2017 Board Elections

It’s time for our annual Board of Directors Election, which will fill four positions on our board. This year we have six co-op owners running for election. Owners have received a ballot in the mail, additional ballots may be found at both co-op locations.

Owners may vote for up to four candidates.

Your vote is important and it’s a vital part of your ownership of Roanoke Co+op. You can either mail in your ballot or bring it to the ballot box at either co-op location.

Deadline: Sunday, May 21, 6:30 pm in person at the Annual Owners’ Social & Meeting. Be sure to put the ballot in an envelope and write your name and address on the front of that envelope!

Annual Owners’ Social & Meeting, Sunday, May 21
Social 5:00 p.m. | Meeting 6:30 p.m.
Rooftop Pavilion at Center in the Square

Meet the Candidates


ClarkeClarissa Clarke is an advisor for small businesses on management and marketing strategies and works with the Roanoke Valley Time Bank, a community organization that brings Roanokers together to trade their time and talents within the informal economy. She worked with a group in Floyd to establish the Fern Hollow Ecovillage and has experience in sharing community health programs with African villagers. Clarissa loves Roanoke, attracting people to our area, and connecting our diverse communities. In addition to environmental and community work, she enjoys practicing the eight limbs of yoga, jewelry making and other arts, and raising her 4-year-old son.


Brent Cochran Headshot - 2015Brent Cochran is the CEO of a local real estate company focused on the redevelopment of historic buildings within the region. He’s the founder of the non-profit LEAP, which is cultivating sustainable agriculture in Roanoke, serves on the board of Freedom Frist Credit Union, and owns or co-owns a variety of small businesses. Brent is a graduate of Patrick Henry High School, Hampden Sydney College, and Pinchot University where he earned an MBA in Sustainable Business. A native of Roanoke and lifelong member of Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op, Brent came to the store when he was a baby when his mom volunteered. Brent lives in Roanoke with his wife and two young children.




Gayle Cooley (Incumbent) has served on the Board of Directors at Roanoke Co+op since 2007 as both Treasurer and President. She studied at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro and Wheeling Jesuit College, graduating with a degree in Business and passing the CPA exam. She helped develope and manage Cellular One’s build out of cellular service in southern West Virginia, before returning to graduate school at University of Virginia to study philosophy and environmental ethics. Gayle enjoys art history and studio art as well as painting for her art business.




Ian Fortier (Incumbent) is the Executive Director of the Grandin Theatre Foundation and has served on the board of the Roanoke Co+op since 2013. In addition, he serves on the board of the Grandin Village Business Association and is an adviser for Leadership Roanoke Valley. Ian is an active member of the co-op board, and serves on the Nominating Committee, ensuring healthy future leadership. He enjoys community activism, mountain biking, ice hockey, making stained glass, and living in the Blue Ridge Mountains with his wife Mariana and his son Alex.





AndrewAndrew Gentiluomo is an experienced financial professional at National Financial Service. He earned a BS degree in industrial engineering from Hofstra University and holds a Masters of Engineering Management and MBA from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN. Andrew is a past Board Chairman and President of the Science Museum of Western Virginia and has been involved with Roanoke Chamber’s Leadership Roanoke Valley for several years. Andrew currently serves as an advisor and project manager to Valley AFC Soccer’s Board of Directors. A native of the Boston area, Andrew now lives in Southwest Roanoke County and enjoys a healthy & active lifestyle, cycling, fishing, cooking, playing and refereeing soccer and spending time with his wife and three children.




John-HullJohn Hull is the Director of Market Intelligence for the Roanoke Regional Partnership where he is responsible for handling data requests from the public as well as from prospective businesses. John is part of a high-functioning regional team that secured Deschutes Brewery, Ballast Point Brewing, and seven other projects resulting in $217.5 million in new investment and 1,412 new jobs announced in 2016. He began his career with the Roanoke Valley – Alleghany Regional Commission and has more than 10 years of experience producing data and analysis in support of regional development and strategic planning. John is a 2004 graduate of Roanoke College and a recipient of the Certified Community Researcher certification. John loves to run and enjoys trying new protein-packed recipes. He lives in Boones Mill with his wife Lindsey and two children, Alex and Katie.