In late 2021, veterinarians at Spring Green and Mazomanie Animal Hospitals decided it was time to begin planning for retirement. Mark Baenen and John Dally founded the Spring Green Clinic 18 years prior to Ann Vetter joining them as co-owners of the additional Mazomanie Clinic in 2020. Keeping quality veterinary care in this rural region of Wisconsin was of paramount interest to each of them throughout their tenure. With retirement approaching, they were concerned about the nationwide trend of corporate conglomerates acquiring independent clinics, and the impact this has on workers, animals, [...]
by John A McNamara, Northwest Cooperative Development Center The Northwest Cooperative Development Center (NWCDC) works in multiple sectors of co-op development in the Pacific Northwest region of Oregon, Idaho, and Washington (NWCDC is based in Olympia, WA). During 2021 many projects came to fruition in housing, worker cooperatives, and NWCDC’s Co-op Academy. To keep up with demand, NWCDC has expanded to 10 full time staff members working together to foster community economic development primarily through the cooperative business model. Over 200 Homes Preserved During Housing Crisis In June, three manufactured housing communities [...]
Interview with Brian Sinclair, founding member of Snow River Cooperative By Adam Trott, with Courtney Berner, Kevin Edberg and Christina Jennings A Collaborative Project by Shared Capital Cooperative, UW Center for Cooperatives, and Cooperative Development Services In November 2019, workers heard their owner was closing Bemis Manufacturing in early 2020. This would end employment with benefits and job security at a 100-year old unionized workplace in rural Crandon WI. Bemis created wood products like cutting boards and bowls and was a rare consistent employer in their town, but ownership lost interest [...]
The Cooperative Development Institute’s Business Ownership Solution Program Assists Ward Lumber in Transitioning Ownership to its Employees
Ward Lumber became the first worker-owned cooperative in New York State’s North Country! In late spring, the CDI, assisted Ward Lumber to transition to a worker-owned cooperative. A 4th-generation family-owned business, Ward Lumber has been a pillar of the North Country’s business community since 1890, providing local jobs and supporting the region’s farming and construction industries. Ward Lumber’s transition to worker ownership comes at a time when local businesses face significant challenges, exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. In New York State alone, even before the pandemic, an estimated 3,700 businesses closed each [...]
Teamwork makes all the difference in achieving our goals and aspirations. Together, the ROC USA Network of nine Certified Technical Assistance Providers has assisted well over 15,000 homeowners achieve resident ownership of their communities. But what a way to hit that milestone, with 4 new communities in Vermont in just two months, doubling the homes in ROCs in that state! Mike Pelkey, President of the Westbury Homeowners Association Board of Directors, said it best: “It feels good to be secure and know that nobody can take it from us.” With rapidly escalating [...]
Frank Cetera is an Advanced Certified Business Advisor with 10-years service for Onondaga SBDC - Syracuse, NY. He specializes in Employee-Ownership. Frank’s business and community developer experience includes the following. CDCU/CDFI Cooperative Federal Credit Union Board Member/Chair (since 2010/2012 respectively). And living in and co-managing two housing cooperatives. As well as member and volunteer of two retail grocery cooperatives. And professional presentations including twice at statewide NYSBDC Staff Training, Eastern Conference for Workforce Democracy at Fordham Law in NYC, New Economy Coalition’s CommonBound Conference at SUNY-Buffalo, North Country Symposium at St. [...]
Corrigan Consulting provides a broad range of technical and training services for cooperatives and democratic, community-based organizations, including business planning, commercial loan consulting, board training, accounting system setup, leadership coaching, and back-office bookkeeping. Corrigan Nadon-Nichols previously served as the Director of Development for NASCO, supporting start-up and expanding housing cooperatives, and the general manager for Qumbya Housing Cooperative in Chicago, IL.
Matthew Epperson (pronouns he/him) is a southern cooperator based in Athens, Georgia. He grew up in Tampa, FL where he became a first-degree black belt (in Tang Su Doo, Aikido & Jujitsu) before relocating to Athens in 2008 for love and education. He is a worker at Daily Groceries Co-op (a consumer-owned retail food co-op), where he has worked for the past 8 years in various capacities, now human resources manager and bookkeeper. He's a graduate (2015) of the Masters of Management: Co-operatives and Credit Unions program through Saint Mary's University. Also [...]
The Center for Cooperative and Enterprise Development is dedicated to enhancing and expanding local food and agricultural businesses in South Carolina. The Center and partners provide technical assistance to cooperatives, mutually-owned businesses, and other small business within multiple industries, but with a strong focus on agricultural businesses. Primary activities are cooperative formation, business planning, feasibility studies, cooperative financing, grant writing, assisting producer associations, and new business development.
The Rural Grocery Initiative, housed within K-State Research and Extension, aims to sustain locally-owned rural grocery stores to enhance community vitality and improve access to healthy foods by identifying, developing, and sharing resources that support grocers and rural communities. The Rural Grocery Initiative supports rural grocers and communities through technical assistance, research, informational resources, and events. We provide support to communities across the country, however, currently have a foothold in Kansas and the midwest. One are of expertise is in alternative ownership models. In Kansas, in particular, this has included nonprofits, public-private [...]