Everything Co-op with Vernon Oakes

Everything Co-op

Podcast by Everything Co-op

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Vernon Oakes, and co-host, John Holdsclaw, are joined by Leaders from the cooperative community to pay tribute to Chuck E. Snyder, President/CEO of National Cooperative Bank (NCB), who made his transition on November 6, 2021. Chuck was a highly respected leader who left an impression on everyone he met. Everything Co-op was pleased to provide a platform for the co-op community to express their extreme sense of loss, and the impact Chuck had on their lives, and/or organizations. Those who paid tribute to Chuck included the following people: Doug O'Brien, Roberta MacDonald, Mary Ann Rothman, Cornelius Blanding, Liz Bailey, Mike Mercer, Leslie Mead, Martin Lowery, Barry Silver, Rich LaRochelle, Paul Hazen, Mary Alex Blanton, David Thompson, RL Condra, Michael Peck, and Pat Thornton. The comments were so heartfelt, and rich we felt they should be shared, and would serve to sooth the pain of Chuck’s unexpected transition. For that reason, we invite you to listen to the show on the live stream platforms on Thanksgiving, November 25, 2021

Nov 22

50 min 9 sec

10/14/2021 - Karen Zimbelman, Sr. Director of Membership and Cooperative Relations at National Co+op Grocers discusses her career in the cooperative movement. Karen was recently inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame for her contribution to the co-op movement over her career of more than 40 years. Karen Zimbelman’s cooperative career began in the 1980s at the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) where she implemented board of director trainings. Over her 40-year career, she has organized hundreds of trainings benefiting thousands of cooperative board members. Since then, Karen has worked at North Coast Co-op, NCBA CLUSA, Rochdale Institute, and National Co+op Grocers (NCG). After three years as North Coast Co-op’s Director of Membership and HR, Karen began her next career phase as a cooperative consultant. During this time, she served as the newsletter editor for the Association of Co-op Educators, developed a tailored co-op orientation manual for food co-op staff, and served as the Executive Director for the Cooperative Grocers’ Information Network (CGIN), the Northwest Cooperative Grocers’ Association (NWCGA) and Pacific Cooperative Grocers’ Association (PCGA). Under Karen’s leadership, CGIN became a vital consumer co-op resource housing an extensive library of job descriptions, operation manuals, recipes, board training, and much more. During Karen’s time at CGIN, she authored and published a manual to instruct others on How to Start a Food Co-op. This manual became the foundation of Food Co-op Initiative’s Guide to Starting a Food Co-op. As the founding Executive Director for two regional cooperative grocers’ associations, Karen established and managed regional supply agreements, promotions, training, audits, and other programs. In that role she became a contributor to a movement to form a national food co-op association -– an effort that ultimately resulted in the formation of the National Co+op Grocers. Today, NCG represents 148 food co-ops in 39 states with over 1.3 million consumer-owners, unifying natural food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources and strengthen purchasing power. Karen’s sincerity, intensity, and zeal for the cooperative way has created institutions that will live as a part of her legacy.

Oct 22

48 min 32 sec

In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month,on October 7, 2021, Vernon interviews Pablo DeFilippi, CUDE, Sr Vice President of Membership and Network Engagement at Inclusiv. The theme for this year's celebration is “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.” The theme encourages us to reflect on all of the contributions Hispanics have made in the past, and will continue to make in the future. Throughout his career Pablo has worked tirelessly to expand access to capital for Hispanics. Particularly in underserved communities. Vernon and Pablo discuss the impact that Community Development Credit Unions have on low-income communities. Pablo DeFilippi is currently Sr. VP at Inclusiv, a national, nonprofit association of over 400 credit unions and CDFI intermediary that represents supports and invests in credit unions serving predominantly low-income, financially underserved communities. In this capacity he leads Inclusiv’s membership development and engagement strategies and manages Inclusiv /Network, a network of community development finance practitioners that provide valuable consulting services to CDCUs. Mr. DeFilippi has more than 20 years of experience in community finance, working with regulated financial institutions both in the domestic and international arena. Originally from Chile, DeFilippi came to the US in the early 90s and almost immediately became involved in credit unions. After working at MCU, a large credit union serving New York City employees, he joined the Lower East Side People’s FCU (LESPFCU) a credit union serving Hispanics and other underserved populations in the New York City area and acted as its CEO until early 2004. From then and until the end of 2005, Mr. DeFilippi managed the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU)‘s International Remittance Program (IRnet), a world-wide initiative to provide alternative remittance services to consumers both in the US and in recipient countries through the credit union system. Mr. DeFilippi holds a B.A. in Social Studies from Universidad de Chile, as well as a Professional Accounting Certificates from Baruch College and New York University. He has a Masters of Business Administration from Pace University, and is a graduate of CUNA’s Management School and NCUF’s Social Impact Management Institute. He is also a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) and a UK Credit Union Development Educator.

Oct 17

49 min 12 sec

Vern Dosch, retired National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) President and CEO, discusses his experiences throughout his career. Vern coupled the spirit of cooperation, a commitment to rural America, and cutting-edge technology to help utilities and telecoms provide quality, affordable service to consumer-members. Under his leadership, NISC became a leading provider of IT and software solutions to utility and telecommunication cooperatives, helping its members become more efficient and improve customer service while setting the stage for economic expansion in rural America. NISC’s success under Vern’s leadership (2002-2020) is well documented. Membership grew from 392 to more than 850; the employee population grew from 400 to approximately 1,400; investment in research and development grew from $1 million to more than $50 million; and his stewardship delivered record annual margins. Vern's influence, however, extends far beyond those numbers. Throughout his career, he was active in local and national efforts designed to advance the co-op business model and leadership excellence, and continues to be active to this day. He authored Wired Differently: How to Spark Better Results with a Cooperative Business Model, Servant Leadership and Shared Values; and has been a guest lecturer at University of Mary Washington’s cooperative business course and at North Dakota State University on ethics and leaderships. Vern was also the 2020 recipient of Prairie Business Magazine’s Leaders and Legacies Award.

Oct 17

47 min 47 sec

Doug O’Brien, President and CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA), John Torres, VP of Communication and Public Relations at NCBA/CLUSA, and Paul Hazen, Executive Director of the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC)discuss the 2021 Cooperative IMPACT Conference. Follow link to register: https://web.cvent.com/event/c9469aae-156e-42c1-9c44-ec4ff9a4bf4c/regProcessStep1 NCBA CLUSA’s Cooperative IMPACT Conference will be held October 4-8, 2021. This annual conference provides an unparalleled platform to reenergize the cooperative movement and galvanize its champions around building an inclusive economy. The conference is a hybrid event this year and includes a robust lineup of virtual programming with select live events taking place at the National Press Club on October 7 and 8. With five days of programming, 40 sessions and close to 100 speakers, IMPACT 2021 will explore how our cooperative identity finds expression. Whether working to dismantle racism, build resilience in the face of climate change or preserve small businesses during a pandemic, last year reminded us that cooperatives have the greatest impact when cooperators live up to their identity. IMPACT sessions will challenge cooperators everywhere to deepen their understanding of the values and principles that truly make cooperative enterprise unique. For the third year, NCBA CLUSA is partnering with the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council to bring a rich and diverse International Track to the IMPACT Conference. The dedicated international programming—available to development practitioners free of charge— will cover entrepreneurship, climate change and co-op principles in practice. Made possible by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), these sessions are sponsored by OCDC and its members. NCBA CLUSA works to build a better world and a more inclusive economy that empowers people to contribute to shared prosperity and well-being for themselves and future generations. By leveraging the shared resources of the cooperative movement, NCBA CLUSA seeks to engage, partner with and empower people from all walks of life—particularly those left behind by a shifting economy and facing the greatest economic and societal barriers. It achieves this vision through collaborative partnerships in development, advocacy, public awareness and thought leadership. OCDC brings together nine organizations committed to building a more prosperous world through cooperatives. Its mission is to champion, advocate and promote effective international cooperative development. Its members’ international activities are powered by grants from the Cooperative Development Program of USAID. Together, they promote sustainability and self-reliance through local ownership.

