University of Wisconsin–Madison

Break out sessions by Track

TRACK 1: Courageous Governance

101: No Math Required: Finances for the Full Board
Magdalena Casper-Shipp, Board Treasurer, Common Ground Food Co-op
Chris Tucker, Board Treasurer, Sacramento Natural Foods Co-operative

In this session, conquer what can be the scariest part of GM monitoring – financial policies. The session will start with a critical look at financial monitoring reports from two different co-op settings – one in a post-expansion phase and one experiencing a sales decline due to competition. Session attendees will leave with: a list of questions to ask their GM, an understanding of key indicators that operations teams should be monitoring, and ways the board can support the GM’s efforts to positively impact sales. Also discuss how to engage with the operations team – especially the director of finance – to gain a balanced view of the organization, as well as to share views and encourage learning on both sides. Finally, talk about strategies for communicating financial metrics so owners understand the good and the bad – and how that can help strengthen their co-op!

Who should attend? Board members, especially those serving in financial roles.


102: We Need to Talk about Board Compensation
Mary Alice Smalls, Board President, Seward Co-op
Jean Sramek, Board Member and former Board Chair, Whole Foods Co-op
Moderator: Leslie Watson, Consultant, CDS Consulting Co-op

There are many questions around board compensation – Should boards get compensated for their work? How much and using what criteria? What is board service and financial stewardship worth? Does compensation improve performance? Is my board compensation too generous, or a pittance? Will people run for the board just for the stipend? Should our owners have a say in setting board compensation? There is no correct answer, no foolproof algorithm, and no one-size-fits-all formula for determining a monetary stipend for board work—because every board and co-op is unique. Although “What do you get paid?” is an impolite question – it’s also the question we’re all dying to ask. This session will elicit case studies from the panelists and audience members, and also touch on national trends.

Who should attend? Boards, board administrators, and general managers.

103: Joint Board & Management Team Strategic Planning
Emile Amarotico, General Manager, Ashland Food Cooperative
Ed Claassen, Board President, Ashland Food Cooperative
Jeff Golden, Board Member and Secretary of External Relations, Ashland Food Cooperative
Annie Hoy, Marketing Manager, Ashland Food Cooperative

Traditionally, Ashland Food Cooperative had relegated their strategic planning to developing annual goals which were accomplished only to the extent their limited attention and resources allowed. Neither the board nor the management team invested significant time in exploring exactly how they wanted to shape their co-op’s future. After experiencing severe physical constraints as business grew and as they worked harder than ever to meet owner needs, they realized they needed a clear path to address these challenges. This session will describe the in-depth strategic planning process undertaken by the board and management team. Ashland Food Co-op will share how they engaged owners, achieved consensus on four strategic initiatives, and maintained momentum and focus throughout implementation. Also discussed will be how this process enhanced the sense of ownership among the board members and management team for the future of their business.

Who should attend? Board members and managers.

104: Resilient Governance at BriarPatch
Richard Drace, Board President, BriarPatch Co-op
Alana Lucia, Board Vice President, BriarPatch Co-op
Chris Maher, General Manager, BriarPatch Co-op
Alan Weisberg, Board Member, BriarPatch Co-op

The decade ending in 2017 was one of significant growth, expanded reach, and proud accomplishments for the BriarPatch Food Co-op in Northern California. We moved to a new store, tripled our retail space, quadrupled our gross sales, and are now a national leader among food co-ops in national single store sales. But no single accomplishment pleases us more than the radical transformation of our governing policies, practices and impact. This workshop will review the challenges faced during that decade, and the various responses to those challenges. We will focus on three major themes: (1) The constant, on-going refinement of our efforts to define and distinguish between the roles of management and Board, and to establish practices that support these policies. (2) Making the the job of being a Director vibrant and rewarding by creating a Board culture that demands strong participation while also providing tangible rewards like purposeful collegiality, opportunities for growth, and a modest stipend for service. (3) Successfully stepping up efforts to attract talented candidates and achieve greater diversity. The panel includes the current and immediate-past board presidents, the current vice-president, and the General Manager.

Who should attend: Board members and general managers.

