I’m a fairly recent transplant to the Philadelphia area. I lived in the Midwest, most recently Minneapolis, and moved here in 2015 to be closer to my son and his family. It’s been a great move!
In Minnesota, I was a member of a food co-op and loved being a part of that community. I live in Ambler, and so I joined the Ambler Food Co-op. Then, as the Ambler Food Co-op became part of Weavers Way, I found out that I could run for the Board. What a great way to get involved in my new community!
I have a business education and background. I’ve held Information Technology management positions, including that of Chief Information Officer, in both the private sector and the public sector, and I’ve worked as a management consultant. I was honored to be named as one of the Computerworld 2008 Premier 100 IT Leaders. I’ve managed staff and budgets and projects and helped meet profitability goals.
But what really excites me is working with nonprofit organizations. I was on the Board of the Women of Influence Giving Circle, part of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. I served as Treasurer for Prairie Oaks Institute at Robert Creek, a food sustainability and education organization. Other Board positions include ARENA Dances, Young Audiences of Minnesota (Secretary), Tapestry Folkdance Center (President), and the Pine Lake Fund. Additionally, I spent three years as a Commissioner on the Housing and Redevelopment Authority for the City of Plymouth, Minnesota. Most people don’t realize it, but nonprofits are the lifeblood of our society. These organizations take on the tasks and causes that would never see the light of day if someone didn’t have the vision and the mission to make their part of the world a better place. Weavers Way is a great example of that commitment. I’m so proud to be a member of Weavers Way and the Board of Directors.
Esther Wyss-FlammVice President2018-2021
Within a week of moving to Philadelphia a dozen years ago, Esther and her family signed on as members of Weavers Way Co-op. She has been passionate about co-ops and local empowerment throughout her life, starting as a teenager completing working hours for a now-defunct coop in Bethesda, Maryland, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer facilitating funding for women’s cooperative projects in Sahelian West Africa.
Esther has a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and more than 20 years of training experience with organizations. She leads seminars, teaches courses and provides coaching emphasizing mindfulness skills in context. In addition, Esther teaches yoga and mindfulness regularly in office, studio and university locations in the Philadelphia area. Esther is member and former Co-Chair of the Weavers Way Health and Wellness Committee and one of the founding board members of The School Mindfulness Project. She is on the steering committee of the Mindfulness at the Bar initiative organized by the Philadelphia Bar Association. She is also a core member of the collective of practitioners teaching at the Healing Arts Studio in Chestnut Hill.
Before landing in Philadelphia, Esther was part-time professor of Organizational Behavior. At that time, she also chaired the Village Residents Association advocating for fair rent, community gardens and childcare for 800 families living on the University of California Berkeley campus. Esther lived and worked overseas for 10 years, particularly in Africa. Fun Facts: Esther has two teenaged kids who regularly roll their eyes at her lame attempts at humor; she grew up speaking a Swiss German dialect, and rode camels for transportation one summer while working in the West African desert!
Our family have been working members of the Co-op for more than 40 years. I know how the Co-op engenders community in the neighborhoods in which it serves. Having packed dried fruits, restocked shelves and refrigerators, picked farm vegetables, and cleaned up after closing, side by side with other members, I know what it means to cooperate.
I live in Chestnut Hill, have been married for 47 years, have two adult married children and three grandchildren, and have been retired for 12 years. I travel extensively and visit food markets around the world. I love to cook and know that sharing food and drink provides a perfect opportunity to foster communication and healthy relationships. I worked for 37 years in the water world — 34 years with the Philadelphia Water Department, first as a biologist, then as a financial and budget analyst, and later as a manager in operations. When I retired, I was director of all field operations for the department. I have been Vice President, Treasurer, Chair of Finance and Building Committees of Lutheran Settlement House Board over a period of 10 years; Assistant Treasurer, Board of Reading Terminal Market Corporation for 3 years; and Board of the Reading Terminal Market Preservation Fund for 5 years. I served as President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary for the Eastern Meter Management Association more than 13 years. I will use my financial analysis skills and my commitment to our city to further the success of Weavers Way as a central community institution.
Sarah MitteldorfSecretary2019-2022Photo by Denise Allen
Sarah is a penguin admirer, theatre maker, and puppy scruffler. She has been shopping, reaching around people, and running into friends of family at the Mt. Airy Weavers Way for as long as she can remember. She is proud to be the sister and partner of two Produce/Floor/Mercantile Weavers Way staff members. You can usually recognize Sarah by her penguin hats.
Sarah's lens for community-based work grew out of and is defined by her decade of work in theatre. There, she focused on representation, inclusivity, equity, and using theatre to center and celebrate stories that often go untold. Co-ops also give us a way to define ourselves as a community while working to be a better one (as she personally experienced as a Weavers Way kid). She is and grateful to be elected to the Board and excited to be part of personal and community self-searching and growth.
At Large Directors
I have participated in building the regional food systems movement as an organizer, educator, and advocate for decades, and for many of those years, Weavers Way captivated my interest from afar. As soon as my husband Rich and I, former New Yorkers, moved to Chestnut Hill this past December, we happily joined, experiencing first-hand the Co-op’s ability to fulfill its promise for folks looking for connection and community around shared values of social responsibility and nourishing food. Our family includes a West Philly daughter and son-in-law and their two children, as well as a West Coast son and his partner.
