Board of Directors

Teree Castanias (CCCD Board Treasurer) recently retired from KPMG where she was the National Director for Cooperative Tax Services. Her professional accounting experience with KPMG spans over 32 years and 28 years serving cooperatives as a focus area. Her work with cooperatives includes all aspects of tax consulting and compliance at both the federal and state level, issues related to accounting for income taxes for cooperatives including FIN 48, working with management and boards on capital and bylaw issues, and working with cooperatives to change tax laws to include favorable provisions for cooperatives, such as Section 199. 

Teree is a member of the Executive Committee and the in-coming Chair of the Legal, Tax and Accounting Committee of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC). Teree is also the immediate past Chairman and a member of the Tax Committee of the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives (NSAC). Teree is also past board member of NSAC’s National board and Far Western Chapter. Teree is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Teree serves on several boards and committees with an agriculture focus, including California State Fair Ag Advisory Board, California 4-H Foundation, and Ag Council of California. 

Lucas Frerichs (CCCD Vice President) has a significant amount of experience with various types of cooperatives, including food, housing and agriculture. For nine years he served on the Davis Food Co-op Board of Directors, including two years as Board President. He also served as a Board Member and President for Yolo Mutual Housing Association, a non-profit that builds affordable housing for the residents of Yolo County, California.

Lucas is committed to civic engagement and was elected to the Davis City Council in 2012. Prior to this, he chaired the City of Davis' Social Services Commission and the Davis City Planning Commission. Besides his co-op board involvement, he serves on the board of the Yolo Basin Foundation, Acme Theatre Company and Davis Media Access.

For a decade Lucas has worked for the California State Assembly, and currently serves as Legislative Director for Assemblyman Rich Gordon from the Silicon Valley. Lucas’ primary policy areas include natural resources, housing, water policy, land-use/CEQA, renewable energy, land conservation, recycling legislation and agriculture. 

Tim Huet (CCCD Board President) is one of three founders of the Association of Arizmendi Cooperatives, an enterprise dedicated to the development of successful worker cooperatives. In the last nine years, the association has launched three award-winning new bakery cooperatives. As part of the Association’s Development & Support Cooperative, Tim participates in writing business plans, raising start-up capital, negotiating leases, and training workers in democratic business management and also serves as in-house legal counsel. Tim has also served as a trainer and curriculum development advisory board member for CooperationWorks! and has been a featured speaker at cooperative conferences throughout the United States (including the Western Worker Cooperative Conference, Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy, Midwest Worker Cooperative Conference, and conferences of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives), in Canada (at conventions of the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation), and at the annual meeting of CICOPA, the international federation of worker cooperatives. Tim completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan and his law degree from UC Hastings College in San Francisco.

Jessica Nelson is the General Manager of Golden State Power Cooperative. Golden State Power Co-op (GSPC) was established in 1999 to support member-owned electric cooperatives to ensure honest, efficient, affordable and reliable electric and telecommunications service in rural California.

Prior to leading Golden State, Jessica was the Manager of Member Services at Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative. Over the course of seven years at Plumas-Sierra she developed a solid background in electric cooperative and California legislative and regulatory issues and served as a founding member of Golden State Power Cooperative’s Special Legislative Committee. Jessica has hands-on experience in California’s energy policy including net metering, renewable portfolio standards, public benefits programs, cap-and-trade and climate change policy.

Jessica represents California on the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's Board of Directors and is the Vice-President of the Clean Power Cooperative.

Ricardo Samir Nuñez works primarily with worker co-ops but also with food, farmer, and housing cooperatives in his position as Cooperatives Program & Legal Services Director for the Sustainable Community Law Center.

As Cooperatives Program Director, Ricardo coordinates SELC's legislative strategies, popular education, and legal research around worker-owned businesses. He also manages Co-opLaw.org, a collaborative legal resource library for US based cooperatives. As Legal Services Director, Ricardo coordinates SELC's direct legal services and public education programming. One of these is the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe, a program that provides direct legal support to individuals and groups creating new solutions for resilient economies in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, and beyond. He also manages SELC’s social media communications and community outreach initiatives.

Ricardo was formerly on the board of the Los Angeles Worker Ownership Resources and Cooperative Services (LAWORCS) Committee, an initiative to start a worker cooperative incubator for the greater L.A. area. Before that, Ricardo was a Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Case Manager working with low-income families to stop pending evictions and re-house homeless neighbors in southern LA County. Prior to his housing work, Ricardo was a Rural Education Development Specialist in Zambia with the U.S. Peace Corps. Ricardo led efforts in capacity building with 15 rural, up-country schools, also establishing two village based Women’s Cooperatives, and training multiple Farmer’s Cooperatives on sustainable farming practices.

Leland H. “Lee” Ruth* (CCCD Board Secretary) has more than 30 years of experience working with cooperatives. In 2013 Lee was inducted into the Co-op Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed to a handful of individuals annually whose contributions to cooperative business have been truly heroic. The award symbolizes Lee’s dedication and contributions nationally, and within California.

As President Emeritus of the Agricultural Council of California, Lee is highly regarded as a government relations strategist and adviser having worked the California legislative scene for some 30 years representing the interests of agricultural cooperatives. He now serves as President of Lee Ruth & Associates, a firm specializing in assisting agricultural associations and cooperatives.

Lee has served as spokesman for cooperatives at the state and national levels. He is a past board member of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, past chair of the National Conference of Cooperative Councils, former Policy Advisory Committee member to the California Center for Cooperatives and is currently on the board of directors of Agricultural Cooperatives Development International/ Volunteers in Cooperative Assistance ACDI/VOCA.

Between 1997 and 2002, Lee was the Principal Coordinator of a project which resulted in the formation of the California Electric Users Cooperative, and served as a consultant in the development of Clean Power Cooperative and Golden State Power Cooperative. In 2003 he was the Chair of the California Energy Co-Op Symposium, an activity funded by a USDA Cooperative Development Grant, administered by the UC Davis Center for Cooperatives.

Karen TiedemannA.D., J.D., M.C.P., has extensive experience with cooperatives. She is a partner in Goldfarb and Lipman LLP with an emphasis of practice in affordable housing, redevelopment and environmental law. She has special expertise on both stock and limited equity cooperative housing structures, as well as with co-housing communities. Karen is co-author of Between the Lines: A Question & Answer Guide On Legal Issues In Supportive Housing and A Legal Guide to California Redevelopment.

Karen's education includes an A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley. J.D., Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, Order of the Coif honors. She is Associate Editor for Ecology Law Quarterly. She also holds a Masters in City Planning from University of California, Berkeley.