About IEC

Island Employee Cooperative


The Island Employee Cooperative is a Maine cooperative corporation created by the employees of Burnt Cove Market, The Galley, and V&S Variety for the purpose of purchasing the stores from Vern and Sandra Seile.
The Seiles had spent decades building these businesses and when they were ready to retire, they wanted to make sure the jobs they created and the stores they ran continued. What better way than to help the employees become the owners!
On June 11th, 2014, after nearly a year of planning, negotiating and securing financing, the deal was closed and the ownership of the stores was transferred to the IEC, and the workers are the sole shareholders in the company.
Thanks to the Seile’s commitment to both the employees and the community, the jobs and ownership will remain local and will improve life for the many workers employed in these businesses.

It is the mission of the IEC to be a sustainable community anchor, by providing the highest quality service for our customers, and to support our island community.


What is a Worker Co-op?
Cooperatives come in many shapes and sizes but, at root, are businesses formed by groups of people who voluntarily develop, jointly own and democratically control the enterprise to meet their common needs.
In a worker co-op, the workers can own one share of the business, and only one share. Owning that share gives those workers certain rights in the corporation, like a vote to elect the board of directors, to approve a budget, and to set the strategic direction of the company. Being an owner also gives them an equitable share of the profits.
Worker cooperatives not only strive to provide meaningful, living wage jobs, they give the workers a say in how the company is run and broaden ownership of wealth by dividing profits equitably among the worker-owners.



The Island Employee Corporative is organized with a board of directors to lead the  members/owners. All of the IEC board members are also proud employees of the businesses that they represent. These hard working leaders play a dual role in the success of the three businesses. While they are full-time employees, they also volunteer their time to serve on the board, working to ensure that goals are met, and the businesses remain successful.
Board Members
Kristy Wiberg – President
Susan Hutchinson- Treasurer
Cindy Heanssler
Jeannette Cassidy





Numerous partners continue to help the IEC be a successful business and fulfill its mission, including:
Cooperative Development Institute
We make democratic ownership work for everyone.
Contact: Rob Brown, Program Director, Business Ownership Solutions
www.cdi.coop, [email protected], 207-233-2987, Northport ME
Promoting sustainable economic growth in rural communities since 1977.
Contact: Liz Rogers, SVP, Marketing & Communications
[email protected] 207-632-7693, Portland, ME
www.ceimaine.org 1-207-882-7552
Ace Hardware
Ace Hardware Corporation is an American hardware retailers’ cooperative based in Oak Brook, Illinois, United States. It is the world’s largest hardware retail cooperative, and the largest non-grocery American retail cooperative.
Cooperative Fund of the Northeast (CFNE)
A socially responsible lending organization and investment option, supporting cooperatives since 1975.
Contact: Chris Linder,  Maine Loan and Outreach Officer
[email protected]   Bangor, ME
www.cooperativefund.org. 1-800-818-7833
National Cooperative Bank
Providing comprehensive banking services to cooperatives and other member-owned organizations throughout the country.
2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22202
www.ncb.coop.com 1-800-955-9622
C&S Food Wholesalers