Any nonprofit organization or small company is indeed fortunate to have someone who functions as the “mother superior” to the staff. At ABC that role has been created and ably manifest by Cecelia Thompson since ABC’s founding over 15 years ago. Cecelia leads the financial and accounting team with Margaret Wright (profiled in HerbalGram 60). Cecelia’s duties include managing the general accounting functions, the general ledger, accounts payable and payroll, bank reconciliations, budgets, financial reports and planning, IRS forms, working with ABC’s auditors, and working with Margaret Wright to manage our human resources department. During a time when many nonprofits are struggling financially, Cecelia has helped to keep ABC financially stable.
Cecelia has been an old friend of mine since she was one of my customers of Sweethardt Herbs, my former wholesale herb company. In the early 1970s Cecelia and her husband Gary and another partner founded Dallas’ first natural food store, with bins full of bulk oats, whole wheat flour, granola, and lots of herbs sold in bulk (what was formerly the original store on lower Greenville Avenue is now part of the Whole Foods Market chain). The Thompsons eventually opened another natural food store and a natural foods restaurant long before natural foods became mainstream. Cecelia had such a successful business in Dallas; I remember she was the first of Sweethardt’s bulk herb customers to order two pounds of goldenseal powder at a time! Long before the advent of the ubiquity of the organic foods movement, Cecelia would purchase organic fruits and vegetables via air freight from California, specifically for the patients of a local physician who “prescribed” organic food for his chemically-sensitive patients; he was one of the pioneers in environmental medicine, and Cecelia and her store were part of the therapeutic program.
ABC, its staff, and its many members are truly blessed to have such a competent financial administrator who also has such a deep long-term personal commitment to the values of good nutrition through natural foods and the benefits of natural medicine.