Richard Drace, President
Occupation: Retired business owner, building designer, project manager, and nonprofit director
Education: Honors B.A. in Interdisciplinary Humanities, Stanford University, M.A. in Religion, Yale University, Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Humanities, Syracuse University
Business Experience: Owner, Owner Builder Summer Camp, a residential program that taught hands-on building skills in classroom, workshop, and jobsite settings to adult prospective owner-builders.
Founder and Executive Director, Common Ground Communities, a nonprofit self-help affordable housing development company
Owner, Viridian Development, Inc., a design/build/project management company
Board/Community Leadership Experience, former involvement: Founding President, Nevada City Schools Foundation; Governance Council, Nevada City School of the Arts; Founder and Executive Director, Common Ground Communities; Board member, Gold Country Piano Institute; Board member, Sierra Green Building Assoc.; volunteer, Music in the Mountains. Current involvement: Board member, North Star Historic Conservancy; volunteer, Nevada City School District Foundation Bike & Hike; volunteer, SYRCL; volunteer, Sierra Express Bicycle Club
Year joined BriarPatch: 2008
Kwong Chew, Vice President
Occupation: Semi-retired business owner, entrepreneur, and business consultant.
Education: University of Oregon, Gold Gate University (San Francisco), Business and Humanities
Business Experience: Founder of various full-service restaurants, manufacturing, and wholesale distribution companies in San Francisco. Owner of food service company to larger music festivals. Business consultant to food related start-ups.
Board Experience: Yuba River Charter School Ed Foundation, BriarPatch Board, Boys To Men Nevada City, Xiao Mao Culture Club (CATS), and Sierra Harvest.
Year joined BriarPatch: 1998
Katie Turner, Secretary
Occupation: Third Grade Teacher
Education: Stanford University, B.A., M.A. Anthropology
Business Experience: I am currently teaching dual-immersion third grade at Bell Hill Academy in Grass Valley. In the past, I managed a small, organic farm, ran a farmer’s market stand in Nevada City, worked as an archaeological independent contractor for Stanford University, and also worked as a waitress and in retail during college.
Board/Community Leadership Experience: Nevada City Farmers Market Association Board member and Board president until 2016.
Member of BriarPatch Board of Directors since 2016.
Mark Fenton, Treasurer
Mark Fenton’s career shows a long history of involvement with organic agriculture and the natural foods movement. His work with food co-ops goes back to 1976, when he was a manager at Sacramento Natural Food Co-op. He has been a Briarpatch owner since 1984. Now semi-retired, he still works part time for Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply, which he and his wife owned from 1989 to 1996.
Mark enjoys gardening, is active in the Nevada County Biodynamic Association, and supports many environmental and service organizations. He and his wife Kathleen live in Grass Valley, and enjoy hiking, camping and traveling.
Winner – 2018 Cooperative Board Service Award
This national award is given to an individual on the board of a food co-op who has gone above and beyond the scope of work expected of a board member, exhibiting the highest standards of excellence, dedication, and accomplishment.
Education: PhD, Education, Stanford University; BA, History, UC Berkeley
Business Experience: BriarPatch Board for 7 years, ran own consultancy business for 25 years
Board / Community Leadership Experience: Nevada County Board of Education for 7 years, President of Board of 2 nonprofits, consultant to help high school principal’s leadership skills
Year joined BriarPatch – Approximately 1988
Education: Humboldt State University, Sierra College; fields of study: Environmental Sciences, BA in Spanish Education
Business Experience: 5 years Accounts Payable Manager, 5 Years Customer Service Manager.
After moving to Nevada County I was employed with two of the largest solar manufacturers managing their Accounts Payable Department. Before leaving Humboldt County I was a Customer Service Manager for a well-known restaurant. I was employed by BriarPatch during the transition from the Joerschke store to its current location ending as a lead cashier. I really enjoyed the customers, employees and the potential of BriarPatch. My employment term was short as my husband and I decided to dedicate my next 5 years to raising our daughter.
