Curriculum Developer

John R. Whitman, Ph.D. is Adjunct Professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and also teaches at the Kogod School of Business at American University. He was formerly Lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship at the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College and adjunct lecturer at the Harvard University Extension School. He has conducted extensive work in international environmental education and management, started and sold an international software tools company, and conducts research on cooperatives, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropic foundations, organizations that create both social and economic value. Dr. Whitman was raised in the U.S. Foreign Service and spent formative years in Norway, Israel, Pakistan, Egypt and Japan. His Ph.D. degree is in Adult Education and Community Development with an orientation in Political Economy and a specialization in Comparative, International and Development Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Dr. Whitman received the Michel Laferrière Research Award for best doctoral thesis in comparative and international education, awarded by the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada in 2008. He received his Ed.M. degree in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. His A.B. in Philosophy is from Boston University. He has published a book with the American Library Association, written book chapters on Social Entrepreneurship and on Education for the Social Economy, and authored several articles in peer-reviewed journals including Nonprofit Management & Leadership.

Section Authors

Molly Burress

Molly Burress, Ph.D. is Program Director for the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership at the University of Missouri. Her research concentrates on organizational economics, cooperatives, and entrepreneurship. Prior to joining the University of Missouri, Dr. Burress worked for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of International Cooperation and Development.

George Cheney

George Cheney (PhD, Purdue University, 1985) is Professor of Communication Studies at Kent State University. Also, he is an associate investigator with the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, at Kent State. Previously, he held faculty appointments at the universities of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Colorado at Boulder, Montana-Missoula, Utah, and Texas at Austin. George has lectured, taught, conducted research, and consulted in Europe, Latin America, and Australasia. His teaching and research interests include: identity at work and in organizations, employee participation and workplace democracy, globalization and consumerism, professional ethics, and discourses of peace and war. George has published nine books and over 100 articles, chapters, and reviews. George has consulted with organizations in all three major sectors. George has followed the Mondragon cooperatives in the Basque Country, Spain since 1992, and published a book, Values at Work (Cornell U Press, 1999, 2002), as well as a series of articles on their encounters with market globalization and their efforts to revitalize practices associated with their cores values of participation, equality, and solidarity. Currently, George is building on that work as well as collaborating on cooperative projects in several parts of the U.S., including Central Texas, Northeast Ohio, and Northern Arizona. As an engaged scholar and citizen, George is committed to service learning, community-based research, and the practical contributions of the social sciences and the humanities in addressing social, economic, and political problems.

Jessica Gordon Nembhard

Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College, CUNY, Affiliate Scholar at the Centre for the Study of Cooperatives at the University of Saskatchewan, and Affiliate Scholar at the Center on Race and Wealth at Howard University. She is a Political Economist with a specialty in community economics and cooperative economic development. Her research focuses on African American cooperatives and measuring the impact of cooperatives, particularly worker coops and credit unions, on communities. Her forthcoming book is titled, Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice.

Dr. Gordon Nembhard is co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative, the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy, and the US Solidarity Economy Network. She is a charter member of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the NY City Network of Worker Cooperatives, and a member of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and the Canadian Association for the Study of Cooperatives. She is a board member of the Association of Cooperative Educators, Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO Newsletter), Organizing Neighborhood Equity DC CDC, and several other organizations.

Ashley Hernandez

Ashley Hernandez is a cooperative consultant and enthusiast. She spent two and a half years working as a program coordinator for the Ohio Employee Ownership Center. While at the Center, Ashley designed and implemented leadership training for the worker owners at The Evergreen Cooperative Laundry; authored several case studies for the publication Solidarity as a Business Model; designed and co-wrote a feasibility study on manufactured home park cooperatives; and worked as a consultant for the multi-stake holder co-op Lake to River Cooperative. Ashley is currently an alternate board member for the Eastern Coordinating Committee for the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy and serves on the organization’s finance committee. In the fall of 2012 she plans to spend three months in Europe researching cooperative models in France.

