2012 Summit Schedule

2012 Summit Schedule

10:30am – 11:25am Opening Speaker

The Big Picture: The Cleveland Evergreen Model and Community Wealth Building

Steve Dubb, The Democracy Collaborative

Steve Dubb is Research Director of The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland and has worked for the Collaborative since 2004. Dubb is the principal author of Linking Colleges to Communities: Engaging the University for Community Development (2007) and Building Wealth: The New Asset-Based Approach to Solving Social and Economic Problems, published by The Aspen Institute in 2005. In 2010, Dubb coauthored a number of reports, including The Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads (with Rita Axelroth) and Growing a Green Economy for All: From Green Jobs to Green Ownership(with Deborah Warren). Dubb also (with Ted Howard) conducted the initial strategic planning that led to the development of the Evergreen Cooperative initiative in Cleveland, Ohio and currently assists efforts to adopt that model to meet the needs of other cities.

Previously, Dubb was Executive Director of the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO), a U.S. and Canadian nonprofit association that provides education and technical assistance to university and community-based housing and retail cooperatives. Dubb received his Masters and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego and his Bachelor’s in Economics (with honors) and Spanish from the University of California, Berkeley.

11:30am – 12:25am (option a)

The Story of Local Cooperatives

Ron Eherenreich, Cooperative Federal Credit Union
Travis Hance, Syracuse Real Foods Co-op
Naqia Edwards, Eat to Live Food Coop

Ron Ehrenreich is CEO of Cooperative Federal, a community development credit union serving Syracuse. He is responsible for financial management, strategic planning, policy development, and executive oversight. Ron is President of the CNY Chapter of the Credit Union Association and is engaged in community revitalization, business development, and social change. He teaches workshops on business topics.

Travis got his start in the cooperative sector in 1999, working at the Syracuse Real Food Cooperative, where he has served as General Manager for four years. In his career, Travis has had many opportunities to travel and see other co-ops in action, and he has been humbled to work with a great many helpful mentors, as well as being afforded the opportunity to help other co-op leaders grow and develop themselves. Travis is also a director aof the Cooperative Grocer’s Information Network (CGIN.coop) a non-profit 501(c)6 organization who’s mission is: To strengthen all retail food cooperatives by creating community and facilitating the sharing and development of resources among members.

Naqia Edwards is a wife, mother of five (5), is the Board president of the Eat To Love Food Coop – currently preparing for ground breaking in April and planning to open the doors in October 2012. They are currently working on membership and marketing materials (ie, website and member packet).  Naqia is also the founder of Nappy Logic, Inc. established in 2003 as a grassroots community- based social enterprise devoted to empowering youth to be successful in society by providing opportunities to learn and earn. Nappy Logic provides direct services to many inner-city youth through programs, advocacy, and research.  Through Nappy Logic programs and projects, such as financial literacy and anger exploration; Naqia focuses on addressing the needs of participants by increasing public awareness of the obstacles and challenges our young people face, such as poverty, lack of education, crime, and drugs. Naqia makes educational excellence and economic empowerment key components for achieving success. Naqia has recently collaborated with B.O.S.S. (Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency) to create Gang Green®, an urban cooperative ecology program that focuses on sustainable growth and development within inner-city neighborhoods.


11:30am – 12:25pm (option b)

How to Legally Start a Cooperative

Deborah Kenn, Syracuse University College of Law
Jason Hirata, Syracuse University College of Law

Professor Deborah Kenn is a Professor of Law and Associate Dean of Clinical and Experiential Education at Syracuse University College of Law. She is Director of the College of Law’s Office of Clinical Legal Education and directs the Community Development Law Clinic. Established in 1988, the clinic is one of the oldest law school clinics nationwide that provides students the opportunity to represent not-for-profit community organizations and for-profit entities involved in community economic development in low wealth neighborhoods. Before joining the College of Law faculty in 1989, Professor Kenn practiced environmental law and poverty law.

Jason Hirata is a third-year student at the Syracuse University College of Law, where he is a student attorney in the Community Development Law Clinic, working with not-for-profit and for-profit corporations. Both before and during law school, Jason has worked with in-house counsel at various not-for-profits, public agencies, and private land trusts in the areas of complex civil litigation, acquisitions and dispositions, commercial real estate development, and a variety of commercial and conservational leasing transactions.

2:00pm – 2:50pm (option a)

Observations on Successful Cooperatives

Brian Henehan, Cornell Cooperative Enterprise Program

Brian Henehan is a senior extension associate and program leader of the Cooperative Enterprise Program at Cornell University. He is responsible for developing and delivering an educational program for senior management, directors, members, and staff of cooperative businesses. He conducts applied research on cooperative organizational behavior, marketing, and decision making.


