|Meet Jim Meet Jim ColeJim loves co-ops. From the beginning of the Paso Food Cooperative in 2013, he has been an indispensable member of the Steering Committee, Business Subcommittee, and founding Board of Directors. From filing the co-ops incorporation paperwork, accounting, budgeting, and myriad other organizational tasks, Jim keeps the co-op on a financially and legally sound footing.Jim has visited and shopped at half a dozen co-ops around the country including those in Davis CA, San Luis Obispo CA, Burlington VT, Montpelier VT, Boise ID, and Santa Fe NM. His favorite local co-ops include SLO Natural Foods, Farm Supply Co-op, Ace Hardware, and Organic Valley. He is a member at REI.
From 1978 thru 1990 Jim lived on the east coast as the Director of Energy Efficiency for the New York State Energy Authority. He moved to the west coast in 1990 to take a job as the Executive Director of the California Institute for Energy and the Environment (CAIEE), where he worked full time until 2002. Throughout all those years Jim saw the evolution of global energy sources, systems, & new technologies, and observed them growing in complexity, capital-intensiveness, and vulnerability – becoming more and more unsustainable.
It was in 2002 when out of a growing sense of urgency that something needed to be done differently, Jim dropped to part-time as Senior Advisor (at CAIEE) and began his journey of gaining knowledge, skills, and connections for helping to combat this dangerous trend. Since then he has been involved in local organizations: Member of SLO County Transition Town Hub, Board Member and Treasurer of the non-profit Institute for Sustainable Living, and Board Member, Chief Financial Officer, and Resident of the Oak Creek Commons Cohousing Community and community volunteer supporting the SLO County Clean Energy Economy Coalition and several Cal Poly San Luis Obispo University SustainSLO Projects.
In 2013 he launched a county-wide, modular permaculture design course, SLO Permaculture, that is currently in its third year of operation. His permaculture background includes Teacher Training and Permaculture Design Certification through the Permaculture Institute in 2012 and a second PDC with Santa Barbara City College / Quail Springs Permaculture Collaborative in 2009.
His professional background included serving as Executive Director (1990-2002) and Senior Advisor (2002-2012) with the University of California’s Institute for Energy Efficiency Program Director (1978-1990) with the New York State Energy Authority.
His Education includes a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Columbia University, an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an MSEE from MIT and BSEE from Lehigh University.
Jim believes that a vibrant Paso Robles Food Cooperative could contribute local economic development and longer-term energy security benefits for a healthier happier local community.