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AMY ALEXANDER

Creative Director, Co-Founder, Story Collaborative

With fifteen years of experience in graphic design, Amy has developed brand experiences for large and small organizations across the US. With a background in higher education, where she managed print and digital experiences in a collaborative environment, she now has years of creative direction under her belt. When Amy is not slaying giants for her cherished clients, she can be found relaxing and adventuring with her husband, and twin girls.

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MIRIAM ALLRED

Partner Marketing Manager, Home Care Pulse

Miriam is a Project Manager at Home Care Pulse and comes to home care with a background in traditional and digital marketing. Miriam has helped local businesses achieve great success through marketing strategy and execution. She’s explored and added value to many different industries, but now finds herself passionate and motivated to help the home care industry grow. At Home Care Pulse, she oversees partnerships with the national and state home care associations, coordinates the annual Home Care Benchmarking Study and Home Care Growth Summit, and is also the host of Home Care Pulse’s podcast: Vision | The Home Care Leaders Podcast.

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COURTNEY BERNER

Executive Director, University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives

Courtney Berner joined the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives in 2011 and served as a cooperative development specialist until assuming the role of executive director in January 2018. Courtney develops research, outreach, and education programs on cooperatives and provides support to new and established cooperatives in a wide range of industries. Her areas of expertise include cooperative education, business development, cooperative finance and governance, and innovative uses of the cooperative model. Courtney also teaches a course on cooperatives at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and loves challenging students to think critically about why co-ops emerge, how they differ from other forms of enterprise, and how the model can be used to address current social and economic issues.

Prior to joining the Center, Courtney worked at the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based research institute devoted to global environmental concerns. Courtney holds an M.S. in agroecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. from Pacific Lutheran University. Courtney originally hails from Oregon where she grew up riding horses, eating salmon, and picking blueberries. She moved to Madison in 2009 where she lives with her husband, son, and two orange cats. In her free time, Courtney enjoys gardening, cooking, travel, and channeling her Finnish heritage in her backyard sauna.

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VANESSA BRANSBERG

Senior Managing Director, Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI)

Vanessa Bransburg is the Senior Managing Director at the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI), supporting staff professional development and building strong organizational culture. Vanessa also leads the Rapid Response Cooperative Development Project and provides training and consultation to cooperative developers working with vulnerable workers and immigrant communities. Previously Vanessa was the Director of Cooperative Development at the Center for Family Life (CFL) in Brooklyn, NY for 8 years. While at CFL she expanded the program's capacity by tripling the number of staff, spearheaded the worker cooperative incubator program for hundreds of immigrant and low-income residents, established the NYC Cooperative Development Initiative to support NGOs looking to become cooperative incubators, and was one of the founders of the NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives. She also has a background in community organizing and clinical social work. Vanessa has an MSW from Columbia University, a BA in Sociology from UCLA and is an immigrant from Argentina.

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DEBORAH CRAIG

Cooperative Development Specialist, Northwest Cooperative Development Center

Deborah Craig is a Cooperative Development Specialist with the Northwest Cooperative Development Center. Deborah has over 20 years of experience in cooperative management, specializing in human resources in the food co-op and home care co-op sectors. She has a Master’s degree from Western Washington University and is a peer advisor with the Democracy at Work Network. Deborah is also part of the first cohort of Democracy at Work Institute’s Fellows. Deborah specializes in home care cooperatives and works with the ROC Northwest program. 

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AMADEO CRUZ GUIAO, MBA, MA

Facilitator, Organizational Healer/Consultant, Principal, Lunas Consulting

Amadeo is a transformational consultant and visionary healer who helps passionate, soul-based changemakers heal and transform their deepest wounds in order to be the magnificent beings they were created to be. Amadeo also works with organizations and philanthropic foundations to facilitate change within their organizational culture, operations, and relationships to align with their deepest values. With over 20 years of experience supporting progressive organizations and leaders to effect transformative social change, Amadeo has been described by previous clients as a “healer of organizations,” and “a spiritual leader with an MBA.” A lifelong spiritual activist who has worked tirelessly for transformative social change, Amadeo believes in the principle of interdependence: as we heal and transform ourselves, we heal and transform our communities, and can truly create the world of harmony, peace, and justice that we long for. Their intersectional, intercultural, and equity-based approach is informed by my lived experience as a queer, gender-nonbinary, decolonizing Filipin@-American and child of immigrants. They co-founded and directed for many years a groundbreaking healing justice organization called Zenyu Healing that centered the holistic wellbeing and leadership development of Queer & Trans Black, Indigenous and People of Color, almost all of whom were social justice activists.

