Remembering Bruce Boardman and Ken McGee

May 14, 2024
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Ken McGee & Bruce Boardman, past BFC CFO's
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We regret to inform you of the recent deaths of two of our valued Financial Managers from the Co-op’s past: Bruce Boardman (died on March 25, 2024) and Ken McGee (died on April 25, 2024).

Bruce came to us in 1998, a 61-year-old, retired CPA looking for part-time work. It didn’t take long for him to expand his commitment to full-time, putting his vast experience and knowledge to work by effectively improving the Co-op’s financial management systems, culminating in his playing a critical role in the building of our new store. 

He was fair, friendly, and loved to regale us with stories of his early days as a boy growing up on a dairy farm in Norwood, Massachusetts, and then as a CPA in the corporate world. At one point he served as a vice president at the Brown Group (remember Buster Brown shoes?).

He was a kind man who befriended many of us who worked alongside him. He will be greatly missed.

Ken came to us in 2013, when Bruce had made the decision to finally, really, retire. Ken’s credentials included an MBA—a true numbers guy. Alex recounts, “My first memory of Ken was when Bruce Boardman and I interviewed him to succeed Bruce as financial manager.  We had planned to ask him some relevant but really arcane financial questions to test his depth of knowledge, and with that ineffable smile that we eventually came to cherish, he calmly and confidently laid out perfect answers. That was the beginning of a wonderful relationship with all of us at the Co-op.”

Ken was crucial in working his numbers magic—despite one of his favorite aphorisms being, “There’s no magic wand!” He had succeeded Bruce at a time when our cash flow had become really tight and headed towards the red, just in time to use his profound experience to create systems that kept us afloat. The pandemic was also a significant challenge, but once again he played an extremely important role in getting the Co-op through it, ultimately leaving us in a stronger and healthier financial position. 

Ken was an exceptionally kind, sweet man—shy, but with a wicked sense of humor and a smile that was more like a giggle.  As a manager, he was caring and accommodating. We loved working for and with him.

Ken worked his magic at the Co-op for ten years, from 2013-2023. 

Bruce and Ken will be missed by all who worked with them, and by so many Co-op shareholders who also had the good fortune of getting to know them over those crucial twenty-five years.

Our thoughts and hearts go out to their wives, Deb Boardman and Deb McGee, and their families.

– Alex Gyori, former General Manager, and Tish Gaynor, former Finance department administrator

I was very sad to hear the recent news of former BFC Finance Manager Ken McGee’s death in South Carolina. Ken was hired by my predecessor, Alex Gyori, a few years before I became General Manager. Ken and I had worked as peers prior to my leadership role, a note worth mentioning, as working relationships inevitably change through such transitions. But Ken and I learned how to work together well, a testament to his nature. The Co-op was in a bit of a fix at the time: our cash position was not good, and we needed to carefully navigate all the financial requirements of our business as we slowly and painfully improved our lot. Ken was a prince throughout this long and difficult time. He was a good partner in thinking through all the possibilities, reflecting quietly his opinion when it mattered, and proved to be one of the best possible curators of our cooperative’s financial health that we could have asked for. He had a dry sense of humor, which he blessed us with liberally, and was a loyal and supportive member of our leadership team. He was shy and did not seek public speaking opportunities, but he always came when needed, and performed admirably. His kind nature was evident to all. I will miss him.

-Sabine Rhyne, former General Manager