1) Please tell us about your current co-op involvement. Name(s) of co-op(s) you belong to. How long you’ve been a member? Weavers Way Coop; 4 years. I am also cofounder of an organization called Educational Ecologies Collaborative, a group of educators, activists, and artists rethinking (higher) education in the context of the climate crisis. I have lived in cooperative housing and been involved with coops of various kinds (on and off) for nearly 30 years.
2) What roles have you served in co-ops, nonprofits, or other membership organizations (Board, staff, etc.)?
I have been on several boards, co-founded several organizations, steering committees, and I have acted as an outside organizational consultant.
3) Why are cooperatives important to you and to the Philadelphia area?
Cooperatives are key sites for creating just human economies, where profits and decision making stay local, where participatory democracy can come alive. Cooperatives in Philadelphia help imagine and enact just ecological green futures. Coops bring possibilities of community into daily life, providing spaces of economic exchange built on solidarity and on alternatives to dominant forms of extractive capitalism.
4) Please check the following areas in which you have experience:
- Group process and decision-making
- Meeting facilitation
- Public speaking
- Strategic planning
- Project management
- Nonprofit organization experience
- Volunteer programs
- Past or present participation on a board of directors
5) How will your experience, skills or unique perspectives strengthen the PACA Board?
I have worked in many different kinds of organizations and consider myself an “organization geek.” That is I love learning about how organizations function and how to improve collaboration. I have extensive collaborations throughout Philly with community environmental organizations and have been working to link my own institution (Haverford College) in support of their work. I also worked for the Center for New Economics, which gave me experience on local currencies and land trusts.
6) Where do you see PACA in 5 years?
I see PACA as a model municipal-level alliance of cooperatives, engaged in multi-sectoral work, and connecting to national and international movements. I see cooperative education as increasingly integrated into schools (primary, secondary, and college), and increasingly connected to climate justice movements. As we all know, this is a critical time (like any time—but even more so), and cooperatives have an essential role to place.
7) As you think about the three primary board roles—ambassador, advocate, and asker—in which role(s) do you think you will want to be most active?
I think I would be most active as ambassador and asker. I enjoy reaching out to other organizations and making connections.