April 28-29, 2019 - Sacramento, CA
California Center for Cooperative Development
Venue: Sacramento Scottish Rite Temple
6151 H Street, Sacramento
Nathan Schneider is a journalist and an assistant professor of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder who writes about economy, technology, and religion. His most recent book is Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition that Is Shaping the Next Economy, published by Nation Books, and two previous books, God in Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet and Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse, were both published in 2013 by University of California Press. His articles have been published in Harper’s, The Nation, The New Republic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Catholic Worker, and others. He writes regular columns for America, a national Catholic weekly, and he is a contributing editor for YES! Magazine. In 2015, he co-organized “Platform Cooperativism,” a pioneering conference on democratic online platforms at The New School, and co-edited the subsequent book, Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, a New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet. Follow his work on social media at @ntnsndr or at his website, nathanschneider.info.
Partial List of Additional Speakers
Jeff Bessmer is a co-op management professional who has served as Executive Director of Santa Barbara Student Housing Co-ops and Waterloo Co-operative Residences, as well as General Manager of Tacoma Food Co-op. Jeff has served on 8 co-op Board of Directors and has started new housing and secondary co-ops, as well as serving as a co-op educator and consultant. He holds a Masters of Management: Co-operatives and Credit Unions degree from Saint Mary's University and currently works for Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op.
Linda Brockway is currently the Treasurer of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives (NAHC), and has served on the Board of Directors since October, 2000. Linda is a national speaker for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and has spoken for the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, Midwest Association of Housing Cooperatives, The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, NCBA, CCCD, and numerous local associations. Ms. Brockway has also worked to develop the governance, strategic planning training courses, and Resident Cooperative Manager Classes, which are offered by NAHC.
E. Kim Coontz Executive Director, California Center for Cooperative Development, has been working with cooperative enterprises for over 20 years. She has assisted in the start-up of more than 28 cooperatives, authored and co-authored more than 10 publications about cooperatives and written numerous articles. Prior to her employment with CCCD, Kim was Executive Director of Yolo Mutual Housing Association, a nonprofit developer of cooperatively-governed affordable housing in Davis, CA. She also spent 14 years in an academic position with the Center for Cooperatives at the University of California at Davis.
Brian Dahlk, CPA, is a senior manager at Wegner CPAs in Madison, Wisconsin. For the past dozen years, he was provided audits, financial reviews, tax returns, and consulting services for hundreds of cooperative organizations all across the country. Brian received his master’s degree in business in 1992 and his Certified Public Accountant designation in 2006. Prior to joining Wegner CPAs, he owned a business and worked as a financial manager for several nonprofits and cooperatives in Wisconsin and California.
Mark Fick is the Director of Lending with Shared Capital Cooperative where he leads the business development, loan underwriting and portfolio management functions of the organization. As a cooperatively owned loan fund, Shared Capital works to build economic democracy by providing financing throughout the United States to cooperatively owned enterprises including consumer, worker, and producer owned cooperatives. Over the past 25 years Mark has been an active leader with a variety of community-based and cooperative development organizations with a focus on building economic systems that are democratic and radically inclusive. This has included work with the US Federation of Worker Cooperation, Chicago Mutual Housing Network, NASCO Development Services, Housing Action Illinois, Organization of the Northeast, Stone Soup Cooperative and the Northside Community Federal Credit Union.
David Hammer is the Executive Director of the ICA Group, the country’s oldest national organization dedicated to democratic employee ownership, and is a leading practitioner of employee buyouts of small business and worker cooperatives. David’s areas of expertise include governance design, market research, business planning, policy analysis, data analysis, and financial modeling. David has worked on a wide variety of projects throughout the country in industries as diverse as long term care, child care, industrial laundries, apparel distribution, food retail, tire manufacturing, temporary staffing, hospitality, aluminum can manufacturing, as well as various small manufacturing settings. David earned a Master’s of Science from the Labor Relations and Research Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Bachelor’s degree in History from UMass, Amherst.
Jacqueline Hannah, Food Co-op Initiative, served as the general manager of Common Ground Food Co-op (CGFC) in Urbana, more than 9 years. During this time she led the co-op through two expansions, the founding of their Food For All economic access program. In 2010 Jacqueline was named one of the "40 Under 40" business people of excellence by Central Illinois Business Magazine, and in 2011 she was awarded the Innovation Award for Economic Development Impact for her work with Common Ground Food Co-op. She received the Cooperative Service Award in 2013 and Cooperative CEO of the Year award from the Illinois Cooperative Council in 2014. Jacqueline joined Food Co-op Initiative in March of 2015 so she can fully commit herself to her passion for new.
Neill Helfman has practiced law in California sing 1987. He has advised, counseled, and written about Worker Cooperatives. He earned his law degree from University of San Francisco School of Law.
