Meet our Board! The Board of Directors is comprised of 11 owners who help to govern our co-op. The Board meets monthly with our General Manager, who reports directly to the board.
2023 Board Elections are currently open. If you are an owner, click here to vote through October 15.
Patrick Finan- President
Heather Lazickas- Vice President
Carolyn Hoyt Stevens
Domenic Licata – Secretary
About Our Board Members!
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.
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:
- Local peaches
- Smiles and community
- Double chocolate cookies
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
With new flexibility to work remote the past couple of years, I’ve been able to rejoin the Buffalo community, and love to see how much this city is thriving. I work as a client lead for a global marketing agency, focusing on growth strategies for brands big and small across many diverse industries. While my role led me to move away for most of my career, I’ve been lucky to find my way back to Buffalo and discover just how much growth is happening right here at home.
Having a chance to consult for the co-op when I first moved back in 2020, I was blown away at how humble the staff and leadership were about everything they were doing at the stores and in the community. It is more than just a grocery store – it’s a partner to small businesses, a support system for new vendors, and fundamentally, a welcoming space for all who find it. I’m so excited to be a part of the board and guide the organization into the future because I know that when the co-op grows, the community does too.
When I’m not munching on Lexi’s goodies (chicken wing soup is my favorite!), you can find me strolling Hertel, running through Delaware park, or commiserating with other diehard fans at the Bills games.
Growing up in the suburbs of Buffalo, I always looked forward to when my parents would take me into the city – and our first stop was, of course, Lexington Coop. I remember being impressed by the unique selection of products that you couldn’t find at a traditional grocery store and being obsessed with all of the delicious prepared food (in particular, the chicken salad!).
When my husband and I were able to move back to Buffalo in 2020, I was thrilled to be able to frequent and support my beloved Lexington Coop once again! I quickly became a member and am honored to have been elected to the Board of Directors.
In my professional life, I work in the cyber risk industry as a Customer Success Manager for a startup based out of NYC. Outside of work, you can find me walking my 1.5-year-old rescue dog, baking, gardening, volunteering, and cheering on any and all Buffalo sports teams.
Originally from the west, I moved to Buffalo about 20 years ago, and have been a long-time member-owner of the Co-op since. I’m an avid cyclist, love strolling along our historic neighborhoods, and enjoy cooking for my family and friends. I founded and ran Allen Street Consulting, a firm providing accounting services in Buffalo, and worked with many local businesses and nonprofits over the years, including several co-ops. I am currently the Director of Finance at the beautiful Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.
I’ve loved seeing the growth of the Co-op over the years, and how that’s enabled so many city residents to be able to enjoy healthy food, a great shopping experience, and a taste of what it means to be part of a co-operative. I love the recent developments of co-operatives across the country and in our own city and am excited to be involved more directly in the one that’s played such a significant role in my own life. As Buffalo grows and changes, it’s important that the Co-op does too, and I’m so happy to have a voice in that direction, as we develop into a store that serves all of Buffalo.
I was first introduced to the Lexington Co-op by friends and became a member-owner in 2013. As a resident of Elmwood Village, I love living within walking distance of the Co-op, especially when craving the flourless chocolate cake!
As a talent development professional, I support colleagues with learning and professional development opportunities to help them grow their skill sets and careers. Before joining University at Buffalo, I spent much of my career in the hospitality and food service industries working with and learning from food service professionals and culinarians.
My appreciation of local, fresh, and seasonal produce began as a child with my parent’s garden, starting each spring and continuing through summer and fall from planting, harvesting, to canning. In addition, my professional experiences, and interests relevant to Co-op leadership include leadership experience serving on the Board of Directors for local not-for-profit professional associations; over 20 years’ professional experience in facilitation, training, workforce and talent development, human resources, and operations management; a master’s degree in creative problem solving and change leadership.
The Lexington Co-op has served as one of the cornerstones to the Western New York Community for decades. As a life-long Western New Yorker, I enjoy finding opportunities to contribute to our local community and participating on the Lexington Co-op board is a great fit. It is an honor to serve on the Board and support the interests of fellow owner-members, work collaboratively with board members and Co-op leadership, to make fair, consistent, and fiscally responsible decisions impacting the greater good of our membership and community, and to ensure the Co-op’s success for the future. In support of this and as a talent development professional, I also appreciate all the training resources available for new and long-term board members!
Carolyn Hoyt Stevens
I joined the Lexington Coop when I moved back to Buffalo from Ithaca in 2000 with my husband, veterinarian Reed Stevens, and young daughter. We now have two adult children who are pretty amazing people!
I am a licensed realtor with Gurney Becker & Bourne and love my work! This is a new career for me after many years in the non-profit sector, including The Park School as development director for 15 years and at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo for five. I’ve always worked in people-oriented fields because I truly enjoy helping others achieve their goals. I’m passionate about Buffalo and our community and serve on the Board of Managers for the Society of Natural Sciences (Science Museum & Tifft Nature Preserve), one of our community’s great resources! I love cooking and gardening and try to exercise as much as possible.
I have many years of board service as well as experience as a senior staff member responsible for board management. Board service includes Planned Parenthood of Buffalo & WNY, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie Niagara & the Southern Tier, NYS Childrens & Family Trust Fund, The Park School of Buffalo, and the Maria Love Convalescent Fund. I’m an avid Buffalo booster yet also recognize the challenges we face uniting the community and addressing injustices both current and historic.
Shopping at the Co-op always makes me happy! I appreciate healthy eating and providing meals that my family and friends enjoy. The Co-op is my go-to place to shop and when I saw the invitation to run for the Board, I thought I could make a positive difference as a Board member given my passion for the mission of the organization and work and board experiences.