Dr. Ann Hoyt, an internationally known expert on cooperatives

Tune in to WOL 1450 AM tomorrow for Everything Co-ophosted by Vernon Oakes. This week Vernon interviews Dr. Ann Hoyt, retired professor and department chair of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Consumer Science. Vernon and Dr. Hoyt will discuss her involvement in the cooperative movement, vision for the next phase of her involvement, and the Cooperative Hall of Fame.

To see the Heroes video of Dr. Hoyt’s involvement in the Cooperative Movement Click Here! or To listen to the interview with William J. Nelson, another 2015 Cooperative Hall of Fame Inductee, Click Here!
Hoyt, is an internationally known expert on cooperatives, who began her distinguished career in the 1960s as a member of the Berkley Consumer Food Co-op. Her academic interest in cooperatives took root in graduate school at University of California at Davis, where her Master’s Thesis focused on the Consumer Cooperative of Sacramento.

Hoyt was elected to the board of the National Cooperative Bank in 1982. In 1985 she joined the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Department of Consumer Science and the UW Center for Cooperatives. In 1992 she began serving on the board of the National Cooperative Business Association where she served as chair from 2004 – 2006.  In 1994 she was elected to the board of the University of Wisconsin Credit Union where she served as chair from 1996 to 2005.

Always active in the national food cooperatives, Ann began her 25 year directorship of the annual Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) in 1988. Her love of teaching led to work in board education and governance, and the launch of an intensive education program for food cooperative managers, the Cooperative Management Institute (CMI). She has trained several thousand cooperative and non-profit directors and managers throughout the country and is the creator of a video-based director training program for cooperatives.  Hoyt is the recipient of the 2014 Cooperative Service Award from CCMA and the Howard Bowers Fund.

To listen live online Click Here!
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Finance and Cooperatives

This Tuesday, there will be an interesting discussion about non-exploitative finance, including how it has been and could be used to grow cooperatives. The ED of one of my favorite organizations, Transform Finance, will be in town. I hope you can join us! 
Impact Hub DC // 419 7th. NW, 3rd Fl.
TUESDAY, MAY 12 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm



Help Impact Hub DC kick off our SOCAP 2015 Spring event series! Join our conversation with Andrea Armeni, co-founder and Executive Director of Transform Finance, an organization that is making capital a force for transformative change. Andrea will join us on the heels of his appearance at the Clinton Global Initiative to help us take a critical look at impact investing.  We’ll explore where its promise has gone unrealized and how to get it back on track.

Maryland and the New Economy

May 7 @ Noon – 1:30pm
IPS Conference Room
1112 16th Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC
(This is an in person meeting but you can also join via webinar.)
 Please RSVP:

And in light of the uprising in Baltimore, we have also decided to reframe the discussion to focus on strategies for transitioning Baltimore — and greater Maryland — towards a New Economy. We hope to discuss inner-city equity as a key to sustaining job creation, improving citywide procurement systems, and starting up cooperative housing, which turns renters into owners. We’ll also look at place-based cooperatives in agriculture, grocery stores, solar energy installations, taxi companies, and community health centers. This is a left-right solution, where governments can combine financial incentives and local procurement equality with private-sector bootstrapping — such as “do it yourself” (DIY) entrepreneurial business — in a way that fosters racial justice.

Cabot Creamery Coop on the Radio

CabotTune in to WOL 1450 AM, on April 9, at 10:30 a.m. for Everything Coop, hosted by Vernon Oakes. This week Vernon interviews Roberta MacDonald, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Cabot Creamery Cooperative. Vernon and Ms. MacDonald will discuss Cabot Creamery, its coop-to-coop partnerships, and cooperative advantage.

Roberta MacDonald is nearing 40 years of consumer product and trade marketing experience, the last 25 of which she has spent as SVP of Marketing for Cabot Creamery Cooperative of Vermont. Roberta previously served as the state’s first Marketing Director. She has been recognized with many awards for design, promotions, and high-impact public relations programs, including Cookies for Good and the Cabot Reward Volunteers iPhone app. Prior to moving to Vermont, Roberta provided marketing consulting and/or staff services for leading organizations and enterprises, including the San Francisco Opera, the National Endowment for the Arts, American Express, Information Industry Association, NYU, CBS, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Cabot Creamery is a cooperative owned and operated by 1,200 member dairy farm families throughout New England and Upstate New York. Cabot values community, democracy, local ownership, and supports the places where their member families and consumers live and do business. Plus, when it comes to taste Cabot has won every major award. The Cooperative has on-going cooperative partners throughout the country who share its cooperative value. Cabot has partnered with other food cooperatives, credit unions, utility cooperatives and many more, because the executors know that co-ops make a positive difference in their communities, states and regions.
To listen live online Click Here!
or Click Here! to Listen on your cell phone with Tune-in Radio

GEO’s ADWC 3 / ECWD 2015 Conference

A diversity of kindred approaches to alternative political economics is emerging across the country. Many of them share a regional focus. This is showing unusual potential for advancing the development of worker co-operatives through inter-cooperative and cross-sector networking. We are calling this Regional Cooperative/Solidarity Economic Development (C/SE).*

Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) will convene, organize and implement a one-day mini-conference that will focus on this emergence. It will be an integral part of the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy’s (ECWD) Conference in Worcester, MA. This ECWD conference will take place over a Friday through Sunday most likely in June or July of 2015. Exact dates and location will be announced. Since it will be GEO’s third Advancing the Development Worker Cooperatives conference, we are calling it “ADWC 3.”