Gregory Jackson is a native of Oakland with deep family roots who feels fortunate to live within blocks of his family that now spans three generations. He is deeply committed to achieving economic equity in the East Bay through collective ownership and democratic decision-making. Recognizing the many social problems rooted in the unequal distribution of wealth and decision-making power, Greg focused his law school research on international cooperatives. During his internship with Sustainable Economies Law Center he created a pilot program for youth-led cooperative development. As a 2018 Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow, Greg aims to increase collective decision-making and cooperative-ownership in East Oakland. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from San Diego State University, and a J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law. Sponsored by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Sushil Jacob focuses on employee-owned cooperatives, employee benefit perpetual trusts and cooperative conversions in his work with the Tuttle Law Group. Sushil Jacob is also Senior Attorney for Economic Justice at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR), where he is responsible for developing policies that will combat displacement and advance racial justice in the local economy. Sushil serves on the boards of the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union and the Sustainable Economies Law Center.
Bruce Mayer is a Partner with Wegner CPAs in Madison, Wisconsin. He and his firm works with over 200 cooperatives from coast to coast providing tax, accounting and financial statement services. He specializes in food, worker, and purchasing coops. He also works with non-profits, employee benefit plans, and commercial businesses.
Sheella Mierson, founding member of The Sociocracy Consulting Group, (www.sociocracyconsulting.com), and known for presentations that are engaging, thought-provoking, and fun. She helps organizations implement Sociocracy in support of their strategic goals, and to create adaptive and effective organizations where all members’ voices matter. In addition to being a Sociocracy Consultant, she is a Certified Facilitator for the Blueprint of We Collaboration Process, used to build trust, creativity, effortlessness, and resilience in relationships. Sheella has a long term interest in the cooperative movement and is delighted to present at this conference.
Ojan Mobedshahi is a 2nd generation Iranian American born and raised in the Bay Area. His past work, ranging from healthy urban land use to real estate development, informs his holistic view of finance, with a triple bottom line that includes people and planet along with profit. Ojan lives in a co-op in Oakland and works as a contractor and regenerative landscape designer revitalizing land throughout the East Bay. While earning his B.A. in Economics from Pitzer College, Ojan was inducted into the Economic Honors Society and organized a local chapter of the Occupy movement.
Ricardo Nuñez serves on the board of CCCD and is Director of Economic Democracy at the Sustainable Communities Law Center, where he coordinates 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. 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.
Zen Trenholm is a Program Manager with the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) building capacity, partnerships, and resources to scale employee ownership across the country. He currently coordinates the Shared Equity in Economic Development Fellowship program, working with city leaders and economic developers to develop and implement employee ownership initiatives around the country. He also supports DAWI's Legacy Business Initiative which focuses on preserving small businesses through conversions to employee ownership. At UC Berkeley, he co-founded the Student Environmental Resource Center and after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Cooperative Business Development, he returned to his alma mater to launch a course on cooperative entrepreneurship.
Fathia Macauley is the California Business Development Officer for Capital Impact Partners, located in Oakland. Her experience encompasses community development lending, affordable housing development and nonprofit management. Fathia has been in the field of community development finance for the past 23 years and she holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and a Bachelor’s degree in History and African Area Studies from UCLA. Capital Impact Partners has a long and successful track record of supporting cooperative businesses. Since it’s founding in 1984, it has provided nearly $300 million to more than 200 cooperative businesses that serve low-income people and communities.
Daniella Preisler is worker-owner at Home Green Home LLC since 2013, serving as cooperative bookkeeper in charge of the Administration and Finance Committee. She has been a Community Coach and Co-op Developer Consultant since 2016. Daniella is a consultant with Prospera and provides training in cooperative business model, governance and financial aspects of LLCs in programs for Latina Women who are interested in becoming worker-owners by starting their own cooperative or by joining existing cooperatives.
Shanta Sacaroff has been an activist in cooperatives and the local food movement for more than 30 years. She has written and published 4 books, including Other Avenues Are Possible: Legacy of the Peoples Food System of the San Francisco Bay. Following her retirement last year from being a worker owner with Other Avenues Food Co-op, in San Francisco, she has continued to stay engaged in the cooperative community, sharing her knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for co-ops.
Kate “Sassy” Sassoon is the founder of Sassy Facilitation, a consultancy which provides facilitation, education, mediation, and group process design to innovative organizations. In her 20 years of membership in various democratically owned and run organizations, Sassy has seen many faces of the co-op sector, including: housing, childcare, worker-owned enterprises, arts and manufacturing collectives, and intentional communities. She strives to bring lucidity, productivity, and humor to her classes and her clients. You can download free tools, learn more about co-ops, and explore Sassy's work at www.sassycooperates.org.