105: Ends for Everyone
Mike Anzalone, General Manager, Ozark Natural Foods
Michael Healy, Consultant and Rrainer, CDS Consulting Co-op
Joshua Youngblood, President, Ozark Natural Foods

The Ends-to-Ends Strategic Process offers a framework for strategic thinking that is particularly well-suited to cooperatives. This workshop will present an overview of the Ends-to-Ends Strategic Process, along with practical stories of its successful application at Ozark Natural Foods. The process focuses on including the voices and values of the co-op’s member-owners, board, management and staff into strategic thinking and planning. In addition, the process highlights the importance of communicating about how the co-op’s strategic plans lead to accomplishments. Following this process can help the co-op’s board and GM bring policies and plans to life, truly making the Ends for Everyone.

Who should attend? Board members, general managers and managers who are involved in strategic/business planning


Track 2: Be the Best Grocer

201: City Market’s Evolution
Faye Conte, Board President, City Market/Onion River Co-op
John Tashiro, General Manager, City Market/ Onion River Co-op

As one of the highest selling single store co-ops in the country — at $42 million annually even within a cozy 12,000 square feet of retail space — City Market is considered a leading best practice hybrid co-op. Over 15 years ago, it made the transition from a traditional local and organic co-op to one that sells conventional goods. At the end of 2017, City Market opened a second location consisting of 15,000 square feet of retail space (25,000 total) and is successfully making the transition to a multi-store coop. Come and learn the approach, plans, implementation and impact of this co-op pioneering new ways to position itself for a bright future.

Who should attend? Board members, general managers, and staff.

202: A Next Level Local Program
James Morrell, Produce Merchandising Consultant, CDS Consulting Cooperative
Mark Mulcahy, Owner, Organic Options

The Local Food Movement has been gaining momentum for years, and now tops the chart of food trends across the US – indeed, 66% of all consumers buy their local products at a grocery store. Now is your opportunity to shine and differentiate yourself from the crowd by promoting what co-ops do best! Session participants will learn how to build the best local program possible by reinvigorating systems, cultivating relationships, and building local networks to grab a larger slice of this multi-billion-dollar pie. Presenters will share their approach with examples of contracts and agreements, pricing and purchasing, as well as signage, promotion, and vendor meetings strategies to provide you with tools you need to take your program to the next level. Participants in this interactive workshop will be offered examples of successful local programs with an emphasis on planning, merchandising, and promotions.

Who should attend?  General managers, operations & marketing managers, and department leaders

203: The Co-op Difference: Financing Options that Grow the Cooperative Economy
Dorian Gregory, CPA. , Loan and Outreach Officer,  Cooperative Fund of New England
Brenda Pfahnl, Director of Programs & Senior Loan Officer, Shared Capital Cooperative
Estee Segal, Loan Officer, Capital Impact Partners
Mark Tarasawa, Finance Manager, First Alternative

Being the best grocer requires capital – for everything from store set-up, inventory purchases, remodel/re-branding, renovations, and expansion, as well as working capital to support operations. Does the source of your co-op’s capital match your values and build your co-op’s brand? With real world examples of lenders putting capital where co-ops need it and co-ops accessing capital that grows the co-op economy, this session will include lessons learned, examples of innovative financing, and success stories that inspire and connect. Through the case studies presented, participants will learn about co-op lenders and how they work, how financial institutions can partner to support co-op growth, what co-ops can do to ensure they are ‘loan ready’, and the do’s and don’ts for accessing capital that is aligned with co-op values.

Who should attend? Board members, co-op managers, and any co-op staff interested in learning more about debt financing for their co-op’s capital needs.

204: Pricing Strategy for a Competitive Marketplace
Darrell Vannoy, Vice President of Merchandising, PCC Natural Markets

In an increasingly competitive marketplace that includes high-end retailers like Whole Foods as well as value-driven conventional grocers such as Kroger and Safeway, decisions around pricing are a critical component of any co-ops’ strategy. PCC Natural Markets employs a multi-tiered approach to pricing in order to optimize our competitive positioning in our market, best serve our member and shopper base, and sustain the financial viability of the co-op. In this session, PCC will share how they arrived at this strategy and the resulting impact on sales and gross profit dollars, as well as ongoing processes PCC uses to track the effectiveness of our strategy. Specific areas to be covered include: competitive positioning strategy, use of multiple price tiers in stores, private brands (PCC Private label and Store Brand Field Day), value pricing on highly visible staples, appropriate pricing for value-added offering, promotions and ad specials, member discount and bonus days, and bi-annual competitive pricing surveys.

