Editor’s Reflection

Coffee pot from a 1985 Coop Scoop.
Coffee pot from a 1985 Coop Scoop.

Dear Co-op Voice Reader;

Over the past year and a half of establishing this newsletter, an evolving team has pulled together to create the look, tone and direction of the Voice. We’ve discussed a variety of issues, set policy and made the process of getting to publication more efficient and manageable. It’s an exciting endeavor, and it’s fun!

We now have Voice team meetings only twice a month. This past Wednesday, as we gathered for our first June meeting in the Co-op Teaching Kitchen, I looked around the table and realized it felt more like a reunion than a meeting. Amid their greetings, people grabbed an extra table to set up, and added chairs. We were eager to check in with each other and share news of what we’d been working on and talk over issues that had come up.

I find it hard to express how much I have come to value the presence and input of everyone who has contributed time and heart into fostering this publication, from our very start in early 2016. We’ve now grown to a group of 17 people; not everyone can show up for each meeting, but there’s usually 10 or so in attendance. We hash things out with serious intent but also with humor, and we collectively come up with agreements that strengthen our resolve to provide the most relevant content we can for the Co-op community. Everyone who’s there contributes to the conversation, every time. Sometimes we even hear from people who couldn’t make it that day!

The current Co-op Voice Team is organized into small “departments”;

Jennifer Betsworth, Kaetlin Sprague and Greg Pedrick adroitly take care of web content management, with help from Melissa Bromley. Kaetlin also kindly helps out by patiently answering computer related questions for us older folks.

Sandra Montest-Hoff, Erin Coufal and Richard Clandorf work on managing the advertising, both paid and classified, and on growing our subscriber base. Their unique skills and personalities complement each other well, and they’re closing in on having the Voice operate “in the black”.

Elaine Hill does a yeoman’s job in leading the work of copy-editors, around wavering Internet connections and childcare and household duties out in her rural home. We don’t often see her for meetings, but the quality of what you read in the Voice each month is largely due to her expertise and caring. Alana Sprague and Carol Reid were helping Elaine, but Carol has decided to join the Coop Scoop staff, and Alana has her hands full with producing our monthly NEC Survey, so we’re in need of one or more dedicated copy-editors. Let us know ASAP if you’re interested!! (click here)

Carol Coogan is responsible for our beautiful logo; she lends her graphics and illustrations to many of our issues. Carol did some of the illustrations for the original Coop Scoop, decades ago! This month, Kaetlin will begin to contribute illustrations, as well.

Karla Guererri and Tom Washington are the intrepid Voice writers who each month obligingly take on assignments and reliably contribute articles and essays which bring their distinctive, engaging and inspiring voices to you in our pages.

Member Services Coordinator Janet Sorell and Board Member Rebekah Rice have provided invaluable support from the start. Each is a friend we have been able to reach out to when and as needed. Janet has promised to try and stay in touch after she leaves her position at Honest Weight by doing some writing and/or copy-editing for the Voice.

Donna Aitoro Williams and Bob Jacobs have joined me on the editorial board, and I don’t know how I managed without their help before; I now gratefully share the decision making and the tasks, both mundane and rewarding, with the two of them, and we’ve begun to rotate the position of lead editor monthly. This month’s issue was helmed by Donna!

Adam Baldwin, Cara Benson, Carol Ostrow, and Stephanie Conde were part of the Voice team in the past but had to leave for one reason or another; their contributions are very appreciated, as well; Each one of them has left their mark on the Voice.

To find out about joining the Voice team and earning member hours that way, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you have an idea for a story, or would like to write one, let us know. We especially want to hear from you if you haven’t thought of getting involved in Co-op activities before.

We welcome fresh voices to our ongoing conversation!

Vocally Yours,


Paula is a Co-Editor of the Co-op Voice. She's been an HWFC member since the eighties, when she first arrived in Albany. She is the co-founder and Director of Children at the Well Youth Storytellers. She has studied, researched, published and taught in the field of reading education, and has served as editor on a variety of projects.