Consultants Cabinet

When it comes to signing leases, creating bylaws, incorporating, doing financial projections and some of the other more nuanced tasks that come up along the way to creating a fully functional storefront, some expert help can be a lifesaver. To that end, CoFED has secured commitments from the following advisors and allies to field questions from CoFED member teams! Thank you consultants! If you would like to get in touch with any of these wonderful people, email anna@cofed.org.

Marc Hinz, Kayak Tillamook County
Wants to talk to students about: Contract law, Campus organizing
Marc was born and raised in Wisconsin, where he completed a Bachelor of Social Change and Development, examining the distribution of power and wealth in society – particularly the United States.  Moving to Oregon in 1996 to attend Portland State University, as a campus organizer he played major roles in establishing an additional child care center, the Rearguard student publication and co-founded the Food for Thought Cafe – all of which still operate. Today, Marc is the elected Principal Executive and Co-Founder of Kayak Tillamook County, a coastal workers cooperative formed by former loggers, commercial fishermen and educators.

Jaime Leclerc, Food Scientist
Wants to talk to students about: Commercial Kitchen Management, Economically Sustainable Co-ops, Food Values, National and Global Food Networks
Jaime grew up working her mom’s award-winning breakfast and lunch cafe in Nashua, New Hampshire from the age of 5. With the values of healthy and delicious food set deep in her roots, she attended University of California at Davis and University of Vermont to study Nutrition and Food Science. At UC Davis, she lived at Agrarian Effort Co-operative, one of California’s oldest student co-op’s, running workshops on bee keeping, compost, gardening and nutrition and participating in the bountiful co-operative community of Davis, California. She also volunteered with Food Not Bombs and The Davis Food Co-op. At University of Vermont, Jaime found pre-medical studies to enhance her degree and she pursued a variety of biomedical research fellowships throughout her years. She kept her ties close with the co-operative movement by volunteering with Tick Tick Collective and Onion River City Market Co-op. Ending up at the National Cancer Institute in Washington DC after graduation, Jaime found herself at the forefront of biomedical research related to diet and disease. After deciding medical school was not for her, Jaime decided to stay in Washington DC as a musician and go back to some of her roots. She worked at a variety of vegan restaurants while playing in bands and eventually starting two consecutive music and arts co-ops; The 3rd St Co-op and Hole in the Sky Art Collective (www.holeintheskydc.com). She also volunteered heavily for Girls Rock! DC, a 100% volunteer based collective organization empowering young girls to play music and find their voice. Jaime finally got back into her passions with food, nutrition and health by volunteering and working at the Maryland Food Collective in College Park, MD. Jaime worked as one of the few full-time workers and maintained much of the co-op’s back-end work while serving as the Produce Coordinator. She started the Catering Department and coordinated that position which saw $50,000 in sales in just two semesters, helping the MD Food Co-op gain a more solid financial footing. Throughout her stay there, Jaime participated heavily in training, hiring, firing, performance reviews, accounting, mission and value marketing, menu development, kitchen design, programming and overall democratic work policies. From the Maryland Food Collective, Jaime moved to Hood River, Oregon to work as the Head Food Scientist and Plant Manager for Columbia Gorge Organic. In her current position, Jaime manages all aspects of quality assurance, engineering, product development and training for the nationally distributed juice and fruit company. Additionally, Jaime has started publishing articles related to food and a healthy lifestyle in The Gorge Magazine and for Chic Vegan. She participates in a small grocery buying club with friends in town and is supporting local efforts to start-up a community food co-op in the Columbia River Gorge.

Danielle Warhola, Red and Black Cafe
Danielle’s experience with collectives began at the tail end of Seattle’s Touchstone Collective Bakery in 2006, a beautiful 30 year old co-op with hearty whole grain breads kind hearted workers. Time was also spent at the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance, an independent needle exchange. Danielle now works at the Red and Black – a vegan cafe and radical event space in Portland, Oregon. Their experience with collectives is not limited only to businesses, but co-op housing and consenus based activism, such as SWAGG, Sex Worker’s and Allies Action Group. Danielle believes strongly in Anarchism and the power of group decision making!

Webster Walker, Central Food Co-op and SLICE
Wants to talk to students about: Cooperative structure, ecological accounting, navigating campus bureaucracy
Webster was tired of playing his guitar on the street and decided to get a job. He started working at a local co-op because he believes in economic democracy, and has never looked back. He spent six years at the University of Washington Seattle wrestling with campus bureaucracy, which he describes as an “evil monster.” webster is a co-founder of SLICE: Strengthening Local Independent Co-ops Everywhere, and serves on the SLICE steering committee. He’s completed the CooperationWorks! training in cooperative development, still has his day job doing community outreach at Central Co-op in Seattle, and works to build a cooperative economy that is accountable for its social and ecological impacts. When he’s not geeking out on co-ops, he stays sane by making compost for his small urban farm project.

Joanna LaTorre, Olympia Food Co-op
Wants to talk to students about: accountability, anti-oppression, consensus decision-making, organizational development
Joanna was born and raised in the San Francisco bay area and moved to Olympia to attend The Evergreen State College. Joanna has nearly ten years experience designing and implementing processes addressing group dynamics. She is a systems thinker and a talented individual who works with the big picture of organizations to address positive change. Her skills and knowledge in working with diverse groups encompass several models such as inclusion, diversity, anti-oppression, and decolonization. Joanna customizes her approach and her work based on the needs of each group. She is committed to helping groups grow and to finding ways to enhance cohesion and functionality. She currently works for the Olympia Food Co-op where she serves on the steering committee, the personnel committee, and the outreach and education committee. She is also an associate consultant at Oblique Solutions.

Diane Gasaway, Northwest Cooperative Development Center
Diane Gasaway, NWCDC Executive Director, joined the Center in 2003 and together with the NWCDC Board of Directors has been responsible for building the Center into what it is today. Her specialty is in strategic planning, co-op education, co-op development, grant administration, and budget management for a multitude of projects. Diane has 13 years of experience in the financial services industry. She received a Master of Public Administration (with a co-op emphasis) from The Evergreen State College.

Daniel Horton, People’s Food Coop
Wants to talk to students about: organizational structure and culture
Daniel Horton has worked at People’s Food Co-op in Portland for 5 years, and is currently serving as the co-op’s Herbs Buyer.  Throughout his tenure at People’s, Daniel has committed ample time to examining the equity of the collective structure, as well as approached personnel policy with an eye towards democratic and anti-oppression principles.  He served on People’s Social Justice and Equity working group for four years, and has lent a helping hand to startup co-ops for the past three years. Prior to his time at People’s, Daniel did lots of activism and organizing in Oregon and Florida for food and social justice organizations.

Benjamin Cutler, Montavilla Food Co-op Start-up and Organically Grown Company
Wants to talk to students about: Worker Co-ops, Food co-op startup efforts, Buying clubs, Board of Directors, Member Recruitment.
Ben grew up in Portland and attended school in Madison, Wisconsin, where he first learned about co-ops, and later in Eugene, OR where he helped operate the student housing coops and a fresh juice worker co-op. Ben’s work with co-ops is entirely hands on experience developed while living in or working for cooperatives. He has served on several Board of Directors, including the NASCO Board. He is currently spearheading the outreach & volunteer effort and member equity drive for the nascent Montavilla Food Co-op in East Portland. For the past 5 years he has worked at Organically Grown Company, the northwest’s premiere organic produce distributor, as an Account Representative.

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