Who should attend? General managers, department staff.

205: A Tale of Two Stores – The Boise Co-op’s Journey to a Two Store Co-op
Craig Locher, Chief Financial Officer, Boise Consumer Cooperative
Saul Seyler, Village Store Manager, Boise Consumer Cooperative

After 40 years of being a one store co-op, in 2013 the Boise Co-op Management Team and Board of Directors began the process of exploring a second location. Two years later, Boise Co-op added a new ~25,000 sq. ft. store. Growth is not without trials and tribulations, and participants will learn from the Boise Co-op’s successes and failures along the way. Hear an in-depth examination of thoughtful expansion from both an operational perspective and financial perspective including site selection, lease negotiation, sales projections and setting realistic expectations, market studies, project management and controlling construction costs. Also addressed will be building co-op culture within the new organizational structure of a two store co-op. Furthermore – products, roots in the community, and co-operative business model alone are no longer enough in the present day retail landscape. These stores needed to be not only the best co-op option for customers, but the best store and shopping experience around. Participants will come away with a greater understanding of growing your co-op, whether your co-op is considering the leap to multiple locations or working to keep market share. Come learn from the Boise Co-op!

Who should attend? Board Members, managers and staff


TRACK 3: Building From Within

301: Courageous Accountability: Coaching and Corrective Action Practice for Managers
Sarah Dahl, Human Resources Consultant, CDS Consulting Co-op

This session aims to empower managers to willingly engage in coaching and corrective action to build their staff’s accountability and to develop a strong workplace culture. This session will explore reasons managers are hesitant to address performance problems, such as fear of the employee’s reaction, discomfort with judging another person, wanting to be nice and a lack of time, as well as ways to deal with these issues. Explore common staff reactions that can derail corrective action such as tears, anger, feigned ignorance or feeling unfairly singled out and how to respond to them. Coaching will be taught in a way that preserves the employee’s integrity and maintains the relationship while still maintaining the stated expectations. Using case studies based on real-life examples of grocery co-op conflicts, every participant will have the opportunity to practice the skills taught in the session.

Who should attend: Managers

302: Building Commitment and Developing Leaders in Your Co-op
Brian McDermott, Chief Storyteller, GrowthWorks Inc.

This is a how-to workshop for leaders committed to treating staff as their co-op’s greatest resource. Every organization wants to believe it encourages its people to be creative, innovative, and engaged in meaningful work. However, many – including co-ops – often unwittingly repress, neglect, or overlook the ideas, talents, and energy people bring in the door. This session will provide foundational tools and concepts you can use to develop “co-op-minded” leaders and team members who feel the connection between your co-op’s goals and their roles in reaching them. It will focus on how to lead in a way that allows and encourages your team to bring their passion and talent to the work they do every day.

Who should attend? General managers, operations leaders, department managers.

303: Case Study: The Wheatsville Way
Dan Gillotte, Chief Executive Grocer, Wheatsville Co-op
Dana Tomlin, Fresh Manager, Wheatsville Co-op

In increasingly competitive markets, co-op culture is crucial to success! Most supervisors know how to hold people accountable for being on time or to ensure cashier accuracy, but what are ways to set expectations and tools for accountability that relate to cultural elements such as friendliness, cooperation, hard work, and positivity? Wheatsville Co-op has developed a system called The Wheatsville Way to do just this, and in this session they will teach you how to do it at your co-op, too! The Wheatsville Way encourages staff to hit the bullseye in four key areas: Friendly, High Achieving, Positive and Cooperative. These pillars support Wheatsville Co-op in achieving financial success and achievement of their BIG Direction: creating more local/ organic/ sustainable food, more co-op economy, and more happy people. Learn how supervisors talk to staff who are being “edgy” or are “outside the circle” in these areas. Hear real life examples of how these situations have played out in the 18 months since the program was launched. Spend time developing the pillars of YOUR co-op culture, which you can take back and implement in your own stores.