 

Amadeo brings the holistic lens of healing justice to my individual coaching and organizational development consulting. Born into the mystical Catholic tradition of my Philippine ancestors, they have studied for over 20 years with esteemed teachers of Tibetan Buddhism, and the Earth-based spiritualities of the Coast Salish, Aleut and Native Hawaiian people, all of whom have independently encouraged them towards their destiny as a spiritual healer. Their knowledge of the spiritual arts is enhanced by the practical skills and technical expertise gained from 20 years of experience in social justice nonprofits, and an M.B.A. in Nonprofit Management and an M.A. in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University. 

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ANNA DUNCAN

Director of Affiliate Programs, National Domestic Workers Alliance

Anna Duncan is a community organizer with over 15 years of experience in labor, immigrant rights and anti-gentrification movements. As Director of Affiliate Programs she leads training and capacity building programs for NDWA's 65 affiliate organizations around the country, and supports their leadership and participation in NDWA's national campaigns and events. From 2014 to 2018 she coordinated NDWA's gender and immigrant rights campaign, We Belong Together. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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NORA EDGE

General Manager, Capital Home Care Cooperative

Nora Edge is a caregiver, member and the General Manager at Capital Home Care Cooperative in Olympia, Washington. Before joining the CHC project and working to launch the co-op, Nora spent time exploring different arenas of human services work. In high school she provided in home-support to her grandfather, and after a 4 year stint studying philosophy at St. John’s College MD, Nora quickly returned to caregiving. She managed group homes for adults with disabilities, served on a human rights board which provided oversight to different agency quality care practices, and coordinated a STARR Program for kids who had rescinded in the system and were waiting for permanent placement. Nora’s experience in these fields and in her personal caregiving experience lead her to believe that the system needed to be revamped (seriously!). She came to Capital Home Care Cooperative, where she has found a home working with similarly passionate people trying to provide equitable employment as well as exceptional support to vulnerable people in the community. When Nora is not working for the cooperative, she can be found singing karaoke or playing ukulele, whistling, taking walks, cooking soup, and telling jokes.  

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DANA HOWARTH

Program Director, New Mexico Caregivers Coalition

Dana Howarth has been a member of the New Mexico Caregivers Coalition (NMCC) team since early 2015. She is a native New Mexican who received her Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies from the University of New Mexico in 2013 and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Dana is young-at-heart. She enjoys traveling, spending time with her family and watching movies.

As the Program Director for NMCC, Dana is a busy bee, always working on multiple coalition projects, including managing training programs and keeping the website up to date. She has always enjoyed being involved with organizations that were created to help others and continues to be thankful to have the opportunity to make a difference in the state of New Mexico through her position with NMCC.

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KATRINA KAZDA

Program Director - Home Care, The ICA Group

Katrina joined the ICA Group in January 2017, and has been leading the organization’s home care work since 2018.  Katrina brings over a decade of hands-on experience leading businesses, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions through strategic change processes. She has worked with a wide diversity of business sectors from banking to food service and with clients ranging in size from sole proprietorships to multi-national corporations.  

 

Katrina’s home care work ranges from national strategy development to direct technical assistance and covers a wide diversity of topics from market feasibility to governance.  Katrina actively supports over half a dozen start-up and operational home care cooperatives in the U.S, is a member of the national Home Care Cooperative Steering Committee and a lead educational programmer for the Home Care Initiative, and was a lead researcher and writer on The Cooperative Solution to the Caregiver Crisis: A National Strategy Analysis (2017), Revenue Diversification Opportunities for Home Care Cooperatives (2018), and a Guide to Underwriting Home Care Cooperatives (2018).  

 

Katrina received her MA in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School for Social Policy at Brandeis University and her BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Visual Anthropology.  Katrina is a member of the Board of Nonotuck Community School, a parent-owned early childhood education cooperative.

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COLLEEN KOENIG

Former Director of Senior Home Care Services

Colleen Koenig is the former director of Senior Home Care Services, a 20 year family owned home care agency in New Jersey.  Colleen, like many home care veterans, has worn multiple hats in: recruitment, operations, marketing & sales, billing & payroll and administration. As Director, Colleen worked with her team to grow her family's boutique agency by identifying growth opportunities, streamlining internal processes, providing high touch care, and growing their online reputation to maximize outcomes.  After successfully merging Senior Home Care Services with a larger agency network, Colleen is now focused on her new caregiver recruitment venture.

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MARGARET LUND

Principal, Co-opera Co.

With over 25 years’ experience in the cooperative sector, Margaret Lund is an independent consultant providing technical assistance to businesses and organizations, focusing in the areas of community development finance and shared ownership strategies. Throughout her career, Margaret has worked across cooperative sectors including credit unions, consumer co-ops, housing co-ops, worker co-ops, healthcare and sustainable food systems. Before launching her consulting practice in 2008, Margaret spent 16 years as the Executive Director of the Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund (NCDF), now known as Shared Capital Cooperative, a community development loan fund and multi-faceted development organization for cooperatives of all sectors across the Upper Midwest.  


