2024 Board Candidate Bios

Our Annual Member Meeting is coming up on June 20th at 6pm. Full voting member-owners can vote on our next slate of board members, with election results shared at the meeting. Find out more about the candidates up for election! Watch your inbox for a link to your ballot.


2024 Board Candidates


Gary Fox, as the development director for the Town of Rockingham, acts as executive director of the two local development corporations, Bellows Falls Area Development Corp and Sustainable Valley Group Inc.


After nearly 20 years of business experience in natural and organic Co-op food distribution, Gary has worked as a development professional in both the public and private sector for 35 years with experience at the local, regional, and state levels.  Past public service work for Gary includes 3 years as Secretary for the Rockingham Conservation Commission, 2 years as Secretary of the Trustees of the Rockingham Free Public Library, 2 years as economic restructuring committee chair of the Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance, 2 years as infrastructure chair of the Great Falls Food Hub Working Committee, 10 years as Rockingham Historic Preservation Commissioner, 5 Years – 1 of them as President of the Southeastern Vermont Community Action Board of Directors, and 4 Years- 3 of them as President of the Vermont Community Development Association Board of Directors.  Gary attended McGill University and Lesley College Graduate School earning a BSc. In Management Studies.


Gary and Jackie live in Bellows Falls in their small early 1900’s house where their children, Ari and Ali were born.  Family activities include skiing, biking, hiking, and cooking; kids have headed into sky diving, cooking and rock climbing for Ari, music, circus, ballroom dance and crew/scientist on marine ship research vessels for Ali.


Donna Doel Bascom grew up in rural Maine.  After reading the Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry at 19, she has believed in local food economies intimately woven into a local, organic and sustainable agriculture.  Donna spent her early working years in the natural food coop warehouse distribution world in New England.    Led by a passion for biology and organic agriculture, Donna got her MS in Soil Science from one of the country’s first sustainable agriculture programs.  Her writing and communication abilities landed her a job in the 1990’s with a cutting-edge national Sustainable Agriculture information center called ATTRA.   In this work, she gleaned technical information to solve problems for farmers and other professional entities seeking to implement more environmentally sound and organic practices in farming and food systems.  Donna’s other professional hats include work as an organic certification inspector for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners certification program and as a soil scientist and conservation planner for the Natural Resource Conservation Service of the USDA.


Donna also has been and still is a farmer.  She spent 12 years running an award-winning farmstead goat cheese business, Doeling Dairy.  From raising and milking goats, to marketing her product at farmers markets as well as to some of the finest specialty food purveyors, she became well versed in food law, sanitation, and the incredible difficulty small farms encounter when dealing with the Goliath of our food “systems”.  She currently farms with her husband Dean, raising grass-fed lamb, a certified organic vegetable CSA, and a 6000-tap sugar bush.  She hopes to bring her many skills and a solidly aligned vision to the Great River Coop.


Julia (or Julie) Etter is a first-generation farmer in Rockingham, Vt. She runs a certified organic farm focusing on medicinal and culinary herbs, as well as pastured chicken and pork. She moved to the Bellows Falls area with her partner and two children in 2019 from Brattleboro, and originally landed in Vermont from North Carolina in 2010. Julia is passionate about local people accessing local food and empowering their own kitchens with homegrown health and wellness. She believes a coop in the Greater Falls region can empower the community to take charge of their own food security by keeping money local, as well as supporting local farmers and producers of all levels and skill sets. She hopes to help build a coop that reflects the deep-seated values of town pride as well as continual progressive change found throughout the Rockingham area. 


Ben Daviss, a resident of Walpole for 34 years, was a founding member of the co-op’s original board of directors and suggested the Great River Co-op name. He is returning to the board after family and professional responsibilities took him away from the co-op for several years. He has served as a grants consultant to several nonprofit organizations in our region. As a journalist covering economics as well as a self-described health and nutrition nerd, Ben is keenly aware of the links connecting human health, a thriving local agricultural economy, and a strong, cohesive community.


Robbie Mahrou is a Senior Executive with a proven track record in identifying and leading profit initiatives.  Superior relationship development acumen focusing on the creation of mutually beneficial strategic alliances..


A recent transplant to the area, Robbie has spent the last 20+ working across a wide range of industries including Entertainment, Fintech, Commercial Insurance, Collective Bargaining, and Real Estate. Post Covid he was looking for a change as he continued his work as a Fintech Consultant.  Utilizing his vast skill set he now plans to focus his free time building a sustainable food solution for the area that allows farmers to maximize efficiencies while offering consumers relative value.  For him the baseline of all that is great revolves around communication.