Who should attend? Managers and store staff. This is a great team building workshop for you and your co-op’s colleagues to attend together.

304: A Few Dollars More: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Implementing a Living Wage
Sarah Dahl, Human Resources Consultant, CDS Consulting Co-op
Dan Gillotte, Chief Executive Grocer, Wheatsville Co-op

In this session we’ll talk about why you should be thinking about a living wage even if you are not feeling pressure to do so. We will share a specific case study and other examples of how to get from where you are now to where the living wage says you need to be. We will include some positive changes that you may find as a result of implementing a living wage along with new problems that may arise and how to prevent them.

Who should attend: General managers, human resource managers, finance managers.

305: Evolving Your Workplace Culture by Investing Within: A Case Study with BriarPatch Co-op
Carolee Colter, Consultant, CDS Consulting Co-op
Michael McCary, Assistant Operations & Customer Service Manager, BriarPatch Food Co-op

Does your co-op contend with any of the following issues – a pay scale that’s not keeping up with the rising cost of living? A tight labor market and high staff turnover? Limited opportunities for advancement? Competitive labor market? Competition for customers? BriarPatch Co-op in Grass Valley, California, has experience to share in building a positive and ever-evolving workplace culture while facing these challenges. This workshop will focus on four key elements: 1. staff involvement in the decision-making process (operations, financial and quality of life); 2. staff development, (increasing responsibilities for day-to-day operations and creating opportunities for growth outside the supervisory role); 3. staff participation in telling the co-op’s story (people, products, process); and 4. the general manager’s vision for, and practice of, leadership. We’ll draw on examples from other co-ops as well as from data collected from 200 employee surveys conducted for co-ops in the past 5 years.

Who should attend: Managers and staff on all levels.


TRACK 4: Our Diversity is Our Strength

401: Maintaining Momentum: Effective Methods to Sustain Board Diversity and Inclusion 
Gail Graham, General Manager, Mississippi Market Natural Foods
Lisa Tabor, Owner & President, CultureBrokers LLC

Even the most strategic board diversity efforts have crumpled under the pressure of the everyday whirlwind. In this session, Mississippi Market will share lessons learned of failing to sustain board diversity. After opening a store in one of St. Paul’s most diverse neighborhoods, Mississippi Market worked hard to recruit board candidates that were persons of color. However, one year later, the board ballot included no persons of color. The co-op ownership noticed and made it known just how unacceptable this was. Discover what the co-op learned from this sobering experience and how it applied the “Discipline” multiplier of CultureBrokers® Equity Theorem™ ((Diversity + Inclusion) X Discipline = Equity™) to not only rebound in 2017, but to position itself to keep getting good results over time. This session will explore how to identify and use key structural influences such as policies, practices, and situations to get consistently strong performance attracting, engaging and retaining a culturally diverse board of directors.

Who should attend: Executive leadership, board members.

402: Cooperating in New Neighborhoods: Expanding to Willy North 
Megan Minnick, Purchasing Director, Willy Street Co-op
Kirsten Moore, Cooperative Services Director, Willy Street Co-op
Jenny Skowronek, Store Director—North, Willy Street Co-op

Come learn how Willy Street Co-op evolved from an almost exclusively natural foods store to offering an array of conventional foods and products to serve a diverse ownership of 35,000 people. In 2015, Willy Street Co-op was asked by a coalition of community groups and citizens to consider locating its third store on Madison’s north side, a neighborhood considerably more economically and culturally diverse that their first two stores. The new location opened in August 2016, three months after a family-owned grocery left the area underserved. Learn how Willy Street selected this site, engaged owners and the community, and applied their principles of adding more conventional foods to its product selection, pricing and service offerings. Hear the challenges, the successes, and the new normal of a co-op with a true hybrid of organic and conventional offerings — and how Willy North is a building block for Willy Street’s future as a local grocer and as an evolving cooperative differentiator in their community.

Who should attend:Co-op staff and managers: communications, purchasing, owner services, store and general managers. Board members may also benefit from attendance.