Margaret is a past member of the board of the National Cooperative Business Association where she chaired both the Cooperative Development and International Development committees as well as a national task force on cooperative capital formation.  She also served three terms on the board of Health Partners, the largest consumer-governed healthcare organization in the United States and a leader in healthcare quality measures. Margaret has been featured as a speaker, trainer and panelist for a wide range of organizations including the National Credit Union Administration, the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, the Consumer Cooperative Managers Association, and the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives.  Her awards include the Howard Bowers Cooperative Service Award from the Consumer Cooperative Managers Association and the 2014 John Logue Award for “acting as a catalyst for innovation and change” from the Association of Cooperative Educators. 

IWONA MATCZUK

Social Enterprise Consultant, The ICA Group

Iwona brings ten years of experience directing projects in the fields of international development, healthcare, and the non-profit sector to the ICA Group. Iwona is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served in Kenya from 2012 to 2014 in public health. After her time in the Peace Corps, Iwona joined the Heartland Alliance in Chicago and worked to coordinate on-site medical outreach for the city’s vulnerable homeless and unstably housed populations. Iwona is the founding member of a social enterprise, and the winner of numerous social enterprise competitions. 
 

Iwona received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, her MBA in Social Impact, and her MA in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

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LESLIE MEAD

Executive Director, Cooperative Development Foundation

A thirty-five-year veteran of cooperatives, Leslie spearheads CDF’s home care industry focus including coordinating the Development Steering Committee, managing the research agenda, coordinating the National Home Care Cooperative Conference as well as managing outreach and communications on home care cooperatives to policy makers and the cooperative community. She was an early champion of worker cooperatives in her position as president of The Cooperative Foundation. At CDF, she stewards $11,000,000 of assets for cooperative development and oversees development, fundraising and administration. 

Leslie began her career with the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, rising from assistant general counsel to the position of vice president for legal, tax and accounting policy and vice president for education. At NCFC, she built consensus among the 100 members of the Legal, Tax and Accounting Committee to develop support for the legislative and regulatory priorities of US farmer cooperatives. In the foundation world, in addition to her work with TCF and CDF, Leslie developed the grant making strategy for the Ralph K. Morris Foundation which targets leadership development in the cooperative sector.

 

She also previously served as executive administrator of the Association of Cooperative Educators, an international organization of cooperative educators.

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DAVID MILLS

Chief Growth Officer, Co-Founder, Story Collaborative

David is passionate about finding the right strategy for each client and helping them move into sustainable growth. He is a veteran of organizational development and communications and has worked with thousands of businesses and nonprofits across the country. When he's not developing masterful strategies or coaching on best-in-class marketing and sales development, David is spending time with his twelve grandchildren, and wife of more than 35 years.

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DOUG O'BRIEN

President & CEO, NCBA CLUSA

Doug O'Brien works with the cooperative community, both domestically and internationally, to deepen their impact and influence. NCBA is the primary voice for cooperatives in the United States for using the cooperative business model to empower people in their businesses and communities. Doug has been with NCBA since 2016 and became president and CEO in January 2018.


Before coming to NCBA CLUSA, Doug led the work of the White House Rural Council and served in top positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Doug has also worked in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House and for two Governors. O'Brien's experience in academia includes teaching and writing at the University of Arkansas and Drake University Law School.


O’Brien was raised on a diversified farm in Dubuque County, Iowa, and holds degrees from Loras College (Dubuque, Iowa), the University of Iowa Law School, and the University of Arkansas Masters in Agricultural and Food Law Program. O’Brien lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife, Alisa and three children. He enjoys biking, travel, his memberships in a number of consumer co-ops and credit unions.

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FATIMA RAMIREZ

Worker/Owner, COURAGE Homecare Cooperative

Fatima Ramirez has been a worker/owner of the COURAGE Homecare cooperative agency for 4 years. She is an immigrant from the Philippines where she was working as a bookkeeper.  For more than 10 years Fatima has been working as a caregiver here in California.  She has experienced various working conditions as a caregiver in the private pay market that many immigrants are facing, including wage theft and job insecurity.

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MELBAH SMITH

Former Executive Director, Mississippi Association of Cooperatives

Member, Cooperative Hall of Fame

Melbah Smith has worked for nearly 40 years to start and strengthen cooperatives in some of the most impoverished, isolated and ignored communities in the United States. She is a giant in the cooperative community.

 

With the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund and the Mississippi Association of Cooperatives she worked as a community organizer and co-op developer to bring health care, economic development and social justice to rural people in some of the poorest areas of the country. As Executive Director of the Mississippi Center for Cooperative Development, she helped form more than 25 cooperatives and built an invaluable financial support network for co-ops that includes state agencies and private funding sources.

