LEAD Program

In September 2008, NCG’s western corridor (WC) launched a new service for directors and managers of WC member co-ops. This program, called “LEAD” (Leadership Effectiveness and Development), is aimed at supporting board effectiveness, continued professional development, and networking among co-op board members in the western corridor. As of spring 2010, the western corridor is now making this program available to all co-op directors at no cost.

Currently, the program involves electronic publication of a quarterly resource guide called the LEADer. Each issue of the LEADer focuses on a specific topic area and offers two or three short articles on aspects of that topic. We also offer suggested additional resources and answer questions submitted by directors. We then provide a study guide on the topic consisting of a series of questions or activities in the topic area for the board or a group of directors to use in adapting and making improvements in the topic area.

The content of the LEADer and all LEAD program activities are directed by NCG’s Board Effectiveness Support Team (BEST) – an advisory group of co-op leaders (managers and directors).

Join us in building strong, effective boards and co-op governance systems!


Co-ops can subscribe their directors and staff to receive a copy of each new issue of the LEADer directly via e-mail as soon as it is available at no charge.  Submit and update subscriber names by sending them to Karen Zimbelman at [email protected].  Others can access issues via the CGIN website. Notification of new issues will be sent out via announcements distributed on the CGIN board listserve.


Do you have a question for the Board Effectiveness Support Team? If so, send your question to ask the BEST.

Complete confidentiality will be maintained for those submitting questions. If your question is selected for a response in the LEADer, the name of the co-op, any identifying information, and the names of all individuals will be modified to provide complete anonymity. Also, you’ll receive a complimentary registration to a future Western Corridor Board Workshop.

Board Effectiveness Support Team (BEST):

Lucinda Berdon – term ending 2017
General Manager 
Quincy Natural Foods; Quincy, CA

Gail Graham – term ending 2017
General Manager
Mississippi Market; St. Paul, MN

Paige Lettington – term ending 2016
Former Director
Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, Sacramento, CA

Cindy Owings – term ending 2017
Former Director
Community Food Co-op; Bozeman, MT

Martha Whitman – term ending 2016
Board President
La Montanita Food Co-op; Albuquerque, NM

Karen Zimbelman
Program Support
NCG Director of Membership and Cooperative Relations

Recent Activity


Only CGN Members can see activity.

Only CGN members can join this space.

There is no content in this space.