The CCCD Team
Back row: Kalim Khogiani-Nguyen, E. Kim Coontz, Kaleena Bergfors, Luis Sierra, Branden Ocon
Front Row: Edgar López, Jiwon Kim, Evania Robles, Hannah Lee
E. Kim Coontz
Kim is Executive Director for the California Center for Cooperative Development. She has been working with cooperatives for more than 20 years. She was executive Director of Yolo Mutual Housing Association for four years. For more than 14 years Kim worked for the Center for Cooperatives at the University of California at Davis. In this capacity, she was active in the start-up of cooperatives, teaching cooperative board governance seminars, providing technical assistance to cooperatives, conducting research, writing and compliance. She has authored and co-authored more than 10 publications about cooperatives and written numerous articles. These include Cooperative Start-up manuals (Steps to Starting a Marketing Cooperative, and Steps to Starting a Worker Cooperative), and a book on child care cooperatives called Bringing Families Together: A Guide to Parent Cooperatives. She has also published articles on housing cooperatives. In 2004 she was awarded Author of the Year by the National Association of Housing Cooperatives. Kim earned her Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Davis.
Luis is Assistant Director for the California Center for Cooperative Development. He has extensive experience in developing agricultural marketing organizations to carry out alternative marketing strategies including agricultural cooperatives, farmers’ markets, and investor owned businesses. Luis worked with the Rural Development Center in Salinas, CA to train mixed fruit and vegetable farmers to organize their own cooperative and later became an employee of that cooperative. He has extensive experience in coordinating multi-stakeholder initiatives such as food policy councils and farm-to-institution networks. For two years, he co-hosted and produced Local Dirt, an acclaimed radio show on KDVS focusing on local agriculture and food security issues. He serves as treasurer for Dos Pinos Limited Equity Housing Cooperative, and was a director for the Organic Farming Research Foundation from 2003-2008 and Marina Certified Farmers’ Market from 2003-2005.
Mai, Cooperative Development Associate, brings a combination of experience in housing and worker cooperatives, refugee resettlement, and sustainable farming to her work with CCCD. As an active member of the University Students Cooperative Association (now Berkeley Students for Cooperatives) for 3 years, she organized the 2006 West Coast Cooperatives Conference and managed cooperative-wide waste reduction projects. Mai co-founded the Toronto Sustainable Food Cooperative, a worker co-op that operated the farm-to-table Harvest Noon Cafe. She has worked with refugees abroad and in the US/Canada through the International Rescue Committee, the Democratic Alliance for Burma, and CultureLink. Her efforts ranged from leading water sanitation projects in Mae Sot, Thailand, coordinating one of the first farmers’ market food stamp match programs in the US, and supporting refugee farmer initiatives in San Diego, CA. In 2014, she started her own farm, which she still runs in Lake County, California, using sustainable and drought-tolerant methods to grow heritage grains and Southeast Asian crops.
Kalim, Office Manager and Bookkeeper, is a graduate of University of California, Davis. In 2007 he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Community & Regional Development; with an emphasis on social services and community groups. During his undergraduate studies, he also completed an internship with Yolo Mutual Housing Association, a cooperatively governed affordable housing non-profit. Kalim chose to pursue a career in the nonprofit world and worked for Affordable Housing agencies as a certified Tax Credit Specialist for 5 years. He began working at CCCD in 2012 as the Assistant Bookkeeper and was quickly promoted to Bookkeeper due to his ability to manage the finances. Kalim is currently taking classes part-time to qualify for a Master’s degree in Mathematics.