Until recently, I was working with the American Sustainable Business Council, focusing on New York’s efforts to transition to an economy based on renewables, safer chemicals, and sustainable business practices. That focus emerged after I helped launch Chefs for the Marcellus, a coalition of food and farming professionals concerned about the potentially disastrous impacts of fracking on our regional food system in New York. Leading a high-profile niche campaign in a successful larger movement provided a lesson in the value of taking action on critical issues on whatever scale we can.
My background includes being the producer of coalition-building educational programs and public awareness campaigns focusing on food, farming, and sustainability. I have been involved with artisan food production, marketing, restaurant procurement, farmers’ market development and operations, and community supported agriculture. I was a board member of Hawthorne Valley Association, which oversees the management of a 900-acre biodynamic farm, its dairy, bakery, and fermented foods production, educational programs, and retail operations — great prep for being on the Board of Directors of Weavers Way!
Olga Corrias Hancock2018-2021
I have been a member of Weavers Way Co-op since we moved to Chestnut Hill in 2015. I live in the neighborhood with my husband, Matt, and my daughter, Emilia, and we love our community. I am originally from Sardinia, Italy, where my father was a vendor to a dairy co-op for many years, and I lived for a decade in Emilia Romagna, the heart of one of the world’s largest and most successful co-op movements.
I grew up eating super-local foods that we grew on our land and bartering for those we didn’t have with other community members. We cooked all our meals from scratch and continue to do so today. The Co-op is instrumental in giving us access to high quality, local and environmentally sustainable ingredients that help us re-create our family traditions right here in Philadelphia.
I have a degree from the School of Statistics at the University of Bologna and an MBA in Operations Management from Loyola University Chicago. I started my career in finance working for Sanpaolo Imi in Italy and moved into the field of higher education fundraising and alumni relations about 12 years ago, when I came to the United States, working for institutions such as Loyola University Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago and Princeton University. My experience spans campaign strategy execution and budget development and management, alumni/donor relations, corporate engagement and communications.
Larry Daniels has been a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones for more than five years. His 20+ years in the investment industry include time spent with American Express and PNC Investments, both as a Financial Advisor and a Manager. He specializes in retirement planning and professional money management. His practice is committed to working with individuals and businesses.
Larry earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Cheyney University. He also earned a Master's degree in Business Administration from Marquette University, located in Milwaukee, WI.
Larry is actively involved in the community. He serves on the boards of Weavers Way and East Mount Airy Neighbors. He is also a Trustee at ENON Tabernacle Baptist Church and an active member of Chestnut Hill Rotary.
Larry has been married for 32 years and has two children.
Danielle Duckett is a life-long fourth-generation Lower Gwynedd resident. She is a mother, caretaker, disability rights advocate, and career public servant.
Upon graduation from Temple University, Danielle began her career as a civil servant with the Montgomery County Department of Behavior Health and Intellectual Disabilities. Following the completion of the public administration graduate program with a certification in city management at Villanova University, Danielle continued her public service with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a regional licensing administrator for individuals with disabilities. Currently, she serves as policy director for the office of State Rep. Chris Rabb and is Vice Chairwoman of the Lower Gwynedd Township Board of Supervisors.
Whitney is a seasoned nonprofit professional with a passion for perfect tomatoes and love for every single dog. Her relationship with Weavers Way started after she moved to Philadelphia from the midwest. She shops at all three Weavers Way stores and loves the quality ingredients and community atmosphere. She has been a member for a little more than two years and is delighted to now serve on the Board.
Whitney started working to improve the food system as an undergrad at Ball State University in Indiana. She volunteered at food banks and researched food security while getting a degree in hospitality and food management. She went on to teach culinary classes during grad school while pursuing a masters in cultural anthropology focused on systems of food production and consumption. Her work in every aspect of food service — from high-end catering to supervising at a Starbucks — gave her practical knowledge about reducing food waste and improving food access, while her academic endeavors provided the policy, culture, and big-picture perspective.
She lives in Mt. Airy with Peaches and Willow (two of the best dogs ever) and her partner, James. She works at Montco SAAC, a nonprofit based in Montgomery County that empowers seniors to age well with social services, food assistance, and arts programming.
De'Janiera B. Little2019-2022
De’Janiera B. Little began her community career working as a Customer Service Representative. She was devoted to assisting others in any way possible that would result in better outcomes for the community she served. She eventually felt her life would be more fulfilling in the nonprofit sector, in which she held various positions for more than 10 years.
De’Janiera has worked in various positions in nonprofit, including the Philadelphia Housing Authority, where she was able to sharpen her real estate skill set. She also developed her passion for real estate while in this long-term position. De’Janiera is currently employed as a Property Manager as well as a PA Licensed Realtor.
De’Janiera is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She resides in Philadelphia with her son and their three dogs.
Frank is a Public Health Dentist with a background in health management. He has worked for Resources for Human Development in the Family Practice and Counseling Network as Dental Director for 16 years. He directs three health centers in Philadelphia, where he also practices dentistry.
Frank has lived in Northwest Philadelphia for 30 years and has been a member of Weavers Way for just as long. The Co-op has always been a go-to location for food and so much more for his family.
Frank earned a DDS degree from NYU and an MBA in healthcare management from Temple University. He has been active in church activities at St. Vincent’s in Germantown and Hosts for Hospitals. Additionally, he was a board member for the Lincoln Center School in Bridgeport, PA.