Oct 4

47 min 4 sec

Cynthia Pinchback-Hines PhD, Racial Justice Educator & Co-op Developer, of Co-op Cincy, discusses the "Power in Numbers: Black Co-op U" and "Business Legacy Fund" Programs, and announced the Annual Union Co-op Symposium, which will be held on November 12 & 13, virtually and in-person. The 1st day of the conference will be virtual, and the 2nd day will be in-person in Cincinnati. Dr. Pinchback-Hines, has a professional career spanning four decades. She is a community activist and organizer, educator, organizational development consultant, diversity leader, entrepreneur, and board member to several non-profits. Cynthia holds a PhD. in Educational Leadership for Higher Education. She has taught at Virginia State University, Delaware State University, and served as Associate Dean of African American Affairs & Ethnic Services at Northern Kentucky University, where she provided academic, cultural, and social support to African American students. In addition, she has presented at numerous professional conferences and conducted countless workshops. The Cincinnati Enquirer named her one of the ten most influential educators in Cincinnati and presented her with a Diversity Leadership Award for her achievements at Cognis Corporation.

Sep 26

47 min 14 sec

Clark R. Arrington, General Counsel of The Working World, Inc., a cooperative that builds cooperative businesses in low-income communities; and Senior Fellow at Seed Commons, a community wealth cooperative. He’s an experienced attorney and educator who specializes in worker ownership cooperatives and socially responsible business practices. Prior to joining The Working World Inc., and Seed Commons, he spent most of his professional life teaching courses related to cooperatives, business law, and community economic development at more than half a dozen institutions in the U.S. and abroad. Beginning with a teaching job immediately after college in Chicago, he went on to The University of Southern New Hampshire, The Open University of Tanzania; and Kampala International University-Dar es Salaam College. Throughout his career, Clark has used his legal acumen to address capital formation issues for worker cooperatives, and has played a critical role in leveraging millions of dollars of new investment for social justice cooperatives. As a young lawyer he learned about cooperatives and community land trusts when he was with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. Well known as an innovator in cooperative finance, Clark finds innovative ways for worker-owned, social justice-minded businesses to raise capital and be profitable without sacrificing democratic control. Clark served as Chair, General Counsel and Capital Coordinator of Equal Exchange and has also served on the boards of the ICA Group, the Social Venture Network, and the Cooperative Fund of New England. His bold vision, reliable pragmatism, and tireless efforts are key to promoting and developing innovative financing structures that are sensitive to the cooperative principles of member ownership, control and benefit.

Sep 23

48 min 39 sec

Camille Kerr, Founder & principal of Upside Down Consulting, discusses ChiFresh, and how social justice is integrated into her business. through Upside Down Consulting Camille is working to build a democratic economy in service to U.S. social justice movements including organizations advancing Black liberation, immigrant rights, food justice, and the U.S. labor movement. She specializes in cooperative startup development, managing complex worker-centered initiatives, supporting existing businesses to become worker-owned, as well as policy advocacy and drafting. In partnership with Chicago organizers, Camille helped found ChiFresh Kitchen, a worker cooperative food service contracting business owned and determined primarily by formerly incarcerated folks living in the south and west sides of Chicago. She is currently a nonvoting shareholder and management consultant for ChiFresh. Before starting Upside Down Consulting, Camille served as the Associate Director of The ICA Group, the Director of Field Building at the Democracy at Work Institute and the Director of Research at the National Center for Employee Ownership. She has a law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law where she was awarded a human rights fellowship and graduated cum laude.

Sep 22

49 min 52 sec

2021 Cooperative Hall of Fame Inductee Andrew Reicher, Executive Director of Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB], discusses his career in creating communities through cooperative housing in New York City. Andrew Reicher has devoted his entire career to improving the lives of people struggling to rise from poverty through access to stable, affordable housing. Andy’s efforts have helped create programs within the New York City government crucial to fostering the development of housing cooperatives for low-income New Yorkers. Through his leadership at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB), Andy has brought homeownership to thousands of city residents, and is generous in sharing his expertise with others in the U.S. turning to the cooperative model as a source of homeownership for low-income residents. For nearly 40 years, New York City contracted with UHAB to provide technical assistance to income-restricted cooperatives going through the Tenant Interim Lease program. Under Andy’s leadership, programs for accounting and bookkeeping assistance; pre-paid legal assistance; and training and education programs from how to run a heating and boiler systems to how to run an efficient meeting were developed. More recently, Andy has steered UHAB’s programs towards climate and social justice goals through access to share loans and expanded use of renewable energy in low-income communities and communities of color. Because of Andy’s selfless dedication, constant innovation, and high achievement, low-income housing cooperatives in New York City exist and thrive. Strongly rooted in the communities he serves, Andy’s insight, experience, and tireless efforts has had a lasting and profound impact on the lives of thousands.

Sep 2

49 min 58 sec

Attorneys Renee C. Hatcher, director of the Business Enterprise Law Clinic, and Assistant Professor of Law at UIC John Marshall Law School, and Dorcas R. Gilmore, a principal of Gilmore Khandhar, LLC, and teacher at The George Washington University Law School, discuss the many facets of fostering sustainable economic justice through community development law. Renee Hatcher is a human rights and community development lawyer. who is also an Assistant Professor of Law, and Director of the Community Enterprise & Solidarity Economy Clinic at UIC John Marshall Law School (JMLS). The legal clinic provides free legal support to cooperatives, community-based institutions, and other types of solidarity economy initiatives and projects. As director of the Clinic and Assistant Professor of Law at JMLS, Renee is redefining what it means to bring about sustainable economic justice through community development law. Hatcher currently serves as a board member for the New Economy Coalition, a member of Resist, Reimagine and Rebuild (R3), Black Lawyers Solidarity Economy Network (BLESN), and a member of the Law for Black Lives Clinic Cohort Development Team. Her work and research focus on solidarity economy theory/practice and law. Dorcas R. Gilmore is an attorney, advocate and consultant on issues of leadership, racial equity, and community lawyering. She has spent a large part of her career working with nonprofit organizations, community-based organizations, and small businesses. Currently, she is a principal of Gilmore Khandhar, LLC, a solidarity economies law firm, and a teacher in the Small Business & Community Economic Development Clinic at The George Washington University Law School. Prior to her current position, she was an attorney with the national office of NAACP and Community Law Center in Baltimore, and taught at American University Washington College of Law. Dorcas is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Black Worker Center Project, the Baltimore Algebra Project, co-founder of the Baltimore Action Legal Team, and a founding board member of Baltimore Activating Solidarity Economies (BASE).