Margaret Lund

Margaret Lund is an independent consultant specializing in the areas of community development finance and shared ownership strategies. Prior to launching her consulting practice in 2008, Ms. Lund spent 15 years as the Executive Director of the Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund (NCDF), a community loan fund and multi-faceted development organization for cooperatives of all sectors across the Upper Midwest. As part of her work at NCDF, she was a founder and president of the Northcountry Cooperative Federal Credit Union (NCDFU), a new community development credit union for housing cooperatives. Prior to joining NCDF, Ms. Lund spent two years with the National Center for Employee Ownership as the Director of International Projects, and also worked with the Cornell University-affiliated Program for Employment and Workplace Systems, an innovative worker-ownership and worker participation consulting firm.

Ms. Lund is a past member of the board of Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the leading national trade association for Community Development Financial Institutions and also of the National Cooperative Business Association, where she chaired a national task force on cooperative capital formation. Currently, she serves on the board of Health Partners, the largest consumer-governed healthcare organization in the United States and a leader in healthcare quality measures. Margaret is a nationally recognized expert in the field of cooperative development finance, and has been featured as a speaker, trainer and panelist for a wide range of organizations including the National Credit Union Administration, the Opportunity Finance Network, the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, the National Cooperative Business Association, the Consumer Cooperative Managers Association, the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Cooperation Works!, the Meredith Institute for Resident-Owned Communities, the Minnesota Council of Non- Profits, and the Minneapolis Urban League. She was awarded the Howard K. Bowers Cooperative Service award by the Consumer Cooperative Managers Association in 2008. Ms. Lund’s most recent publication is “Solidarity as a Business Model: A Multi-stakeholder Cooperative Manual” which is available to download for free from the website of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center

Nancy Pierce

Nancy Pierce, Ph.D., is the President of Tipton Research Group in Kansas City, Missouri, which provides research and consulting services to the credit union industry. She is a 25-year veteran of the credit union industry and served as president of Mazuma Credit Union in Kansas City and Chairwoman of both the Missouri Credit Union Association and the Credit Union National Association. Following her retirement from Mazuma Credit Union, Nancy received her Ph.D. in Consumer and Family Economics from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 2004. She is currently serving as a Field Coach for the National Credit Union Foundation’s REAL Solutions program. As such, she has worked in Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Missouri, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, and Oregon.

Nancy can be reached at The Tipton Research Group at (816) 532-4865 or

Sarah Pike

Sarah Pike is the Executive Administer of the Association of Cooperative Educators (ACE). ACE is a membership organization that brings together educators and cooperators across North America, representing several different cooperative sectors. The resulting cross-pollination of ideas enhances cooperative development, strengthens cooperatives, promotes professionalism, and improves public understand about co-operative, their role in the economy and the competitive advantage they offer. As the Executive Administrator, Sarah leads membership outreach and the planning efforts of the annual ACE Institute, a conference dedicated to highlighting innovative programs in cooperative education.
Sarah can be reached at ACE,

Judy Sullivan

Judy Sullivan is a Senior Policy Specialist at Van Ness Feldman, PC in Washington, DC. She provides policy implementation on federal, legislative, and regulatory issues. Her background includes expertise in energy, housing, tax and appropriations issues for energy and housing related clients and organizations. Ms. Sullivan has more than 25 years of experience providing strategy for public policy development and implementation of initiatives to energy and housing clients and associations. She has particular expertise in developing strategic coalition building, including developing grassroots initiatives and leading direct congressional, executive, and regulatory advocacy initiatives. She currently coordinates the firm’s natural gas regulatory, over-the-counter derivatives, and venture capital energy investment groups.

Ms. Sullivan also serves as the Director of Government Relations for the National Association of Housing Cooperatives (NAHC) and is responsible for researching and drafting legislative and regulatory policy issues. In addition, she develops action plans for legislative and regulatory policy positions, and establishes and coordinates successful grassroots initiatives. In this role, she also communicates association policy positions to Members of Congress, the executive and regulatory branches of government, coalitions, and the media through conferences, workshops, and direct representation. In 2010, Ms. Sullivan was chosen by NAHC to receive the Jerry Voorhis Memorial Award, the highest and most prestigious honor conferred by the organization, in recognition of her leadership and professionalism, which have allowed the association to establish a serious and respected presence in Washington.

