Meet the Board of Directors
SLO Natural Foods Co-op is owned by our membership and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
Looking to get involved? We're in the process of recruiting new Board Members, especially those qualified for and willing to serve in officer positions. For complete information and an application, see our Board Candidate Application Packet.
In the meantime, we encourage you to get to know our current Board of Directors!
Eric Michielssen, President
The Organic foods movement led to my involvement with the Co-op first as a farmer supplying eggs and produce and later as an investor through SLOW MONEY SLO to help move the store to it’s current location.
I grew up in a food and farm family in the Pajaro Valley in Santa Cruz County, picking and packing ollalieberries, plums, and apples. After high school, I moved to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly on a football scholarship. Later, I taught and coached high school tennis. In the late 70’s, when real estate was booming, I jumped in head-first and eventually owned franchises of both Coldwell Banker and Better Homes & Gardens. I also developed small subdivisions and townhome projects in Atascadero.
The Cooperative business model provides an alternative to the basic profit-motivated economic system. As members of the COOP, we own the store and keep any profits local, re-distributing throughout the community rather than in some hedge-fund in Manhattan. As a Director of our SLO Natural Foods Coop, I want to continue to contribute to our success and have a voice in plans for our future.
Robert Hyde, Treasurer
Barrie Ellis-Valencia, Secretary
I attended Cal Poly SLO, received my Bachelors in Environmental Engineering, and have lived in SLO County for the past 10 years. I love to bake desserts and learn about herbs and fermentations. I found that having a grocery store like SLO Natural Foods where nearly everything is organic, local, and/or sustainably sourced makes it easier to eat healthy. For me, the Co-op is also much more, it's about building community and empowering the people in our community. "What could we accomplish if each one of us could bring our best skills forward to create positive transformation together?" That is something worth working on and I am happy to volunteer on this board.
Kellye Grayson, Member-at-Large
While I have lived all over the country, there is no place that tops the Central Coast! I grew up in Denver, went to college in Boston, received a law degree at UCLA, and raised my kids in East Hampton, NY where I had a successful career in real estate. When I discovered the Central Coast I knew I had found my home and have set about rebuilding my real estate business here at The Avenue Central Coast Realty.
Part of what makes this area such a fantastic place to live is the wide variety of local, healthy food options. Eating wholesome nourishing foods is a big priority for me and I am so delighted to pursue this priority, not just for me but for the entire community, by serving on the SLO Natural Foods Co-op Board of Directors.
Dan Niles, Member-at-Large