We are a community-owned garden store overseen by a Board of Directors. Learn more about the operation and responsibilities of the board below.

Urban Roots Board of Directors

The business and affairs of Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market is managed under the guidance of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors makes all necessary rules and regulations not inconsistent with law or with these bylaws. The Board of Directors has the power to hire, oversee, and dismiss a General Manager to coordinate and facilitate the daily functioning of the co-op.

The Board may establish standing and ad hoc committees, including, but not limited to, a nominating committee, a membership committee, a planning and business opportunities committee, and building committee. The Board President can appoint a chair and co-chair to each standing and active ad hoc committee which will be required to submit a written report at each scheduled board meeting. Each director is required to serve on at least one active committee. Committee membership will be open to member-owners not serving as directors. Each board member must purchase membership/ownership ($100) in Urban Roots within the first year of service.

Current Board:

  • JD Hartman, Chair
  • Chuck Papia, Vice Chair
  • John Aigner, Treasurer
  • Alicia Farhner, Secretary
  • Onda Simmons
  • Amy Holt
  • John Lenahan
  • Tom Vrabel

Become a Board Member

Urban Roots is currently the only community-owned cooperative garden market in the country, and we hope to be a model for upcoming cooperative garden centers that will enrich their surrounding communities. We would love for you to be a part of this ongoing endeavor.

Board Membership provides:

  • An opportunity to apply your skills to the West Side renaissance.
  • Opportunities to work in a co-operative board environment.
  • Networking among co-op, gardening, and west side community enthusiast.
  • A networking and resume-building relationship.

The purpose of the Board is to uphold the mission and principles of Urban Roots and oversee the financial planning and business operations of Urban Roots. That means the Board votes on decisions that affect the store, the premise of Urban Roots, and its employees. The board is also responsible for property management of the LLC.

To qualify for consideration to become a board member, one must:

  • Be (or become) a member of Urban Roots
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm for Urban Roots mission, principles, and priorities
  • Commit 2-4 hours/week to advance Urban Roots objectives
  • Commit to serving at least a two-year term, with opportunities to renew
  • Have access to reliable transportation, regular e-mail access, and phone service

New Board Members should be able to lead or contribute in one or more of the following priority areas:

  • Fundraising, marketing, and public relations
  • Finance/fiscal management
  • Retail business development and management
  • Cooperative organization
  • Organizational development
  • Board leadership and facilitation
  • Property management/maintenance

Experience in the following areas is also useful:

  • Understanding of garden center operations and/or products
  • Membership drives/community outreach
  • Event planning
  • Grant writing
  • Media relations
  • Legal
  • Human resources
  • Facilitation and group process

To learn more about becoming a board member, call us at (716) 362-8982 or email us at info@urbanroots.org. Potential board members should submit a resume and/or statement of interest for consideration. We encourage potential board members to attend a board meeting in advance of elections, which typically take place in October.

Read our complete Bylaws for more information.

Become a Member Owner Today!

Your city. Your store. We are a cooperatively-owned, for-profit retail garden center, offering plants and plant-related supplies. We are open to the public and are committed to the betterment of our West Side neighborhoods and to the City of Buffalo.