Luis Sierra, Assistant Director, has been with California Center for Cooperative Development since 2008. Luis heads CCCD’s Food and Agriculture programs and also works with farmworker and other housing cooperatives. Luis has worked with growers producing olive oil, flowers, sugar beets, specialty Asian fruits and vegetables, seeds, and livestock. He also supports food co-op organizing groups with business and strategic planning, and market research. To better support nascent farmer co-ops Luis became a certified PSA Lead Trainer for FSMA and completed the Lead Auditor training for USDA GAP standards. His Community and Regional Development MS degree area of emphasis was on popular education and its application to cooperative development and education.
Nate Shaffron leads NCCLF’s lending to promote equity in our food system and economy as a whole. He comes to NCCLF with over 15 years’ experience in development lending and social enterprise, with a focus on food and agriculture. He previously worked for a decade with Root Capital, launching the organization’s African operations and building a portfolio of over $30M and a staff of 30+ African professionals. A native of Richmond, CA, Nate holds an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and BAs in Economics and Political Science from Swarthmore College.
Nathan Schneider is a journalist and an assistant professor of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder who writes about economy, technology, and religion. His most recent book is Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition that Is Shaping the Next Economy, published by Nation Books.
Noni Session is a 3rd generation West Oaklander, Assistant Librarian and Cultural Anthropologist. Her research and organizing work spans national and global arenas. In her doctoral work under the umbrella of the UNDP in Nairobi, Kenya, Noni carried out ethnographic analysis of international humanitarian strategies and their on-the-ground consequences. After a 2016 run for Oakland City Council in which she garnered more than 43% of the vote, Noni came to believe that her community’s clearest pathway to economic justice and halting rapid displacement was an independent cooperative economy. Noni holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Black Studies, cum laude, from San Francisco State University, and an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Cornell University.
Stephen Rye Switzer is an accountant and facilitator with 15 years experience working, living, and thriving in cooperatives. He co-founded A Bookkeeping Cooperative and was a member of Thirdroot Community Health Center Cooperative. Currently Stephen resides in the Bay Area, supporting cooperatives and non-profits. Stephen is a consultant with the Coop Clinic (USFWC) and provides cooperatives with training and development services.
Karen Tiedemann is a partner with Goldfarb and Lipman Law firm where she practices affordable housing, redevelopment and environmental law. She represents numerous public agencies and nonprofit corporations on the development, financing and management of low and moderate income housing. She has special expertise on both stock and limited equity cooperative housing structures. Karen is co-author of Between the Lines: A Question & Answer Guide on Legal Issues in Supportive Housing and A Legal Guide to California Redevelopment. Karen's education includes an A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley. J.D., Boalt Hall School of Law, and a Masters in City Planning from University of California, Berkeley.
Thérèse C. Tuttle 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.
Anastasia Butler, Partner, Sustainable Law Group P.C. focuses on assisting cross-sectoral clients developing forward thinking non-profit and social enterprise strategies. These strategies range from building out hybrid structures to providing guidance on international transactions and raising capital. She proudly serves as board member of Social Enterprise Alliance – Los Angeles, B-Local Los Angeles, and the River Garden Coalition. She has also served in a variety of advisory roles to push for critical progress at a policy level. As a member of Los Angeles County Social Enterprise Advisory Group, she drafted the white paper advocating for the use of benefit corporations and B-Corporations in the bid process, which resulted in Los Angeles County approving a 15% bid discount for all Los Angeles based benefit corporations and certified B-Corporations.
Brett Heeger is an attorney with a passion for community economic development and neighborhood level work. His law firm, Gartenberg Gelfand Hayton LLP, is a boutique corporate and securities firm serving clients in California and around the world. Brett is an enthiastic supporter of cooperatives, and has substantial experience helping clients find the best legal structure, build partnerships, and structure financing opportunities to achieve optimal growth. Brett graduated from Harvard Law School in 2014 and lives in LA with his partner and their awesome dog.
Clark R. Arrington serves as General Counsel to The Working World, which makes non-extractive investments in cooperatives and helps build local investment clubs around the United States. Clark is an experienced attorney and educator who has supported socially responsible businesses around the world. Prior to joining The Working World, Clark taught and practiced Business Law in Tanzania and Tunisia. Clark served as Chair, General Counsel and Capital Coordinator of Equal Exchange and has served on the boards of the ICA Group, the Social Venture Network and the Cooperative Fund of New England.
Corrigan Nadon-Nichols has served as a trainer and consultant for housing co-ops for five years. He lived in a shared housing co-op in Chicago for ten years. He is currently the Director of Development for North American Students of Cooperation and lives in Chicago.
