Meet the Board Members

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Armando Ornelas (Board President)

Board term: 2011–2015

E-mail: Armando@ greatbasinfood.coop

Born and raised in the west Texas town of El Paso, I landed in Reno in 1998 by way of New Mexico. Currently a planner with the City of Sparks, I’ve worked in the community development field for over twenty years. I absolutely believe in what the Co-op is all about and am honored to serve on its board of directors. Prior to joining the board of directors, I participated on the Co-op’s advisory board and the finance and member loan drive committees. As a community development professional, I am interested in seeing the Co-op enhance the region’s resiliency and self-sufficiency by promoting local food production. I fully expect this impact to grow as our membership and sales volumes rise, as the Co-op buys more food from local farmers and value-added producers, and as local restaurants supplied by the Co-op add locally produced food to their menus.

 

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Maureen Mullarkey (Treasurer)

Board term: 2011–2015

E-mail: Maureen@greatbasinfood.coop

Hi, my name is Maureen Mullarkey and I’ve lived in Reno for the past 25 years. My husband, Steve Miller, and I love the Reno/Tahoe area and particularly, skiing and hiking in the Sierras. We are also gardeners and care greatly about the safety and sources of the food we eat. We avoid foods produced by the industrialized food system so when we found out about the Great Basin Community Food Co-op in 2008, we quickly became both members and volunteers. I value the GBCFC’s goals of offering easy access to wholesome foods, improving our local area food system, fostering environmental and social stewardship and promoting local business. I also enjoy working with the passionate staff of our Co-op and feel we are making a very real and positive impact on our community. My work at IGT as Chief Financial Officer, my past position as the Chair of the Nevada Museum of Art, and my current board work at NV Energy, Renown and The Nature Conservancy all contribute to the skill-set that I bring to our Co-op as a board member and treasurer.

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Ernie Baragar (Secretary)

Board term: 2013–2015

E-mail: Ernie@greatbasinfood.coop

My name is Ernie Baragar and I am proud to be a member of the Great Basin Community Food Cooperative Board of Directors. I grew up in Northern California as an almond and walnut farmer and moved to Reno twenty five years ago. I have been a member of the co-op since 2007 and am excited to facilitate our organization’s continued growth. I live with my wife, Karen, in Washoe County south of Reno in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Range. Karen and I share our ranch with twenty Hucaya alpacas, ten chickens and two cats. The ranch is a busy place with gardening, chicken feeding and cat petting taking the lead rolls. I enjoy hiking the mountains out the backyard and riding my BMW motorcycle into the wilds of Nevada. I also enjoy riding my bicycles on the roads and paths of the area. I am a strong advocate of sustainability, particularly in transportation. To that end, I am also a member of the Tour de Nez Outreach Board of Directors advocating cycling as a primary transportation method along with presenting the annual Mighty Tour de Nez bicycle race in downtown Reno. I am interested in learning how to prepare feasts of our wonderful local foods. To this end, I am studying culinary arts at Truckee Meadows Community College. I enjoy being involved in the Farm to Fork movement to the greatest extent I can. I believe in the spirit of the cooperative movement; working together we can all help to make our community a better place. As a director I will support the organizations’ vision to provide healthy, wholesome and affordable products to our members.

 

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Steve Edmundson (Director)

Board term: 2013–2015

E-mail: SteveE@greatbasinfood.coop

I currently serve as the Investment Officer at the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada. In my role as Investment Officer, I oversee all aspects of PERS’ $30 billion investment program. Prior to this appointment to the position of Investment Officer, I served as NVPERS’ Assistant Investment Officer for more than seven years. Subsequent to joining the Retirement System, I spent five years at Oracle Corporation’s International Treasury department based in Reno, NV. While at Oracle, my duties included administration of the corporate stock option program, foreign exchange risk management and international treasury operations. My education includes a B.A. from Montana State University, Bozeman and a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno.

 

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Matt Johnson (Director)

Board term: 2014–2016

E-mail: Matt@greatbasinfood.coop

I have lived in Reno for most of my life and for the last 8 years my professional focus has been on supporting community service and volunteerism as a solution to our community needs.

I have an extensive background in non-profit management having served as the director of the Nevada Conservation Corps and currently as the Program Officer for Nevada Volunteers. In these roles I have spent much of my time writing and managing grants and now serve in a role as a grant-maker supporting the capacity building of non-profits in helping them achieve organizational sustainability.

The GBCFC is such a unique entity in our community and I am excited to invest my time and energy into finding ways to help it continue to move towards a sustainable position that will allow it to grow our community in new and different ways. I have been inspired by the leadership of the GBCFC that has come before me and am truly impressed with the community institution it has become.

I hope that my background in using service as a solution to meeting community needs will be an asset to the Board as I believe the volunteer programs at GBCFC can be enhanced by implementing best practices from the volunteer sector. I also hope to bring my expertise as a grant writer and grant maker to the Board to seek out additional sources of funding that may be available. Most importantly I am excited to be part of a dynamic team of leaders from the Board to the staff who are all working towards making our community a healthy and productive place to live.

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Marcia Litsinger (Director)

Board term: 2014–2016

E-mail: Marcia@greatbasinfood.coop

In an effort to serve my Co-op I will add to the board my expertise in organic farming and gardening, our local food shed, and  knowledge of my fellow producers.

I am the owner operator of Churchill Butte Organics in Lyon County Nevada, an off grid organic CSA farm for over 30 years. Presently working on building a fruit and nut orchard to have local organic fruit and nuts available.

I was formerly Chair of the Nevada Organic Advisory Council, and am presently a state committee member of the Farm Service Agency of the USDA.

 

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Jeannette Smith (Director)

Board term: 2014–2016

E-mail: Jeannette@greatbasinfood.coop

My family joined GBCFC because we believe in supporting local businesses and becoming more sustainable and thoughtful in our purchases. We aren’t where we’d like to be, but we’re getting there! I am on the board because I would like to be an advocate for others who grew up like me, in low-income homes, and are currently in those situations.

Through fun programs and education, I want to further help our community gain awareness about the amazing foods in our area and how to create meals on a budget.  Having worked 11 years in various areas of student services on multiple campuses, my skill set includes event management, assessment, facilities and operations, budgeting, customer service, and crisis management and response.  I am a happy person with a great attitude! It’s these skills and attitude I am excited to bring to the board.

 

 

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