403: Building a Broader Base
Beth Hopping,  Board member, Durham Co-op Market
Drew Peng, Board President, Durham Co-op Market
Leila Wolfrum, General Manager, Durham Co-op Market

Come learn about the fast-growing start-up Durham Co-op Market. Formed out of the nearby remains of the previous Durham Food Co-op (DFC) which closed in 2006, Durham Co-op Market opened three years ago in a racially and economically diverse neighborhood. The former DFC struggled throughout its waning years to make real connections between its largely white membership base and the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods, often being perceived as elitist, tone-deaf, and out of touch – all of which contributed to its demise. As the new co-op became a reality, founders worked hard in the design of the store, membership structure, product selection and pricing, and the hiring of staff to make sure the co-op reflects and attracts the wonderful diversity of its community. These efforts have already paid dividends, and the store has beaten every sales and performance projection. Discover how Durham Co-op Market puts into practice its store’s motto, “Everyone welcome,” to the benefit of its community and the store’s financial health. The co-op is growing having learned the lessons of many co-op predecessors, and evolves to meet the needs of their diverse and changing community.

Who should attend: Leadership, staff and board members.

404: Getting down to the Nitty Gritty – Next Steps in Cultural Competency
LaDonna Sanders-Redmond, Diversity and Community Engagement Manager, Seward Co-op
Elizabeth Liddiard Wozniak,  Human Resources Manager, Seward Co-op

The opening of Seward Co-op’s second location, the Friendship Store, in a historically African American neighborhood in South Minneapolis prompted leadership to examine their internal cooperative culture. Seward Community Co-op began its cultural competency work using a development tool known as the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). The IDI is an audit which provides objective assessments for building cultural development for organizations. It essentially provides a snapshot of a person or group’s ability to appropriately adapt to cultural differences and commonalities in a particular moment in time, and then help participants consider how to develop that ability further. In this session, participants will learn how Seward Co-op used this tool to the transition from a dominant culture mindset towards that further inclusivity.

Who should attend: Board Members, General Managers, Operations Managers, Department Managers.

405: Walking The Talk: People of Color in Cooperative Leadership 
Patrice Lockert Anthony, President, GreenStar Cooperative Market, Inc.
Jacqueline Hannah, Assistant Director, Food Co-op Initiative
Brandon Kane, General Manager, GreenStar Cooperative Market, Inc.

The intersection of cooperative principles and values and the cooperative industries’ leadership realities leaves much to be desired. This presentation/workshop examines an arc between what is, what should be, and how we might arrive at our destination of racially inclusive co-op leadership on our boards of directors. Patrice Lockert Anthony, the first African American board chair in GreenStar Food Co-op’s 45 year history, will share actionable recommendations for cracking internal and external resistance to leadership of color in our cooperatives, as well as perspectives on what efforts have – and have not – been working to bring forward leadership of color at our food co-ops, specifically on our boards. This workshop is where “Courageous Governance” and “Acting Rightly” converge to create a powerful cooperative movement that is dynamic in its lived principles and values. This is courageous evolution!

Who should attend: Board Members and general managers.


TRACK 5: Cooperate to Innovate: Strategies to Compete

501: Lessons from the Wedge and Linden Hills Co-op Consolidation
Emily Anderson, Board Member, Twin Cities Co-op Partners
Adam Gower, HR Director, Twin Cities Co-op Partners
Jessica Pierce, Marketing Director, Twin Cities Co-op Partners
Josh Resnik, CEO/General Manager, Twin Cities Co-op Partners
Missy Smith, Consolidation Project Director and Food Service Director, Twin Cities Co-op Partners

One year after the consolidation of the Wedge and Linden Hills co-ops, this session will highlight how consolidation has worked in practice and will address the following important questions: What has consolidation meant for staff, owners, the board, the community and vendors? What have been the biggest challenges in consolidating two co-ops, each with four decades of history? What lessons were learned along the way and what would have been done differently? What advice would be shared with co-ops who are contemplating or in the process of evaluating consolidation? In this interactive panel, hear how they managed the implementation of consolidation from different lenses –CEO, board, marketing, merchandising, human resources, and project management.

Who should attend: Board and Management Attendees. Any co-op that has thought about consolidation or is interested in learning about different structures of partnership among independent business entities.

