Congrats to KCFC's Newly Elected Board Members!

Introducing the five freshly minted board members YOU voted for! This group has some serious chops and only adds to the wealth of talent already on the KCFC Board of Directors. We're just a little closer to opening YOUR STORE. Get to know each of them a little better. . .

ANTONY DIBRUNO 

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Why is KCFC important to you?

I value the ability for everyone to have access to fresh foods and believe that KCFC nourishes and enriches the community. Although I understand the co-op needs to be sustainable, the mission isn’t about money – this is profit with a purpose, an investment in our neighborhood. As father to two young children (a 5-year old son, and a 2-year old daughter) I am personally committed to strengthening our community and encouraging economic development in Kensington – especially THIS local venture – which is near and dear to my heart.

How will your experience, skills, or unique perspectives strengthen the Co-op Board?

I am the son of a butcher, fishmonger, and grocer; I am also the grandson of one of the founders of DiBruno Bros. a Philadelphia food institution. I grew up working in underserved communities that often lacked access to nutritious foods. Food is my passion, but I took a break from the family business to pursue a career in the banking and mortgage industry. I offer the KCFC Board a unique combination of talents, experiences and connections and my understanding of the intersection of food, commerce and community.

What is your vision for the future of KCFC?

My vision is for KCFC to become not only a successful democratically run provider of local healthy foods to its surrounding community, but to become a gathering spot and support system for both small local farms and its community members.

What volunteer experiences have you had with other cooperatives or organizations?

Presently I volunteer at Rodeph Shalom, cooking “Mitzvah Meals” for the synagogue to deliver to people in times of need, and at their new Farmers Market in conjunction with the Food Trust. Previously I have been a volunteer for Junior Achievement, the Red Cross and many civic and religious organizations.

Is there any other personal information you would like to share, i.e. family, hobbies, work experience, special talents, etc.?

As far as hobbies go, I’m a “fixer” – I love to work on cars, motorcycles and bikes and in general I’m very handy – always building something or finishing projects around the house and I have some construction/contracting experience. I am currently finishing my degree in Business at Fox/Temple with a special emphasis on social entrepreneurial projects. Presently I privately consult with restaurant and bar owners to design and build locations from the ground up or to assess current operations and provide strategies to gain greater success.

 

ROSE MARINE

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Why is KCFC important to you?

I feel that access to quality food should be available to everyone at an affordable price, and currently the Kensington-area neighborhood struggles to provide this to its residents. KCFC will fill that void and, being owned and operated by the community members, I feel safe knowing it will always prioritize the community's wants and needs over any other motivations.

How will your experience, skills, or unique perspectives strengthen the Co-op Board?

I have 25 years of experience in professional accounting, and 20 years specifically in the non-profit sector. In the past I was the controller for the Camden County YMCA (Camden and Voorhees, NJ branches) and the Seaport Museum of Philadelphia. Currently I am working with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity & Eastern State Penitentiary along with other local non-profits through Your Part-Time Controller, LLC, which provides contracted, non-profit accounting specialists to businesses.

What is your vision for the future of KCFC?

I'm interested in joining the board to advise the co-op as it makes the final stages of its journey to being an operational grocery store. Once open, the co-op will become a community hub for fellowship and help community residents live a healthy life by providing access to and education about the things they eat. 

What volunteer experiences have you had with other cooperatives or organizations?

I have not had any volunteer experiences with a coop. I have volunteered on my townships parks and recreation committee, my church's thrift shop, and at Philabundance at their hunger relief center. I enjoy volunteering for organizations that value their volunteers, and are making a difference in neighborhoods I grew up around.

Is there any other personal information you would like to share, i.e. family, hobbies, work experience, special talents, etc.?

I was born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia and attended La Salle University. I am a mother to two grown children, a grandmother to one, and currently live with one tiny dog, one giant parrot and one squeaky guinea pig. I am the youngest of seven children. I love to travel. I am very good at organizing things.

 

REBECCA TORPIE

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Why is KCFC important to you?

Showing Philadelphia that the cooperative business model works is hugely important to the future of a fair economy. When KCFC demonstrates wild success after its doors open, many, many doors will open for other cooperatives all over the city. People will see that it works, how it works and will get on board. It’s vital that those of us who believe in progressive values get behind it and work to make it successful together.

How will your experience, skills, or unique perspectives strengthen the Co-op Board?

As Marketing Director at Weavers Way Co-op, cooperative and values marketing and operations experience from my former life as an entrepreneur in food service aligned nicely. Now I continue to consult for co-ops on various marketing and management projects – from B Corps applications to writing business plans. I also have a very keen interest in cooperative leadership and governance and feel that paying attention to these elements is critically important to the future of start-ups. A group can design a solid community and workplace culture by grounding their vision around solid leadership and development. I also have an MBA with a concentration in food marketing, so I am very familiar with the grocery industry from both academic and practical viewpoints.

What is your vision for the future of KCFC ?

Home. Work. The Co-op. I see KCFC as that “third place” for members of the Kensington community (and beyond!). What a wonderful opportunity KCFC has with such a strong, enthusiastic membership, a fantastic building, not to mention that liquor license. KCFC will not only be a place to buy groceries (and wine!) but a social hub that can assist in the reinvigoration of the Kensington area. I would love to see Kensington develop those neighborly roots like Weavers Way has over 40 years.

What volunteer experiences have you had with other cooperatives or organizations?

My volunteering has run the gamut from making pastries for various organizations’ events to providing apprenticeship opportunities for underserved high school kids, and being a Big Sister. I also served on the Reading Terminal Market Merchants’ Board for three years.

