Board of Director interview: Judy Fink

  | Board of Directors

Judy Fink is a star.  She was an elementary school teacher for much of her working life, retired, came to Vermont, and has been doing volunteer work ever since.  She got elected to the Brattleboro Food Co-op Board 4 years ago, and was recently re-elected for her second term. Judy is currently the Vice-president of the Board, on the GM Search Committee and the chair of the Recruitment Committee – she always steps up for tasks when the need arises.  She has a community of close friends here, and her adult son lives in Colorado.

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

My husband, Rob Freeberg, and I became members in 2008, while we were still living in NY and were thinking about retiring to VT.

What did you do for a living?

For half of my career, I taught in public elementary schools, mostly in NH, including 6 years teaching 4th-6th grade in a two-room school. The second half of my career was in NY. I did curriculum work with teachers and administrators, followed by my last job as founding education programs director at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. I retired in 2012.

How do you like to spend your time?

For so much of my working life, I did not have time to volunteer and give back to my community, so volunteering is a big focus for me. In addition to serving on the BFC board, I chair an advisory committee for Scott Farm, and have facilitated a multi-year Monarch butterfly restoration project for the Dummerston Conservation Commission. I spend as much time outside as possible walking, hiking, snowshoeing and working in the garden. I also love to make quilts, cook, dream up recipes, feed my friends, and read.

Are you a member of any other cooperatives?

REI and Amica.

How have you spent these pandemic years?

I am fortunate that I am retired, and I have been able to keep healthy. I miss attending live performances, gathering with friends and family, singing in the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus, regularly practicing yoga and Pilates at my favorite studio, and traveling. I have become accustomed to Zoom, and I have read more books than ever before. Life is much more home centered, and I am lucky to live in my own little piece of heaven.

What brought you to this area?

I often came to Brattleboro in the years that I lived in the Monadnock region. I was drawn to its progressive community ethic, vibrant art scene, and a certain scrappiness which I appreciated. Rob and I felt welcomed by the community soon after we moved to Dummerston. We have no desire to ever live anywhere else.

What do you like most about our Co-op?

Between the Co-op, the farmers market, and our local farmers, I am able to purchase anything I want or need. I am proud of our beautiful store, appreciate the dedication and kindness of the employees, and am always happy and grateful when I am there.

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

I use large quantities of the Field Day organic olive oil, and am trying to wean myself from the dark chocolate covered almonds in the bulk department. The local cheese selection is unsurpassed.

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

I don’t eat lunch (gave it up when I retired), but I have eaten dinner with my husband almost every night for over 25 years, and that makes me happy.

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

As a shareholder, I helped with after school programs, and also worked on a partnership between the Co-op and the Drop-In Center (before it became Groundworks), focusing on preparing simple, inexpensive wholesome meals. As I became more involved with Co-op activities, it made sense for me to take the next step.


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

It’s very challenging and interesting work, with a dedicated group of people who are committed to the health and sustainability of our beloved Co-op.