Sep 1

50 min 3 sec

Dãnia Davy, director of Land Retention and Advocacy at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, discusses land retention; the Federation's 54th Annual Meeting; and the upcoming Heir Property Conference. Dãnia serves as Director of Land Retention and Advocacy at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund. The Federation is the largest and oldest cooperatively-owned organization whose membership includes black farmers, landowners and cooperatives. Dãnia began her legal career as a Skadden Fellow at the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers Land Loss Prevention Project ​implementing a project she designed ​which provided community education and estate planning services to improve Black farmers' access to legal services in the rural South. ​She developed the documentary - "Our Land, Our Lives: The North Carolina Black Farmers' Experience" and served on the inaugural North Carolina Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council.

Aug 29

50 min 47 sec

Michael Johnson, co-founder of The Growing Democracy Project and community advocate for transformative community development, discusses his most recent book, "The Growing Democracy Project: A Cultural Strategy for Taking Our Love, Power, and Democracy to New Levels." Michael and Vernon also illustrate the role culture plays in in shaping how we live, and how democracy can be used to address the issues of polarization that the Country is struggling with. Michael Johnson has been immersed in cooperative/solidarity economic movements since 2007. His involvement began with the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-operatives (New England), Grassroots Economic Organizing Collective (GEO), and SolidarityNYC. In 1980 he Co-founded the Ganas Community in Staten Island, New York. The Ganas Community is in part a place to live and work together, and an experiential research center in democratic culture. For 20 years Michael participated in this transformative community of practice. Throughout his professional career Michael has been deeply involved in group dynamics and community organizing. To that end, he co-authored BUILDING CO-OPERATIVE POWER! Stories and Strategies from Worker Co-Operatives in the Connecticut River Valley (2014), and launched The Growing Democracy Project in 2021. The Project seeks to enable everyday citizens to make democracy the most potent political force in the United States.

Aug 7

46 min 57 sec

Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge discusses The Digital Platform Act, and the role cooperatives can play in securing access to Broadband in Rural communities. Harold Feld is the Senior Vice President for Public Knowledge, one of the nation’s premier consumer advocacy organizations working at the intersection of copyright, telecommunications and the Internet. Feld is a highly regarded thought leader in the areas of telecommunications and digital consumer protection, and author of The Case for the Digital Platform Act: Breakups, Starfish Problems and Tech Regulation. He was previously Senior Vice President at the Media Access Project (MAP), a public interest law firm, where he advanced competition policies in media, telecommunications and technology. Prior to joining MAP, Feld was an associate at Covington & Burling, and clerked for the DC Court of Appeals.

Jul 27

49 min 8 sec

Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, Ph.D, Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development at John Jay College of the City University of New York discusses how Co-ops are being used to "Build Back Better," and democratize community development. Dr. Gordon Nembhard, is Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development at John Jay College, of the City University of New York; Author of Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice, and a 2016 inductee into the U.S. Cooperative Hall of Fame. She is an affiliate scholar at the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, where she is co-investigator for the Measuring the Impact of Credit Unions Community and University Research Partnerships (CURA) Project; and an affiliate scholar with the Economics Department’s Center on Race and Wealth at Howard University. Dr. Gordon Nembhard is a political economist specializing in community economics, Black Political Economy and popular economic literacy. Her research and publications explore problematics and alternative solutions in cooperative economic development and worker ownership, community economic development, wealth inequality and community-based asset building, and community-based approaches to justice.

Jul 23

51 min 24 sec

July 1, 2021 Michael Alden Peck, executive director and co-founder of 1worker1vote and former Delegate for Mondragon Corporation, discusses projects, conferences and 1worker1vote Initiatives with host Vernon Oakes. In January 2014, Michael helped to launch 1worker1vote.org, a non-profit, dedicated to building a national network of unionized worker-owned cooperative businesses to overcome opportunity, mobility, and income inequality. In his work, Michael strives to overcome inequalities of wealth/income, opportunity, and social mobility by applying the sixty years of Mondragon experience and principles to form, transform, and transition worker co-ops, and union co-ops. From late 1999 until recently, Michael served as the North American delegate for Mondragon, the world's largest industrial worker cooperative. He is a dedicated advocate for the cooperative business model, and continues to use his experience with Mondragon to contribute to the cooperative movement on many platforms.

Jul 16

47 min 44 sec

Melissa K. Scanlan is the Lynde B. Uihlein Endowed Chair in Water Policy, and director of the Center for Water Policy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences. She is also a Professor in the School of Freshwater Sciences and affiliated faculty at University of Wisconsin’s Law School. Vernon and Melissa discuss her book, Prosperity in the Fossil-Free Economy, and the role cooperatives can play in a post-COVID-19 society. Scanlan is the founder of a variety of enterprises in the social economy. She brings a deep understanding of starting and stewarding enterprises to her scholarly work. The U.S. State Department awarded her a Fulbright Senior Scholar position in Spain in 2019 to pursue research about Spanish co-ops that are sustainability leaders. Her book, Prosperity in the Fossil-Free Economy (Yale University Press 2021), compares Spanish and U.S. cooperatives to reveal insights about legal design for the triple bottom line. Professor Scanlan brings an interdisciplinary approach to her work. She earned a Juris Doctorate and Master of Science in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, from University of California, Berkeley. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in World Politics from Catholic University of America, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She is licensed to practice law in Wisconsin (U.S.).

Jul 5

50 min 56 sec

Vernon discusses the impact of cooperation. From the race massacre 100 years ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to community efforts of Downtown Crenshaw to purchase the Crenshaw Mall today. In this monologue Vernon talks about the role of cooperation and co-ops in community development and community empowerment. He cites research that documents the impact of cooperatives, and shares examples of how cooperatives continue to be used to solve community problems.

Jun 30

46 min 48 sec

Emily Nail, Executive Director for the Cooperative Council of NC discusses the Cooperative Leadership Summer Camp. As Executive Director for the CCNC Emily administers executive planning, administration, communications, education and marketing. Since assuming the position in 2015 she has worked to enhance the programs, membership and get the cooperative movement networking. Emily will also direct the Cooperative Leadership Camp for the summer program and the training for the Cooperative Dynamics Workshop, both hosted by CCNC. Emily possesses a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Eastern New Mexico University, and an undergraduate degree in Small Business Ownership with a Minor in Economics, from Illinois State University. Prior to her appointment at CCNC Emily served as training coordinator for High Plains Federal Credit Union, and was a branch VP for American Chartered Bank. The CCNC’s mission is to Educate, Promote and Connect Cooperatives across the state. Visit https://www.ccnc.coop/ to learn more about how this mission is being fulfilled!

Jun 25

49 min 32 sec

Roger Green, Co-chair of the "Coalition to Transform Interfaith Medical Center" discusses community efforts to reform the Health Care Systems in Brooklyn, New York. Roger Green is the Founder of "Citizen Share Brooklyn," and the "Society for Effective Economic Democracy" (SEED). In 2014 Green assumed a co-chairmanship of the Coalition to Transform Interfaith Medical Center. Previously, Green served as an elected member of the New York State Assembly in Central Brooklyn, representing the 57 district from 1981 to 2006. He has also been a distinguished lecturer at Medgar Evers College, part of the CUNY (City University of New York) system, and is a strong supporter of economic democracy.