He received national recognition in 1995 for his work in cooperative education from the National Committee for Cooperative Month. He serves as secretary of the Northeast Cooperative Council, a nonprofit organization serving rural cooperatives from across New York and New England. Over twenty cooperatives belong to the Council, including marketing, supply, credit, service, insurance, and utility cooperatives. His international experience includes work with USAID and Land O’ Lakes International Division.

2:00pm – 2:50pm (option b)

How Worker Cooperatives Work

Joe Marraffino, Democracy at Work Network
Kim Pinkham, Pioneer Valley Photovoltaic

Joe Marraffino is a cooperative organizer and co-founder of the Democracy at Work Network. For 7 years Joe was a worker-owner at the Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives in California, one of the nation’s largest and most successful worker cooperative enterprises, with over 160 worker-members and a combined annual income of over $15 million, where he provided financial, organizational, and industry-specific assistance to an associated network of six worker-owned businesses.  Joe co-launched two new cooperative businesses in 2010, one of which was recognized by declaration of the Mayor of San Francisco as having positive benefits to workers and the community.  Arizmendi Association workplaces have also received awards from a local union for employee quality of life, from the city for environmental commitment, and from the press for quality of their products.  While on the board of the Arizmendi Association, Joe also served on the first elected board of the Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives, with a membership of 40 businesses,  and on the board of the California Center for Cooperative Development.  Joe has hosted and facilitated workshops on worker cooperatives at a national level in California, New York, Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Maryland.  He runs a worker cooperative news sources at www.american.coop.

Kim Pinkham is founding Worker Owner of Pioneer Valley PhotoVoltaics Cooperative, or PV Squared. PV Squared is a licensed electrical contractor specializing in renewable energy installations, particularly solar electric systems. Kim had never heard of worker cooperatives until she was conveniently unemployed when PV Squared was forming. She is a graduate of UMASS Amherst, with a degree in Plant Ecology and Horticulture and enjoys riding her Optibike whenever possible.

3:00pm – 3:50pm (option a)

Transitioning to a Cooperative – Two Bookstore Case Studies

Bob Proehl, Buffalo Street Books
Hannah Dobbz, The Big Idea Bookstore

Bob Proehl is the Director of Operations for Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca and is on the board of directors for the Buffalo Street Cooperative. In April of last year, he spearheaded the effort to convert Buffalo Street Books into a community-owned cooperative, organizing over 600 community members in a community buy out.

Hannah Dobbz has worked with the Big Idea Bookstore for over three years and has been a major player in the business’ restructuring and transition into a formal cooperative. She also works with the International Year of Cooperatives Pittsburgh Organizing Committee (IYCPOC) to advocate, educate, and celebrate cooperatives in Western PA during the IYC. Hannah is the author of the forthcoming book Nine-Tenths of the Law: Property and Resistance in the United States on AK Press in Fall 2012, which in part examines cooperatives as an equitable ownership alternative.

3:00pm – 3:50pm (option b)

Rochdale Principle Six: Cooperatives Developing More Cooperatives

Howie Hawkins, South Side Community Coalition
Elizabeth Friedrich, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions

Howie Hawkins has lived on South Side since moving to Syracuse in 1991, where he has been active in the community on many issues. Howie was active in the campaigns to establish a Citizens Review Board in the 1990s and the Living Wage Ordinance in the 2000s. He was a supporter of the now much-missed South Side Newsstand. Currently a board member of the Southside Community Coalition, Howie also serves on the board of the Southside Food Cooperative, which is planning to open a consumer-owned grocery store on south Salina Street.

Elizabeth Friedrich is coordinator of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions’ “Building a Cooperative City” efforts in New York City.  She has also been active with Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy the Financial System teach-in.

4pm – 5pm

Closing Performance by DREAM FREEDOM REVIVAL

Started by Kevin Bott (PhD, applied and political theatre) in Syracuse, NY, during the long, cold winter of 2011, as a response to the increasingly woeful state of political discourse and the seeming impotence and voicelessness of “the people,” the D.R.E.A.M. Freedom Revival is a secular, participatory tent revival dedicated to modeling the democracy and freedom it advocates for, and to creating and performing excellent original music as an invitation to deeper discussions and action about the local issues that affect people’s lives.

Ongoing all day

Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives

Play an exciting and creative board game designed for the growing cooperative movement that is an innovative way for aspiring and existing cooperators, as well as other interested parties, to discover co-ops and practice cooperation.