Jason Wiener is the Principal of a boutique law and business consulting practice specializing in cooperative law, shared ownership models, cooperative finance, regenerative capital and financing strategies, sustainable economies law, teal lawyering, virtual outside general counsel, and worker-ownership. He is co-founder of “.” Jason has published more than 6 scholarly law review articles and is an adjunct professor in Colorado State University’s Global Sustainability and Social Enterprise program, where he teaches an MBA course on business law and ethics. Jason holds a B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a J.D. cum laude from Suffolk University Law School.
Jonathan Skurnik is the Chair of the Steering Committee of New Day Films, a unique, filmmaker-run distribution company, providing award-winning films to educators, community groups, government agencies, public libraries and businesses since 1971. Jonathan is also a documentary producer, director and cinematographer. He has won numerous awards, including Best Documentary at the American Indian film festival, the Change Maker Award at the Media That Matters Film Festival, the Audience Award for Outstanding Achievement at Outfest, the Harry Chapin Media Award for films about poverty and Best Documentary Award at the UrbanTV film Festival. Jonathan leads workshops and master classes in theory and production for filmmakers in the US and China and teaches at Chapman University and the New York Film Academy. He also writes and directs narrative films and makes multimedia installations.
Keith Swenson is a co-founder of Meeting Weaver Tech, Vice President of Research and Development at Fujitsu North America and also the Chair of the Workflow Management Coalition. He is known for being a pioneer in collaboration software and web services and 2.5 years ago collaborated with another developer to found Meeting Weaver Tech as a worker cooperative to develop software that would help self-managed groups be more organized. In 2004 Keith was awarded the Marvin L. Manheim Award for outstanding contributions in the field of workflow. He has co-author on more than 10 books. His latest book, “When Thinking Matters in the Workplace,” explains how to avoid stifling creativity and enhance innovation through the appropriate use of process technology.
Larry Mathe is Senior Vice President for National Cooperative Bank focused on financing housing cooperatives nationwide. Additionally, he is responsible for construction lending, affordable housing and tax credit transactions. Larry is a regular presenter at the National Association of Housing Cooperative and the Midwest Association of Housing Cooperative Conferences presenting on financing programs for housing cooperatives and how to manage capital improvement projects.
Roland Hall is a partner at the law firm of Autry, Hall & Cook, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia. His practice includes representing cooperatives and related entities in corporate, finance and regulatory matters. He also provides guidance for the formation of new cooperatives. He and his partner Charles Autry co-authored the book The Law of Cooperatives, published by the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.
Sarah Kaplan’s 5-year-old law practice focuses on cooperatives and securities law. She has served cooperatives including consumer, worker, producer, and platform cooperatives, handling formations, equity and debt financing, and contract issues. Sarah enjoys drafting creative organizational documents that implement cooperative principles and tax advantages. Sarah also focuses on services for capital-raising. She has supported both cooperative and privately owned businesses in “family-and-friends,” registered public, and exempt public offerings. While serving a real estate investment cooperative and doing research on cooperative funds for a university, Sarah saw how well cooperatives are positioned to form funds while avoiding onerous regulations, and wants to share that vision to encourage cooperatives to help their members and communities move investment dollars into the cooperative economy. Sarah is part of the team of attorneys at Cutting Edge Counsel, based in Oakland, CA. She is also a Sustainable Economies Law Center Fellow.
Stephanie Mood has served on the Board of Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Co-op for seven years at Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Co-op in San Diego, as Vice President and as Secretary of the Board, currently as chair of the Planning Committee. She has produced a Power Point for classroom education on the cooperative business model, and she has worked on projects such as the Scholarship Program and the Donation Program in continuing efforts to create community and foster education.
Stuart Reid Executive Director, Food Co-op Initiative (FCI), began his career in grocery as a carry-out and stock clerk for the Windom, Minnesota Hy-Vee store back in 1972, never believing for a minute that he would still be working in the grocery business 40+ years later. He probably wouldn’t if he hadn’t discovered food co-ops in Minneapolis when he moved there for college. Since then he has volunteered, co-managed, managed and served on the boards of many food co-ops; worked for the co-op-owned DANCe warehouse, and helped open the Just Food Co-op in Northfield as their first general manager. Stuart has been part of FCI since its earliest years and sees no reason to do anything else.
Tim Huet, Attorney at Law and Co-founder, Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives, a cooperative composed of seven member businesses: six cooperative bakeries and a development and support collective. As part of the Association’s Development & Support Cooperative, Tim participates in writing business plans, raising start-up capital, negotiating leases, and training workers in democratic business management; he also serves as in-house legal counsel. The Association is currently launching a repair/construction cooperative. Tim serves other cooperatives as an attorney as organizational trainer/consultant. Tim is Chair of CCCD’s Board of Directors. Tim completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan and his law degree from UC Hastings College in San Francisco. He lives at a housing cooperative in Oakland.
More Speaker Bios are Coming Soon!!