Cooperative Leadership Institute 2016 Cohort

The Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance is excited to announce the selection of fourteen cooperative leaders for our inaugural Cooperative Leadership Institute (CLI) cohort. Over the course of this six month program, area leaders will develop their leadership capacity, learn skills in participatory management, and build long-lasting relationships across co-op sectors.

The 2016 CLI roster includes leaders from nine different cooperatives with a mix of consumer and worker cooperatives. The cohort represents a diversity of  backgrounds and experiences, but all share an enthusiasm to learn new skills to grow and sustain their co-ops.

Meet the 2016 CLI cohort:


Andrea Haines was recently promoted to Store Manager of Doylestown Food Co-op. She fell in love with the cooperative movement when she started at Weavers Way in 2011, and there’s nothing she’d rather be doing.  As a food co-op, we have an opportunity to shape and build a sustainable food system for the future by supporting our local farmers and producers, and that is an amazing thing to be a part of.  She takes great pride in developing the product criteria at our co-op, and knowing that our shoppers can choose any item in the store, know where it came from, and feel good about the ingredients. Off the clock, Andrea enjoys playing guitar and ukulele, coloring, cooking, hiking, traveling, and watching a good (or totally terrible) movie with a glass of wine.

Christopher Johnson is a Haitian-American cooperator and musician living and working in Philadelphia. They come from 6+years of experience in retail food cooperatives, working in a variety of capacities. Having spent much time in North Carolina at the Greenleaf Coffee Coop and Deep Roots Market, they were first introduced to, and fell in love with, alternative models of business and the importance of prioritizing community above the individual. They adhere to the resistance of capitalism at every possible opportunity, strive to be exceptionally decent to others always, and enjoy learning important life lessons from feline companions. Christopher is excited to participate in the Cooperative Leadership Institute in an attempt to approach the many challenges faced by Mariposa Food Coop in a thoughtful and engaging way, as well as to share the perspectives that they’ve gained from working in such a uniquely connected collective.

Claire Pope has been a member of the Rad Dish Co-op Cafe since the fall of 2014. Rad Dish officially opened on February 5, 2015, and is the first and only student-run food cooperative in Pennsylvania. Currently Claire acts as the co-head of Human Resources for the co-op where she is responsible for interviewing, hiring and training employees, writing policies for the cafe and the co-op, and organizing events aimed at member engagement, professional development, and self-care. In addition to her responsibilities at the Rad Dish Co-Op, she is a student at Temple University where she studies social work and works at Temple’s Office of Sustainability. As a future social worker, she takes special interest in any and all issues that affect the communities around her. When she’s not in class or at Rad Dish, Claire spends her free time drinking coffee, volunteering, listening to music, getting emotional about plants, and re-watching Parks and Recreation.

Danielle Swain has worked at Weavers Way Co-op for two years. Last October, she moved in to a HR role from the retail sector. Having previously worked at a financial firm, Danielle was responsible for certain HR functions, but this is her first full-time HR job and her first leadership position. Danielle’s goal for the CLI is to gain the knowledge to best serve Weavers Way by building awareness of her own decision-making and communication styles.

David Morgan has long been involved with social movements—from public space activism to anti-poverty work—that make use of the kind of everyday democracy that is at the core of his work at the Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA). He is a cooperative practitioner who promotes democratic ownership and a cooperative economy through organizing, education, and research. TESA partners with a wide array of organizations to help them implement democratic education techniques in their social justice work. As TESA’s Director of Community and Movement Building Collaborations, David coordinates strategic partnerships. He and his fellow worker-owners were awarded the 2015 William Hlushko Award to Young Cooperative Educators. David was elected to the board of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives in 2014 and convenes the member-led committee on policy and advocacy. He is also a board member of the Data Commons Cooperative since 2013.