Board/Community Leadership Experience: I’ve been involved in several neighborhood associations for many years; formerly the You Bet/Red Dog Association and its Outpost Group, and currently the Greater Cement Hill Neighborhood Association where I manage the association’s website.
Year joined BriarPatch: 2005
Occupation: As the Food Safety Specialist for Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) I wear a few different hats (educator, farmer, lawyer, therapist, and technical expert) while I provide technical support and training to farmers across the state. I also work on policy advocacy for family farmers in promoting statewide & national policies that support local/regional food systems centered around local farmers.
Education: Masters of Public Health, UC Berkley; B.A., International Studies, Sustainability, and Public Health, University of Iowa
Business Experience: Some experience in helping run a small farm business.
Board/Community Leadership Experience: I’m new to the board and excited to learn, listen, and contribute!
Occupation: Strategy, Marketing, and Design Consultant
Education: Studied Business Operations Management and Philosophy at University of Colorado; Certified Massage Therapist, Yoga Instructor, EDGU teacher
Business Experience: Jonathan has combined his years of experience and knowledge into a consulting company, and as a political and community advocate engaging with individuals, small businesses, organizations and local communities to cultivate a harmonic and prosperous balance between self, social, ecological and spiritual interactions.
Board/Community Leadership Experience: Member of the Executive Board of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance, Board Member for the California Growers Associations, Board Member for the Nevada County Arts Council, Advisory Circle of the Yuba Village Building Convergence, Steering Committee for the Nevada County Food Policy
Occupation: Engagement Director, Sierra Harvest – Nevada City, CA,
- Oversees implementation of Sierra Harvest’s fundraising model including developing individual, business, foundation, and public support for Sierra Harvest
Works with a comprehensive team of staff, board members and volunteers to coordinate individual donor recruitment, retention and relations for major donors
Takes the lead on grant writing and submissions
Produces the Sustainable Food and Farm Conference, working with a team of staff and volunteers to execute all logistics, fundraising, and promotion
Graduate Certificate in Maternal and Child Health, Rocky Mountain Public Health Education Consortium, University of Arizona, 2002- 2003 with an emphasis on program planning, evaluation and leadership skills.
Master of Arts in Applied Health Psychology, Northern Arizona University, 1997 – 1999 Focused training in the theory and practice of health promotion, health education, behavior
Change and Motivation. Thesis work included eight weeks of independent field research in a rural indigenous community in Chiapas, Mexico.
Ecology of Leadership, a 96-hour program focused on building leadership skills through cultivating deeper self-awareness, connection to natural world, and applying practical organizational skills for making change. Offered by Regenerative Design Institute, Bolinas, CA.
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, California State University, Long Beach, 1989 – 1994 – Included a semester of study in London, England and selected by psychology faculty as Outstanding Senior in Psychology, 1994
BriarPatch Co-op owners elect our Board of Directors. Owners are eligible to run for the Board (a three-year term) one year after joining the Co-op.
Run for the Board
Board Elections are held each May 1 through May 15. For more information, contact the Administrative Assistant at 272-5333 ext. 102.
Last Tuesday of each month, 6:00 p.m., in the BriarPatch Community Room.
The upcoming meeting agenda is posted on the store bulletin board at least one week prior to the meeting.
Contact the Board
To send a message to all the Directors, address an email to email@example.com.
Individual Directors’ email addresses are: their first name and last name initial, followed by “@board.briarpatch.coop.” (example: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Paper letters left at the Customer Service Window are picked up periodically.
Board Meeting Minutes
To find out more about the Board’s standing committees, please add the following Committee names to the subject line when you email us at email@example.com.
- Owner Engagement Committee
- Board Development Committee
- Finance Committee
- Executive Committee
- Governance Committee
$200 per month for non-officer Board members
$250 per month for all officers except President
$350 per month for President