Jun 22

46 min 54 sec

Dr. Lisabeth Ryder, founder of WORCS, Worker Ownership Resources and Cooperative Services, discusses the Merits of Worker Ownership Cooperatives. Dr. Lisabeth Ryder has been a mechanic, small business owner, university teacher and anthropologist, plus a database analyst and computer programmer. She has also been a life-long social justice, environmental and human rights activist, who has been involved in both community and political organizing. She has worked for organized labor over two decades, having worked for both SEIU and AFSCME. She has been involved in cooperatives since the early 1970’s. Dr. Ryder is co-founder and co-owner of LUCI LLC, a developer and incubator of worker cooperatives in Southern California, and co-chairs the Union Co-op Council for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. She is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Jun 10

53 min 6 sec

Dr. Judith Hermanson, Director of the International Cooperative Research Group (ICRG) of the US Overseas Cooperative Development Council; Dr. Isaac K. Nyamongo; and Leah M. Lucas, international development professional, discuss the US Overseas Cooperative Development Council's four country study, "What Difference Do Cooperatives Make," and the International Evidence Summit. The summit will be held on May 26, 2021, 9:00 am - 11:00 am. For more info visit ocdc.coop. Dr. Judith Hermanson is a both a previously tenured professor of public administration at Northern Illinois University and leader in the international non-profit sector. At the ICRG she brings her expertise as an academic and scholar in combination with her deep knowledge of international development practice. Examples of her recent research include: PI on a recently completed multi-year, four country study, What Difference Do Cooperatives Make? She was a CO-I and recently published a peer reviewed article in Development Practice on Side Selling in the Malt Barley Value Chain in Ethiopia (2020). Other cooperative research areas include resilience, gender inclusion, access to finance, governance, and climate change. Dr. Hermanson holds a BA, from Smith College, and a PhD from The George Washington University. Isaac K. Nyamongo currently serves as the Deputy Vice Chancellor of (Cooperative Development, Research and Innovation), at the Cooperative University of Kenya. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Florida, USA and has close to 30 years in teaching, research and consultancy. He has supervised and mentored more than 40 students both at Doctoral and Masters levels. Prof. Nyamongo has held research and training grants from many organizations. His research and training experience spans several countries within the Africa region. Prof. Nyamongo has more than 80 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals. In addition, he has published books and book chapters. Further, he has held visiting Professor positions in the US as a Fulbright Scholar (2009-2010) and in South Africa where he was a Carnegie Mellon Fellow (2012). His current research focuses on empowering communities through cooperatives. Leah M. Lucas is an international development professional with work experience spanning five continents and eight countries. Since 2010, she has worked with research organizations, United Nations and nongovernmental organizations, specializing in agriculture, food security and nutrition, rural economic livelihoods, social enterprise, gender, and humanitarian response. Through the World Food Prize Foundation’s Fellowship Programs for young leaders in agriculture and food security, Lucas has worked with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India, the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) and the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Washington DC. She was a 2015 Fulbright Scholar in Mozambique and a 2014 Davis Project for Peace Grant Recipient in Guatemala.

May 20

49 min 41 sec

Dr. Lisabeth Ryder, founder of WORCS: Worker Ownership Resources and Cooperative Services appears on Everything Co-op. Vernon and Dr. Ryder discuss her live of advocacy, and the fundamentals of worker cooperatives. Dr. Lisabeth Ryder has been a mechanic and small business owner, a university teacher and anthropologist, plus a database analyst and computer programmer. She has also been a life-long social justice, environmental and human rights activist, and has been involved in both community and political organizing. She has worked for organized labor over two decades, having worked for both SEIU and AFSCME. She has been involved in cooperatives since the early 1970’s. She is a co-founder and co-owner of LUCI LLC, a developer and incubator of worker cooperatives in Southern California and co-chairs the Union Co-op Council for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. She is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles.

May 20

49 min 29 sec

Bahni Turpin, Co-founder of SoLA Food Co-op shares the journey taken in the development of SoLA, and how the organization plans to practice sustainability, fair trade, fair labor, and support local agriculture. Bahni Turpin is an accomplished actress of stage and screen, and an award winning narrator of audiobooks. The co-op bug bit quite unexpectedly when she found her self living in the food desert of South Los Angeles. Bahni jumped in, getting the ball rolling to create SoLA Food Co-op, because she truly believes that her community should take its food system into its own hands.

May 6

49 min 34 sec

Dallas Robinson, Communications Director at CoFED, Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive discusses programs and grants administered by CoFED to expand the food justice and the culture of cooperation. Dallas is a Black farmer and land steward. Dallas is committed to healing Black life in the south through agriculture. As the Enchanter of Engagement, Dallas looks forward to connecting and building cooperative power amongst young BIPOC. Dallas was one of 2019's Racial Justice Fellows at CoFED. The fellowship project was a mix of oral history collection and on-farm workshops [at the Harriet Tubman Freedom Farm]. Dallas listened to and learned from the stories of farmers and rural elders, many of whom are the children of sharecroppers, to bring light to the rich history of the region as well as inform the context for growing in Eastern North Carolina.

May 4

49 min 30 sec

E.G. Nadeau, author and founding Director of Cooperative Development Services, discusses his newly released book, "Strengthening the Cooperative Community," and the history of cooperative development. In 1985 Nadeau was the founding director of Cooperative Development Services, a pioneering co-op business-planning organization in the United States. During a period from 1985 to 2017, Nadeau did domestic and international co-op consulting work for the National Cooperative Business Association/CLUSA, Land O’Lakes International Development Division, the Overseas Cooperative Development Council, and other organizations. Through that time, he worked on over 50 co-op projects in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Nadeau has authored or co-authored five books and numerous articles on cooperatives and societal cooperation. He also taught more than 25 courses with cooperative themes, including as a faculty member at the International Centre for Co-operative Management at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has been the Co-Director of The Cooperative Society Project since 2015. The primary activities of this project have been the publication in 2016 of The Cooperative Society: The Next Stage of Human History, and of a second edition in 2018 (both co-authored with Luc Nadeau), and a bimonthly e-Newsletter. E.G. Nadeau graduated magna cum laude in sociology from Harvard University), and received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been researching, developing, teaching, and writing about cooperatives and community development for more than 50 years, beginning with his work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal in 1970.

Apr 21

48 min 24 sec

Trevor Claiborn and John Henry Harris discuss 1 Million Black Shovels, a Community, Home, & School Garden Groundbreaking Event Celebrating Black Farmers, Growers and Producers. Vernon and his guests discuss the importance of the reclamation of Black-owned farm land, and the significance that agriculture plays in survival and life. Trevor Claiborn, Co-Founder of Black Soil: Our Better Nature is an author, musician, environmental educator, co-operative extension professional, youth program director, and public speaker. In 2017 Trevor and Ashley C. Smith co-founded Black Soil: Our Better Nature to help reconnect Black Kentuckians to their heritage and legacy in agriculture. Black Soil fosters the next generation of Kentucky Black farmers and chefs and leads efforts to address racialized disparities and barriers. John Henry Harris holds a degree in economics and is pursuing a degree in Agricultural Economics. He developed his affinity for farming while working with his grandfather on the family farm. As a way of paying homage to his grandfather, for the past 10 years he has worked with Black Soil deliver programs that help youth to appreciate agriculture, and farming.

