Berkshire Food Co-op Welcomes New General Manager

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — After conducting an eight-month-long, nationwide search for a new general manager, the board of directors of Berkshire Food Co-op has tapped Troy Bond to helm the newly expanded cooperative grocery store.

"We are thrilled to welcome Troy to the Berkshires to lead our co-op as we grow into our new store. He brings not only an extensive background successfully managing natural foods stores, but also superior communication skills and a history of community building," said Erica Spizz, president of the board of directors.

Bond started his career in natural foods by opening The Market in his hometown of Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 1998. The Market was the first retailer in the area dedicated to selling natural foods after the Cotton Top Co-op closed in the 1970s.

His interest in natural foods springs from a desire to provide healthy foods to support optimum well-being. Prior to opening The Market, Troy was certified to teach integral yoga, and served as the stress management specialist with the Ornish Program, an experimental program to reverse heart disease at Mercy Hospital and the Iowa Heart Center in Des Moines.



After selling The Market, Bond went on to work for Whole Foods Market as a store team leader and was named as an All*Star in 2004 after turning around an under-performing location and doubling sales. His career continued as a consultant for natural foods and specialty food service start-ups, a category manager, and a new store opening director. Recently he served on the executive team of the Independent Natural Foods Retailers Association (INFRA) as the director of member relations overseeing the retail operations of 250 retail members with 360 storefronts, and then as the store manager for an INFRA store in Florida.

"Considering how much we've been able to accomplish during this transitional phase, we think we'll be able to achieve great things working with Troy. We're looking forward to building an even more successful business with him that will become a powerfully positive force in our local economy," said Ted Moy, store manager.

Bond is moving to the Great Barrington area from Florida, with his two children, Donovan and Siena, both in high school. In his spare time, Troy enjoys writing fiction, cycling and making pizza from scratch.

 

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Flu Shot: It's That Time Again

By Dr. Everett Lamm

With flu season around the corner, your health care providers, employers, pharmacists and others are sounding the annual reminder: "Get your annual flu shot." We encourage this for you — and for the people around you, too. We see evidence every year of the benefits of the flu vaccine, and we also see the risks of skipping it.

The flu vaccine has dramatic impacts on public health. However, since strains of the flu may vary from year to year, the vaccine must be received annually. Although the vaccine doesn't guarantee a flu-free winter and perfect health, medical research has convincingly shown that the flu shot reduces flu severity and reduces sick visits, hospitalizations and intensive care admissions. For infants and the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, the flu shot is essential protection against serious illness.

Although Massachusetts has historically ranked high in its overall immunization rates —  50 percent of all residents received vaccines in 2015-16 flu season — that percentage dropped from 55 percent the year before. The lowest rates of vaccination are in residents 18-49 — 40 percent for the 2015-16 season, but vaccine rates for all age groups (except young children) dropped slightly as well.

Some people have medical reasons for being unable to have the shot, but others go without by choice. Why? They may feel confident in their own good health and their body's ability to ward off illness. They may be skeptical about vaccines in general. However, skipping the flu vaccine means taking an unnecessary risk – for yourself and others whom you care for or work with, or who may be more vulnerable than you to illness.

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