From the Board of Directors: On the Front Lines

March 19th 2020

by Mark DiMaggio – board member Provender Alliance 

Frontier Co-opWe hope that everyone is as safe and healthy as they can be during these challenging times. I had intentions of writing about the natural products industry in the Pacific Northwest, reevaluating the need for mega trade shows and mega distributors. However, with the growing impact of the COVID 19, I felt this was an excellent time to appreciate those on the front lines in our industry. 

Grocery stores and their employees are dealing with every walk of people healthy, sick, agitated, and everything in between. Those working behind the scenes delivering products that we so desperately need, those that are picking and packing orders, and those ensuring that all of this work can continue to take place, thank you. We appreciate all of you and the hard work that your teams have been putting in to maintain as much sanity and toilet paper as possible!  

One thing that I would like to highlight from a Provender perspective is our new Givitas platform, which is an ‘Ask and Offer’ forum where any member can post a question or prompt for other Provender members to respond. This platform can be an incredibly useful tool in our current environment to find out what is working for some stores/brands and what isn’t. You can find out more here, or sign up directly here.

Our community has a combined experience of over 1 million billion years (maybe a slight exaggeration), so with all of that experience, we can help each other to get through this! We appreciate you and are here to help facilitate any communication that we can.


Board member Mark DiMaggio moved to the Pacific Northwest and can’t imagine another place to live and work. He started the journey towards the PNW as an undergraduate at Bentley University in Massachusetts. After graduating with an Economics and Finance degree, Mark worked at Equal Exchange as a sales representative and tea supply chain developer, then at Red Duck Foods, a start-up condiment company and certified B Corp in Portland, OR.