Patrick Johnson has been involved in sustainable agriculture and sustainable living movements for over thirty years. He became seriously involved in agriculture as a Peace Corps Volunteer. As a Peace Corps volunteer he was assigned to work for the Philippine Department of Agriculture in the small rural village of Calatrava Romblon. He helped organized local farmer groups into cooperatives to better allocate and share scare resources. Mr. Johnson was able to introduce appropriate agricultural technologies including: multistoried cropping system for coconut based farming; integration of livestock into farming system using rotational grazing, encouraging small-scale cattle raising with introduction of forage crops, and efficient uses of crop residues and animal waste as fertilizer in small garden production.
After Peace Corps service he attended Cornell University obtaining a Masters Degree in Agriculture, with a focus on adult education and rural development. After graduate, he enrolled in the University of California at Santa Cruz Agroecology Program and received specialized training in Ecological Horticulture.
Patrick has helped start two non-profits. One of the non-profits, Enviro 1st ,was founded to bridge the gap between the Sustainability and Environmental Justice Movement. The organization accomplished its goal through education, advocacy and outreach. One of the organization’s crowning achievements was to form a partnership with a Christian School for disadvantaged children. As the lead on the project Patrick developed a curriculum based on gardening to teach children about the environment. Patrick found that the children did not want to get involve at first, but once they began seeing the fruits of their labor things began to gain momentum. The kids not only found that the garden project enhanced their science education, but also helped them to enhance other skills like the value of work and cooperation.
Patrick is a certified permaculturist and small fruit and vegetable farmer. He had worked with the Virginia State University small farm outreach program as an agent for the last 3 years, but has recently left the program to focus full-time on farming, teaching permaculture, sustainable agriculture, and agri-business consulting.
MICHELE LORD (Re-election) See Michele’s bio below.
Current Board of Directors
David King, Chair
David has worked in non-profit management and fundraising for 25 years. Recently, he set up his own firm (David P. King Fundraising Counsel, LLC) and is consulting to a national foundation working to conserve the world’s oceans, a botanical garden, a school foundation, and a state historic property. He has been an active member of food cooperatives in Fayetteville, Arkansas and in Washington, DC. David has been a key player since the Co-op’s inception, serving first on the Steering Committee before becoming one of the first five board members upon incorporation. David is in his second board term and has previously served in the roles of Treasurer and Secretary.
Michele Lord, Vice Chair
Michele brings over 15 years of management and training expertise with a commitment to community and education organizations. As a former Americorps member Michele’s career has been rooted in an effort to create innovative and lasting solutions through community ownership and responsibility. Michele brings a knowledge and passion for healthy and sustainable food, and an appreciation for the cooperative model developed during her 5 years as a member/owner of the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn, NY. Michele returned to Richmond in the fall of 2012 with a vision of establishing the Richmond Food Co-op. She led the original Steering Committee and served as the Board Chair in the first year of its development before stepping into the role of Project Manager. She now returns to a role on the board.
Michael is a Ph.D. student in the Constructed Environment program at the University of Virginia School of Architecture and a software developer at Sea Island Software. He served for five years on the board of directors of Durham Co-op Market in Durham, NC during their start-up phase. He and Kathryn Lester-Bacon live in Church Hill and enjoy brisk walks in Richmond’s parks and live music. He is a member of Second Presbyterian Church.
Jamille, a Richmond native, is a founding member of the Richmond Food Co-op and is passionate about bringing local, natural and organic foods to our community. Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from Spelman College and a Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law. She also serves as the Chair of the Literacy through Art Outreach Program for The Junior League of Richmond, a women’s volunteer organization focused on helping children and mothers in Richmond’s East End and Southside. Jamille is an attorney in the Richmond area and hopes her expertise can help the Co-op flourish.
Stacey has worked in the finance industry for over 15 years, and recently earned her MBA from VCU. She moved to Richmond “temporarily” after graduating from college, but the evolution and charm of the city enticed her to stay. Stacey now raises her two daughters, Maya and Ellie, in the city limits. She is passionate about the betterment of the Richmond community, including its public schools where her daughters have attended for the last ten years.
A vegetarian for nearly twenty years, Stacey believes strongly in the benefits of a healthy diet and local sourcing. When she is not working downtown or taxiing her kids around Richmond, she enjoys traveling, live music, photography, skiing, and running. Stacey has been a member of the Co-op since its first year, and began working as a volunteer soon after. She is honored to be a part of the Co-op’s Board at such a pivotal time as we move together toward opening the store.