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June. She’ll be representing the organization on a national scale, from here in Harrisonburg, helping communities around the country start co-ops of their own, and building capacity for the organization. “If they required me to leave ... that would have been a very difficult decision,” she said in retrospect. If Virginia is for lovers, Harrisonburg is for Suzi.

‘It’s all connected’ The bigger picture of every project is rarely lost on Suzi. “It’s all connected,” she says. “It isn’t necessarily about only the co-op or the greenway, but how we are growing these great things that we can say yes to together.” Recently, she said “yes” to a different kind of proposal: it was thanks in part to the co-op that Suzi and Michael reconnected after a friendship during college, when she needed his help for a fundraising project. He proposed during one of their favorite pastimes, a camping trip, and they’ll be married in September with an outpouring of help from friends and family. On a recent dreary day, Michael sat with a coffee mug at the Artful Dodger, rain falling in sheets on Court Square behind him. Born in Harrisonburg and having done his share of wandering, Michael returned to the area in 2012, when he and Suzi Sometimes, “people wait for the town to serve them,” according to Suzi Carter. “I think that was such a paradigm shift to loving this area. When you just realize you’ve got to make [change] ... if the party isn’t happening, make one!”

Bloom summer 2013 layout 1 25  
Bloom summer 2013 layout 1 25