurant in Washington DC (Pansaari) which held cooking classes, brunches, spice education classes, and a chai bar. It was here that Varun learned about the ways that a healthy food system can support a vibrant community. Varun looks forward to seeing more efforts aimed at galvanizing the community at large and educating them on the Co-op’s sustainability efforts!

Julian Xie (julian@durham.coop) is an MD/MPP dual degree student at the Duke University School of Medicine and Sanford School of Public Policy, and a Margolis Scholar in Health Policy and Management. He worked up an appetite for building a better food system through his involvement with Duke Campus Farm, volunteering with organizations like Meals on Wheels, and being a Durham Co-op member. Julian previously worked at the Duke Program on Global Health and Technology Access on developing and communicating policy strategies. At Duke Med, he founded Root Causes, a student organization dedicated to bringing healthcare and food systems together through service, education, and advocacy. Root Causes founded the Duke Outpatient Clinic Fresh Produce Program which engages community gardening, food advocacy, and issues of food insecurity. Julian is also a coordinating council member of the Durham Farm and Food Network and student steering committee member of the Duke World Food Policy Center. Julian loves to cook, and also writes and performs music in Durham.