A strong team of Cooperative Development Practitioners is ready to assist you. Skills specific to start-up and organizational business development include: feasibility research, business planning, financial management, communications, strategic planning and group facilitation.

All Center work is guided by the Madison Principles, professional standards set and agreed upon by co-op development leaders.

Diane Gasaway: Executive Director

Diane joined the Center in 2003 and together with the NWCDC Board of Directors has been responsible for building the Center into what it is today. Her specialty is in strategic planning, co-op education, co-op development, grant administration, and budget management for a multitude of projects. Diane has 13 years of experience in the financial services industry. She received a Master of Public Administration (with a co-op emphasis) from The Evergreen State College.

Ben Dryfoos-Guss: Manufactured Housing Program Manager

Ben joined the Center in 2006 after a year-long internship in co-op development with the The Evergreen State College. He values the core co-op identity, and sees a strong future for the co-op movement. Ben has provided valuable research support and administration to many of the Center’s projects. He is currently the Editor of the Center’s Connections newsletter. He’s Board Chair of South of Sound Community Farm Land Trust. He is focused on shared equity housing and specifically works in resident-owned, manufactured home communities and community land trusts. Ben also operates a freelance photography business, assisting community organizations become more sustainable by visually telling their stories.

John McNamara: Cooperative Development Specialist

John has 26 years of practical experience in the worker cooperative world with Union Cab of Madison where he served as a director for eight years and in management for over twelve (including General Manager). He has experience in marketing and strategic planning, governance models and human resources. John earned a Masters in Management: Cooperative and Credit Unions from Saint Mary’s University (Halifax) in 2010 and currently is PhD Candidate in Business Administration (Management) whose dissertation examines the burgeoning “union-coops” model of worker ownership. John is a founding member of the Democracy at Work Network and serves on its Board of Governors. He teaches a summer course on worker cooperatives along with being part of the faculty team for the first year core courses in the Masters of Public Administration at The Evergreen State College. In 2015, John helped edited a collection of essays on measuring co-operatives. It is available as a e-book at no cost from the Cooperative Difference.

Deborah Craig: Cooperative Development Specialist

Deborah Craig joined the NWCDC in 2014. Deborah has over 20 years of experience in cooperative management, specializing in Human Resources in the Food Co-op and Home Care Co-op industries. She has a Master’s degree from Western Washington University and is a peer adviser with the Democracy at Work Network. Deborah is also part of the first cohort of Democracy at Work Institute’s Fellows.

Daniel Luis Arrañaga: Cooperative Development Specialist

Daniel has 7 years experience working in the non-profit sector and was a co-founder and chair for a start up food co-op in Eastern Washington. Daniel spent over a year in West Africa (Liberia & Côte d’Ivoire) as Assistant Director for an International NGO, the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (WCF), and now serves on the board of directors for the US Representation of WCF. Daniel brings with him much needed bilingual skills for working with Hispanic communities in Washington State.

Matt Fast: Cooperative Development Specialist

Matt has an MBA in Sustainable Business from Pinchot University (formerly Bainbridge Graduate Institute). He joined NWCDC in the fall of 2014 and works primarily with the Resident Owned Community project (ROCNorthWest).

Sam Green: Cooperative Development Specialist

Sam works primarily with the ROC Northwest program assisting resident owned communities with the governance of their cooperatives. Sam is a graduate of The Evergreen State College.

Bob DavisCooperative Development Specialist

Bob views himself as a Midwesterner with a global perspective: a listener, questioner; with an eclectic approach and focused analysis; he seeks collaborative solutions though participatory decision-making; he is easy going, a story teller, curious, and challenges assumptions; he stands in awe of the universe, loves his family and friends; honors his weaknesses and strengths and tries to live in the moment.

Bob has organized co-ops and unions, lived in co-op housing, and served on co-op and community boards. He trained and worked as a chef in the UK, India, and Australia and owned and operated a country inn in the Columbia River Gorge.

Bob has honed his skills in co-op development, formal consensus decision-making, board governance, anti-oppression training, worker self-management, and open space technology. Bob is a professional member of the Democracy At Work Network.


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407 4th Ave E #201
Olympia, WA 98501
(360) 943-4241

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