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17 New and Emerging Co-op Leaders Accepted into CLS Program

The Cooperative Development Foundation and NCBA CLUSA are delighted to welcome 17 new and emerging co-op leaders into the Cooperative Leaders and Scholars (CLS) program. This 8-month program is designed to deepen and broaden knowledge of cooperatives and the role the model plays in meeting economic and social needs of communities. It is structured to empower participants to shape their experience for maximum value as they connect and collaborate with peers and industry experts.


The 2024 CLS cohort includes:

  • Sandra Baca, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Cooperative Development Center, Colorado

  • Phoebe Clement, Greene Hill Food Cooperative, New York

  • Laura Flores, Project Equity, California

  • Salvador Gonzalez Meza, Center for Community Wealth Building, Colorado

  • Anthony Goodwin, National Co+op Grocers, Ohio

  • Abigail Grott, University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, Wisconsin

  • Capri Jones, Riverton Community Housing, Minnesota

  • Mu Knowles, Collective Liberation in Practice, Washington

  • Idalis Longoria, Grace in Action Collectives, Michigan

  • Elizabeth López, U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Pennsylvania

  • Katy McCreadie, connectFirst Credit Union, Alberta, Canada

  • Maya Miracle, Sustainable Economies Law Center, California

  • Jodi Nicole, Mirlo, New York

  • Jenna Pollack, Chicago Community Wealth Building Ecosystem, Illinois

  • Autumn Solomon, Carolinas Telco Federal Credit Union, North Carolina

  • Becca Stephen Smith, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Missouri

  • Cierra Washington, Northside Food Cooperative, North Carolina


“To support efforts to build a more inclusive economy in North America, the CLS program helps develop local capacity and peer support for new and emerging leaders engaged in cooperatives and cooperative development,” said Kirstie Boyette, CDF Associate Director and CLS Co-Coordinator. “Over the course of 8 months, participants engage in multi-sector programming and events, and network with co-op industry thought leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders.”


“As a past participant in an earlier iteration of CLS, I am excited to welcome the 2024 cohort to this experience,” said Cathy Statz, cooperative educator and CLS Co-Coordinator. “CLS is an excellent introduction not only to the cross-sectoral cooperative community, but to the wealth of experience, innovative ideas, and commitment to cooperatives that is already present in those selected to participate.”


“It has been an incredible experience to see the growth of the CLS program,” said Teia Evans, NCBA CLUSA Project Director, CLS alumni, and CLS Co-Coordinator. “As a member of the 2017 cohort, CLS provided me with invaluable experiences and opportunities to engage within the cooperative network in the United States. We anticipate a robust 8 months of cooperative education and training and are all excited to learn from and with the 2024 cohort.”


CDF and NCBA CLUSA look forward to introducing the 2024 cohort to the cooperative community at the Co-op IMPACT conference and Cooperative Hall of Fame in Washington, DC in October.

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