I have been a publisher, editor and writer for over 35 years. I co-founded the Philadelphia City Paper, worked for Rodale Press and the Rodale Institute for 20 years, started my own web design business, Chris Hill Media, eight years ago, and have been a long-time advocate for sustainable, organic and urban farming. I organize the Co-op’s annual urban farm bike ride, serve on the steering committee of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance, and have been a member of the board of Mill Creek Farm for eight years. My family: my son Adam manages the prison farm program and four greenhouses for Pennsylvania Horticultural Society; my wife Ellen is director of Drexel’s Dance Movement Therapy graduate program; and my daughter Maren recently completed a Master’s in Urban/Regional Planning at Cornell and is working as a city planner in Vermont.
Joshua BloomVice President2017-2020
I have worked in the field of downtown and neighborhood revitalization since 1993, first as the Main Street manager in my home town of South Orange, NJ, and then as a program officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Center. While at the National Trust, I expanded the Main Street Program’s urban reach to cities that included Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and others. In 2005, I joined the Community Land Use and Economics Group (CLUE Group), a consulting practice based in Arlington, VA. I live in Mt. Airy and work with a variety of communities nationally, from urban neighborhood commercial districts to small-town downtowns. My primary interest is the intersection of economic development and historic preservation, and in using both sets of tools to create vibrant communities. My approach to community-initiated economic development is “market-based,” meaning – for Weavers Way – I like to think pragmatically and strategically about how Weavers Way serves its member and non-member shoppers. Weavers Way’s cooperative model makes it an incredibly special community asset, but Weavers Way also competes in the broader grocery sector, which has seen systemic shifts in recent years. How Weavers Way responds to changes in the industry and in our own neighborhoods will be critical to its sustainability. Among my personal interests, I like building things. In 2007, I completed a two-year course in preservation carpentry at the North Bennet Street School in Boston and I have recently been plying my amateur skills on a never ending list of home improvement projects. I think good community work requires both a sense of purpose and a sense of humor. I will try to bring both to the Weavers Way board.
Being part of a grassroots effort to create a food co-op has made a profound difference in my life: I’m working with a group of people whose shared commitment to cooperative values and principles is demonstrating the effect that the commitment can make in and for a community.
My husband and I are longtime residents of Ambler. We have three grown children and own a small manufacturing company.
I have served in leadership positions on the Board of Directors of the Wissahickon School District and represented Ambler on the Board of Trustees of the Wissahickon Valley Public Library. I was on the Steering Committee of the Ambler Food Co-op when it started and presently serve on its Board of Directors.
Co-ops turn the simple activity of shopping into an opportunity to demonstrate values, contribute to the community and develop relationships. I appreciate that the strong customer service of Weavers Way sets it apart from supermarkets. I would like to see us develop more partnerships to teach children and adults healthy eating choices to further their physical and financial health.
I live in Chestnut Hill, have been married for 45 years, have two grown married children and three grandchildren, and have been retired for 10 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 35 years in the non-profit world, providing services for adults with mental illness. I managed 25 residential programs, completed strategic planning, implemented change and survived due to flexibility and organization. I was accountable to stakeholders, including consumers, families, management, Board, City and State. I have extensive experience with union and non-union negotiations, human resources, grievances, staff development and fiscal accountability. I have been on the Weavers Way Board since 2013. I chaired the Bylaw revision project, served on the Member Loan Campaign, and have been Board Secretary since 2016. I will complete my Board service in 2020.
At Large Directors
I have served as an attorney and now administrative judge for the federal government for the last 15 years. Ten years ago, my wife, our gaggle of pets and I relocated to Philadelphia and settled in Mt. Airy. Weavers Way Co-op has been a constant feature in our daily lives. About three years ago, I also began part-time employment at Weavers Way and have forged many great relationships with its staff and members. More recently, I have served as chairperson for the Weavers Way Food Justice Committee as we tackle hunger, food access, nutrition, waste and many other social-justice issues.
Previously, I served for four years on a nonprofit board dedicated to bringing underserved Philadelphia-area youth to the Poconos for summer camp, leadership training and environmental education. I have coordinated a volunteer trip to a Dakota reservation, helped with tornado reconstruction in Alabama.
The Ambler expansion offers an excellent opportunity to grow the Co-op; however, the challenge will be to maintain our Co-op principles and social-justice values. I firmly believe that the members and staff drive our Co-op’s success — both financially and as a pillar of social justice and change. The path forward will require growth not only in size and revenue, but also in enriching our members, staff and community.
I am honored to receive the support of Weavers Way members and staff in my election to the Weavers Way Board. Please find me in the Co-op on the weekends to share your thoughts on how we can make Weavers Way even stronger and more impactful.
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.
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and moved to Philadelphia 11 years ago to be close to my husband’s family. We settled in Ambler to be near his two sisters. I appreciated the small-town atmosphere, where I could ride my bike to the grocery store and shop. When we bought a house, we moved to Oreland, within an easy walk to the train, and a slightly longer one to a store. Having been a member of PCC Natural Markets (a co-op) in Seattle, I was excited to hear there was a movement to start a Co-op in Ambler, and I started volunteering for it in 2014.
My work life has been predominantly city planning, starting with a stint in the Peace Corps in the Solomon Islands. After that, I worked on the Oregon coast, near Tillamook, which is famous for its dairy cooperative. I got masters’ degrees from Penn for City Planning and Energy Management and Policy, hoping to make our cities and communities more energy efficient. I married and moved to Seattle with my husband. (In addition to PCC, you may have heard of REI, another co-op that started in Seattle. We also enjoyed our local pre-school cooperative.) In the Seattle area, I worked for two small towns and a small planning firm over the course of 15 years. We also enlarged our family with two children, who are now 20 and 17. Locally I have worked for Warrington Township, Greenspace Alliance, and River of Life dojo. My current job is with Econsult Solutions doing administrative work. My interests outside of work and the Co-op include spending time with family, gardening and reading. I volunteer with the First Presbyterian Church of Ambler. I also am a very creative person, enjoying dabbling in arts, crafts and music.
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.
I grew up in New York City, where my parents shopped at a food co-op, twin-pines logo and everything — even patronage refunds. It went out of business when a chain opened nearby and a Fine Fare market is in its old space. Sigh.
I hold a BA in Mass Communications from the University of Vermont, where I was also commissioned as an Army officer. My early career history after leaving active duty was in social services with a nonprofit. I worked with children and adolescents in residential facilities and thought that the world could become pretty unfair with what these kids had to deal with. Drained emotions were the least of it.
My lifelong interest in cooperatives led me to seek out ways to build and share this enterprise model. I've worked for REI, Prudential Insurance (when is was still a mutual), WHYY, Angel Flight East until laid off. Now I pay my bills as an underemployed actor in TV and movies. (You may have seen the back of my head in something.) I joined Weavers Way in 1990 shortly after moving to Philadelphia to take a job. That job didn't last, but my connection to the Co-op has. I want to thank past directors Silvia Carter and Bob Noble for their convincing arguments to consider service to this Board. It worked and has opened my eyes to how the cooperative economic model has the potential to build economic democracy back into our society.
I come back to the Board to continue to figure out ways to link and engage our membership to the greater mission of Weavers Way. I would like our region to be host to a vibrant community of cooperative enterprises, and I count on our members to express their ideas, hopes and expectations so we can guide and lead the Co-op through the business-cycle jungle with grace and prosperity.
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!