The Co-op’s board of directors is directly elected by the membership and is made up of members just like you. In accordance with our Co-op’s Bylaws, board members work to keep the Co-op accountable to Cooperative Principles and make sure that the Co-op remains a sustainable business. They do this through a system of checks and balances called Policy Governance.

Have a thought you’d like to share with the board? Email


2016 Board Election Results

The 2016 EEFC board election has presented many unique issues for the board, management and all Co-op members. Much of that will be explained in further posts, but this report is simply meant to inform all members of the results of the election.

The results of the 2016 board are as follows.

245 electronic votes were tallied, and totals for each candidate are listed below from highest to lowest.

  • Brynn Yochim (134)
  • Greg Nicholas (131)
  • Eddy Jones (122)
  • Mike Collura (118)
  • Patrick McHale (105)
  • Andrew Ritchie (99)
  • William Warnock (7)

Paper ballots will neither be tallied nor reported for 2016. Due to concerns raised by board members and staff members during the 2016 election process, the board hired the CSI investigation firm to review the 2016 EEFC board election process.

Following completion of extensive interviews and video review, CSI reported that EEFC election integrity had been compromised and that the procedures used to secure the paper ballots cast doubt on the integrity of the process for collection and the validity of the paper ballot totals. The board reviewed the electronic ballots, and we believe that they were not tampered with. Additionally, we reviewed the electronic ballots for duplicates, and found none.

The board voted at the January 2017 meeting to seat the top three vote-getters to three year board terms and to appoint the lower three vote getters to fill the three two-year spots on the board. Greg Nicholas also resigned from the board during the course of the election, and is therefore no longer a candidate. As a result, Brynn, Eddy and Mike will be awarded three-year board terms, and Patrick, Andrew and William will be seated to two-year terms.

We thank all candidates, members, staff and board members for their patience through this difficult situation. The new board must work to develop additional controls surrounding the paper balloting process to ensure that the weaknesses identified by the investigation are not repeated in future elections.

Please direct any questions or comments to


Learn More about the Board

Board meetings are open to the Co-op membership and typically occur on the third Monday of each month. These meetings include a number of standing topics, including a monthly report from our Co-op’s Policy Register.
Click here to learn more about board meetings.

The Co-op’s newsletter, The Co-operator, features a monthly article written by a board director. Click here to read a sampling of past “Board Corners.” You can also read many other issues of The Co-operator in its entirety online.

Meet the Board

President Mike Collura

Mike has been a member of the Co-op since 2006 and was elected to the board of directors that same year. His background is in computer programming and technical support, and he currently works as an Information Technology Manager at Allegheny Valley Bank. Mike is committed to helping guide the Co-op through the expansion process and ensure the items set forth in our Ends Policy are at the forefront of every decision. During his board tenure, he has served as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President, and now President, and he currently participates in the Finance Committee and co-chairs the Member Linkage Committee.

Secretary Sarah Aerni

Sarah has been a member of the Co-op since 2001 and has served on the board of directors since 2008. Sarah is a co-founder of a local start-up called Covey that is developing a mobile app that aims to help parents and caregivers of small children make real world connections. Sarah joined the board because of her interest in improving access to local, sustainable, and healthy food, and she believes it’s valuable for there to be alternatives to traditional corporations. During her tenure on the board she has served on all of the board committees, and currently participates in the Board Development Committee.

Dirk Kalp, Tresurer

Dirk has been a member of the Co-op since 1986 and faithfully served on the Board of Directors from that same year until October 2015. He was re-appointed to the board in May of 2016. He previously acted as the Treasurer. Dirk holds degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science, and his professional career includes both university and start-up tech company experience. Dirk believes that consumer-ownership partnered with cooperative principles, the recipe for the cooperative business model, are the keys to making the world a better place. As a member and board director of the former Semple Street Co-op, Dirk had the unfortunate experience of watching that enterprise fail, and it motivated him to think more about sustainable business practices. Dirk is committed to developing good governance structure and operational systems, which he believes are vital to realizing the full potential of our Co-op.

Caroline Mitchell

Caroline has been a member of the Co-op since 1999, and was appointed to fill a vacant seat in September of 2015. Holding a BS in Chemical Engineering, she worked as a research engineer and adjunct faculty lecturer in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University for 30 years, and was also a founding principal in and former VP of Romualdi Davidson Consulting Engineers. Caroline also holds a JD in Law and managed a private law firm for 35 years, from which she retired in 2005. Caroline believes the Co-op is an incredible resource for the Pittsburgh community, and she is excited to offer her skills at finding creative solutions to technology-based and legal challenges to help the Co-op to grow and prosper. Caroline participates in the Board Perpetuation & Elections Committee.

Amit Shah

Amit has been a member of the Co-op since 2014 and was appointed to the board in May 2016. He is currently an SVP with Institutional Asset Management at PNC. Prior, Amit was a Director in FTI Consulting’s corporate finance practice, and previous work experience includes working for and other operations/manufacturing roles. Amit earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Science degree in Manufacturing from the University of Southern California, and an M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University. Passionate about making organic, non-GMO foods available to ALL, Amit is interested in the opportunities and challenges presented to our Co-op as we face the converging trends of increased focus on healthier eating, competition from traditional grocers, and consolidation of suppliers.













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East End Food Co-op

7516 Meade Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15208
Market: 8am — 9pm
Café: 8am — 7pm