Apr 9

48 min 29 sec

Dr. Nina Banks is Associate Professor of Economics at Bucknell University and president of the National Economic Association (NEA). Her publications focus on social reproduction and migrant households, Black women and work, and the economics of the first Black economist in the U.S. - Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander. Professor Banks teaches courses on U.S. women's economic history, gender and migration, and poverty in the U.S. Dr. Banks serves on the Board of Directors of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and the Editorial Board of The Review of Black Political Economy. She is the Faculty Director of Bucknell in Ghana, and the university’s Academic Director for the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty. Professor Banks received her doctorate in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Professor Banks is working on several book projects including a biography of Sadie T.M. Alexander and an edited volume Democracy, Race, and Justice: Select Speeches and Writings of Sadie T.M. Alexander (Yale University Press): June 2021; a manuscript titled, Gender, Race, and Environmental Activism: Women of Color Working for Tomorrow (University of Toronto Press); and a co-edited book with Cecilia Conrad and Rhonda Sharpe on Black Women in the U.S. Economy: the Hardest Working Woman (IAFFE Feminist Economics Series, Routledge).

Apr 5

50 min 25 sec

Sara Horowitz discusses her book "Mutualism: Building the Next Economy from the Ground Up." Sara Horowitz is the founder of the Freelancers Union and the Freelancers Insurance Company. Formerly chair of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Horowitz is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and has been featured on NPR and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic, among other publications. A lifelong mutualist, she lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughter. In her recently released book Mutualism: Building the Next Economy from the Ground Up, Sara takes a profound look at the crisis of work and the collapse of the safety net, and gives a vision for a better way forward, rooted in America’s cooperative spirit. She brings us a solution to the current crisis of work that’s rooted in the best of American traditions, which she calls mutualism. If you are looking for a new way to build collaboratively, create the new American social contract, and prosper in the twenty-first century, be sure to tune in for this broadcast.

Mar 25

51 min 13 sec

Community Advocate Christie Gardner talks about her life of advocacy, and the Community Grocery Cooperative for East of the River, and other initiatives. Christie Gardner is advocate for community justice and equity – racial, social, economic, and health. Born in Kinston, NC, her family moved to Washington, DC when she was an infant. She attended Aiton Elementary, Kelly Miller Junior High School, and HD Woodson Senior High School’s Art Program, where she specialized in sketching and sculpturing. This work led to a subsequent scholarship and matriculation at American University. She has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Now a senior citizen with a disability, and domestic violence survivor, her investment in her neighbors and the rights of others is demonstrated in her endless commitment to advocacy. Recently, Christie was nominated for GOODProject’s Black Justice Fellowship out of 4,000 entries for her contributions to the community. Christie is a founding board member of the Douglass Community Land Trust; serves as secretary for the Client Advisory Council at Bread for the City; and also participates in advocacy via the Fair Budget Coalition, DC Greens, Grey Panthers, Empower DC, and ONE DC. Her latest endeavor is serving on the steering committee/engagement committee of the newly forming Community Grocery Cooperative for the East of the River communities. The Co-op plans to have organically grown produce, along with educational programming for their customers about how to eat and stay healthy. The Community Grocery Co-op is essential to addressing the present food dessert in these East of the River communities, which also have the highest rate of health issues, including diabetes, obesity, and kidney failure.

Mar 25

44 min 43 sec

Renee Hatcher, JD discusses the Solidarity Economy and Community Enterprise. As Director of the Community Enterprise and Solidarity Economy Institute, Renee Hatcher challenges listeners to reimagine institutions in a way that fulfills ones humanity. Renee Hatcher is a human rights and community development lawyer. She is an Assistant Professor of Law, and the Director of the Community Enterprise & Solidarity Economy Clinic at UIC John Marshall Law School Chicago The legal clinic provides free legal support to cooperatives, community-based institutions, and other types of solidarity economy initiatives and projects. The framework of Hatcher’s scholarship and legal practice operates under the solidarity economy theory. In many ways, the work she does elevates “the good news” and not “just the resist work,” she adds. This can look like people organizing around worker cooperatives, building innovative enterprises or using bartering services or time-banking, for example, to address worker exploitation. Hatcher currently serves as a board member for the New Economy Coalition, a member of Resist, Reimagine and Rebuild (R3), Black Lawyers Solidarity Economy Network (BLESN), and a member of the Law for Black Lives Clinic Cohort Development Team. Her work and research focus on solidarity economy theory/practice and law.

Mar 12

50 min 11 sec

Dr. Douglas Rushkoff, author and educator discusses economic "cooporativism" and circular economics. Dr. Rushkoff sets the premise that if the rest of the Country replicated many of the economic strategies used in Black communities, we could resolve many of the challenges being faced. Winner of the Media Ecology Association’s first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, Dr. Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other’s values. He is Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY/Queens, where he founded the Laboratory for Digital Humanism. He is a columnist for Medium, technology and media commentator for CNN, a research fellow at the Institute for the Future, and a lecturer on media, technology, culture and economics around the world. His new book, a manifesto called Team Human, calls for the retrieval of human autonomy in a digital age. Prior to that, his book Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity argued that we have failed to build the distributed economy that digital networks are capable of fostering, and instead doubled down on the industrial age mandate of growth above all. Rushkoff has taught regularly for NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, The New School University, the MaybeLogic Academy and the Esalen Institute. He also lectures about media, art, society, and change at conferences and universities around the world. He has been awarded a Fullbright Scholarship, and Senior Fellowships by the Markle Foundation, the Center for Global Communications, and the International University of Japan. He served as an Advisor to the United Nations Commission on World Culture and regularly appears on TV shows from NBC Nightly News and Larry King to the Colbert Report and Bill Maher. Rushkoff is on the board of several new media non-profits and companies, and regularly speaks about media, society and ethics to museums, governments, synagogues, churches, universities, and companies.

Mar 6

51 min 51 sec

Allen Edson, President of the Pasadena Branch of the NAACP, discusses the history, objectives, Initiatives of the branch, as related to the 2021 Black History Month theme: "Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity." For 15 years Allen worked in the Aerospace industry with the majority of those years working for Lockheed California company. He also worked 20 plus years in non-profit management with a interest in Environmental Justice. Alan developed this interest and formed his own Environmental Remediation Company. In 2006 his company was awarded the "Emerging Business of the Year" award in San Francisco. Currently Allen serves as the President of the Pasadena Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Allen is a Pasadena native. He attended Pasadena public schools, Pasedena City College, and earned a BA in Economics from UC Berkeley. Allen is the father of three, Ishmael, Khali, and Nadira.

