Meet the Spoke Folks co-op worker-owners!
Jess is current president of the board and a worker/owner of Spoke Folks Co-op Inc.
She is an avid environmental advocate who has centered her work around organizing youth in western Maine. Her focus is on climate action and projects that reflect the values of preserving the natural lands as well as creating thriving environments to live and work in.
She is a member of several climate action coalitions in the state of Maine, including Maine Climate Action NOW! (MCAN) and Maine Youth for Climate Justice (MYCJ) and conducts her youth organizing work through the Center for an Ecology-based Economy (CEBE).
She currently works at the Fare Share cooperative in Norway, where she enjoys being able to work in alignment with cooperative values, share the youth perspective on environmental advocacy and the impact of our current waste systems.
As a dancer and singer, Jess also co-founded the non-profit Creative Norway, backed by strong community support. She felt called to help develop Spoke Folks because the values that drive the forming of the co-op align with her values of limiting our impact to the environment and building a healthy community.
Justin has over seven years of experience in developing youth leaders in western Maine, most recently as the Youth Leadership Program Coordinator at the Alan Day Community Garden.
He previously worked at the Bryant Pond 4H camp as an environmental educator, sharing the wonder of nature with Maine kids of all ages. Justin is passionate about youth empowerment and getting folks in touch with local food and gardening. Whether it’s on a ropes course, afloat in a canoe, or at a community garden, he's learned that youth are capable of rising to their full potential when supported by a community of caring adults.
In 2020 Justin started his first market garden, providing a variety of vegetables to the local community and has begun inoculating logs for edible mushroom production. In his spare time, he enjoys romping around our beautiful woods and mountains, playing the mandolin with a various local ensembles, and reading on a broad range of topics.
Lu was born and raised in western Maine and is a passionate cyclist having spent much time touring around New England and beyond. He can often be seen riding through western Maine’s foothills with his dog Ajo happily riding in a trailer behind his bike. When he first learned of Spoke Folks, he found a natural fit that combines his passion for cycling and pension for environmental and political activism.
Lu is part of the Environmental Changemakers group, a program of the Maine Environmental Education Association, that empowers Maine Youth to engage on a wide range of environmental and social justice issues around the state. He also has a passion for wild, foraged and fermented foods, often showing up with something tasty to share with his friends. He works part time at the Fare Share Cooperative Market in Norway in addition to being a worker/owner in the Spoke Folks Cargo Bike Coop.
Scott Vlaun is the founding Executive Director of the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy (CEBE) in Norway, Maine, a climate justice organization founded in 2013. CEBE is dedicated to developing resilient local food systems; community-based renewable energy; public, electric, and human-powered transport; and affordable, efficient housing.
He also co-coordinates the Maine Network of Community Food Councils and is active in other coalitions and networks including Maine Climate Action NOW! and the Maine Food Convergence project both of which he helped to form.
Scott is a longstanding member of the Fare Share Food Co-op and is currently in a training program with the Cooperative Development Institute to foster a cooperative economy in western Maine. Scott practices and teaches permaculture design both in Maine and at the Maharishi University in Fairfield Iowa, where he is an adjunct faculty member in the Sustainable Living Department.
He also writes and photographs for publication, worked for years as market gardener, and is an avid skier and cyclist. He has always seen bicycles as an essential part of the solution to the climate and ecological crisis, and a form of empowerment for the disadvantaged.