Sessions and Workshops – Saturday, February 6th

Saturday, February 6th

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8:00am-6:00pm – Conference Market
7:30am-4:00pm, 6:00-7:00pm – Registration
8:00-8:30am – Welcome Activity

Join us for a brief  introduction of the conference goals, meet your fellow conference attendees, and win a prize.


Preparing to Apply for Funding – John Flory  and Brenda  Latvala Pfahnl (206D)

Workshop: So your cooperative needs financing for an ambitious project? What are the steps required to prepare a proposal that will be successful in securing funding? Brenda Pfahnl and John Flory, two lenders with many years of experience lending to cooperatives and assisting in the development of financing packages, will provide guidance that will improve the potential for success. (Accounting and Finance)

Filling the Gaps—Getting the Board Your Coop Needs, John McNamara (206B)

Cooperative boards need a diverse set of directors that reflects the diversity of its membership. They also need the knowledge, skills and abilities to understand their industry and create strategic plans and effectively direct management. This workshop will discuss ways of engaging the election cycle to meet these ends by making the electoral process part of the co-op’s strategic development.

Buyers’ Perspective – Daniel Caris and Chris Anderson (206C)

Panel Discussion: In any business it is important to understand what your customer needs. Join our panel featuring commercial and local businesses to gain a better understanding of how to assess, and meet, those needs. (Marketing, Communication)

Co-created Branding – Matt Fast (207)

How today’s blurred lines between customers, employees, and investors changes brand evolution.

10:00-10:30am – Coffee Break


Collaborative Session on Cooperation Amongst Co-operatives – Laura Ridenour and Jade Flores (207)

Collaborative Session: This interactive session will explore the topic of principle six, cooperation amongst co-ops. In what ways are you interested in networking with other co-ops? Participants will collaboratively identify and map existing tools, groups and resources. Together we will also brainstorm ideas for leveraging regional co-operative power to grow the capacity of local and regional food economies (and in turn benefit buying co-ops). Come away with a sense of how we can strengthen local and regional cooperation and relationships (Marketing)

Principles of Accounting and Law for Cooperatives – David Enquist and Kendall Fisher (206D)

This presentation will include an overview of the accounting and legal principles governing cooperatives, including corporate governance laws, employment laws and tax / accounting rules and regulations. (Accounting and Finance)

 Governance: The often overlooked backbone of cooperative success – Megan White and Dr. Ellen M. Maccarone (206B)

Café Session: Join Board President Dr. Ellen Maccarone and General Manager Megan White from Spokane’s Main Market Cooperative to hear about the evolution and professionalization of their business and board. They have a vivid story of missteps and success over their 6 years in business as a retail food cooperative with particular focus on key lessons learned in governance models, board-gm relations, and operational impact of functionally challenged boards.(Governance, Communication)

Sitka Co-op Case Study (206C)

Café Session: Learn how the Sitka Food Coop is “Bringing Good Food & Community Together” by reaching out the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and other cultures within their community. Cooperatives, by their very nature, strive to be inclusive and open to all, but reaching out to the different cultures within a community can be a challenge. However, reaching out beyond your “core group” also provides a great opportunity to learn what your community wants and needs. Understanding these needs is one of the keys to a successful (and all inclusive) cooperative that benefits and strengthens the entire community. (Communication, Marketing)

12:00pm-1:30pm – Lunch


Access to Capital for Community Facilities and Housing Preservation and Development – Judith Olsen, Impact Capital (206D)

Does your community need more affordable housing or facilities to service community needs?  Impact Capital’s Judith Olsen will provide an engaging presentation on how Impact Capital makes it easier for nonprofits to get seed money for projects that help people improve their quality of life, and shape the future for their community. She will provide case studies and examples of unique partnerships and financing structures that have resulted in the development of affordable, preservation of aging properties, as well as the development of communities facilities.  Impact Capital has worked in every country but two in Washington State, they can help leverage other partnerships and help you access the catalytic first in capital that is often a road block.


Access to Capital  for Business Development – Jeff Voltz, Community Capital Development, Craft3, Mountain West Bank, Global Credit Union, Shared Capital Cooperative, Northwest Business Development Association, Northwest Farm Credit Services, SNAP Financial Access, USDA Farm Services Agency, USDA Rural Development (207)

Special Session!: Funding is critical to the success of any cooperative business. Learn more about different funding programs and lenders in this fast-paced, interactive session. (Accounting and Finance)


Cooperative Case Studies in Minority Communities – John Flory and the Latino Economic Development Center (206C)

Panel Discussion: With limited exceptions, the cooperative movement has had limited success organizing cooperatives among minority and low income communities. John Flory, staff member of Latino Economic Development Center will briefly highlight a series of cooperatives serving immigrant and minority communities, focusing on the community organizing base from which these projects developed. Cooperatives include, Cooperativa Mercado Central, Green Cleaning Cooperative, Agua Gorda Cooperative, Shared Ground Cooperative, HAFA farm, Wirth Grocery Co-op. (Governance, Marketing, Accounting and Finance, Communication)

Sociocracy: Governance for the New Economy – Jerry Koch-Gonzalez and Joe Garrison (206B)

Workshop: This participatory workshop introduces an egalitarian approach to decision making and organizational structure that is more inclusive than majority rule democracy and more efficient and scalable than traditional consensus. Sociocracy (also known as dynamic governance) is a form of decision making where everyone’s perspective is respected, every voice matters, and we collaborate to make a difference in the world. Come learn how this groundbreaking new way to run organizations and meetings can help you have more effective, enjoyable meetings; free up individual creativity and initiative; and streamline decision-making. (Governance, Communication)

Marketing the Cooperative Difference: Telling Your Story –  Joan Rutkowski and Erica Wagner (206A)

Learn how one co-op is using storytelling to set it apart from its competitors and to celebrate the cooperative business model. (Marketing, Communication)

3:30-4:00pm – Coffee Break
4:00-5:00pm – “Together We Can” – Keynote Address by David Thompson

5:00-7:00pm – Poster Session and Reception

5:30-6:45 – Silent AuctionHelp support next year’s Scholarship Fund!

7:00-9:00pm – Local Foods Dinner