Feb 25

47 min 49 sec

Niki Okuk, Downtown Crenshaw Board Chair, and Damien Goodmon, Downtown Crenshaw Board Member, discuss plans for the acquisition and redevelopment Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The historic Crenshaw Mall being acquired through Downtown Crenshaw Rising, a community nonprofit established to purchase and redevelop the mall. Downtown Crenshaw plans to reinvent the mall as an “urban village.” The 40-acre site will be used to create worker owned businesses, community space, cooperative housing and much more. Niki Okuk attended Audubon Middle school in South LA and went on to complete her degree in Economics at Columbia University, a Masters from the Nanyang University in Singapore, and a certificate in Sustainability at MIT Sloan School of Business before returning home to start a green-collar business in Compton. Rco Tires existed for nearly a decade as an example of black woman owned small business, employing dozens of formerly incarcerated community members, recycling millions of pounds of tire rubber into new products and creating decent, dignified, and democratic workplaces in South LA, which she talked about in her 2017 TED talk, "Fire the Boss". “Niki and her mom, Lis Ryder, are co-founders of LUCI (Los Angeles Union Cooperative Initiative). Lis, together with Mary Hoyer, is a co-founder of the Union-Coop Council, part of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives. Both the USFWC Union Coop Council and LUCI are closely aligned with the 1worker1vote movement.” Niki continues to work at the intersection of sustainability, industry and environmental justice and is currently serving on the leadership team for Downtown Crenshaw Rising, the ambitious community led effort to purchase and redevelop the historic Crenshaw Mall 40-acre site into a thriving urban village under collective and cooperative models which will house, employ, stabilize, and nurture the Crenshaw community for generations to come. Damien Goodmon, a 27-year Leimert Park resident, has been labeled a “visionary” by the LA Times, recognized as one of the L.A.’s “100 Most Influential African-Americans” by the LA Wave Newspapers, chosen beside former LA Mayor Richard Riordan and actress Drew Barrymore for the 2009 “LA People” issue of LA Weekly, and is a lead subject of the award-winning documentary “Beyond the Echo of the Drum,” which premiered at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. As a nonprofit executive director he has led some of the Crenshaw and Black Los Angeles' most impactful community advocacy campaigns. As a political operative he has managed, led departments and advised electoral campaigns from the school board level up to the presidential. As an executive management consultant and systems thinker, he has built, reconstructed and managed multiple large companies and departments, including some with over 400 employees, and successfully guided complex projects and partnerships, featuring actors with divergent interests. A graduate of L.A. Loyola High School, he has studied at the University of Washington and Harvard University programs.

Feb 19

51 min 28 sec

Trevor Claiborn Sr., is a 4-H Cooperative Extension Assistant at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. An avid Agriculturist, and co-founder of "Black Soil: Our Better Nature," throughout his career he has continuously sought ways to use lessons in agriculture to connect generations. Trevor is also an author, musician, environmental educator, youth program director, and public speaker. In 2017 Trevor and Ashley C. Smith co-founded Black Soil: Our Better Nature to help reconnect Black Kentuckians to their heritage and legacy in agriculture. Black Soil fosters the next generation of Kentucky Black farmers and chefs, and leads efforts to address racialized disparities and barriers. In 2015 while earning his B.S. in Agriculture, Food, and Environment at Kentucky State University Land Grant College, Mr. Claiborn created and developed “Farmer Brown Tha MC.” He used this platform to deliver presentations about agriculture, diversification of agricultural and STEM fields, and to deliver creative youth engagement strategies to tens of thousands of youth and families in Kentucky and across the country. This work led to the establishment of Black Soil, where he continues to use education in agriculture as a tool to connect generations. Mr. Claiborn has received awards from the Central Kentucky Diversity Consortium, the 1890’s Association of Research Directors Research Symposium, and been named as a Rising Star by the Kentucky Association of Environmental Educators (KAEE). He is also a 2018 ee360 Green Fellow, and a former member of the KAEE Board of Directors. Mr. Claiborn currently serves on the Principal advisory Board at Locust Trace Agri-science center in Lexington, KY and Governor Andy Beshear’s 2020 Agri-tech Council.

Feb 13

50 min 51 sec

Hugh Jeffers, VP of Origination at Centennial Mortgage Vets a Live Pitch for funding From Jacqueline Rivera of Hope Housing, moderated by Everything Co-op host, Vernon Oakes. They discuss the necessary steps to secure support from HUD to develop limited Equity Housing and worker cooperatives in Baltimore, and the necessary components of an impressive concept package for such a project. Hugh Jeffers is responsible for originating new business. He has 25 years of experience originating FHA loans. Hugh's expertise is in cooperative housing, and he serves on the board of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives. Prior to Centennial, he worked for Love Funding, Bellwether Enterprise, Arbor Commercial Mortgage and managed the affordable housing team at the National Cooperative Bank. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College, and a master’s degree from NYU’s Stern School of Business. Jacqueline Rivera is a mother of four, and owner and CEO of JBM Construction Development Group in Baltimore, Maryland. Her early career experience included working for Hope Housing in the early 90’s, an affiliate of Community of Hope, as their Project Manager overseeing development and renovation projects for formerly homeless families and low- income residents in Washington, DC. As a construction professional she has worked for some of the nation’s largest commercial construction firms. During her tenure at Centex Construction, Jackie became their first female Superintendent and served as a member of the Safety Team for Centex Mid Atlantic. She later became a Project Manager for an international construction management firm, Hill International. She has a total of 32 years of experience in the building industry.

Feb 10

51 min 10 sec

CEO Curtis Wynn, President of NRECA's Board of Directors discusses the five pandemics facing the US, and how the electric co-op industry is managing change and innovation. Curtis Wynn is President & CEO of Roanoke Electric Cooperative. With nearly 42 years of experience in the electric cooperative industry, Curtis began his career at West Florida Electric Cooperative. He has served on the NRECA Board of Directors since 2007, where he is entering his last year as Board President. A graduate of Troy University, Curtis holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and management information systems. Curtis has led numerous movements at his co-op from the introduction of broadband service to new demand response capabilities. Under his leadership, Roanoke Electric has been a two-time recipient of NRECA’s Community Service Network Award, and Curtis is a past winner of the J. C. Brown Leadership Award. This year Curtis Wynn is coming to the end of his two-year term as NRECA President. When he took office, he set out to focus on how co-ops can navigate the rapid pace of change in the industry. However, this platform took on new meaning in 2020 with a heightened focus on racial inequality in America. In the December 14th episode of Along Those Lines, NRECA’s podcast, Wynn discusses diversity, equity and inclusion in the co-op workforce and reflects on how the electric cooperative industry is managing change and innovation. To listen to his podcast click on the link below: https://alongthoselines.libsyn.com/curtis-wynn-on-co-ops-and-diversity-equity-and-inclusion

Jan 25

51 min 41 sec

Shirley Sherrod, Executive Director of the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education discusses her life-long experiences as an advocate for farmers, the outcomes of the Georgia runoff elections, and the successful work completed by the Southwest Georgia Project. Sherrod is quoted in an article that appeared in the Washington Post on Sunday, January 17, regarding Tom Vilsack’s nomination as agriculture secretary by the Biden Administration. She states: “He has to create a culture of racial and social justice across the agency to even begin to undo the harm that has occurred,” (see link Below) www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/01/14/vilsack-usda-black-farmers/ Shirley Sherrod is a Baker County Georgia native who grew up on her family’s farm. In March 1965, her father was murdered by a white farmer who was not prosecuted. The tragic murder of her father when she was 17 years old had a profound impact on her life and led to her decision to stay in the south to work for change. Shirley helped to start the civil rights movement in Baker County and later married Charles Sherrod, one of the founding members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and leader of SNCC’s work in Southwest Georgia. With her husband and others, she helped to form New Communities, Inc., the first Community Land Trust in the United States. New Communities serves as a laboratory and model in the movement toward the development of community land trusts (CLTs) throughout the country. There are more than 200 CLTs today. Shirley has a B.A. in Sociology from Albany State University in Albany, Georgia and a M.A. in Community Development from Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio. In 2015, she was awarded a Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Sojourner-Douglas College in Baltimore, Maryland. She has received many awards for her work in civil rights, and as an advocate for farmers and rural residents. In 2009, Shirley was appointed by the Obama Administration as USDA Georgia State Director of Rural Development. She became the first person of color to hold the position. Shirley was forced to resign her position in 2010 after conservative blogger, Andrew Brietbart edited a speech she made at a NAACP banquet, to make it appear that she discriminated against a white farmer while serving in her federally appointed position. Subsequent events showed that Brietbart’s edited video was taken out of context and was part of broader comments that conveyed a completely different meaning. USDA Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack apologized and offered her another position, which she declined.

