2016 Summit Agenda

New York Cooperative Network Network Gathering Agenda | July 8, 2016

9:30 am-10:00 am Welcome and Sharing

Introductions and expectations.

This will be led by Meagan Weatherby of Cooperative Federal, a community development credit union. We will be looking for all of our participants to briefly identify their interests in this network gathering, as well as their affiliations with NYS cooperatives, if any. We are looking to determine who is in the room, what NYS cooperative or cooperative-to-be they are associated with, and any past experience with Cooperative Business Associations (CBAs) in general or NY Cooperative Network in particular. Be ready to tell us what you hope to get from the day and/or from the NY Cooperative Network.

10:00 am-10:15 am Aspiration

What “Cooperation Among Cooperatives” can mean in practice

This will be presented by Frank Cetera, an active cooperator from Syracuse, and also a cooperative developer in his role as a Business Development Counselor with the Onondaga County Small Business Development Center. Frank has been a stalwart in promoting the development of the New York Cooperative Network over the years.

10:15 am-10:45 am Incorporating New York Cooperative Network

Recommendations based on legal research conducted by the Community Development Law Clinic at Syracuse University

This session will be moderated by Krys Cail, a cooperative developer in upstate New York and Coordinator of the Network Gathering for NY Cooperative Network. We will begin with presentation of the legal memos prepared for New York Cooperative Network by our Student Attorneys. This will be followed by questions and answers on the legal research done to clarify what forms of incorporation might best suit us, as we go forward to formalize our network, and a facilitated discussion. Deborah Kenn, a professor of Law at the Syracuse University College of Law, will join us via Skype to help answer questions. Jonathan Johnson, a Buffalo-area attorney that represents cooperatives, will help us with the discussion of the options presented.

10:15 am-10:45 am Break

11:00 am-12:00 pm Working for State-level Policy Change

Opportunity for collaboration with the New York State Sustainable Business Council.

Presentation on the possibility of joining the NYSSBC, a policy advocacy “network of networks” advocating in Albany for, among other things, cooperative development and changes to workers’ compensation laws to better meet the needs of cooperatives. Introductions by Meagan Weatherby; Panel presentation on the work of the NYSSBC featuring Andrew Delmonte, and Bob Rossi, two active members.

12:00 pm-12:45 pm Morning Feedback & Reflection

Small group discussions: why we are here and where we are going as a network. Wrap-up with reports from each group.

Individual small group discussions facilitated by NY Cooperative Network steering committee members. Facilitated by Krys Cail.

12:45 pm-1:45 pm Networking Lunch

Network with other NY Cooperative Network members, strengthen bonds, find ways to collaborate and share stories.

1:45 pm-2:45 pm Afternoon Breakout Sessions & Report Back

  • Sponsoring Community-based Solar Installations | Policy change brings new opportunities in NYS for existing cooperatives and new ones to sponsor community-scale solar (and other renewable energy) installations for their members’ homes, businesses, or farms. Learn about how community distributed generation can be accessible to all the community—including those who rent homes and low and moderate income families—for less money than currently spent for utility-provided electricity. Facilitated by Krys Cail and Adam Schwartz.
  • So, You Want to Start a New Cooperative? | At our Cooperative Summit events in the past, a subset of the attendees present were in the process of considering formation of a cooperative, and were looking for resources and assistance. This break-out session will be led by seasoned worker cooperative developers from the Brooklyn-based Center for Family Life, Krystyna Soljan and Rachel Isreeli. They will briefly present their co-op development model, introduce some other cooperative development programs operating in NYS, and also facilitate a group discussion focused on the cooperative development goals of the attendees and what resources might help them to meet those goals.
  • Moving the NY Cooperative Network Forward |This is the small group that will flesh out ideas for making our Network’s goals real. Potential steering committee members, and those with good ideas for strategy, can get to work with steering committee members Meagan Weatherby and Frank Cetera facilitating.

2:45 pm-3:15 pm “How We Did It In Our State:” CBA Models

Presentation of other models for cooperation among cooperatives on a regional or statewide basis.