502: A Tale of Two Retailers: Amazon’s Rise and the Food Co-op Difference
Melissa Elkins, Sustainability Coordinator and Administrative Assistant, Community Food Co-op
Pam Mehnert, General Manager, Outpost Natural Foods
Sheila Ongie, Sustainability Manager, National Co+op Grocers

Join us to explore case studies of how Amazon and food co-ops each impact local communities differently, including ongoing work to quantify co-ops’ positive impacts as a sector. Many people still see Amazon as simply an online retailer. But behind the scenes, Amazon has also become the dominant platform for online commerce, a powerful force in shipping and distribution and more — including the owner of Whole Foods. In this session, we’ll look at what its growing dominance means for local businesses, jobs, and communities. We’ll also shine a light on the ways that food co-ops positively impact their communities by giving back, supporting the local economy, reducing their carbon footprint, increasing access to healthy food, and more. This session will feature case studies of the nationally recognized sustainability work at Outpost Natural Foods Co-op and Community Food Co-op-Bellingham, including replicable examples of their success.

Who should attend: Managers, co-op staff and board members.

503: The Store of the Future
Dave Makar, Chief Customer Officer, Rosie
Grant Vennel, VP of Sales – Group Client Director, Rosie

For cooperatives, it has become more critical than ever to define and implement a comprehensive digital strategy as part of their courageous evolution. Learn about new strategies, why they are important, and how you can take action in 2018. In this interactive
session, participants will learn, brainstorm, and begin to build their own Store of the Future.

Who should attend: Store managers, board members, department managers.

504: The Battle for Brand Relevance in Amazon’s Backyard
Heather Snavely, Vice President of Marketing, PCC Community Markets

In September 2017, Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets (PCC) – the nation’s largest food market co-op – surprised members, shoppers and the Pacific Northwest grocery industry. After nearly 20 years as “PCC Natural Markets,” the 10-store co-op was dropping “natural” from its name to become PCC Community Markets. With it, they launched a new brand identity, website and multi-faceted marketing campaign. External observers might be quick to assume this change was the result of recent industry changes or Amazon acquiring Whole Foods. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The brand initiative was a strategic project a year and a half in the making and partnership between the PCC Board of Trustees and co-op leadership to thoughtfully position the co-op for the rapidly evolving future.

Who should attend: Co-op staff, managers and board members

505: Why Consider Centralized Production in the Age of Grocerants?
Lori Petermann, Central Kitchen Prepared Foods Manager, Bozeman Community Co-op
Leslie Peterson, Director of Food Services, Outpost Natural Foods Cooperative
Missy Smith, Culinary Operations Director, Twin Cities Co-op Partners

Commissary, Food House, Central Kitchen – by any name, this is a model that many co-ops are moving to as they expand their prepared foods offering, add retail locations, grow wholesale customers, or simply run out of room to produce in-store. Centralized production can provide economies of scale, greater efficiency, cost savings, product consistency and increased food safety. However, they are also challenging to run operationally and financially –requiring different oversight and expertise than traditional retail. The retail landscape is predicting that prepared foods will grow as a percentage of store sales, yet there is no industry standard or guide on how to start and run a commissary kitchen. In an effort to harness the knowledge and experience of co-ops that have moved to centralized production facilities, we bring together three food productions leaders–from Twin Cities Co-op Partners, Outpost Natural Foods, and Community Food Co-op –to share their stories of success, challenges, and lessons.

Who should attend: Board members, general managers, Deli managers, Kitchen & Bakery Managers, Production Supervisors. Anybody that has or is considering a central kitchen.


TRACK 6: Outreach and Owner Engagement

601: Why Online Voting?

Stephanie Aman, Marketing and Community Relations Manager, Just Food Co-op
Margaret Campbell, Marketing Manager, BriarPatch Food Co-op
Aliyah Jessa, Business Development Manager, Simply Voting Inc.
Steven Lattey, Business Development Director, Simply Voting Inc.

The advantages of online voting to both co-op members and co-op staff are quite impressive. Online voting can:
dramatically increase member engagement and voter participation, engage and enfranchise a younger demographic, reduce costs, reduce time spent counting ballots, and eliminate potential recounts and challenges.  In this session, attendees will be taken through the voting process – from the first steps of preparing the co-op for online voting to the auditable results. The demonstration will provide a complete overview of the voting process both from the voter’s perspective and from the administrator’s perspective. Next, attendees will hear the experiences of other food co-ops implementing online voting systems to increase member engagement.

