Jed Davis

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Jed Davis is Director of Sustainability for the Agri-Mark dairy cooperative, known for being a certified B Corp and for its Cabot, McCadam and Agri-Mark brands of award-winning dairy products.

Jed has a life-long involvement in food and agriculture and cooperatives. Born and raised on a six-generation family farm, Jed began working in Vermont at Cabot Creamery in 1991 and has since held a variety of marketing, sales and operations positions.

Since being named Director of Sustainability in 2008, Jed’s efforts have centered on helping the co-op and its brands define “sustainability” as “living within our means and ensuring the means to live”—from cow-to-creamery-to-customer.

Todd Leverette

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Todd Leverette is the Program Manager of Legacy Business Initiatives at the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI), where he works with business owners, economic developers & community members to expand the world of employee ownership. He is a former Wall Streeter and co-founder of the startup Your Financial Lane.

Todd received his JD/MBA from Columbia University and his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College. Todd also enjoys writing sketch comedy.  

Alex Serrano

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Alex Serrano is the Senior Vice President for International Programs at NCBA CLUSA.  Serrano, who most recently served as Vice President for Strategy Development at NCBA CLUSA, has spent the past 30 years working in Africa and around the world developing cooperative businesses and market linkages. Serrano joined NCBA CLUSA in 1989 as Country Director for Sao Tome and Principe, an island nation off the western coast of Central Africa. From 1995 – 2000, he was NCBA CLUSA’s Country Director in Mozambique, where he helped develop a network of more than 400 rural businesses with a membership of over 16,000 members and helped establish market linkages with agribusiness for local, regional and international markets. Prior to his work in Mozambique, Serrano served as Senior Manager and later Regional Director in Southern Africa.

Mr. Serrano was a recipient of the InsideNGO Operational Excellence Award for his contributions to the NGO community in business development and program operations in 2015 and serves on the Board of the Agribusiness Market Ecosystem Alliance and the US Overseas Cooperative Development Council.

Doug O'Brien

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Doug O'Brien is the President & CEO of NCBA CLUSA, where he works with the cooperative community, both domestically and internationally, to deepen its impact on individuals and communities. NCBA is the primary voice for cooperatives in the United States for using the cooperative business model to empower people in their businesses and communities. Doug has been with NCBA since 2016, where he has served as the Executive Vice President of Programs before becoming president and CEO in January 2018.

Before coming to NCBA CLUSA, Doug led the work of the White House Rural Council and served in top positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, a community economic development agency with over 40 programs and 5000 employees that annually finances more than 30 billion dollars. Doug has also worked in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House and for two Governors. O'Brien's experience in academia includes teaching, researching and writing at the University of Arkansas Agricultural and Food Masters in Law Program and Drake University Law School.

O’Brien was raised on a diversified farm in Dubuque County, Iowa, and holds degrees from Loras College (Dubuque, Iowa), the University of Iowa Law School, and the University of Arkansas Masters in Agricultural and Food Law Program. O’Brien lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife, Alisa, who works in policy and communications consulting. He enjoys biking, travel, spending time with his three children, and his memberships in a number of consumer co-ops.

 

David Hammer

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David Hammer is the Executive Director of the ICA Group, the country’s oldest national organization dedicated to democratic employee ownership. Mr. Hammer is a leading practitioner of employee buyouts of small business and worker cooperatives. His area of expertise include market research, business planning, governance, policy analysis, data analysis, and financial modeling. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Meegan Moriarty

Meegan Moriarty analyzes federal and state cooperative policy for USDA’s Rural Business Cooperative Service. She leads a nationwide project researching, comparing, and analyzing state cooperative statutes. Previously she worked in the National Tax office of Ernst consulting with clients on business opportunities presented by tax law changes. She has a JD from Georgetown University Law Center and a BA from the University of Notre Dame.

Cathy Statz

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Cathy Statz is Education Director of the Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU), headquartered in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. She coordinates a variety of cooperative education programs for Farmers Union members, their children and the general public, including the WFU Summer Camp Program at Kamp Kenwood, and the National Farmers Union College Conference on Cooperatives.

