These are fearless and generous folks who serve on our Board of Directors. The Board is comprised of nine owners who help to govern our co-op. The Board meets monthly with our General Manager, who reports directly to the board.

Patrick Finan- President

Devon Dams-O’Connor

Marissa Pace

Heather Lazickas- Vice President

Derek Bateman

Rita Jones

Hope Hoetzer-Cook -Secretary

Emily Cosbey

Domenic Licata

Board members are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest. Conflict of Interest Disclosure Forms are available to view upon request. Please email board@lexington.coop.

About Our Board Members!

Patrick Finan

For me a perfect day is walking to the farmers’ market, buying whatever is in season, cooking all afternoon, and sharing what I make with friends well into the evening. For every other day there’s the Co-op, my daily connection to fresh, seasonal, and local food for as long as I can remember.

Outside of the Co-op and my kitchen, I run a branding and strategy agency called Block Club and am a partner in Buffalo-based pennant and flag company, Oxford Pennant. For more than 15 years, I’ve been a managing partner and partner in businesses with a combined workforce of nearly 90 teammates where we strive to foster a creative and open-minded environment focused on servant leadership; provide a great place to work for everyone; and delivery quality work for our customers every day.

I was motivated to join the Co-op board because my values align with the values of the Co-op, because I believe in the importance of building a vibrant co-op economy, because of the Co-op’s commitment to local farmers and building a sustainable food system in WNY, and because I want to help ensure the Co-op’s continued success in Buffalo. 

Heather Lazickas

Like most of us, my relationship with the co-op began with the food. My first visit was inspired by a lemon bar advertised by a friend. From there, the shopping trips—and their frequency—grew. On my list of favorite things about Lexington Co-op: 

  1. Local peaches
  2. Smiles and community
  3. Double chocolate cookies
  4. Consistently reliable avocados

I joined the co-op as a member-owner in 2010, and before I knew it, co-op grocery became a central force in my life. The following year I became a member of Lexington’s marketing staff, and a few years later I joined the startup management team at East Aurora Co-op Market. Today I continue my career within the sector as an owner and manager of a (worker-owned) firm providing design and operational support to cooperatives, grocers and community-driven enterprises. 

I see my work on the board as an opportunity to contribute my experience to an organization I’m dedicated to. Lexington Co-op creates access to foods and options not available elsewhere to shoppers, market access to local producers, and a true commitment to bettering our area. All of this has been created through relationships between individuals who are dedicated to community benefit. 

I’m a native Western New Yorker, I currently live in East Aurora with my husband. I’m passionate about eating, cooking, and sunshine. I think a good walk makes everything better. I’m grateful to work on the board with fellow owners of varied skills and experience, pooling the best of our talents to help guide our business into the future. Thank you for the opportunity!

Hope Hoetzer-Cook

I am a retired political consultant/teacher in China/business owner and member-owner of the Co-op since 2004. Since my pre-teen years I’ve been organizationally active, starting with leading a UNICEF drive in my Temple and elementary school, civil rights events in high school and discovering feminism in college that confirmed I wasn’t the only seriously indignant woman on the planet. Most recently I served on The Erie County Commission on the Status of Women, and currently, as Manager of Buffalo ReUse (an all-volunteer non-profit); Democratic Executive Committee Member, Zone Chair and elected Committee member and – of course – Board Member and Secretary, Lexington Co-op.  I also garden, cook, and collect books that overflow my third-floor library.

I was motivated to run for the Co-op Board in 2007 because voluntary member-work was terminated, and I worried we were becoming “just another store,” a concern that remains. My best skills are critical, analytical and organizational: what are we doing? Why? Is there a better way? How? During my Board tenure, working with others, I initiated annual Board budget submissions, member benefits, a records maintenance review program, a confidential voting system, self-nomination for standing for the Board and adoption of various other procedures to help further more transparent policy fulfillment. There’s more to do.

I’ve tried my best to consistently keep member-owner perspectives and co-op ideals center-front. We’re more than isolated stock owners – we’re also members of a very interesting kind of non-profit democratic business corporation that espouses cooperation, green principles, moral and healthy food, fairness and justice, amongst other goals. Given expansion stresses, it’s all too easy to allow fiduciary pressures to dominate policy thinking; the challenge for now – and the future – is for Board Members to never forget that member-owners’ concerns, from affordability to accessibility to veganism, must be part of the bottom line and balance between profits and people.

Domenic J. Licata

I have been honored to serve on the Co-op’s Board as a director and then president from 1991–2003, and as Vice President for a one-year term in 2019–2020, assisting in the governance of the Co-op’s growth across three stores.

In 1990 I became increasingly aware of inequities and injustices around the production of and access to food. I was introduced to the Co-op by friends, where I found it easy to adopt a vegetarian (and now vegan) diet featuring locally produced, organic and fairly traded products. As I learned more about how cooperatives empower individuals through economic democracy and build communities around shared values, I decided to become active in governance and eventually take on a leadership role.

