Board of Directors

Please check out our 2018 board of directors nominees – current member-owners can vote to fill the 4 available seats any time during the month of August at the c0-op.

2018 Board of Directors Nominees

Below is general board information and a bit about our current directors.

The Board of Directors is elected by the GBCFC’s member-owners to provide general oversight and governance of the co-op. The board is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the co-op’s financial health and making sure it is operated in accordance with cooperative principles and the GBCFC’s Purpose Statement and Goals. The board also provides leadership and sets the overall direction of the co-op through member engagement, research, visioning, and setting policy.

All member-owners of the GBCFC, excluding employees of the co-op, are eligible to serve on the Board of Directors. For information about how to apply for nomination to the board and run for election visit the annual election page.

Monthly board meetings are the 3rd Monday of each month at 6:00pm upstairs in GBCFC office area.  The first 10 minutes of each meeting is set aside for public comment.

Meet the 2016 – 2017 Board Members

Board contact:


Tim Healion:  Treasurer

Board term: 2015–2017

I do, truly and often, have the conversation with myself that I want to, in general, contribute. I want to live in a world that has a vision of working for everyone in the future, not just next week or next year. Big picture stuff. That means a healthy sustainable world that supports the well being of its communities.

As a member of this board for 2 years, I’ve been abIe to do just that. I’m really excited about the growth we’ve experienced and with the plans for the future. I’d really like to be part of the continued growth and plans for the the coop in the upcoming years.

I’ve got a lot to offer the coop as a board member. I have been involved in the food industry for about 35 years in the restaurant world. I’ve been involved w/ starting a number of businesses both for and not for profit including and not limited to the legendary Deux Gros Nez and the Tour de Nez Outreach and now the 2 Laughing Planets in Reno. I’ve advocated for health and well being from local community to the state legislature. I’ve participated w/ business budgets and staff management. I’ve promoted and managed local, regional, national and international events. I’ve spearheaded business based recycling and composting programs and pioneered the no smoking campaign in food establishments.

My current business adventure w/ the Laughing Planet Café in Midtown Reno and now by the University as well has me continuing my work in all these areas as well as working w/ regional sourcing and healthy food campaigns.

I sincerely feel as a health and well being freak as well as a one who’s been considered a cultural creative, I can very well contribute to the continued forward movement and growth of the Great Basin Community Food Coop.


Dominic Martin: Secretary

Board term: 2016 – 2018

Dominic is a 12-year resident of Reno and currently works at a local marketing start-up company. He has successfully collaborated with other local businesses on events to create brand awareness and drive local support of small business. He is going to school to achieve a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a minor in Marketing.

In his free time, Dominic teaches his own Irish Dance school, hikes, and explores Northern Nevada. His passion for the community and connecting community members has led him to run for the Board of Directors of the Great Basin Community CoOp

It is with great passion and enthusiasm that I submit my application to serve on the Board of the Directors for the Great Basin Community Food CoOp. My interest in serving on the Board of Directors stems from discovering the dedication and passion of those working locally to provide the best quality food available, as well as those upholding the commitment to sustaining our local economy.

I have experience in bringing together partners and voices from various parts of the community to promote involvement and engagement through small business initiatives and events. Those that have worked with me over the years can attest to both my passion and commitment to whatever I do.

Through my experience in this community, I have gained insight and a deep understanding of the many challenges and opportunities that the CoOp is faced with. Moreover, I believe that in order for the CoOp to continue to grow and thrive, they must publically educate and engage members of our community to the goals and objectives of our organization.


Earstin Whitten: President

Board term: 2015–2017

I was raised a sharecropper’s son in Arkansas in a family of 15 children. Most of our food supplies came from a very large garden we maintained.   After finishing college at Marquette University in Milwaukee, I began moving around the country with the military and later Allstate, where I continued to garden in different environments.

My responsibilities at Allstate included expense management for a department of 1,500 employees, compliance, auditing and group facilitation.

Retiring from Allstate after 31 years, I came to Reno and began gardening in a much more challenging growing environment. I have lived in different parts of the city of Reno where the various micro-climates provide even more challenges. To improve my chances of gardening success, I enrolled in and finished the Master Gardner program through the University Of Nevada Cooperative Extension in 2012. In 2014, I was named one of the two Master Gardeners of the year.

