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!

Board Members

Summer Alston (

Summer’s passion is Durham, and she embraces all the Bull City’s grit and greatness. Through her leadership of the City of Durham General Services Department’s – Arts, Culture and Sustainable Communities Division, 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 has previously worked in private real estate development, for the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and for Duke University, as well as leading Downtown economic development for the City of Durham from 2014 to early 2021.

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 dual Bachelor of Arts degrees from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

John Bonvechio (

John works as a fundraiser for the University of North Carolina and has extensive experience in non-profit management, cooperative model education, and managing alumni boards. He wholeheartedly believes co-ops, like DCM, are models with a mission that not only aid our communities but build a better world. With interests in non-profits, education, and socially focused organizations, John was thrilled to join the DCM Board in 2021 and hopes to continue building the DCM into a pillar of Durham, where Durham-at-large, not only embraces our values as a Co-op but reflects them..

He enjoys cooking, exploring new flavors and local products, and looks forward to local peaches each summer! He also has an impressive fountain pen collection.

Josh Collier (

Josh has worked at the Co-op for over 5 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 in 2020 and spoke as on of the official cheesemongers at the Annual American Cheese Society Conference in 2022. We are so lucky to have him.

Lenore Hill (

Lenore, 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 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.

Raafe-Ahmaad Purnsley (

My Name is Raafe-Ahmaad the greatest Community outreach Coordinator this here side of the mason dixin.

I have been a rootin tootinist best outreach coordinator since Mathuzala. I’d like to think that my life as the phenomenal star of Durham’s Nightlife scene has prepared me to usher the Co-op into it’s current zenith as a community haven for quality, affordable, nutritious food and local sundries.

I don’t know what more I could say, except that as the Community Outreach Coordinator, I have brought legitimacy to the Co-op Carolina roots and connected us to communities of Durham that, without their support, we would not exist.

You are most welcome and I look forward to serving you As Miss Co-op 2021!

Michael Rodgers (

Michael is enthusiastic about participating in the Durham Co-op’s mission to make 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 moved to Durham several years ago 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!