Jan 21

50 min 39 sec

Hugh Jeffers, Vice President of Origination at Centennial Mortgage, Inc. discusses the renewed interest in cooperative housing, and the National and Regional Resources being used to support them. Hugh Jeffers is responsible for originating new business. He has 25 years of experience originating FHA loans. His expertise is in cooperative housing, and he serves on the board of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives. Prior to Centennial, he worked for Love Funding, Bellwether Enterprise, Arbor Commercial Mortgage and managed the affordable housing team at the National Cooperative Bank. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College, and a master’s degree from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Jan 19

50 min 43 sec

Civil and Voting rights advocate Rev. Wendell H. Paris, discusses relationship between Cooperative and Voting Rights movements. Rev. Paris of Jackson, Mississippi, is one of the early foot soldiers of the Civil and Voting Rights Movements. Paris, was a founding member of the Tuskegee Advancement League (TIAL), a campus organization affiliated with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In the 1960s he helped to register voters and participated in direct action campaigns in Alabama and Mississippi. After a record-breaking Presidential Election in November, amid unprecedented voter suppression tactics, Rev. Wendell H. Paris was reminded of rhetoric he heard during registration drives in Alabama and the Selma-to-Montgomery march. “Whenever you hear him say, ‘law and order,’ that’s coded language,” said Paris. “We have reverted back to the racial situation of the 1950s and the 1960s.” Rev. Paris also discussed the importance of the run-off elections in Georgia, and the impact the outcome of the election will have on his right to vote in the future. He talks about how southern cooperatives have worked with organizations that have protected the rights of farmers and Black communities. With shared how the Southwest Georgia Project has supported empowering people to participate in voting process, and encouraged people to support its efforts. Be certain to listen to this legendary voting rights advocate, who has spent his lifetime standing up for the civil and voting rights since his involvement as a founding member of the SNCC in the 1960s.

Jan 7

47 min 41 sec

Vernon interviews John Zippert, former Director of Program Operations for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund. Vernon and John discuss his career with the Federation, the interconnectedness of the cooperative and political movements, and the importance of the two runoff elections for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. John Zippert served as the Director of Program Operations for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund at their Rural Training and Research Center in Epes, Alabama, for 49 years from 1971-2018. He retired in December 2018, but continues to volunteer and serve as Program Director Emeritus for the Federation. Zippert has also worked with the Federation on the development of affordable housing for low-income people in Alabama, including development, loan packaging and construction of over 250 units of single-family housing, self-help housing and four rural multi-family projects with 126 units. John has over 50 years’ experience in community organizing, cooperative and credit union development, community based economic development and rural development in distressed communities. He serves on the boards of many national, regional, state, and local organizations to support rural development activities. Zippert has a BA degree in history from the City College of New York; and has participated in numerous training sessions and courses to enhance his skills in rural development. He and his wife Carol are co-publishers of the Greene County Democrat, the weekly newspaper distributed in their home rural community. The Zipperts were inducted into the National Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2017.

Jan 5

48 min 47 sec

Maurice Smith, CEO of Local Government Federal Credit Union (LCFCU), and Civic FCU; and Chairman of the Board of Directors at National Cooperative Bank, discusses his book "Sowing Seeds: Life Lessons From My Father". Smith shares how the life lessons his father taught him has impacted his career, and shaped his life. Maurice Smith is the CEO of Local Government Federal Credit Union (LCFCU), and Civic FCU. Both are financial cooperatives serving the financial needs of employees, appointed officials, elected officeholders and volunteers of local governments in North Carolina. Smith began his career in financial services as a loan officer for State Employees’ Credit Union, and has served in several capacities including vice-president/ city executive and vice-president of marketing/training. He joined LGFCU in 1992 as the Executive Vice President and was promoted to President in 1999 and later CEO. Smith is a self-proclaimed cooperative nerd. He believes that a business model that empowers its members to engage in democratic, self-help, classless principles is superior to other business types. As a fan of credit union ideals, Smith is avid about his beliefs.

Dec 2020

54 min 20 sec

Dr. John A. McNamara, Senior Cooperative Development Specialist at Northwest Cooperative Development Center, discusses Cooperative development, and Co-op Metrics. John joined NWCDC in the Spring of 2014. Prior to coming to NWCDC John garnered 26 years of practical experience in the worker cooperative world with Union Cab of Madison. John holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration and a Masters in Management: Cooperative and Credit Unions, from Saint Mary’s University (Halifax). As a student researcher, and assisted in the development of the Co-op Index Report, a tool for measuring co-ops against the values and principles of cooperation. John also taught a summer course on worker cooperatives at The Evergreen State College (2014-2018) and at Presidio Graduate School in their Cooperative Management Certificate program. He co-edited a collection of essays on measuring co-operatives available as an e-book at no cost from the Cooperative Difference. John also serves as Chair of the Union-Coops Council of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. NWCDC is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), organization devoted to assisting new and existing cooperative businesses in every sector with a special emphasis on Resident Owned Communities, home care agencies, and converting existing businesses into worker-owned or community-owned cooperatives.

Dec 2020

50 min 37 sec

Ron Hantz, Board President of the Network for Developing Conscious Communities (NDCC discusses place based private capital and philanthropic foundation giving strategies that support BIPOC equitable community development. Hantz has more than 28 years of experience in the development of affordable housing. After careful reflection upon his many years of experience he said, "Our ultimate goal should be to learn how to replicate best practices, how to develop indigenous leadership and how to build collaborative community based partnerships. He further states, "In many urban communities and neighborhoods throughout America, we need to reexamine our approach and strategies to community development." The Network for Developing Conscious Communities was founded 2014 as a 501 © (3) non-profit community development membership organization. Through implementing principles of conscious community development, the organization seeks to build economically cooperative and equitable communities through transparency, inclusiveness and collectivism. NDCC successfully works to improve financial sustainability, encourage business ownership and increase residential real estate ownership in Black neighborhoods.

