As of December 2021, Yoshi Manale is the new Brattleboro Town Manager! And as you’ll read below, he immediately became a Co-op member, and expressed an interest in joining the Board of Directors. As it happened, the Board had a vacant seat to fill, so Yoshi was appointed, and is now a BFC Director. Yoshi has been acclimating to our town and Vermont, making new friends, hiking/skiing local trails, attending shows at the many performing arts locations around town, and enjoying the variety of food choices.
When did you become a member of the Co-op?
December 2021. I believe I signed up the week I moved to Brattleboro.
What do you do for a living?
I am the Town Manager for the Town of Brattleboro, VT.
What’s your educational background?
I received my Bachelor’s in Religious Studies and Political Science from Seton Hall University; I have a Master’s in Public Administration from NYU.
How do you like to spend your spare time?
I enjoy most outdoor activities, including hiking and skiing. However, I recently discovered the joy of painting, so I would like to try that more!
Are you a member of any other cooperatives?
I am not.
How have you spent these last 20 pandemic months?
I was the Deputy Mayor of Trenton, NJ, and lived in Brooklyn, NY. I was part of the team that responded to the crisis and developed the policies to guide the City during those difficult months.
What brought you to this area?
Like many during the Pandemic, I re-evaluated my priorities for life and work and felt that I
wanted to be in a more conducive place to a better quality of life. I love Brooklyn but found that during COVID, I didn’t miss the hustle and bustle and instead was looking forward to the quiet and simpler time with family and friends.
Before arriving here, I knew a few folks, including Sophie Howlett, SIT president. We met at
Kean University, where we both served in administrative capacities. In addition, a good friend from HS is a hematologist at Dartmouth Medical, so her family has been wonderful in
welcoming me to the area.
What do you like most about our Co-op?
The sense of community and mission to be as inclusive of all people to access quality food and products.
What’s your favorite Co-op food item?
So far, Sherry Gray cheese.
With what person, alive or dead, would you like to have lunch, and why?
There are many, but if there is a Babelfish (or another instant translator), I would love to sit
down and meet with Talleyrand, the great politician and diplomat and hear his stories about
Napoleon, the great wars of Europe, and what he might think about the EU and Russia today.
What drew you to serve on the Brattleboro Food Co-op Board of Directors?
As a recent transplant here, I wanted to know the community better and help support an
institution in town that has a tremendous positive impact on the areas many customers, shareholders, and residents.
What do you like the most about being on the Board of Directors?
I haven’t been on the Board for that long, but I appreciate the camaraderie and transparency of the board.