Julia Eddy is a perpetual student of the world. She enjoys learning about how stuff works (and doesn’t work), making lists, and facilitating meetings. For most of her employment herstory, she has been a leader in non-profit administrative operations – technology systems and support, data management, quality improvement, human resources and customer satisfaction. In the past, she has collectively organized around communal living, starting new cooperative businesses, studying whiteness and systemic racism, and running an emergency food production site. It is a life’s passion of hers to be a worker owner and see cooperatives flourish; building an economy that values people and the earth. After several years of seeking and wishing on stars for a place in all that, Julia is proud to say she now works at a small property management company in Washington DC, Oakes Management, that is converting to a worker-owned cooperative. In her free time, Julia likes listening to stories and futzing around the house with DIY projects – herbal medicine, beer, clothes, and edible art.

Lindsay Bradley is a member-owner and general manager at W/N W/N Coffee Bar Cooperative, a collectively run coffee shop, bar, and restaurant. Lindsay has worked in restaurant management since 2012 and has been an anti-oppression activist most of her life. W/N W/N has been an experiment in merging her political and professional work by using her management and leadership skills and creative energy to develop a cooperative that holds the principle that responsible and sustainable use of resources, a commitment to community engagement, and just economic relationships are not exclusive with the development of a successful business. She believes that building the solidarity economy through cooperation is a form of political resistance to a capitalist economy that exploits and ignores marginalized groups of people. She continues to work as an activist for racial and economic equality and environmental justice with the Philly Thrive Right to Breathe Campaign as well as participating in her local economy as an active member of Mariposa Food Co-op. She lives in West Philly with friends and an amazing dog.

Liz Gross is the Store Supplies Buyer and Manager on Duty at Mariposa Food Co-op.

Mary Ann Anisiewski has been with Childspace since 2009 as the assistant to the Chief Financial Officer, providing support for all three Childspace Daycare Centers. Mary Ann is a member of the Worker Co-op and was just elected the Vice President of the Co-op in 2015, and is also a member of the Personnel and Finance committees. With the support of Childspace, she is currently pursuing a degree in accounting. She lives in South Philly with her 5 cats and her hobbies are going to the movies and concerts. Mary Ann also volunteers with an organization that feeds feral cat colonies in various parts of the city.

Meg Carol began her co-op career at Mariposa Food Co-op in September of 2013 after moving to the neighborhood from Bowling Green, Ohio. Starting as a cashier, she quickly advanced into the role of Manager On Duty and took on part-time work in the Finance Department. Meg’s dedication to the department lead to a full-time position as Finance Support Specialist. She is excited for the opportunity to be a part of the growing cooperative movement in Philadelphia. When not co-operating she enjoys being outside with her dog Max, frequent visits with Ohio friends, exploring the city, and new baking adventures.

Mike Richards is currently the operations manager at Creekside Food Coop in Elkins Park, PA. He started three years ago with the co-op as the Meat and Seafood Manager and has transitioned into becoming the Operations Manager in July. Before coming to the co-op Mike spent the previous 17 years working for Whole Foods Market.  He worked in almost every department in the store and has worked in seven different Whole Foods locations in three different states. Mike is married and has two children, a dog and a turtle. He really enjoys his work and is looking forward to growing and learning through this process.

Rocky Font-Soloway is excited to be a part of the first cohort of PACA’s CLI!  She is currently the Facilities Coordinator at Mariposa Food Coop in West Philly.  She started her co-op work experience with 4 years at Oberlin Student Cooperative Association cooking in a cooperative dining coop.  After that, Rocky took a stab at some farming, cooking/baking, and construction, which has all brought her to where she is now. Mariposa  was founded in 1971 and opened up in a new larger space in 2012.  They have a membership of over 2,000 people and growing!  She is excited to network with various other co-ops in Philadelphia to help support the changes Mariposa is experiencing as they settle into the larger location on Baltimore Ave.

Rosie Glade is a recent Philly transplant from Utah.  Her education and experience in Ethnic Studies, community organizing, and poetry have led her to find a happy home at W/N W/N where she can engage in critical thinking, community dialogue, and artistic expression.  W/N W/N is a worker cooperative cafe and bar on Spring Garden that sources the majority of its food and drinks from local farms and businesses.  W/N W/N also hosts awesome art shows visually, musically, and literarily.  Rosie is passionate about contributing to the solidarity economy and loves her customers and coworkers because of the globally conscious and radical discussions and events that happen all the time.  Rosie also runs a book club that reads trailblazing writers of color and participates in Get Lucid! a local artist activist collective.