We will be looking to many of our attendees to inform us of the other organizations that promote the sixth principle of cooperation, how they are organized, and what they do. Our steering committee members will discuss some of the organizations they have researched—please bring your own researched or experienced contribution. Andrew Delmonte will facilitate.

3:15 pm-3:45 pm Break

3:45 pm-4:45 pm Decision-crafting Time

World Cafe style discussion of our organizational form, formation of Steering Committee, and incorporation.

Round-robin conversation on how to reach the next steps of working together as a network, followed by report-outs and an attempt to enunciate common goals. Facilitated by Frank Cetera and Adam Schwartz.

4:45 pm -5:30 pm Closing & Evaluation

Speaker Bios:

Krys Cail is a cooperative development consultant specializing in rural development. She consults with Cooperative Development Institute, and DE Squared, (“distributed energy, distributed equity”), which specializes in financing and developing community distributed electricity generation. Additionally, she is Treasurer of GreenStar Cooperative Market, a food co-op in Ithaca, NY, grossing nearly $20 million in sales annually, which just installed the largest solar array at a food co-op in the US.

Frank Raymond Cetera has 15 years working with sustainable systems, non-profit business management, and cooperative business entities. Frank provides business counseling, training and assists businesses with obtaining Green certification for their operations through third-party organizations. Frank is a member of the Near West Side Initiative’s Business Association, Bitternut Housing Collective, the Syracuse Real Food Co-op, the Eat-To-Live food co-op, and a Board Member of Cooperative Federal Credit Union.

Andrew Delmonte assists cooperatives, Benefit Corporations, and other small businesses with planning and management decisions as a Business Advisor and coordinator of the Social Enterprise Center, a project of the Small Business Development Center at SUNY Buffalo State. Andrew is a founder of Cooperation Buffalo, a project that mobilizes workers to achieve economic security through cooperative business ownership, generating wealth and power in communities most affected by inequality. Andrew organizes and advocates for sustainable, socially conscious, and community-owned businesses as President of Buffalo First! and as a member of the Leadership Team of the New York State Sustainable Business Council.

Jonathan Johnsen is an Attorney with Creghton, Johnsen and Giroux, where practices labor law. He also advises and represents groups and individuals in community economic development matters, including counseling and assistance with regard to cooperative corporations, not-for-profit corporations and alternative business structures. Mr. Johnsen is a past President of the Board of Directors of the Lexington Cooperative Market and currently serves as the President of the Buffalo Cooperative Federal Credit Union. He is also a member of the Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra.

Deborah Kenn is a Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law and serves as the Associate Dean of Clinical and Experiential Education. She has been teaching the Community Development Law Clinic for 27 years, supervising students representing not-for-profit corporations, start-up businesses, and cooperative corporations.

Reba Plummer has been a member of the co-operative world since joining Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-op in 2000. In 2010 she joined the board of CWCF (Canadian Worker Co-op Federation) and in 2016 she became the GTA Co-op Network Regional Manager

Bob Rossi is an active member of the New York State Sustainable Business Council and is the founder and director of the CommonSpot, a coworking space and social enterprise incubator in Ithaca, NY. Formerly, Bob served as director of the Sustainable Enterprise & Entrepreneur Network. Bob is passionate about connecting people, building community, and supporting entrepreneurship rooted in human rights and environmental sustainability.

Adam Schwartz is a nationally recognized leader in the U.S. cooperative movement for his work on creating a cooperative culture at organizations. Adam’s passion is to help co-ops succeed through using the co-op principles and values as a strategic advantage in the marketplace. He works with cooperatives from all sectors to help create a more cooperative economy.

Meagan Weatherby works with Cooperative Federal, a community development credit union in Syracuse, NY. For 11 years, she has directed grants management, program sustainability, and communications for the credit union. She is also President of the Board of Directors for the Syracuse Real Food Co-op, and serves as an advisor to the start-up Eat to Live Food Cooperative.