Meet The Board

There are nine seats on our Co-op’s Board of Directors, with each director serving a three-year term, with the exception of a tenth 1-year term that is filled by a member of staff and elected only by staff. There is no limit on the number of terms a director may serve, but they must run and be re-elected at the end of each term. Learn more about the experience of each of our current directors below.

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President Tom Pandaleon, '25

Tom has been a co-op enthusiast since 1979, when he joined a food-buying club in Ithaca, NY. After moving to Pittsburgh to attend law school in 1989, his family joined the EEFC, and, alongside many other volunteers, he helped start the Co-op’s credit union, which was federally chartered in 1993. He currently sits as its president. He was elected to the Board in 2019 after serving for one year in 2016. Tom sees our Co-op corporation and its community of member-owners as offering a democratic alternative to the economic powerlessness most people experience. He sees our work in stewardship of this Co-op, keeping it member-driven and activist as a responsible regional economic force, as vital to a better future for all.

Tom Pandaleon, '25

Vice President Carlos Gasca Yanez, '26

Carlos inherited a joy food from his family. His father and mother ran factory restaurants, he enjoyed shopping with them in the Mexico City market. As a new immigrant to Canada, he joined the Calgary Food Co-op, and upon arrival in Pittsburgh, he became a member of our Co-op. He volunteers his time on our Board to contribute towards a strong local food system anchored by our community of natural food lovers. Carlos enjoys cooking fresh food, composting, nature, design, and music. He is a father to two young sons and two daughters. He considers himself a social-entrepreneur and bio-artist.

Carlos Gasca Yanez, '26

Secretary Desmond Zheng, '24

As a sustainability consultant and young professional, I hope to bring to the EEFC Board my experience helping organizations transition to become a more sustainable operation while maintaining growth, and provide my input and perspective on intersectionality, inter-generational collaboration, and sustainability. My mom transferred her love of co-ops to me, and we’ve been shopping at our local co-op since 2003. On our cross-country road trip last year, we stopped at co-ops in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Bozeman.

Outside of co-ops, I am currently a Teaching Artist for the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse.

Desmond Zheng, '24

Lucia Covato, '26

I am currently a General Dentist and the Chief Dental Officer at North Side Christian Health Center, a 501 c3 Federally Qualified Health Center in the North Side. I serve on their Quality Committee and Risk Management team. I am a longstanding member of the REI Co-op.

Lucia Covato, '26

Mark Bowers, '26

I’ve been a board member/volunteer with local community development corporation, Downtown West Newton, Inc. since 2004, and a past board member and active volunteer with Westmoreland Land Trust since 2008. Served on steering committee that founded this county-wide land conservation organization. I was a stewardship committee member for three years for the Allegheny Land Trust and I’m currently a volunteer.

I’m an active member of the Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania since 1981. Served as treasurer since 2012. And I’m a past board member of the MonValley Initiative and currently on Regional Development Committee. MVI provides housing counseling, real estate/ community/workforce development and financial coaching to the people of the Mon Valley.

Mark Bowers, '26

Tyleda Worou, '25

Tyleda is so excited to be a part of the Board of her favorite health food store, and she looks forward to working with everyone to keep the East End Food Co-op the place to be! She is a local small business owner of 360 Cafe LLC, — an online alternative health and wellness spa — 360 Urban Homestead, and 360 Notary & Signing Service LLC. She has a passion for gardening; she and her family sell fresh produce at farmers’ stands during the growing season, along with fresh eggs from their hens. She would love to teach food preservation and chicken keeping to our member-owners because learning survival and self-sustainability is important to her.

Tyleda Worou, '25

Nicholas Leise, '24

With a degree in mechanical engineering, I spend my business hours as a Project Manager for Industrial Construction and Operations. I have experience with facility expansions, new constructions, multimillion dollar budgets and work cross-functionally with teams such as Finance, Real Estate, Design Engineering, and construction vendors. Additionally, I am the owner of a local, small Landscaping Company in the City of Pittsburgh. In my spare time, I am passionate about how good food can grow people and communities.

Nicholas Leise, '24

Nico Demkin, '24

For 8 years I was a member of the Swarthmore Co-op, until I moved to Allegheny County. I am also a founder and board member of the non-profit Shikkaricon, and currently serve as its treasurer. We hold events in the Philadelphia area focused on providing space for youth to enjoy Japanese and pop cultural entertainment.

Nico Demkin, '24

Board Updates

Board Corner: July 2024

By Tom Pandaleon, President Why do we persist? Why do we, the members of the East End Food Co-op still...

Board Corner: December 2023

By Tom Pandaleon, Vice President For several years, the East End Food Co-op board has been attempting to cultivate a...

Board Corner: November 2022

Dear Fellow Member-Owners, The fall season means many things: warm spiced fall food, turning leaves, and election season! You've probably...