The purpose of this one-day mini-conference is to explore ways to build local economies, coalitions and other practices that will help to solve economic and social problems in our communities. We are reaching out to leaders of these diverse political economic initiatives across the country as well as leaders from social justice and civic engagement movements who are and who want to be supportive allies in regional economic development. It is what GEO is calling Movements Moving Together.

The focus of the ADWC3 mini-conference will be on 1) exploring the challenges and opportunities organizers and developers are dealing with in their regions; 2) identifying the resources they need and how the resources might be acquired; and 3) how we can work together cross-regionally over the coming years.

In addition to worker co-operatives and other co-operatives, a diversity of kindred approaches to alternative economics has been evolving over the past few years in the US. Many of these approaches are deeply oriented to bottom-up development, where democracy and cooperation can be more deeply rooted locally.

Right now cooperative/solidarity networks are emerging in more than a few regions across the country: In western Massachusetts, central Massachusetts, New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Madison, Detroit, Jackson, MS, Austin, TX and the Bay Area, to name a few of them.

The ADWC 3 project has three key features. First, the mini-conference itself. It will happen on the Friday of the three-day gathering in June or July of 2015.

Second, ECWD and GEO will also organize a workshop track to run during the regular ECWD conference on that Saturday and Sunday. These workshops will bring a variety of perspectives on this kind of regional development.

Third, prior to the conference, GEO will also publish an online collection of articles –- what we in GEO call a “Theme” — written by participants and others focusing on the most relevant issues. That Theme will be posted a month or so prior to the conference.

How to participate

We hope you will join us.  You can tune your involvement from low- to high-grade. There will be four specific ways to do this:

·         helping to develop the conference themes through an online forum;

·         giving a workshop at the ECWD part of the weekend;

·         contributing to the GEO online newsletter; and/or

·         participating in the mini-conference itself.

You can begin by joining the ADWC 3 Google Group. To do so, send an email letter to one of the conference organizers:

Ajowa Ifateyo, ajowa.geo.adwc3@gmail.com, or

Michael Johnson, michael.geo.adwc3@gmail.com

The conference itself

The structure of the conference will involve three 1½ hour interactive group discussions, a light breakfast, lunch, two breaks, and a wrap-up discussion. There will be no formal presentations during the day.

The objective of this structure is for participants to talk directly with each other about

1) the challenges and opportunities they are dealing with in their regions; 2) the resources they need; and 3) how we can work together across regions over the coming years.

The specific topics of the discussions will be developed through consultations with potential participants over several months leading up to the conference. This will happen through exchanges in the Google Group.

The process will involve two facilitators for each discussion. As we did in ADWC 1 in Baltimore in 2011, at least 25 participants will sit in a circle for face-to-face interaction around the topic at hand. Another 30 or more observers will encircle this group during each of the three discussions. The specifics on how this will be arranged will be worked out through our online collaboration via the ADWC 3 Google Group.

Interaction among these two groups will occur during breaks and at lunch during the mini-conference; at track workshops; and during social times during the two days of the ECWD conference.

Again, if you are interested in being involved or just keeping informed on how things evolve, join the ADWC 3 Google Group by sending an email letter to one of the conference organizers:

Ajowa Ifateyo, ajowa.geo.adwc3@gmail.com, or

Michael Johnson, michael.geo.adwc3@gmail.com

Cooperatives and the Arts on Thursday!

Tune in to WOL 1450 AM, tomorrow for Everything Co-op, hosted by Vernon Oakes. This week Vernon interviews Noémi Giszpenc, Executive Director of Cooperative Development Institute. Vernon and Noémi will discuss the the role that cooperatives can play in the Arts, and CDI’s work to help start-up cooperatives, and support existing cooperative businesses.

Ms. Giszpenc, manages the day-to-day activities of the organization. She began her career as an economics researcher at the World Bank, worked as an editor at the Nonprofit Quarterly, a magazine for nonprofit managers, and became a principal at Ownership Associates, Inc., a consulting firm in Cambridge, MA specializing in developing an ownership culture at employee-owned firms. As part of earning a Master’s in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University, she did a thesis on the creation of a cooperative economy in the Northeast, including the practical development of an interactive cooperative directory, which has now evolved into the Data Commons Cooperative (datacommons.coop).

Cooperative Development Institute is the source for cooperative business development in the Northeast. CDI’s staff specializes in helping people work together to plan and launch a cooperatively owned business. The institute helps existing privately held businesses convert to ones owned by their employees or the consumers of their products and services.

To listen live online Click Here!
or Click Here! to Listen on your cell phone with Tune-in Radio

On Thursday, Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo on Everything Co-op!

Tune in to WOL 1450 AM tomorrow for Everything Co-op, hosted by Vernon Oakes. This week Vernon interviews Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo. Vernon and Ajowa will discuss Grassroots Economic Organizing, cooperative economics, and her work to help cooperatives and other people-friendly projects get started in the DC area.

Ms. Nzinga Ifateyo has been a co-editor of Grassroots Economic Organizing, (GEO) for more than 10 years. GEO, a 30-year-old publication, reports on cooperative developments around the world, and provides advocacy for alternative economic solutions. Her work with GEO has inspired her to research and think about ways to empower individuals to make personal changes to better organize and participate in cooperative/group entrepreneurial enterprises.

Ajowa has nine years of experience on cooperative boards, including: Ujamaa Collective, the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and the Eastern Conference on Workplace Development. In 2000, she and four other D.C. residents co-founded an affordable housing co-op for community organizers, the Ella Jo Baker Intentional Community Cooperative, in Washington, DC, where she served as treasurer and secretary-treasurer for about six years. Presently, Ajowa is researching how to effectively incorporate spirituality in the work of organizing co-ops.

To listen live online Click Here!
or Click Here! to Listen on your cell phone with Tune-in Radio