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Wellspring Cooperative

Our Team

Wellspring Harvest Manager, Business Developers, Board and Advisors

Stephen Hilyard:  Wellspring Harvest greenhouse grower and manager - Stephen has 27 years of experience with field and greenhouse growing, including supervisory and training roles. He also has ten years of experience with hydroponic greenhouse equipment sales, in addition to his work with produce marketing and vocational agricultural education. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science and a masters in sustainable farming from UMass. He has completed specialized training in hydroponic greenhouse growing.  

Emily Kawano:  Wellspring Cooperative Corporation Co-Director (PhD Economics) coordinates business planning, workforce training and community outreach.  As former Director of the Center for Popular Economics, she brings many years of experience with organizational development and governance, public education, and project development.  She serves as United States Coordinator of the Solidarity Economy Network with relationships with community development practitioners nationally and internationally.

Fred Rose: Wellspring Cooperative Corporation Co-Director (PhD City and Regional Planning) coordinates business research and planning and financial development through his position as a Research Professor in the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  He  has 20 years of experience working with organizations and leaders throughout Springfield as the former Lead Organizer of the Pioneer Valley Project, a faith-based organizing project in Springfield.

Betsy Johnson: Wellspring Harvest Board member. Betsy is on the Steering Committee of the Springfield Food Policy Council, and was the interim Executive Director of the American Community Gardening Association and Chefs Collaborative. She brings decades of experience with community gardening, urban agriculture and food security work.

Eric Fedus: Wellspring Harvest Board member. Eric brings expertise in business research, project management and sustainability including permaculture and  ZERI (Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives). He serves on the Board of the Western Mass Green Consortium.

Jeff Jones: Wellspring Harvest Board member. Jeff is a union Representative for UFCW Local 1459 and services the workplaces at Stop & Shop as well as River Valley Market, Franklin Food Coop and Brattleboro Food Coop. Nationally, the UFCW is at the forefront of developing businesses that are worker owned, as exemplified in the Cincinnati Union Coop Initiative.

Joe Swartz: Greenhouse development consultant Joe Swartz provides technical assistance for developing and designing Wellspring's greenhouse business through his Hydroponic Consulting Service in Amherst, Massachusetts and as Vice President for Commercial Sales and Technical Support at American Hydroponics.  He has been a commercial hydroponic vegetable and herb grower for 28 years.  For the past twelve years he has also served as a consultant to the commercial hydroponics industry within the United States and internationally. 

Keith Wilda: Greenhouse and aquaponics manager and consultant Keith Wilda serves as technical adviser to Wellspring from his position as Director of the Island Grown Initiative and Island Grown Farm on Marthas Vinyard.  He has 20 years of experience as a horticultural and aquaponics educator, researcher, and extension provider at the University of Massachusetts.  He previously managed two of the largest acquaponics companies in the country and has traveled widely as a consultant. 

Daniel Ross is the principal of DAISA Enterprises, LLC., providing consulting services and business development for leading social enterprises, foundations, and institutions working to maximize impact at nexus of food, agriculture, & health.

ICA Group in Brookline provides technical assistance in business and financial planning to Wellspring through the work of Business Consultant Jonathan Ward and Executive Director David Hammer.  ICA is a national consulting group that has worked since 1978 to support communities to develop cooperatives, social enterprises and other alternative business structures.