“[Being on the Board is] a way to offer my time/treasure/talent to an organization doing important things. I’ve learned WAY more about building a barn than I ever thought I might know.” –Tom Taylor, current Board Member of the DEI and Barn Rebuild Committees
ABOUT OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The role of the NCOF Board is to help oversee and guide the Farm into the future. Board members serve as advocates and spokespeople for NCOF in accordance with the mission and organizational goals. Board members have diverse backgrounds, interests, and forms of expertise.
The Board is composed of several Board Committees, including Executive/Governance, Farm-Town Partnership, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ad-hoc), and Finance and Investment.
Mary Mannix, President
Patti Luke, Vice President
Andrew Williams, Treasurer
Leanne Cowley, Clerk
Hildy Wicks, Student Member
Max Cohen, Student Member
Serving on the NCOF Board is a meaningful way to support and guide a well-
respected local nonprofit, to have a positive impact on your community, and to grow
as an individual. We are always looking for interested candidates who are
enthusiastic about the farm’s mission and sustainability. Board membership is a
volunteer three-year commitment.
We are committed to creating an inclusive Board whose membership reflects diverse
lived experiences and perspectives, including those related to race, ethnicity, gender,
sexuality, and ability. If you would like to share your talents and perspectives, we
look forward to hearing from you. Apply to join our board here.
For more information, please email Board President Mary DeBlois at [email protected]
BOARD ROLES & EXPECTATIONS
The Board of Directors partners with staff and volunteers to welcome visitors to the Farm as well as to facilitate and act as representatives during NCOF’s annual community events. Through this work, they get to know NCOF’s constituency, which makes them better advocates for the Farm. It also helps to build the Farm’s community, one relationship at a time.
We work closely with Town of Natick officials to manage the organization’s unique nonprofit: municipal partnership. Our tasks include managing the long-term lease, ensuring that NCOF serves Natick’s taxpayers, and advocating for the Executive Director and Assistant Directors, who are Town of Natick employees.
The Board works closely with Town of Natick officials to manage the organization’s unique nonprofit: municipal partnership. Tasks include managing the long-term lease, ensuring that NCOF serves Natick’s taxpayers, and advocating for the Executive Director and Assistant Directors, who are Town of Natick employees. They act as ambassadors for the Farm in Natick, in MetroWest, and in the Greater Boston area. They often represent NCOF at local outreach events, like Natick Days, and by staffing the NCOF stand at the Natick Farmers’ Market.
We meet monthly, and more often as needed. Subcommittees meet between meetings.
We are expected to engage in the Farm’s fundraising as individuals. Each one of us is asked to hold a current Farm membership, contribute annually to the Annual Appeal, attend and bring friends to fundraising events like the Harvest Dinner, and to contribute to project-specific capital campaigns. How much to give is left up to individual Board members.
We are also expected to engage in fundraising as representatives of the organization. We help forge and foster relationships with local businesses, grant-givers, foundations, community organizations, and donors. Training, coaching, and support materials are provided to facilitate this work.
“During quarantine it was the job of the Board to help the staff pivot to continue operating in the new normal, and after the barn burned, to organize the cleanup, plan for its replacement, and manage the unbelievable volume of donations from the community. It was daunting to be among those responsible for steering the farm through such harrowing times, but witnessing the resilience, creativity, and passion of the staff and the community was a phenomenal inspiration for me, especially while everything seemed so dire. While I certainly learned about administration and finances, the most enduring memories from my tenure center around the unbelievable power of the tight-knit and compassionate community we have at NCOF.” – Gabriel Proia, former Student Member of the Board and Outreach Committee (2019 – 2021)
“Contributing to the work of the Board and the farm is reward enough in itself, but there are other treasured experiences that sometimes come with the job. For example, one evening we were having a board meeting at the farm, and word came in that piglets were being born. At the end of the meeting, we all trekked over to the birthing shed and watched the tiny newborns getting on their feet and discovering their mother’s milk while the tired sow rested.” – Leanne Cowley, current Board Clerk and Member of the Executive/Governance, and DEI Committees.
“It fills me with joy and pride that I have the opportunity to be in service to an organization that touches so many lives in such positive ways. From educating people on where their food comes from to providing open access to natural and fun experiences for people of all ages, the farm is a beacon of positivity and opportunity for our community. Being able to play a role in ensuring the farm is an available resource for all is humbling.” –Eric Stitch, current Outreach and DEI Committee Member
ABOUT OUR ADVISORY BOARD
When called upon, members of the NCOF Advisory Board offer their expertise, perspective, and guidance. They are an invaluable part of the NCOF community!
Arthur Fair III
George Fiske, Jr.
Lynda Simkins, Director Emeritus
Polly Broman Wright
Mary Ellen Ames