Dr. Carol Prejean Zippert - Keynote Speaker
Dr. Zippert is a self-described “Community Worker.” She dedicates her education, training, community organizing and development experience to assisting grassroots community groups in social transformation. Her work with cooperatives and activism in promoting racial, social and economic justice earned she and her husband, John Zippert the highest USA honor bestowed to cooperators: Induction into the Co-op Hall of Fame (May, 2017).
Carol’s work spans more than 50 years. She helped organize the Southern Consumers Cooperative and the Grand Marie Farmers’ Marketing Cooperative in Louisiana. Carol was among the founders of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives (FSC) in 1967, and these cooperatives were among their first member co-ops. FSC has been pivotal in southern endeavors to save, protect and expand the landholdings of Black family farmers in the South.
Leadership training is a crucial area of Carol’s work, which she has used in her dedication to young people. She has been involved with the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement since its inception in 1986. She has assisted in designing and implementing curricula and training for young people from a community-directed perspective and has conducted or secured youth leadership training in the areas of conflict resolution, economic development, environmental justice, and cultural appreciation and celebration.
Carol is a founder of the newly established Black Belt Community Foundation, which serves 12 counties in the Alabama Black Belt region. Carol and her husband, John, are co-publishers of the Greene County Democrat newspaper, a community based weekly publication and the paper of record for the county. Carol earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Supervision and Curriculum Development from the University of Alabama,
Linda Brockway has worked with housing cooperatives for more than XX years. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives for XX years, and served as treasurer for XX of them. She is a national speaker for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and is a frequent presenter for the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, Midwest Association of Housing Cooperatives, the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, NCBA, and numerous local associations. Linda has developed governance training courses, and has taught the governance class for fifteen cooperatives.
Kim Coontz Executive Director, California Center for Cooperative Development, has been working with cooperative enterprises for over 20 years. She has assisted in the start-up of more than 25 cooperatives, authored and co-authored more than 10 publications about cooperatives and written numerous articles. Prior to her employment with CCCD, Kim was Executive Director of Yolo Mutual Housing Association, a nonprofit developer of cooperatively-governed affordable housing in Davis, CA. She also spent 14 years working for the Center for Cooperatives at the University of California at Davis (prior to its closure in 2004).
Yassi Eskandari is the Sustainable Economies Law Center’s Policy Director, leading the organization’s city and regional policy campaigns to cultivate community resilience and economic empowerment.
Elizabeth Heins-van der Weide is a senior accountant in Wegner CPAs’ Assurance Department. Since joining the firm in January of 2013, she has worked on audits of non-profits, cooperatives, and employee benefit plans, giving her knowledge and experience of working with a variety of organizations. Elizabeth primarily works on audits, tax return preparation, and related engagements of cooperatives nationwide. She annually attends continuing professional education seminars on accounting, auditing, compliance, and tax issues, specifically concerning cooperatives.
Sushil Jacob represents consumer cooperatives, worker-owned cooperatives, internet-based platform coops, and business owners who want to transition their business to cooperative ownership. Prior to joining the Tuttle Law Group, Sushil worked at the East Bay Community Law Center, where he founded the Green-Collar Communities Clinic, a community economic development practice that assists clients who seek to create green, worker-owned businesses as a community empowerment strategy. Sushil received his J.D. in 2011 from Berkeley Law. Prior to attending law school, Sushil worked in India for two years on community economic development projects, including Just Change, a cooperative of small farmers and indigenous peoples groups in South India. Sushil serves on the board of the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union, a seventy-two year old financial institution in Berkeley that is owned by its 13,000 members. He also serves on the board of the Sustainable Economies Law Center, where he provides guidance to their Worker Cooperative Academy and other cooperative legal programs.
Christina Jennings Executive Director, Shared Capital Cooperative, a national CDFI loan fund specialized in financing cooperative businesses and housing. Shared Capital is democratically owned and governed by more than 200 cooperatives in 35 states. Since its founding in 1978 Shared Capital has provided financing to more than 800 cooperative projects. Christina has over 17 years of experience in community development and micro finance in the US and internationally. She holds an MA in Community and Economic Development and Management from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a BA in Gender and International Development from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Georgia Kelly Founder and Executive Director, Praxis Peace Institute. She has produced several multi-day conferences in Europe and California and also leads groups for a week-long seminar at the Mondragón Cooperatives in Spain every year. Georgia creates educational programming for Praxis as well as leading workshops in Conflict Resolution. She is editor and co-author of Uncivil Liberties: Deconstructing Libertarianism, a critique of libertarian ideas and laissez-faire capitalism. She writes a blog on Huffington Post and enjoyed a previous career as a harpist, composer, and recording artist.