Prior to joining Van Ness Feldman, Ms. Sullivan was a Government Relations Consultant to an energy cooperative in New York City from 1999 to 2005.

Case Authors

Christina Clamp

Christina Clamp, Ph.D. is an applied sociologist & professor of community sociology & community economic development who teaches both undergraduate and graduate students. She believes firmly in the importance of building practical linkages between the classroom & community. Her courses include research methods, social theory, project development & development of cooperatives. She serves on several boards. Her special areas of interest are experiential learning, community building, community development. (From; used without permission.)

Kathryn Strickland

Kathryn Strickland is Community Food Security Director at the North Alabama Food Bank in Huntsville, Alabama. She previously worked in sports marketing in Bozeman, Montana, where she founded a multi-sport women's racing team. In 1998 she converted the program into a non-profit public benefit corporation. In 1999, she became the first Executive Director of the Community Mediation Center in Bozeman.

Ms. Strickland then became the executive director of Living In Family Transition (LIFT) Housing in Huntsville, Alabama, managing affordable housing programs for homeless and low-income families. While at LIFT Housing, Ms. Strickland served on a Steering Committee convened by the Food Bank of North Alabama and the Terry Heights Hillandale Organization to assess the feasibility of a cooperative grocery within the Terry Heights Hillandale community.

Ms. Strickland is a graduate of Davidson College and received a Master's degree in clinical psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.

Equal Exchange

Rodney North is Equal Exchange’s Answer Man,
an employee-owner, and former Board member. Rodney serves as an all-purpose information resource for Equal Exchange staff and the public and is responsible for the co-operative's public relations. He has been with the co-op since 1996, is one of the co-op’s 95 worker-owners, and served six years on the Board of Directors. Equal Exchange is an employee-owned worker co-operative best known for their organic, Fair Trade, specialty coffee, tea and chocolate and for pioneering the Fair Trade food and beverage in the U.S. concept in the 1980’s. Equal Exchange also works with cooperatives of small-scale organic sugar, banana and almond farmers in Latin American and the United States. Today Equal Exchange is a $40 million operation with over 110 employees, spread over six offices and cafes from Boston to Seattle. They are both one of America's largest, most successful worker co-operatives and one of the largest importers of organic coffee. They have recently won multiple awards ( for their environmentally and socially responsible business practices from the Financial Times newspaper, Fast Company magazine, and others and have been named one of the World’s Most Democratic Workplaces for four years in a row.

In addition to supporting the creation of this cooperative curriculum, Equal Exchange has also sponsored the development a curriculum for children in grades 4 through 9 (Benander, 2007). Called Win Win Solutions: An Introduction to Fair Trade and Cooperative Economics, this curriculum is downloadable at, where you click on “Educational Resources.”


Many people have generously provided invaluable ideas, suggestions, comments, readings, syllabi, materials, links, and other resources that have contributed to the curriculum, making the curriculum itself a truly cooperative product. We wish specifically to thank the following individuals and apologize for neglecting to include the names of others, to whom we are equally grateful: Liz Bailey, Margaret Bau, Larry Blanchard, Thomas Carter, Christina Clamp, Cheryl Conner, Erbin Crowell, Aaron Dawson, David Ellerman, Donald Frederick, Noémi Giszpenc, José González-Torres, Mary Griffin, Melissa Hoover, Jim Johnson, Lois Kitsch, Michael Leung, Terry Lewis, Margaret Lund, Ian MacPherson, Andrew McLeod, Roy Messing, Rodney North, Nancy Pierce, Sarah Pike, Robin Puga, Jack Quarter, Kathryn Strickland, Martin van den Borre, Brian van Slyke, and Tom Webb. In addition, Jorge Mas Saavedra provided extensive assistance in researching the cooperative community in his homeland of Puerto Rico.