Karl Sabo - General Manager
I knew when making chicken paprikash and chimney cake with my Hungarian grandmother that everything to do with food would be the life for me. Food connects people and can inspire change. I started working in kitchens at 14, went to the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park after high school, and worked many kitchen stations on a 'round the world cruise liner.
When I rose through the ranks to the responsibility of purchasing, I always went for what was fresh, sustainable, and local - on the ocean liner; as Director of Purchasing at the “21” Club in NYC; and as co-innkeeper with my wife Jane Howard at the Deerfield Inn, where we worked for 30 happy years.
After working in Manhattan, I was so pleased to move back to the country. I grew up always being in the outdoors, and rural is what I love. We must support and empower growers, producers, and communities, to keep this beautiful, comestible-rich part of the country sustainable and vital.
We took a year-long hiatus in 2017 to run a small family farm in the mountains of southern Spain, but now I am delighted to be back in MA, and honored to be part of the iconic Creamery with its friendly, dedicated staff, supportive Board, and wonderful community.
Tom Utterback - Grocery Manger
I grew up in the small city of Tullahoma, TN and now live in Conway with my wife Donna Gilman and 9 year old son Avi. My wife is a psychologist in Northampton and my son is a 3rd grader at Conway Grammar School. I have experience in grocery management from River Valley Co-op, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's. When I'm not working, I love playing with my son, going to movies and lately, learning pottery. I am a big fan of wood fired pizza and the food of Southeast Asia.
I care about co-op principals such as honest and open business practices, democratically elected leadership, shared responsibility and social awareness. Particularly at the Creamery, I was drawn to the challenges we are faced with here as we strive to continue to be a vital part of the Hilltowns. I fully expect us to get over the hump next year and become self-reliant. It's my goal everyday and it's what excites me to come to work.
Your Board Welcomes Your Help and Ideas
The Co-op Board of Directors includes longtime Hilltown residents as well as relative newcomers. We are farmers, lawyers, parents, community leaders, business owners, social-change activists, artists, “foodies,” public interest advocates, and community builders.
We are volunteering our time, expertise, and creativity because we support the Old Creamery and we believe that people can accomplish more by working together than they can on their own.
The board meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the Sustainability Library up behind the store. Any changes to the date, time or location of regular board meetings will be posted in the store. Past Board minutes and agendas are also available to Member-Owners in a binder upstairs in the library or upon written request. We welcome participation of Member-Owners in our meetings. We also welcome and encourage Member-Owner participation in our sub-committee work and/or as a volunteers for projects at the Co-op.
If you have time or talents that you would like to contribute to our cooperative journey send a message to the general manager email@example.com, let any board member know, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Tobin - Windsor - President
I have worked at Westfield State University in both faculty and administrative roles since 1998. I began coming to the Hilltowns over 15 years ago with the man who would become my husband. This is a place where I have found peace and solace, becoming a full-time resident of Windsor in 2013 when my daughter went to college. Over the past 15 years, the Creamery has made a difference to me in varying ways as my relation to the community changed – from picking up supplies for a dry camping weekend; to picking up treats before returning to "real life" for the week; to grab and go coffee, breakfast, and lunch on the days I can't get my act together; to quick stops because I don't want to drive "all the way" to town. I am passionate about food and sustainability and I am thrilled to give back to the community by serving on the Board.
Peter Feitner - Cummington - Vice President
Peter has been a resident of Cummington since 1989. Previously of Ithaca, NY, he has worked in a wide array of settings ranging from athletic coach for a collegiate sports team, travel planner and tour leader, arts administrator, potter and small business owner, artist, builder, and on it goes. He has a degree in Business Administration and Management from Ithaca College and served for six years as a Trustee for the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School. He lives about one mile from The Creamery which has been an almost daily part of his life for the entirety of his residency. He is married to local artist and potter Christy Knox and they have two daughters, Karina and Lilah. He is looking forward to the excitement and challenges of serving on the Board of Directors for the Cooperative and working to ensure the continuing stable and vital presence of the Old Creamery as an iconic part of this wonderful community.
Wil Hastings - Cummington - Treasurer
I used to be a lawyer. I quit 25 years ago and moved to Worthington as a “poet-farmer”. I now live half the year in Cummington and half in Northampton. Poetry stuck to me longer than farming. But I dived into land conservation and just recently stepped down as a leader of the Hilltown Land Trust. I helped rebuild the West Cummington Congregational Church after its 2010 fire. And now I’m the newest Old Creamery director. Simply put, I see myself as one of the many Old Creamery Owner-Members who together are responsible for its continued growth as the soul & life-blood of this community. We need to continue to bring more people to share the Creamery’s large table. We need to act in ways that will assure a great 10th anniversary celebration in 2022.