Alison Lingane, Co-founder, Project Equity, a Cooperative Business Incubator which supports businesses transitioning to worker ownership, started her career in community-based work, designing and leading micro-enterprise programs for urban youth. In the 15 years prior to co-founding Project Equity, she held leadership roles in mission-driven companies designed to have human impact at scale, including Benetech (where she built and launched their first product, a digital book service for individuals with reading disabilities), GreatSchools (the 6th largest parenting website), and InsideTrack (a venture-backed scaled services company delivering 1:1 coaching to students to increase college completion rates. Alison co-founded the world’s largest triple bottom line business plan competition (Global Social Venture Competition) while getting her MBA at the Haas School of Business. She brings her experiences of scaled human impact and business development together with her founding partner Hilary Abell—a national expert on worker coop development—, to tackle the core economic issues of our times.
Marc Mascarenhas-Swan AORTA Collective, has many years of experience as a participant, facilitator, educator, and organizer in political collectives, housing cooperatives and squats, worker cooperatives, childcare collectives, and activist groups. He has organized and participated in many multi-racial, feminist, and left study groups to which he owes much of his political development. Marc has worked for over 20 years as a professional chef, and converted his long term catering business into a worker owned cooperative. He has two amazing kids that he tries to spend as much time as possible with. He really wishes that he liked to garden.
Bruce Mayer joined Wegner CPAs in 1988 and currently serves as a Partner in the Assurance Department, working primarily on audits of nonprofits, cooperatives, employee benefit plans and commercial businesses. With over twenty-seven years’ experience, Bruce performs audits of all kinds and provides consulting services on taxation of nonprofits and cooperatives. Bruce enjoys helping clients solve problems and providing clients advice on strategies to structure and record transactions to meet their needs within the relevant rules and regulations.
Shanta Nimbark Sacharoff, is author of Other Avenues Are Possible: Legacy of the People’s Food System of the San Francisco Bay Area which chronicles the collaborative efforts in the 1960’s and 1970’s for “Food For People: Not For Profit.” This movement to bring healthy food to The People, built a strong foundation for the cooperative business models today. Shanta is a founding member of Other Avenues Natural Food Cooperative, a worker cooperative that has served San Francisco for over three decades. Worker-owners of Other Avenues govern the business with direct democracy using a consensus model of decision making and actively supports sustainable organic agriculture. Other Avenues has become a thriving business, largely due to its deep connection with the surrounding community. The coop publishes a quarterly newsletter, has an active website, and provides community space for educational events about nutrition, cooking, health and sustainability. In return, the community supports Other Avenues by shopping there regularly and enthusiastically contributing to projects such as solarizing the coop.
Olivia M Rebanal is Director of Loan Programs at Capital Impact Partners (CIP), a CDFI that has developed over $2 billion to serve 5 million people in our communities' critical sectors: health care, education, elder communities, healthy food, cooperatives and affordable housing. Olivia manages CIP's Healthy Food Financing strategy, initiatives and partnerships. Through programs like the California FreshWorks Fund, Michigan Good Food Fund, and the National Cooperative Grocer Fund, CIP increases access to affordable healthy food, supports neighborhood retailers, and expands food distribution, processing and production. Olivia was a lender within the CDFI community for over 10 years and holds an AB in Bio-Medical Ethics from Brown University and an MPA in Public Finance from New York University's Wagner School of Public Service.