Though I grow many different vegetables, my passion is growing and understanding how to successfully grow garlic here. I have been featured in the Reno Gazette Journal, Edible Reno Tahoe and I have spoken on the topic at Bartley Ranch, and the UNR Cooperative Extension.

I have volunteered the past three years at Great Basin Food Coop in the demonstration garden and currently volunteer at Sun Valley elementary school working with kids and teachers demonstrating how to grow vegetables and the value of healthier food choices. For the past two years, I have served on the Advisory Council for the Master Garden program at the UNR Cooperative Extension.


Mark Estee: Officer

Board term: 2015–2017

I have been and always will be a huge supporter of our Coop here in Reno. I won’t lie, some even call me a Coop/DROPP homer. I wear that designation proudly. I keep a busy schedule, but feel that being named to this board would be a welcome addition to what I do. I love to collaborate, I love local, delicious food, I love to work on business, and I would be proud to serve on this board.

I have served on a few boards before (all non profit) and all have enriched my life in many ways. Most recently I was on the Project Mana board from 2005 to 2011. I would welcome the opportunity to join this board!

Mark Estee is a community leader and nationally recognized chef who is dedicated to building a thriving restaurant culture in Reno and Lake Tahoe. Extending his footprint across northern Nevada and northern California, Estee owns and/or operates eight restaurants, where menu offerings encompass his philosophy of simple, seasonal, fresh and local. The atmospheres? Warm, lively and inviting. Just like him.

Estee’s reputation for supporting local farmers and food suppliers is ingrained into each restaurant concept and used as an example within the slow food movement. He is often heard asking, “Do you know where your food comes from?” He is a staple among the food community and his business practices are recognized as progressive, thoughtful and direct. Continually developing new dishes based on his “Whole Hog” philosophy, Estee builds full-flavored food using every portion of every ingredient.

From menu items to cooking practices, Estee believes that his responsibility as a chef is to use culinary creativity to innovate how food is prepared and served. As an entrepreneur, not only is he spreading a message of sustainability and local significance, but also a deep-rooted passion for farmers, ranchers, regional products, produce and food education.

Mark Estee’s entrepreneurial spirit is evident in everything he touches. From the way he interacts with patrons and staff to the incredible involvement he has among the community, Estee approaches each day with vibrant integrity. He won’t ask his staff to do something he wouldn’t; he is not afraid to shake things up if it can be done better.

The kitchen is a classroom where he goes to learn, teach and perfect his craft. His style is influenced by what he has seen and done; his drive to continually improve and expand is rooted by what he sees in others. Estee’s passion for food and people keeps pace with his love of Reno and Lake Tahoe. He continues to change and shape the evolving food culture and talks about his passion for the biggest little city on a national platform, every opportunity he is given. He is without a doubt, one of the region’s most prominent advocates.


David Funk:  Officer

Board term: 2015–2017

I am a Nevada native, born and raised in Reno. Several of the buildings around the Co-op were the homes of my relatives. A couple of the law offices on Arlington and Court Street were where my aunts lived as well as the building that now houses the Reno Fly Shop. My wife and I live in the Old Southwest in the house that my Grandma and Grandpa designed and lived in. Spending my entire life here, I have seen many changes in “The Biggest Little City”. I feel there are so many wonderful qualities of our town. We have quick access to the mountains, lakes and wilderness areas and there are many great events centered around the arts. I am very excited about our food scene, with an incredible energy being focused on sustainability and sourcing local. Many restaurant owners are supporting, promoting and even carrying each others products.

Thirty years ago I decided to become vegetarian and later took on a solely plant based diet. With this came a passion about growing much of our own food as well as helping others do the same. Each year I take part in the Co-op Seedling Sale, growing for the community, over 1000 plants to place in their own gardens. I am currently in the process of developing a business to grow sustainable, local food year around.

This brings us to the Co-op. They are all about local and sustainable. They are about community. They are like family. It is their passion and that is why I love the Co-op.

I am so excited to be a part of that and I hope to be able to help make this amazing, community-owned grocery store even better.

Jacob O’Farrell:  Officer

Board term: 2016–2018

“I grew up in the farming community and work in agriculture full time now. I’d love a chance to be on the Board for the GBCFC as a voice for farmers, helping to pave the road for the Co-op’s bright future.”  More biography info coming soon!

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