Calvin Dame: Board of Director Interview

  | Board Candidates, Board of Directors

Calvin Dame was elected to the Co-op Board of Directors last November for a 1-year term.  As you’ll read below, Calvin is a retired Unitarian Minister, and served for eight years on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s National Board of Trustees.

When did you become a member of the Co-op?

I moved to Brattleboro in 2013 and joined the Brattleboro Food Coop the first week in town. 

What do you do for a living?

I am a retired Unitarian Minister.  I served congregations in Massachusetts, Maine and New York.  My wife and I manage an apartment and run a Airbnb from our home.

How do you like to spend your spare time?

Building things.  The house I bought required extensive renovation for the rental spaces and my major retirement project has been building a boat.  My major relaxation is music; I play guitar.

I am usually working on my boat.

Are you a member of any other cooperatives?

No.  But when I graduated from college in the early seventies I was active in the Plainfield Co-op, in the days when food was delivered in bulk and everyone got together to break it down and parcel it out.

How have you spent these last 24 pandemic months?

Well, one of the fortunate things about a boat project is it is custom-made for staying busy during a pandemic.

What brought you to this area?

I graduated from high school and college and had my first job in Vermont.  As I moved toward retirement I visited friends. 

What do you like most about our Co-op?

That we own it.  I like the idea and the reality of cooperation, and the fact that a community commits their combined purchasing power to find the best food possible, to make heathy food available and to support local food producers. 

What’s your most favorite Co-op food item?

Korean Spinach Salad

With what person, alive or dead, would you like to have lunch, and why?

Former President Barack and Former First Lady Michelle Obama.  I can think of a thousand questions and they seem like genuinely nice people.

 Do you have family in the area?  How many, if any, kids do you have, and where are they?

My daughter Ayson, is a High School Principal in Portland. ME, she and her husband are raising a son and a daughter, so there’s two grandchildren there!  My son. Jan. and his wife are circus artists.  They are on tour at the moment with the Vernardos’ Circus, with their son and daughter.  When they are in town they teach at NECCA and live in our apartment, so that’s often two grandkids downstairs!  We have some of the newest Brattleboro residents, one of the Afghan families, subletting our apartment.  A delightful family and a cultural adventure.

What drew you to serve on the Brattleboro Food Co-op Board of Directors?

I have experience doing Board work for a large organization, so I thought service on the BFC Board of Directors would be a place I could make a contribution.

What do you like the most about being on the Board of Directors?

The people.  There is a camaraderie that grows among people doing work much bigger than themselves.