1235 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee FL •  850.942.2557

Board of Directors


Christina Brown, President

I have lived for Tallahassee for about 10 years, continuing my residence after graduating from Florida State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting, Finance and Human Resource Management. I fell in love with Tallahassee and found a plethora of qualities that aligned with my interests. New Leaf Market is a true reflection of Tallahassee with its dedication on sustainability, support of local farmers and businesses, and community support.

I’ve been lucky to be a part of a diverse group of non-profits and small businesses and see how each organization can help the overall community through individual missions. Over the past ten years, my employment and consulting experiences include several industries including public relations, information technology, radio, high-tech start-ups, insurance, automotive, medical facilities, non-profits and construction. My volunteer work is just as diverse including organizations focused on child development, sister city relations, retaining young professionals and career placement. My passion for helping the Tallahassee community fuels my diligence and commitment to each organization that I commit to.

My personal interests are sustainable practices, herbalism, and tea. I’ve began immersing myself deeper in herbalism through classes with the North Florida Holistic Living School, which has guided me to a greater appreciation of the efforts of local businesses such as New Leaf Market. As a director, I would educate members and the community on the efforts, services and opportunities provided by New Leaf Market and accept the opportunity to further the mission and efforts of an exemplary organization.

Dennis Smith, Vice President

Born in Delaware, I grew up in South Jersey – close to the cranberry bogs and blueberry fields of the Pine Barrens.  From seasonal roadside produce stands to nearby Philadelphia’s bustling Reading Terminal Market, I was grew up being exposed to and enjoying a wide variety of fresh, farm-raised produce and meats and locally-sourced seafood.  From my earliest memories I recall keeping a family garden, something that half a century later I couldn’t imagine being without.

My love of the outdoors and of gardening led me to Rutgers University where in 1987 I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in international Environmental Studies, with an emphasis in agriculture and food. While at Rutgers I was a regular shopper and sometimes volunteer at the George Street Co-op. I served in the Peace Corps in Liberia (1988-90), focusing on agricultural education teacher training.  In 1992 I moved to Tallahassee and earned a Master of Science in Planning from FSU 1994.

I have been a regular shopper at New Leaf for 25 years and look forward to the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors.  I have a personal interest in building healthy communities and promoting Southside development.  As a Board member, I am interested in helping to facilitate the transition associated with the closure of the Bannerman store and focusing on promoting financial best practices to ensure that we all can enjoy a vibrant and sustainable Co-op for many years to come.

Holger Ciupalo, Treasurer

Moving from New York City to Tallahassee in 1994 and giving up all Manhattan had to offer was made a bit easier after discovering New Leaf Market and its offerings of locally grown organic foods. My family joined New Leaf very soon after the move and we've been shopping there ever since. I have worked in state government since moving to Tallahassee and look forward to being able to retire and have more time pursuing my favorite past-times - spending time with family and friends and traveling the world. I am excited to serve on the Board of Directors and look forward to being able to contribute to the mission and values of New Leaf Market, as well as continuing to have New Leaf Market serve as an important resource for consumers in our area.

Folayan Barnes, Director

My name is Folayan Barnes and I have been a resident of Tallahassee for the past 15 years. Since this time, I have considered New Leaf to be one of the original staples and symbols of local, organic and sustainable food practices here in the capital city. It is now my pleasure to be working more closely with the co-op, to better serve Tallahassee and its surrounding communities.

My interest in health and wellness began as a child growing up. My parents encouraged me to make healthy food choices and to maintain an active lifestyle. Being raised in South Florida, I had the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of diverse cultures and unique cuisine. When I transitioned to Tallahassee for college, I found myself longing for a positive change to help manage the temptations of the poor eating habits that come with late night study sessions, limited funds, and the need for convenience. This led me on a path to vegetarianism for over six years. Since then, I have continued to explore many other healthy lifestyle practices. New Leaf remains a cornerstone for this exploration and discovery. Through its abundance of quality products, as well as the friendly and knowledgeable staff, I know I can always find what I’m looking for here.

Now, being a parent, wife, and community leader, I feel it is more important than ever to share what a wonderful asset we have in New-Leaf Co-op. I hope you will join me in working towards positive changes for ourselves, our co-op and our community. Thank you for the opportunity.

Alexandra La Torre, Director

Born in Lima, Peru, and raised in South Florida, I moved to Tallahassee eight years ago to attend Florida State University, where graduated with a B.S. in Economics and International Affairs. There are a number of reasons why I have stayed in this city, but without a doubt, Tallahassee’s sense of community and its natural wonders are on top of that list.

As a child, I cared deeply about the environment. Documentaries about the decline in bee populations, water pollution, and ocean dead zones made me feel anxious, upset, and powerless. At the time I did not recognize the immense power I had as a consumer. After graduating college I decided it was time to take responsibility for my actions and become more thoughtful of my purchasing choices. I had driven past New Leaf on countless occasions, but before going through this transformative period, I was not aware of the hard work, dedication, and commitment to safe/fair practices that New Leaf follows.

As an avid runner, and vegan of two and a half years, New Leaf’s support of environmentally responsible practices, and its efforts to educate the community (and promote health) really resonate with me. I believe that having responsible and thoughtful food sources is of unparalleled importance. As a Director, I would work to share the impact of New Leaf with the community I love so much.

Dominique Reed, Director

My name is Dominique Reed and I am from Live Oak, FL. I relocated to Tallahassee, FL to attend Florida State University. I graduated from FSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management and Risk Management & Insurance and a Master’s Degree in Risk Management & Insurance. I have also obtained more than eight designations related to the Insurance Industry.
As a child I ate very unhealthy, as taste was a higher priority than health. Relocating to Tallahassee and being exposed to new experiences caused me to become more health conscience. I began to understand the importance of ingredients, reading labels, and researching products. I also attended health seminars, festivals and events which further fostered my appreciation for local and organic food and products. As a result, I was able to share my newfound knowledge with my family and encourage lifestyle changes.

As a director of New Leaf Market, I look forward to the day that NLM is able to participate in the Farm Tour, attend NCG seminars and meetings, budget mailing election ballots and customer surveys. I will encourage member involvement and work to facilitate the ease of communication methods. With my background knowledge and experience in Risk Management and Insurance I will be able to contribute to the co-op in regards to policies, insurance, compliance and safety.

My personal interests include spending time with my family, traveling, coaching and refereeing youth sports, and mentoring.



Questions or comments for our Board of Directors: directors@board.newleafmarket.coop.




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