My years spent on the Co-op board are among my most valued in regards to personal growth and development. Through a strong sense of community, teamwork, consensus building and engagement with our owners, coupled with financial and governance training, we were able to sustain our small store and then grow our outreach and impact into now two new stores, propelling our ownership base into the tens of thousands.

That experience fueled my involvement in shared governance at UB, where I served as Chair of the Professional Staff Senate for four years, and as statewide Convener of the SUNY Campus Governance Leaders group. 

At UB I work as an Instructional Support Technician and instructor in the UB Department of Art, in the areas of Graphic Design and Art & Technology. I have a freelance design and photography business, and I hold a Master’s Degree in Education and Technology. I have two brilliant and compassionate daughters, both enrolled in SUNY colleges.

Rita Jones

I had an interest in becoming a Lexington Co-op board member based on the fact that I loved the Co-op and wanted to be part of such a vibrant establishment. It has been an honor to serve as I continue to learn the makings and operations of our food co-op. I’ve served on another board in the past and learned that all boards are not the same, especially by the culture alone. I’ve been a co-op member for 3-4 years. My professional experiences primarily have been in the insurance industry in several capacities and customer relations have been a major area as well. I love the arts of any kind and embrace art around me whenever I can—it can feed the soul. I am still learning and as advised, “it is more than where to place the can of tomatoes.” The main key in my service as a Co-op board member is to learn the foundational policies and to stay within the mission of the coop: for continued good growth and great service for our member-owners and our local communities. Welcome aboard those who may have an interest and a passion to serve.

Derek Bateman

I consider myself a “Co-op Person.” I first joined Lexington Co-op in 1977 where I participated in the “newsletter collective” that published the Co-op’s newsletter the “Recycled Wrapping Paper.” In 1978 some friends and I started organizing a Credit Union to serve the Co-operative Community of Buffalo. The Buffalo Cooperative Federal Credit Union was founded in 1979 and joined forces with Good Neighbors Federal Credit Union in 2020. I also helped found the Parkside Federal Credit Union and was the first Executive Director of the Energy Cooperative of Western New York (now called the Energy Cooperative of America). I have also served on the Board of the Nickel City Housing Cooperative as well as the Board of the Co-op Credit Union for over 40 years and Lexington Co-op for over 20 years.  

I have an MBA and 20-years’ experience as an Executive Director working for not-for-profit organizations as well as 17-years’ experience as a Community College instructor teaching Sociology, Political Science and Economics. As the largest and most visible consumer cooperative in this region, I joined the Lexington Co-op Board to advocate for affordable options for our members as well as opportunities for those of members who wanted, through the Lexington Co-op, to have opportunities for meaningful participation in activities that promote cooperation, cooperatives and the cooperative movement in Buffalo.  

Emily Cosbey

I have been a Co-op member for roughly seven years now, starting when I moved to the Elmwood Village. Upon moving there, it quickly became clear how much the city depends on small businesses, and how central the Co-op became in our everyday living. As a customer I was able to learn a great deal about how Co-ops service surrounding farms and small businesses, and work to empower growth within the community. 

With that in mind, I decided to run for a seat on the Board of the Lexington Co-op. As an English as a New Language educator I share the co-op’s values in servicing our diverse Buffalo community by advocating for equity and access to whole, healthy, and local foods for all. 

In the short time that I have been a director, I have learned even more about the principles and mission of the co-op. It has been a true pleasure working alongside such passionate directors in our work to ensure sustainable and ever-evolving growth throughout the cooperative. 

Marissa Pace

I ran for the Lexington Co-op board for the opportunity to give back to the Community. For me, it was not enough to be an owner and shopper—I wanted to devote my time, abilities, and energy to the Co-op, too. I’ve been a member of the Co-op for 15 years and have had previous board experience and have also done committee work in organizations. It is important to know how to communicate within a group. The ability to work together including making compromises for a greater common good is beneficial to accomplish the board goals and work.

I am a Human Resources professional, but my passions outside of work include being outdoors, hiking and running! Hiking and trail running helps me connect with the environment and re-energize from the stress around me.

Devon Dams-O’Connor

Buffalo-born and raised, I’m a lover of local food who can usually be found growing veggies in my front yard garden, perusing local farmers’ markets, canning and pickling everything, cooking up a storm, and writing about local food and farms for regional magazines. The Lexington Co-op’s role as a community-owned hub that supports our regional food system is why I became a member-owner in the first place more than ten years ago, why I chose to run for its board of directors, and why I vote to support this concept with my dollar as a customer at the Hertel store who’s in there almost daily (because I live around the corner, and I forget stuff).   

Outside of playing with food and loving the Co-op, I’ve been a freelance journalist since 2004 and have worked as a freelance copywriter for advertising agencies across New England for more than 15 years. I am also an Erie County Elections Inspector; a cyclist, paddler, and CrossFitter; a volunteer with several local non-profits; and lover of getting lost in the woods.