Marla Petersen is the founding General Manager of Big Hollow Food Coop. She is a long time resident of Laramie WY, with a short stint in Denver CO. Her passion for local foods and and her previous entrepreneurial experience made her a good fit for the coop start up. She also has a BS in Dietetics from the University of Wyoming. During her 9 years at Big Hollow she has seen the business grow exponentially, to the point where it even exceeded her own expectations! She is also passionate about and involved in the revitalization of downtown Laramie. When she is not working she enjoys cycling, yoga, hiking and spending time with family, friends and her dog.
Jeff Hubbell grew up in Laramie, Wyoming, and loves it here. He graduated from UW with a Bachelor in Art, with a focus in painting. He has contributed to the Laramie Mural Project, specifically "Prairie Dog Town" and the "Gill Street" murals. Him and his wife own 105 Degrees West, a t-shirt screen printing shop, and manage a small sustainable farm called Planet Laramie Farm. He has been apart of Big Hollow for over 6 years, he started as a grocery stocker and worked up to his position as Assistant Manager.
Andy moved to Laramie in June 2012 and immediately joined Big Hollow Food Co-op. As a faculty member in the College of Business at the University of Wyoming, he focuses his research efforts on renewable energy, water, and other resource management, sustainability in supply chains, and disaster relief logistics, and teach courses in logistics and computer-based decision analysis. Prior to pursuing a Ph.D., he worked for almost a decade in the music industry. He and his wife Rachael have long been proponents of healthy, local, and sustainable food (including their own gardens).and strong supporters of local businesses. Having made a home in Laramie, Andy joined the board as a way to utilize his professional skills in conjunction with his enthusiasm for food and sustainability to support Big Hollow as it continues to grow and serve the local community.
Alyssa Wechsler was born and raised in Wyoming, splitting her time between Laramie and Sheridan. In her teens, she leaned toward environmental activism, working as a volunteer, employee, and eventual board member of the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance. Alyssa's interest in local food systems grew from a desire to reintroduce people to her activist and research efforts, and from her love of food. As an undergraduate at the University of Wyoming, Alyssa helped found the student farm ACRES. She went on to receive an MPhil in Geography and the Environment from the University of Oxford. While in England, Alyssa spent time volunteering at "intentional communities" to learn from community members (and involved government officials) about how varying approaches to sustainability affect (food) policy and innovation. After her graduate degree, Alyssa returned to Laramie to work as the project coordinator for the Food Dignity research effort, and she is now the project manager for the Growing Resilience research project which is assessing home gardens for health on the Wind River Reservation. Alyssa joined the Big Hollow Co-Op board in 2015. She plans to continue exploring how food justice fits into the Big Hollow Co-Op mission and how the board can use co-op principles to advance social justice in their community.
Snehalata is one of the original members of Big Hollow Food Co-op, and is looking forward to it (hopefully) expanding into a new location. Her biggest motivation for supporting Big Hollow is a passionate for cooking, especially with good ingredients, a variety of foods that she enjoyed while traveling and living in different places including India and Croatia. Snehalata's day job is as a Professor of Statistics at UW, and her competing job is as the single mother of a middle-school girl who spends every evening either playing violin or doing ballet and wants to be a scientist when she grows up.
Don is an original member and enjoys contributing to the guidance and operation of Big Hollow. He is excited about current prosperity and success of our local food market. He volunteered at First Alternative Food Co-op in Corvallis, Oregon in several capacities from approximately 1986-94 (the oldest continuous operating with the largest membership co-op in Oregon at the time). Don and his family have long patronized small sustainable organic farms in Oregon. He sees future opportunities for Big Hollow in fostering local SE WY and No. CO farm success through our sales. He believes in the importance of locally produced food and works to see that sustained and enhanced as a guiding principle of Big Hollow.
Josh is serving his second term on the board and holds the office of Secretary. He recently ended a 10-year career as a natural resource policy consultant, where he researched and assessed energy development impacts on Western public lands. Josh enjoys local skiing, mountain biking, and camping with his daughter Acadia, and wife Heather. He currently works for the Albany County School District.
Jeff Smith enjoys everything outdoors, especially preparing and cooking food outside. His love for food and cooking puts him in constant search of healthy ingredients, and Big Hollow always provides.
Jeff and his wife co-own a tree care company in Laramie, and also a software company based in town. They have found Laramie to be a great environment for fueling their start up endeavors, feeding off the very supportive community in this area. Laramie's vibrant downtown offers an environment that encourages new ideas, and Big Hollow is a huge piece of their downtown foundation. Jeff is thankful for the wonderful opportunity to serve on the Board of Big Hollow, and looks forward to continuing to help Big Hollow thrive.
Jana Heisler White has been a member of food coops for more than 20 years, a journey that has allowed her to participate as a board member and working member of food coops in 5 different states. She has has been a member of Big Hollow since 2008 and has had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors since 2014. Jana is an ecologist by training and has a deep appreciation for the strong connection between people and the land, air, and water that gives them life. She views Big Hollow as a central part of the Laramie community, as it provides people with food choice opportunities, and local and sustainable producers a place to sell their fruits, vegetables, meats, and other items. Jana is an avid whole foods cook, gardener, all seasons outdoor enthusiast, and runner. She and her husband, Daniel, moved to Laramie in 2008 to settle in a community with easy bike commutes, friendly neighbors, abundant outdoor opportunities, and kid-friendly venues and events. They have two young children, Claire and Thomas, who grew up pushing the child-size shopping carts in the coop on Saturday mornings.
Allison was raised in Casper, Wyoming and currently lives, works and plays in Laramie, Wyoming. She has a bachelor's degree in International Business from Gonzaga University and a master's degree in International Affairs from Marquette University. Allison's career has included stints at non-profits in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., driving tour busses in Glacier National Park, landscaping in Durango, Colorado, and fundraising for a science museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She shares her home with her collie/coyote mix, Frida, and shares her backyard with three chickens, Gertrude, Gladys and Irma. In her free time, Allison loves to hike, ski, yoga, read, draw and garden. She also loves cooking good food, canning good food, and most importantly, eating good food.
Eric Krszjzaniek finally fulfilled a longtime dream and moved to Wyoming in 2012. Having held jobs-stints, really-as an editor for an antiques magazine, as a postal worker, as well as an outreach specialist and curriculum coordinator for a renewable energy non-profit, Eric moved to Wyoming in order to get more education than he probably needed. Currently working on his PhD in Sustainable Business Practices & Marketing, Eric earned his Master's in English and Environment & Natural Resources from UW in 2014. When not in his office or at home talking to his cat, Wallace, Eric can be found on the far flung recesses of Wyoming's public lands, wandering, and maybe even searching for fossils. Having been a member of food co-ops in Madison, Wis,, and Stevens Point, Wis, for pretty much his entire life, Eric found Big Hollow before he had ever even left Wisconsin, and he is honored to be a part of this wonderful organization.