Board of Directors

Jessica Nelson, Chair

Jessica contributes her expertise with electric cooperatives to CCCD's Board. She is the General Manager for Golden State Power Cooperative, the statewide trade association which was established in 1999.  GSPC supports member-owned electric cooperatives to ensure honest, efficient, affordable and reliable electric and telecommunications service in rural California. Jessica works closely with Anza Electric Cooperative, Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative and Surprise Valley Electrification Corporation to realize their goals. Jessica is the President of the Portola Preschool Cooperative and also serves on the board of the Clean Power Cooperative.

Leland H. “Lee” Ruth, Secretary

Lee is a founding board member of CCCD, President Emeritus, Agricultural Council of California, and has more than 30 years of experience working with cooperatives. In 2013 Lee was inducted into to the Co-op Hall of Fame, the highest honor that the U.S. cooperative community bestows on individuals who have made genuinely heroic contributions in support of the cooperative form of enterprise. Lee is president of Lee Ruth & Associates, a firm specializing in assisting agricultural associations and cooperatives with problems related to governmental relations, organization development and public relations. He is a past board member of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and Agricultural Cooperatives Development International/ Volunteers in Cooperative Assistance ACDI/VOCA, and past chair of the National Conference of State Cooperative Councils. He has been active in promoting and forming cooperatives. Lee was the founder of the California Orchard Wood Co-op and the Principal Coordinator of a project which resulted in the formation of the California Electric Users Cooperative. Lee also served as a consultant in the development of Clean Power Cooperative and Golden State Power Cooperative.

Jerry Rioux, Treasurer 

Jerry brings decades of affordable housing and manufactured housing experience to CCCD’s board. For the last two decades, he directed a nonprofit loan fund that helped financed over $300 million in affordable housing. Over the previous two decades he specialized in manufactured housing and mobile home parks.  In the 1980s, developed and managed what is now California’s Mobilehome Park Rehabilitation and Resident Ownership Program (MPRROP).  He then directly assisted park residents to purchase and finance their parks. Jerry has worked in housing and community development for well over 40 years. He has worked for both state and local governments and nonprofit corporations, plus as a private consultant. Jerry earned a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Southern California.  He was a licensed California real estate broker for 18 years and has taught college courses in both real estate and urban planning.

Teree Castanias, Board Member

Teree brings expertise in agriculture and consumer cooperatives to CCCD’s board. She is a CPA whose tax compliance and consulting practice focuses on cooperative issues and other business and individual tax matters. For 28 of her 32 years as a CPA with KPMG she focused on cooperatives and was National Director for Cooperative Tax Services when she retired. She continues her professional accounting work with cooperatives which includes all aspects of tax consulting and compliance at the federal and state level,  working with management and boards on capital and bylaw issues, and working with cooperatives to change tax laws to include favorable provisions for cooperatives, such as Section 199A.  Teree is the past Chair and current member of the Legal, Tax and Accounting Committee of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (“NCFC”) and past Chair and current member of the Tax Committee of the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives (“NSAC”). Teree is a frequent speaker concerning tax issues related to cooperatives at annual meetings of the NCFC and NSAC. In addition, she is a periodic contributor of articles on current developments in cooperative taxation for the NSAC’s “Cooperative Accountant” publication. Teree is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants.  Teree is also an Outside Director for Farm Credit West, A.C.A.

Ricardo Samir Nuñez, Board Member

Ricardo’s experience in economic development, education, and worker cooperatives is an asset to CCCD’s board.  As Director of Economic Democracy at the Sustainable Communities Law Center, Ricardo coordinates SELC's legislative strategies, popular education, and legal research around worker-owned businesses. Among the legal services he supports is the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe, a program that provides direct legal support to individuals and groups creating new solutions for resilient economies in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, and beyond. Ricardo was formerly a member of the Los Angeles Worker Ownership Resources and Cooperative Services Committee (LAWORCS), an initiative to start a worker cooperative incubator for the greater L.A. area. Before that, Ricardo was a Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Case Manager working with low-income families to stop pending evictions and re-house homeless neighbors in southern LA County. Prior to his housing work, Ricardo was a Rural Education Development Specialist in Zambia with the U.S. Peace Corps, where he led efforts in capacity building with 15 rural, up-country schools, establishing two village based Women’s Cooperatives, and training multiple Farmer’s Cooperatives on sustainable farming practices.

Karen Tiedemann, Board Member

Karen has contributed her expertise in cooperative housing to CCCD’s board since 2008. As a partner with Goldfarb and Lipman Law firm, she practices in the areas of real estate transactions, affordable housing, nonprofit organization, and environmental law.  Karen advises public agencies and nonprofit housing developers on affordable housing matters and represents numerous agencies and nonprofit corporations on the development, financing and management of low- and moderate-income projects and programs. She has formed many limited equity cooperatives, and represents numerous housing cooperatives, providing advice on compliance with Davis-Stirling, limited equity cooperative law, HUD financing, Department of Real Estate regulations, and other laws and regulations impacting cooperatives. Her affordable housing work includes advising clients on compliance with fair housing laws. Karen is a frequent speaker on housing cooperatives, relocation, and fair housing issues. She is also co-author of Between the Lines: A Question & Answer Guide on Legal Issues in Supportive Housing and A Legal Guide to California Redevelopment.

Thérèse C. Tuttle, Board Member

Thérèse is an attorney who contributes her work with consumer, agriculture and worker cooperatives to the board. She specializes in the representation of California consumer cooperatives, agricultural cooperatives and worker cooperatives, and also advises clients on business formation and estate planning matters.  She serves on the non-profits committee of the California State Bar Association.  In 2013, she drafted amendments to California’s cooperative law that enabled preferred-share financing and capitalization of cooperatives.  She been awarded USDA’s “Great Cooperator” Award. In 2000, she founded Tuttle & Van Knonynenburg, LLP, a firm focused on cooperative and agricultural law, with her law partner Frank Van Konynenburg; in 2001 the firm successfully defended the 400 members of Tri Valley Growers, a processing cooperative, from claims of creditors in the cooperative’s bankruptcy. Prior to founding the firm, she worked as Director of Cooperative and Economic Development for National Farmer’s Union, managing cooperative project requests from 23 state-based member organizations.