Is there any other personal information you would like to share, i.e. family, hobbies, work experience, special talents, etc.?

In February, I was lucky enough to cross “Go to Cuba!” off my bucket list, on a tour worker co-ops, no less. I’ve also done cooperative management coursework at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, one of the only schools to offer that type of graduate education. When I’m not “co-oping”, my husband Chris and I are cavorting with our two pugs, Ernie and Hoagie, or I’m canning my CSA bounty or making a cake. And I’m always on the hunt for the perfect vegetarian buffalo wing.

 

 

CAITI ROTHENBERG

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Why is KCFC important to you?

I was first drawn to KCFC because I feel strongly that everyone should have access to affordable, healthy food in their community, and I saw KCFC as this beautiful, organic effort led by neighbors working to achieve that. Since I’ve become more active with KCFC (especially Membership Committee), I’ve met so many incredible people who now feel like family. This, I think, is why the co-op is such an important thing for the Kensington area: it’s not just a grocery store, but a neighborhood institution that will bring people together and foster a greater sense of shared community.

Plus, I think the co-op model is simply amazing in its ability to democratize the way we access groceries, while keeping the profits local and supporting the community.


How will your experience, skills, or unique perspectives strengthen the Co-op Board?

Those who have worked with me would describe me as a strategic thinker who balances idealism with thoughtful pragmatism. My professional background is in nonprofit fundraising, and I bring this experience to the co-op at a time when funding is among our most critical needs. For the past year I have been active on KCFC’s Membership Committee, and, as membership recruitment is another top priority for the co-op at this time, I bring a strong, on-the-ground understanding of what works to attract new members and help us reach our goals. I also bring a passion for food justice, and will work to ensure that the co-op increases access to affordable, healthy, delicious food for everyone in our diverse community.


What is your vision for the future of KCFC ?

When its doors open, KCFC will be the grocery store of our collective dreams, filled with beautiful, locally-sourced produce, fresh, high-quality meats and dairy, fantastic packaged and bulk goods, and some tasty treats – not to mention great craft brews from the carry-out café!

But more than this, it will be a space where neighbors from all corners of our community can come together. Friends will gather and chit-chat, community groups will hold events, and residents will learn more about what’s happening in the neighborhood. KCFC will host open workshops for all ages on topics like nutrition, sustainability, and everything in-between. The co-op will make our community healthier in every sense of the word.


What volunteer experiences have you had with other cooperatives or organizations?

My recent volunteer experiences (before I became heavily involved with KCFC!) include: 
Groundwork Hudson Valley – I volunteered with this environmental justice nonprofit in Yonkers, NY to support their Farmers’ Market and Community Supported Agriculture programs. 
Mighty Writers – I helped lead a workshop for 8-12 year-olds on creative writing, focused on scary stories. 
Oxford Food Bank – I helped package and distribute food boxes to local organizations serving homeless and at-risk individuals.


Is there any other personal information you would like to share, i.e. family, hobbies, work experience, special talents, etc.?
I have a background is in nonprofit fundraising (as I mentioned above), and in my professional life I have sought to support organizations that help people meet their basic needs, especially for nutrition. I currently work for a national nonprofit called Benefits Data Trust, which works to transform how individuals in need access public benefits (including SNAP/food stamps) in order to help them achieve stability. Before that I worked at The Food Trust, another Philly-based national nonprofit which works to ensure that everyone has access to nutritious, affordable food and information to make healthy decisions.

Some more personal things about me: I am a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady, even though I only have one cat (whose name is Millie). I like thrift shopping and making crafts; I’ve gotten really into making candles lately. I cannot resist chocolate, and I think I may have a legitimate Nutella addiction. I live with my partner Oren, who is also deeply involved with the co-op (mainly on Membership Committee) – so you could say we’re a co-op family. 

 

Peter Frank

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Why is KCFC important to you?

I want easier access to healthy and high quality food for my family, and I want a cooperative grocery store to sell it to us. A food co-op in our neighborhood will ensure that we are served by a community-owned institution for generations to come.

How will your experience, skills, or unique perspectives strengthen the Co-op Board?

I served on the original KCFC Board from 2010 to 2013, where I played a key role in securing our location, recruiting members and key volunteers, winning a $25,000 grant from The Reinvestment Fund, and evaluating the feasibility of our future store. Since leaving the Board in 2013, I rapidly expanded my food co-op experience by working at Mariposa Food Co-op, seeing firsthand what it takes to operate a successful food co-op in Philadelphia. I'm also the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance, where I support the other five start-up food co-ops in our region as well as many other types of co-ops in our region (worker co-ops, credit unions, housing co-ops, and education co-ops). The KCFC Board needs members who will work above and beyond just showing up to monthly meetings. I'm ready to re-join the KCFC Board and continue recruiting members, working on grants, representing the co-op to lenders, and setting up our grocery store to be a successful business. 

What is your vision for the future of KCFC ?

I see a vibrant grocery store providing great food, meaningful employment, and serving as an important place for neighbors to congregate. To make this a reality, it's absolutely essential for KCFC to be a financially successful business, and a thriving cooperative where members experience the benefits of ownership in tangible ways.

What volunteer experiences have you had with other cooperatives or organizations?

I've served on the Board of The Energy Co-op since 2012. I co-founded the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance in 2011, where I now work as Executive Director.


Is there any other personal information you would like to share, i.e. family, hobbies, work experience, special talents, etc.?

I'm convinced that cooperatives make the world a better place, and have dedicated my career to growing the number of cooperatives in the Philadelphia region. I like everything about co-ops, even all the meetings.

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