Lori Holmes - Cummington - Clerk
I moved to Cummington in 2006, having fallen in love with a piece of floodplain land along the banks of the Westfield River. I have made use of the land to run Goat Nook Farm, a poultry farm that specializes in free range eggs with a focus on animal welfare. I also keep dairy goats, which are used to supplement chicken feed and make organic goat milk soaps.
My interest is organic land maintenance and permaculture. I hope to develop farm production to include edibles from these systems.
I am also the kitchen manager for a restaurant in Boston where I have worked since 1990, having started as a line cook. I am responsible for the fiscal success of the restaurant, including controlling food costs, labor, purchasing and food quality.
I am new to any type of board service, but I hope my skills will be useful to the Cummington community. I believe that local is the way of the future, as well as a precious part of our heritage.
Peg Cowen - Cummington
I have lived in Cummington for 30 years and witnessed the transformation of The Old Creamery from a simple country convenience store to a vibrant and thriving cooperative that feeds, employs and serves as a meeting place for so many of us in this region. Thanks to the vision, dedication, hard work, and generosity of so many people, The Old Creamery's future looks bright.
For the past 18 months, I have been a member of The Creamery's Outreach Committee; I served on the finance committee at the West Cummington Congregational church for many years, and on the board of directors of the Worthington Health Center for three years; My husband, John Bye, and I founded and ran Berkshire County's 3rd CSA from 1996 - 2008. I am a clinical social worker, with a private practice in Northampton and Springfield.
I'm excited to see the directions we, the Member-Owners, will decide to grow The Co-op. How will we evolve as an employer? How will the Creamery grow in its role as a key institution in the local community? How will The Co-op participate in critical debates and actions regarding larger, global issues? The Co-op Member-Owners have the opportunity to embrace these challenges and I am honored to serve on the board as we turn toward these exciting questions and possibilities.
Christine Doktor - Cummington
I grew up in Peru, Mass. After spending eight years in New York attending law school and working as a litigator and public interest attorney, I was happy to move back home to Western Mass in 2012, where I now provide pro bono legal services to the community. My family and I live on the beloved old sheep farm where my partner grew up. It’s great fun and hard work helping to manage the farm and take care of the sheep, chickens, cows, occasionally pigs and goats, and my very own guard donkey, Donna. We work in tandem with two neighboring farms — Splendorview Farm and Grace Hill Farm — to assist in the production of lamb and cheese which are sold at the Old Creamery. Taking my cues from the livestock, I gave birth to our second child right here on the farm in our 150-year old farmhouse. It’s hard to imagine life in the Hilltowns without the Creamery and I am proud to serve on the Board and the Outreach Committee.
Fletcher Schneeflock - Cummington
My family and I moved to Cummington in 2015 in part to be closer to my brother-in-law who runs Grace Hill Dairy. Without the Creamery, however, I'm not sure we would have. The importance of the Creamery to our community, as a store and a community center, cannot be overstated. It's not just a place to buy groceries, but to see your neighbors, to meet and make new friends. Previously focused on data management, I've been a full-time parent since the birth of our twins in the fall of 2014. When I can spare the time I'm also a bicycle tour guide, endurance cyclist and trail runner. I spend most of the summer in our garden eating husk cherries and coaxing hot peppers into growing in our climate.
Kyle Thayer - Cummington
Splendorview Farm is my family's 5th generation Century Farm here in Cummington. Together with my wife Cara and son Logan we raise purebred sheep, beef and hay. We sell lamb to the co-op and hay to several local farms.
I appreciate the Creamery's role in making local producers achieve sustainability and success. I look forward to bringing a livestock producers perspective to the board.
Roberta Wooldridge - Plainfield
My husband Jamie and I run a local auto repair shop and are members of the Plainfield fire department. We moved to Plainfield 10 years ago with our four children now ages 10 to 18. As service people in a small town we have a business relationship with many people. This gives me a lot of insight into the kinds of problems that some people are facing financially and hopefully some useful ideas that can help the co-op grow within this small rural community. I know many families that shop elsewhere because of their bottom line and I would like to help change that.
Like many families we are on a tight budget, but we make it a priority to do most of our weekly grocery shopping at the Creamery. In addition to the healthy local foods we can buy we firmly believe in local shopping and the interdependence of all local businesses. We believe that you cannot speak about how much something costs unless you are factoring in the big picture such as miles traveled, time spent, jobs lost or gained, and overall global and community harm or benefit done. A big purchase at a big chain that saves me money, but costs us so many other things becomes the real cost of something. Keeping our money circulating in our communities benifits everyone in the long run.