Board of Directors Letter | GM Jacqueline Hannah Depature

Fellow Common Ground Owners,

We have some important news to share with you. Common Ground’s General Manager, Jacqueline Hannah, has accepted a position as a Co-op Development Specialist with the Food Co-op Initiative (, a national organization that advises start-ups in the industry. She will remain at Common Ground until May, so we will have plenty of time to say proper goodbyes and celebrate her incredible contribution to our organization, as well as to plan for the transition in leadership.

While we are very sad to lose Jacqueline’s leadership, we are also very excited for her. Since joining Common Ground in 2006 Jacqueline has guided the co-op from its location in a church basement to a brand new space in Lincoln Square, followed by an expansion that doubled the size of the store, and she is currently finalizing details for a second store in Champaign. In recent years, Common Ground has been recognized as the fastest growing food co-op in the country, and now other start-ups will benefit from her expertise. One of our Ends is to strengthen the cooperative movement so it is fitting that Jacqueline is leaving us only to help foster other successful co-ops.

The Board has initiated a search process for a new General Manager and will be providing regular updates to Common Ground owners. We are also working closely with Jacqueline on transition plans and arrangements for interim leadership, should that become necessary. While the General Manager plays a critical role, Common Ground has a talented and dedicated management team and staff and so we are confident of a seamless and successful transition.

As you know, this announcement comes at a time when Common Ground is working very hard to be able to announce the location of a new Champaign store. That work continues by both the Board and the staff. We will be announcing a location as soon we are able to do so.

Please join us in congratulating Jacqueline on this exciting new opportunity and thanking her for her many years of tireless work on behalf of Common Ground. If you have any questions for your board of directors, we can be reached by email at

In cooperation,
Common Ground Food Coop’s Board of Directors
Todd Sweet
Martha Mills
Julie Zilles
Eric Benson
Eunice Bucknerboone
Magdalena Casper-Shipp
Megan Gillette
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe
Halie Kastl