Cathy grew up on a dairy farm near Sauk Prairie, Wisconsin, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English (with Secondary Level Education Certification) and a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and is the 2006 recipient of Lawrence University’s Nathan M. Pusey Young Alumni Achievement Award. She has been a member of ACE since 1997 and was named the 1999 recipient of the ACE William Hlushko Award to Young Cooperative Educators.

Rebecca Savoie

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Rebecca Savoie is the Director of Cooperative Development at NCBA CLUSA. She brings with her 20 years of domestic and international experience designing and implementing innovative projects for public and private sector organizations harnessing the power of collective action specifically with cooperative and producer group structures. Previously she led programs and platforms for Abt Associates, TechnoServe, Land O’Lakes, and ACDI/VOCA. She has lived in Tanzania, Uganda, Liberia and Egypt and has worked in many other countries mostly in Africa with some experience in Asia and Latin America.  

A lifelong learner, Rebecca is finishing her PhD in rural sociology and agricultural economics with a focus on collective action at the University of Missouri. Rebecca also holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, an master’s degree in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Minnesota.  

Sonja Novkovic

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Sonja Novkovic (Ph.D., McGill University) is a Professor of Economics and Academic director of the Co-operative Management Education program at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada. She is Chair of the International Co-operative Alliance Research Committee, and past president of the International Association for the Economics of Participation (IAFEP). Her research interests are in the field of economic democracy, including labor-managed and cooperative firms, social economy, and comparative economic systems. Her collaborative edited volumes include Cooperativism and Local Development in Cuba: An agenda for Democratic Transformation (Brill publishers, 2018); Co-operatives and the World of Work (Routledge, forthcoming); Co-operative Governance Fit to Build Resilience in the Face of Complexity (ICA, Brussels 2015); Co-operatives for Sustainable Communities: Tools to Measure Co-operative Impact and Performance (University of Saskatchewan Press 2015); Co-operatives in a Post-Growth Era (Zed books 2014).

Gary Pittsford

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Gary Pittsford, CFP® is president of Castle Wealth Advisors, a private wealth management firm based in Indianapolis, IN. For over 40 years Gary has worked with hundreds of family business owners in all 50 states, helping them with retirement and estate planning strategies to protect their businesses and their net worth, as well as providing one on one business consulting and succession planning services. Gary is deeply involved with the National Cooperative Business Association in Washington, D.C. and is a member of the US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council. Over the years Gary has worked with dozens of co-op organizations and he continues to help them by providing convention speeches, monthly newsletters, webinars, educational videos, and most recently a book titled Your Family Business, Your Family Net Worth available on Amazon.com.

Jack Bailey

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Jack Bailey was born in Switzerland and became a U.S. citizen when he was 12 years old. He received his bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctorate from Indiana University, becoming a member of the Indiana State Bar in 1984.  

Jack served as President and CEO of Independent Distributors Cooperative–USA for almost 20 years. IDC-USA is the largest bearing and power transmission cooperative in the world, with more than 200 locations in North America. Jack served on the Board of Directors for the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) from 1997 until 2017. He served on the Public Resources for Cooperative Development Committee, and the Emerging Issues Committee. Additionally, he has been a repeat presenter at NCBA CLUSA’s Purchasing Conference.  

Jack was the recipient of the 2002 Blue Chip Community Business Award for his leadership in guiding IDC-USA through adverse challenges to the level of prosperity it enjoys today. In 2008 he received the George E. Johnston Excellence Award for his achievements in the cooperative community. He has traveled globally in pursuit of opportunities for cooperative members and in 2010 was inducted into the Indiana Cooperative Hall of Fame. Jack is passionate about the role of cooperatives in the global community and a frequent speaker and consultant both here and abroad.