Dec 2020

49 min 50 sec

Barry Silver, President/CEO of Coop Equity, LLC, and Sarah Smith, of the Associated Milk Producers Incorporated (AMPI), discuss the NCB Co-op 100®, a listing of the nation’s top 100 revenue-earning cooperative businesses. Barry has been at the forefront of producing the list since its inception. Sarah grew up on a dairy farm and now she serves as a communications specialist at a dairy farm. Together they discuss the value and benefits of NCB's Co-op 100®. As President and CEO of Coop Equity, LLC Silver provides international financial and cooperative consulting. His consulting work includes involvement in lending, credit, product development and portfolio management; at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), he provides cooperative and finance consulting for a $2 billion project, to include establishment of farm co-ops bringing farm production to market; lastly at the US Agency for International Development (USAID)/ACDI-VOCA) he consults with agricultural, coffee and cacao co-ops on refinement of capital plans and financial restructuring. Recently, National Cooperative Bank, known for providing banking solutions tailored to meet the needs of cooperatives and their members nationwide, released its annual NCB Co-op 100®, listing the nation’s top 100 revenue-earning cooperative businesses. In 2019, these businesses posted revenue totaling approximately $228.2 billion. The NCB Co-op 100® remains the only annual report of its kind to track the profits and successes of cooperative businesses in the United States.

Dec 2020

49 min 24 sec

Mo Manklang, Policy Director at the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives discusses findings of the Federation's survey, "Worker Co-ops: Weathering The Storm of COVID-19 and Beyond," and how those those findings will shape the work ahead toward building a stronger economy. As Policy Director, Mo Manklang leads policy efforts at the federal level, works with its membership on state and local initiatives, and heads up health benefits initiatives. She has been convening people in cooperatives and social impact for the past twelve years in a variety of roles, including five years with local news and events group Generocity.org. Mo is a founding board member of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance, the Media and Marketing Committee of the Kensington Community Food Co-op, the Policy Committee of the Sustainable Business Network. She is also the co-founder and organizer of The Bechdel Test Fest, an annual festival highlighting women and transgender comedians in Philadelphia.

Nov 2020

44 min 30 sec

John Holdsclaw IV, Executive VP of Strategic Initiatives at National Cooperative Bank discusses the state of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Cooperative Movement with host Vernon Oakes. During NCBA CLUSA International’s recent IMPACT Conference, Mr. Holdsclaw moderated a session entitled "Cooperatives Can Advance DEI: Lessons, Issues and Ways Forward." John shares strategies panelist shared during the session of the concrete steps needed to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in our cooperative movement. John Holdsclaw is NCB's Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. John is charged with establishing NCB as a thought leader in community development and cooperative expansion that leads to business development and solutions. He also promotes and advances social investment opportunities within the philanthropic arena and in product development, furthering NCB's commitment to mission banking. Earlier this year John was named Chair of the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI Coalition). Last year John was named the recipient of the 2019 Stan Dreyer Spirit of Cooperation Award. The honor is bestowed to those who live and work with the spirit of the cooperative principles.

Nov 2020

50 min 52 sec

Deb Trocha, Executive Director of ICDC, discusses the Cooperatives and Diverse Communities 2020 conference that was held on October 30th, entitled “Reimagining Work: The Worker Cooperative Model.” She and Vernon talk about how the evolution and primary focus of the conference, and how worker co-ops are helping employees create businesses that are more equitable and just. Deb Trocha joined the Indiana Cooperative Development Center (ICDC) in 2006 after serving as Executive Director of the Indiana Small Business Development Center. She has over 20 years of economic development experience. Under her leadership, ICDC promotes cooperatives as a vibrant model to address economic and social needs. ICDC provides start-up, management, and technical assistance to a wide variety of co-ops in agriculture, arts, childcare, education, energy, and housing sectors. ICDC also provides training opportunities designed to bring together groups of people involved in co-op development.

Nov 2020

49 min 16 sec

Vernon interviews Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, Ph.D, Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development at John Jay College of the City University of New York, and Renee Hatcher, Assistant Professor of Law at UIC John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Vernon and his guests will discuss strategies to address diversity, equity and Inclusion in cooperatives. Dr. Gordon Nembhard, is Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development at John Jay College, of the City University of New York; Author of Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice, and a 2016 inductee into the U.S. Cooperative Hall of Fame. She is an affiliate scholar at the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, where she is co-investigator for the “Measuring the Impact of Credit Unions,” Community and University Research Partnerships (CURA) project; and an affiliate scholar with the Economics Department’s Center on Race and Wealth at Howard University. Dr. Gordon Nembhard is a political economist specializing in community economics, Black Political Economy and popular economic literacy. Her research and publications explore problematics and alternative solutions in cooperative economic development and worker ownership, community economic development, wealth inequality and community-based asset building, and community-based approaches to justice. University. Renee Hatcher is a human rights and community development lawyer. She is an Assistant Professor of Law, and the Director of the Community Enterprise & Solidarity Economy Clinic at UIC John Marshall Law School Chicago, a legal clinic that provides free legal support to cooperatives, community-based institutions, and other types of solidarity economy initiatives and projects. Hatcher currently serves as a board member for the New Economy Coalition, a member of Resist, Reimagine and Rebuild (R3), Black Lawyers Solidarity Economy Network (BLESN), and a member of the Law for Black Lives Clinic Cohort Development Team. Her work and research focus on solidarity economy theory/practice and law.

Oct 2020

51 min 20 sec

Laura Vogel, Senior Advisor for NRECA Political Affairs, and Kate LaTour, Director of Government Relations for the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International, discuss the importance of the 2020 Presidential election and resources provided through vote.coop for ALL voters. Laura Vogel joined NRECA in 2014, and is a member of the Political Affairs team. She is responsible for developing programs to encourage Co-op member and staff engagement in political issues that matter to the Co-op family, and is the program manager for their voter initiative, Co-ops Vote. She is also involved in NRECA’s political training programs, serving as an instructor for the Grassroots Course for co-op Directors, and provides strategic input for NRECA’s annual Youth Tour program. In 2019 Laura was named to the national steering committee for National Voter Registration Day. She has a Master’s Degree in Political Management from George Washington University, a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Certificate in PAC and Grassroots Management from the Public Affairs Council. Kate LaTour is the Director of Government Relations for the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International. Prior to joining NCBA CLUSA, Kate served as a Legislative Aide in the U.S. Senate working on economic policy issues. She earned her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in political science and international affairs, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University. Co-ops Vote is a non-partisan project of America's Electric Cooperatives designed to inform its members on the key issues and encourage them to vote and support their co-ops and the communities they serve when they go to the polls.

Oct 2020

50 min 15 sec

Vernon interviews Allison Hellenbrand and Brad Forbes, participants from the 2020 Cooperative IMPACT Conference Cooperative Leaders and Scholars Institute (CLSI). The conference was held virtually, October 5 - 9, 2020. In acknowledgment of National Co-op Month, everyone who registers will have access to the sessions throughout October. The Cooperative Leaders and Scholars Institute is an opportunity to develop and engage young professionals (ages 18-35), and post-secondary students of any age with participation in this national Cooperative conference, and exposure to co-op industry and thought leaders, policymakers, and other key stakeholders. NCBA CLUSA's 2020 Cooperative IMPACT Virtual Conference is the only national, cross-sector event elevating the national conversation around co-ops, a trusted, proven way to do business and build communities. The annual conference provides an unparalleled platform to re-energize the cooperative movement and galvanize its champions around building the next economy. This year's conference will amplify how cooperatives are addressing their obligations to create diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces and boards, and how co-ops can better meet the needs of communities that have been excluded from economic participation and advancement.

Oct 2020

49 min 14 sec