GreenStar Welcomes New Wellness Manager

By Kristie Snyder, 
GreenLeaf Editor

11-04-lisa-marcellaGreenStar is pleased to welcome Lisa Marsella as the West-End store's new Wellness Manager. A familiar face to GreenLeaf readers, Lisa has worked in GreenStar's Bakery at Oasis for six years, serving as the Bakery Assistant Manager for the past two. While there, she helped create GreenStar's bread program and developed numerous recipes that have since become customer favorites.

Lisa will transition into her new job during April, taking over from long-time Wellness Manager DiAnna Snyder. A native of Rhode Island, Lisa has lived in Ithaca for the past twelve years. Seeking a place to settle after the birth of her son, she was attracted to the area's natural beauty and progressive social, political and economic ideals.

In her twenties, Lisa was active with the Catholic Worker movement, which seeks to protest injustice, war and all forms of violence. That involvement led to her interest in cooperative economics as a tool for furthering social justice. GreenStar's mission to "build an alternative social and economic structure based on open membership, cooperation, democratic community control, not-for-profit operation and ethical responsibility" echoes the Catholic Worker's mission to, as Lisa said, "resist the structures that create poverty." And, she added "there's no real model for that — we're creating it year by year and decision by decision, and being a part of that is really exciting for me."

As the head of the Wellness Department, Lisa hopes to bring shoppers what they want at reasonable prices, and she's eager to help customers enhance their health. "While I loved creating delicious treats for people in the Bakery, and knowing the delight they brought, it feels more meaningful to help people find relief for their ailments and support for their health and overall well-being," she said.

She's also looking forward to learning more about the huge variety of Wellness products. Lisa has long been interested in medicinal plants and homeopathy, and "I'm the kind of person that likes to learn everything, and this is an opportunity for me to grow within GreenStar," she said.

Lisa was attracted to the department's size and reputation. "In the Bakery we have a real camaraderie, and I think they have that in Wellness also. It's a really well-run department, with a small staff, and when I met everyone in the interviews for the position, they were really terrific."

Interim General Manager Brandon Kane agrees, and thinks Lisa is a good match for the department. "Lisa's positive personality will fit well with that department. She has an amazingly supportive staff, so I expect the transition to be quite smooth," he said. "The Wellness Department faces new challenges these days with natural and organic supplements and bodycare surfacing everywhere, including heavy competition from internet retailers. I have worked with Lisa for several years and find that she always brings determination and capability to any task she is presented with. I'm confident that Lisa and her team will keep the Wellness Department vital with their excellent customer service and innovative ideas."

Lisa lives in Freeville in a historic house she recently bought with her partner of twelve years. Her 14-year-old son Kai, a student at Ithaca's New Roots Charter School, and their four cats round out the family.

"I really like Ithaca," she said. "You can be whatever you want to be here and feel free to be that and be supported. And," she added, "it's the most beautiful place."

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