Ariana Levinson

Ariana Levinson is a Professor of Law at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. In her teaching and scholarship, she addresses the intersection of cooperatives and labor law. This year, she published Union Co-ops and the Revival of Labor Law in the Cardozo Journal of Dispute Resolution, which identifies and suggests solutions for legal challenges that must be addressed when forming a unionized worker cooperative. Ariana is also the author of Founding Worker Cooperatives: Social Movement Theory and the Law, published in the Nevada Law Journal in 2014. Her co-authored article Alleviating Food Insecurity Via Cooperative By-laws is forthcoming in the Georgetown Journal of Poverty Law & Policy.  In addition to writing about worker cooperatives, Ariana teaches, writes, and speaks on the topics of arbitration, labor and employment law, practical legal skills, and workplace technology and privacy.

Carmen Huertas-Noble

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Carmen Huertas-Noble is the founding director of the Community & Economic Development Clinic (CEDC) at CUNY School of Law. She earned her J.D. from Fordham University Law School, where she was a Stein Scholar in Public Interest Law and Ethics and served on the staff of the Environmental Law Journal. Prior to joining the CUNY faculty, Professor Huertas-Noble was an Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School where she supervised students in its CED Clinic. She also served as a senior staff attorney in the Community Development Project (CDP) of the Urban Justice Center (UJC). As part of CDP, she worked with neighborhood residents to form nonprofits as well as established organizing groups to create alternative institutions, such as worker-owned cooperatives (cooperatives).

Professor Huertas-Noble has played a leading role in providing transactional legal support to worker-owned cooperatives in New York. While at UJC, she counseled cooperatives in navigating their legal entity formation options and on creating democratic governance structures. She worked with ROC-NY in creating COLORS, a worker-owned restaurant in Manhattan and Green Workers Cooperatives in creating ReBuilders Source, a South Bronx worker-owned business that collects and recycles construction materials. Since then, numerous community groups and attorneys have consulted with Professor Huertas-Noble on entity formation options and democratic decision making structures for cooperatives. Such groups, include Cidadao Global, a current client of the CEDC. Cidadao Global is in the process of creating the first eco-friendly house cleaning cooperative based in Queens.

Professor Huertas-Noble's research and scholarship focuses on promoting alternative ownership models, including community land trust and worker-owned cooperatives (alternative institutions). Her scholarship emphasizes the role of lawyer in creating meaningful, client participatory decision making processes as part of the lawyer's counseling process and in support of client-centered lawyering on behalf of alternative institutions.

Roland Hall

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Roland Hall is a partner at Autry, Hall, & Cook, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia, and has been assisting various types of cooperatives with their legal needs for over twenty years. His firm’s clients include electric, telephone and telecommunications cooperatives, software cooperatives, grocery cooperatives, and worker cooperatives, among others. Roland and his firm provide cooperatives assistance with regulatory compliance, cooperative tax matters, procurement and contracting, formation and restructuring, and governance matters. Roland is co-author of the book The Law of Cooperatives, published by the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.  

Tonya Price

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Tonya Price focuses her law practice on transactional work that promotes democratic capitalism and equality. Tonya’s practical experience during law school included work on affordable housing financing, HUD regulatory compliance, mission-related investments, zoning laws, urban farming regulatory compliance, and policy advocacy. As a member of Jason Wiener|p.c., Tonya is building expertise in social enterprise models, cooperative formation, alternative financing, securities compliance, employment law, and general corporate work. In her free time Tonya enjoys running, practicing yoga, reading, and hiking. In her former life Tonya was a pastry chef and still loves all things food, especially sharing it with friends and family. Tonya is driven by the belief that changing the way we do business has the power to create an economic system that is more equitable.

Sushil Jacob

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Sushil Jacob is a partner at the Tuttle Law Group, where he represents cooperative enterprises of all types, including employee-owned trusts and business owners who want to transition their business to cooperative ownership.  

Sushil is also a Senior Attorney for Economic Justice at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR). At LCCR, Sushil is responsible for developing policy interventions to develop policies to advance racial and economic justice in the Bay Area. He is currently working on legislation to enable municipally-owned banks in California. He received his J.D. in 2011 from Berkeley Law.

He serves on the boards of the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union and the Sustainable Economies Law Center. He is an avid drummer and a new swimmer.