A Big Welcome to our new General Manager!
The Board of Directors of the Leverett Village Co-op is delighted to report that the position of General Manager has been offered to and accepted by Mr. John Calhoun, who anticipates joining us early in January 2021. John was selected from an excellent body of applicants following interviews by our Applicant Review and Executive Committees, and his appointment is enthusiastically endorsed by the Board of Directors.
John has a great deal of experience in Co-op administration and management. He is a founding member of the New Orleans Food Buying Club which was established in 2003 and incorporated in the State of Louisiana as the New Orleans Food Co-operative http://www.nolafood.coop/. Hurricane Katrina was a substantial set-back for the founding Co-op, but with community help and a lot of hard work the founding members re-grouped and the store opened to the public in 2011. With John’s help the Co-op grew to a $2.5 million business that employed 20 people and supported local agriculture by sourcing products from farmers who practice sustainable agriculture and good land stewardship. Despite its large revenue, and in part as a result of competition from a neighboring grocery store the NOFC fell into a debt spiral leading John, in 2018, to step in as volunteer and subsequently General Manager to lead it back to sustainability. He succeeded in this, and after serving as General Manager for 18 months recruited and trained its current General Manager.
John brings to the Leverett Co-op a number of skills in addition to Co-op management. He is a performer/comedian, has written a rock opera, brought artists and musicians into the NOFC as part of turn-around activities, and started a live theatre talk show for activists called Spotlight New Orleans https://www.facebook.com/SpotlightNewOrleans/ to bring the world of community organizing and performance together through interviews with community leaders. He is also a professional benefit auctioneer and recently helped start a cooperative development organization in New Orleans called Cooperation New Orleans https://www.facebook.com/CooperationNewOrleans/, which is building the infrastructure to support worker owned co-ops and other aspects of the solidarity economy. John is excited to become part of the cooperative movement in Massachusetts and to start this new chapter of his life in Leverett. He looks forward to being closer to nature and is inspired by the Leverett Village Co-op’s commitment to cooperative values. In spring 2021 he will be joined by his wife and two young children who are also looking forward to joining our community. Please join us in welcoming John and his family.