Our Current Board

Dan Hague

After receiving an MBA in the early 80s I worked for a large multi-national and then at residential real estate sales.  In 1993 I founded Sportrock, Inc. to build and manage indoor rock climbing facilities near Washington, DC. Under my direction, Sportrock grew to the largest indoor rock climbing company on the east coast. In 2005 I left Sportrock to move to Lynchburg.

I have been a downtown Lynchburg resident ever since, witnessing the rebirth of this once overlooked section of the city. I restored my home on Diamond Hill and have been active in the neighborhood historic society. I am a strong advocate for the redevelopment of downtown.

In 2007 I restored 1225 Church St into the popular Rise Up Climbing. Since then I transformed both 1220 and 1300 Main St into lofts and commercial space. I am now planning the redevelopment of 1209 to 1217 Church St.

I am a long time proponent of local, natural and organic foods going back to a health crisis in 1984. I have experienced personally what a natural diet can do in restoring and maintaining good health.

I have been chair of the Grassroots steering committee since its inception, helping guide its rapid transition from concept to near reality at an accelerated pace. I have a reputation for getting things done and if elected I will continue my strong efforts to open this store.

David Poole

Dave Poole, 56, with teenage daughters in the city schools. I am a business owner downtown with 30+ years of experience in restaurants and rehabilitation. My interest in downtown (here in Lynchburg and Staunton) has been enhanced by service to Non-profit and community organizations along with volunteer and service club membership. Mechanical engineer, with extensive experience in HVAC systems, restaurant development and construction. I bring a broad spectrum of skills and history in small business development and start up. Most recently, I am the owner of the downtown restaurant Depot Grille. I am passionate about serving on Grassroots board of directors as this much needed project will bring good/healthy, reliable foods to downtown and further the vibrant community.

Jennifer Woofter

Jennifer is a recent transplant to Lynchburg, relocating from the Washington, DC area with her husband and two children in 2013. They live in a historic home on Rivermont Avenue, with chickens, goats and a large garden. Her family is committed to the concept of locavorism and she is actively involved in community events, including engagement with Town Council on Lynchburg's recent masterplan update.

Professionally, Jennifer is an entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in social and environmental sustainability. Her company, Strategic Sustainability Consulting, provides support for organizations as they seek to integrate social, economic and environmental considerations into their planning decisions. Jennifer has extensive expertise in social media, marketing/communications, financial planning (including budgeting and oversight), and strategic planning. 

Jennifer has served on multiple non-profit Boards in the past, serving both in "at large" positions as well as in elected positions of Vice President and President. She currently serves as the President of the James River Council for the Arts and Humanities, where she is responsible for guiding the organization to fulfil its mission of promoting public art in the local communities.

Jennifer believes that a vibrant downtown grocery is an essential part of Lynchburg's successful revitalization efforts and a cornerstone of an inclusive community where all demographics have access to healthy and reasonably priced food.

Lara Jesser-Abell

Interesting, delicious, healthy food is important to me. Before I moved to Lynchburg in 2008, I had been living on small farms in rural Georgia, where I learned how to make everything from scratch and to use what we grew from the garden, raised on the land, or what we found growing wild. Since living here, I have worked with three local nonprofit agencies including Lynchburg Daily Bread, New Vistas School and The Free Clinic. I’ve also been on the Hunger Steering Committee and participated in discussions at Lynchburg Area Food Council as well as Land & Table monthly meetings.  This spring, I will graduate from Lynchburg College with a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership.  For the last four years, I’ve done an extensive amount of research and activism to improve food literacy, food access, and discuss why issues like sustainability are important. I have significant experience with board group dynamics, fundraising, volunteer coordinating and community outreach. For me, Lynchburg is the right size city to have everything you want easily accessible, without having to make it too complicated. A grocery co-op downtown offers an opportunity to make food even more interesting, improve the local economy, and expand on all conversations revolving around what food is, does and could be. 

Stephanie Atkinson

Stephanie Atkinson is a New Jersey native and 4th generation small business owner. Currently owns two specialty retail shops in the downtown area utilizing a combined 12 years of experience in managing, merchandising, planning, and marketing. Understanding that a successful ‘shop local’ experience involves community partnership Stephanie has leveraged her businesses to promote Lynchburg organizations. Believing that organic growth is the key to a uniquely successful Downtown Stephanie carries over 40 local artisans allowing her commercial spaces to be a springboard for their growth. As someone who listens to customers each day she knows that shoppers are moving away from ‘big box’ chains and would love the challenge to help shape an independent market. Her passion is providing a real shopping experience with unique products and a personal interaction.

Tremayne Edwards

Tremayne has been a Lynchburg resident (and lover) for seven years now. He spent the last four years working in downtown community centers through the City of Lynchburg's Parks and Recreation Department.  Through this opportunity he was able to see first-hand the need for many things in the downtown community, including a grocery store, and Tremayne hopes to bring his experiences of working in the community to better serve the community  as a board of directors , through innovative ideas and lots of collaboration to ensure success for the market.  Tremayne currently serves as an executive board member for the Friends of Lynchburg Parks and Recreation, co-manager of the Hill City Sliders, Grassroots Local Market Volunteer, and "Manny" to the best kids ever. 

Victoria Bartholomew

As a current member of the Grassroots Steering committee, I have knowledge of the current organization and its progress that will be needed in the ongoing efforts in opening of a successful cooperative grocery store.  I currently live in Downtown Lynchburg where I own a home in Diamond Hill, in addition I spend a considerable amount of my time working on the boards of other downtown minded organizations including Lynchs Landing, the 5th st CDC, and the Diamond Hill Historic Society.  I am also a real estate agent with a specialty in downtown real estate.  My personal knowledge and experience in this community has informed my decision in being involved in the steering committee as a need for a downtown grocery store is required for the continued success of this part of our city.  I work to purchase as much of my food locally as I can, not only to feed myself but to support my community as well.   Readily accessible healthy food is important to me and I see Grassroots as a vital step in having the people of this city create the type of community they want to be a part of.