Who should attend: Board members, co-op staff and managers 

602: Lessons from Astoria Co-op’s Owner Capital Campaign
Ben Sandel, Consultant, CDS Consulting Co-op
Matthew Stanley, General Manager, Astoria Co-op Grocery

In 2017, Astoria Co-op successfully raised $1.5 million from its owners. In this session, Astoria Co-op’s General Manager and the consultant who advised the co-op during the planning and implementation of the campaign explore the campaign’s planning, processes, and implementation.  Also hear comparisons to other campaigns, what went well, and what would be done differently in the future.

Who should attend: General Managers, Board Members, Finance Professionals, Startups, Established Co-ops.

603: Measuring and Communicating our Impact for Shared Success
Erbin Crowell, Executive Director, Neighboring Food Co-op Association
Bonnie Hudspeth, Membership & Outreach Manager, Neighboring Food Co-op Association
Susanna Schultz, Marketing Director, Central Co-op
Suzette Snow-Cobb, Sourcing Coordinator, Neighboring Food Co-op Association

To compete effectively, our co-ops need to demonstrate what sets us apart.  We will share strategies from efforts to measure and  communicate impact, both at the individual food co-op level and the regional level through a federation of co-ops. Last year, Central Co-op (WA) hired a firm to evaluate how it benefits its community. The resulting Local Impact Study revealed outcomes even greater than expected, enabling the co-op to communicate its impact for its members and the wider community through meetings, public events, publications, and social media. On a regional level, an informal network of food co-ops in New England commissioned a similar study ten years ago as part of its effort to understand their collective impact. This report was a revelation for participating co-ops, demonstrating impact far beyond expectations. This provided a foundation for shared visioning and incorporation as a formal secondary co-op of food co-ops focused on shared marketing and educational initiatives, peer collaboration, and sourcing projects to support mutual success. Today, the Neighboring Food Co-op Association collects impact data on an annual basis, working with interns from a local University to compile data and make the case for the contribution of food co-ops to a more inclusive economy.

Who should attend? Board members, general managers, and staff.

604: Co-op Cafe:  Cultivating Leadership in an Expanding Movement
Mark Goehring, Manager, CDS Consulting Co-op
Leslie Watson, Consultant, CDS Consulting Co-op

The last few years have seen major shifts in the grocery industry. Against the drumbeat of relentless competition, we’ve seen a sharp uptick in consumers’ expectations around freshness, sustainability, and convenience, as well as an inspiring and hopeful surge of co-ops organizing in multicultural and low-to mixed income neighborhoods. Even as they strive to adapt to new markets and new market forces, many established food co-ops are taking a hard look at themselves and committing to the necessary work of becoming more racially, culturally, and economically inclusive. Amid all this change, a quieter, but equally profound, shift is happening in the movement, as the “old guard” leadership that shepherded our co-ops from the ‘70s into the new millennium steadily hands over the reins to the next generation of leaders. In this session, we’ll explore what it means to expand our vision of leadership to welcome, inspire, and connect the widening circle of people involved in the food co-op movement.  In facilitated discussion with your fellow cooperators, we will explore two key questions:       What kind of leadership do we need to build a multicultural, intergenerational, dynamic and thriving food co-op movement? What can we do today to cultivate and sustain that leadership of tomorrow?

Who should attend? Board members, general managers, and staff.

605: Growing Your Cooperative Community Fund  
Kenna Eaton, General Manager, The Food Co-op – Port Townsend
Brad Smith, Public and Member Relations Manager, People’s Food Co-op – La Crosse/Rochester
David Thompson, President, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation

Under the stewardship of the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, food co-ops across the nation start local cooperative community funds (CCF) to support local organizations that make an impact in their community.  This workshop will highlight owner engagement strategies that turn your members (and customers) into active contributors to a CCF donation program, strengthening your relationship to your members and setting your Co-op apart from competitors. Panelists will provide case studies of their successful CCF fundraising programs, as well as strategies to engage ownership. Additionally, funders will discuss the importance of the CCF investment in expanding their lending to cooperatives.

Who should attend:  Board members, general managers, marketing and membership staff, vendors