 

Smith is known as a trusted and visionary leader who challenges others to dream and works to ensure that they fulfill those dreams. After Hurricane Katrina she helped form Louisiana's first worker-owned business, which has created 20 jobs and will provide health care to the poor and elderly in New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward.

 

She also helped found and grow CooperationWorks!, an innovative national co-op of cooperative development practitioners, and inspired many others to embrace the cooperative model through her passion, insight and enthusiasm.

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SABRINA SMITH

Administrator, Heart is Home Cooperative Care

Sabrina Smith has almost 20 years experience in the Caregiving industry as an Administrator. She currently is a Finance and Human Resources consultant as well as the current Administrator for Heart is Home Cooperative Care. She is the treasurer of the board for More Maitri Inc, a caregiving agency in Denver and the treasurer of New Mexico Caregivers Coalition (NMCC). Sabrina graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree of University Studies with an emphasis on business communications and human resources. She is a seventh generation New Mexican and takes great pride in ensuring that her position and knowledge in this field will positively affect the lives of the clients and caregivers alike. Her passion for Human Resources is exemplified in her quest to contribute in any way to the success of her caregivers. She would like to see caregivers get the pay, recognition and support required in order to give the best possible care to those in need.

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AQUILINA SORIANO VERSOZA

Executive Director, Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California

Aquilina Soriano Versoza is a founder and current Executive Director of the Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, a nonprofit serving and organizing the low-wage Pilipino immigrant community in Los Angeles.  Aquilina has been a leader in the growing domestic worker movement in California and nationally through advocacy, enforcement, workforce development and cooperative strategies.  Aquilina is serving as the current President of the Board of Directors of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She was the recipient of the 2018 Frederick Douglass 200 Abolitionist award. She studied her BA in Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles

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MADDIE TATERKA

Worker Benefits Coordinator, U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives

Maddie Taterka is the Worker Benefits Coordinator at the U.S. Federation of Worker Coops. She believes that everyone has a human right to health care, and until we revolutionize the health care system in this country, she will help sign people up for as much insurance as they can get. Maddie has been active in the worker co-op world since 2016, when she was part of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA) 20->20 cooperative development program. As a result of that program, in 2018, she co-founded Bonfire Media Collective and served as the administrative coordinator for their first two years of operations. Now, Maddie is on the board of PACA and continues to be a worker-owner at Bonfire, where she films and edits video for movement organizations in and around Philadelphia. She has also been involved in labor organizing and Put People First! PA's healthcare is a human right campaign. In her free time, you can find Maddie doing crossword puzzles, swimming, and spending time with her family.

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JONATHAN WARD

Director of Lending, Fund for Jobs Worth Owning

Jonathan Ward is the Director of Lending for the Fund for Jobs Worth Owning. The Fund supports the growth and development of employee-owned businesses, creating and sustaining jobs worth owning. Jonathan primarily manages the Fund’s lending and outreach work. He connects with borrowers, helping transform ideas into strong lending opportunities that develop cooperatives. Jonathan coordinates the day-to-day loan-processing work and the review process with the Fund’s Board of Directors.
 
Jonathan views employee ownership as a powerful tool that grows strong companies providing good jobs in the community. Before he even knew about cooperatives, Jonathan knew that participatory management and profit-sharing deepened worker engagement in organizations. Now he works to show how these same strong business practices can be encoded in the DNA of a company through the cooperative model.
 
From 2014 through 2019, Jonathan led the employee ownership conversions program at the ICA Group, assisting dozens of companies with their ownership transitions. His work on conversions includes exit planning and business valuation, governance design and worker training. Jonathan specializes in structuring and coordinating the financing for employee ownership transitions, working alongside the cooperative lenders in the field. Jonathan also works to develop common processes and benchmarks for conversions in order to reduce costs, simplify transitions, and scale the cooperative sector.
 
A trainer at heart, Jonathan enjoys working with people to build shared understanding around new concepts, and is skilled at building learning programs and infrastructures for companies to enhance capacity. Prior to ICA, he worked in digital marketing where he helped his company reinvent and streamline their training and onboarding practices. Jonathan has also supported business development projects and financing strategies for social enterprises, particularly in local agriculture and food systems.

 

Jonathan earned an MBA and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a BS in Information Design and Corporate Communication from Bentley University.

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EVAN WESTENSEE

Senior Account Executive, Home Care Pulse

Evan came to the home care industry with a strong background in B2B sales and marketing. His experience working with both nation-wide companies and local businesses has fueled his passion for helping businesses grow. Being a millennial, Evan brings forward-thinking technological approaches to his conversations with home care agency owners and let’s data do most of the talking. When Evan isn’t in the office, you can find him making memories with his wife and kids on the ski hill or fishing in the local river.

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