Stuart Reid Executive Director, Food Co-op Initiative (FCI), a non-profit providing technical assistance, information and resources to groups organizing new retail food co-ops across the United States. FCI’s mission is to promote the efficient and successful start-up of new retail food co-ops. Before taking on the leadership of FCI, Stuart served as the Food Co-op Development Specialist for Food Co-op 500, the pilot project that grew into FCI. Stuart has worked at five retail food co-ops in a variety of roles, served on several co-op boards, written for the Cooperative Grocer magazine, written and edited training manuals, and presented at workshops and conferences. Stuart holds a Lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager accreditation from the Institute for Supply Management where he was also recognized as top Membership Committee Chair of the region. In 2004 he was the recipient of the Howard Bowers award.
Kate “Sassy” Sassoon has her own firm: Sassy Facilitation, which offers facilitation, education, conflict management, and group process design to support cooperative communication in organizations with a commitment to democracy. As a member, worker, and participant in democratically owned and run organizations for over 20 years, Sassy has experience with many faces of the co-op sector (housing, childcare, worker), as well as democratic management, communication education and training, community organizing, event production, decision-making process design, and group mediation. She has served on cooperative Boards of Directors large and small, teaches at conferences across the US, and holds two degrees from UC Berkeley. She strives to bring lucidity, productivity, and humor to her classes and her clients.
Estee Segal is a Loan Officer, Capital Impact Partners, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution with a 30-year history delivering strategic financing, social innovation programs and capacity building to create social change and deliver financial impact nationwide. Estee is based in Portland, Oregon, where she focuses on lending to non-profits in the healthcare, education, healthy foods, and cooperative sectors. Prior to Capital Impact, she worked as a project manager and lender for the city of Portland for over 10 years, managing complex, mixed-use, mixed-income real estate projects in the urban core. Estee has a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University and a BA in Economics & Social Science from the University of Michigan.
Victoria Sprong, caregiver coordinator at Circe of Life Caregiver Cooperative in Bellingham, Wash., began working as a caregiver when she was a young, single mother. She found empowerment, stability and leadership opportunities by joining a cooperative.
Sara Stephens, Housing and Cooperatives Attorney, Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC). Sara provides legal support to worker cooperatives and also leads SELC’s effort to create and implement a model city ordinance to support worker cooperative development. Sara coordinates Co-opLaw.org, a legal resource library for cooperatives, as well as Think Outside the Boss, a legal workshop for cooperative start-ups. As a Housing Program Co-Director, Sara facilitates SELC’s policy advocacy, education, and client support for more just and affordable housing, with an emphasis on housing cooperatives and community land trusts. Sara received a J.D. from Berkeley Law in 2014. Prior to attending law school, Sara supported community organizing and environmental justice efforts in Bangkok, Thailand and Pomona, California.
Karen Tiedemann is a partner with Goldfarb and Lipman Law firm, where she practices in the areas of real estate transactions, affordable housing, nonprofit organization, and environmental law. She has formed many limited equity cooperatives, and represents numerous housing cooperatives, providing advice on compliance with Davis-Stirling, limited equity cooperative law, HUD financing, Department of Real Estate regulations, and other laws and regulations impacting cooperatives. Karen has served on CCCD’s Board of Directors since 2008. Her affordable housing work includes advising clients on compliance with fair housing laws. Ms. Tiedemann is a frequent speaker on housing cooperatives, relocation, and fair housing issues. She is also 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 also holds a Masters in City Planning from University of California, Berkeley.
Therese Tuttle is a founding partner of the law firm of Tuttle & Van Konynenburg, LLP, together with Frank A. Van Konynenburg, in 1999. In 2015 the firm hired a third attorney, Sushil Jacob, and began a subsidiary, specializing exclusively on cooperative representation called the Tuttle Law Group. The firm has offices in Modesto, Calistoga and San Francisco. Ms. Tuttle’s work with cooperatives supports both agricultural and consumer cooperatives as mechanisms for enriching local communities and enhancing farmer income, food quality and security. She has worked with several consumer cooperatives to issue preferred shares and drafted changes to California’s consumer cooperative statute related to the mechanics of issuing preferred shares, which went into effect in 2013. She is legal and organizational counsel for Pachamama Coffee Cooperative, a cooperative of cooperatives, representing over 5000 small coffee farmers in five different countries. She assisted Pachamama in developing a new internet business model for sale of agricultural products, called Coffee CSA. She was a founding member and leader of the Great Valley Slow Food Convivium, and is a board advisor to Tuolumne River Trust. She and her husband have two sons and live in San Francisco.