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.
Eric Bowman: Cooperative Development Specialist
Eric provides development support to cooperatively owned businesses. His role has included conducting feasibility analysis, facilitating strategic planning, developing pro forma financial projections and leading business planning. Generally, he advises and provides technical assistance to boards forming a co-op venture. Also, he provides management consulting to existing co-ops ranging from business analysis to executive recruitment. His focus has been on small ag and natural resources but also has worked on projects in commercial real estate, finance and retail. His agricultural co-op clients have included cattle producer co-ops, an irrigation co-op, a land leasing co-op, apple producer co-op, seed growers and a multi-farm CSA.
He’s the Board Chair of the Tulip Credit Union. As an extremely small financial institution, the credit union relies on Eric for multiyear financial planning and he’s brokered and conducted due diligence on investments. Eric earned a Bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College. His background includes owning a microbusiness, and ag education and animal husbandry for an agritourism operation.
Teresa Young: Organizational Development Specialist
Teresa joined the Center in 2005 after she facilitated NWCDC’s strategic visioning process as her thesis project for a Master’s program at the Leadership Institute of Seattle. She assists with group facilitation, strategic planning, cooperative education and training, visioning and leadership development.
Ben Dryfoos-Guss: Manufactured Housing Program Manager
Ben joined the Center in 2006 after a year-long internship in co-op development with 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.
Meredith Rafferty: Cooperative Development Specialist
Meredith has 20 years of experience with improving business operations for purchasing, distribution, information systems and financial management. Her recent experience is with internet-based co-ops which market and sell local foods online and with home care cooperatives owned by the Certified Nursing Assistants serving people in their homes. She is past chairperson and board director of the Washington State Employees Credit Union with a membership of over 100,000. She received a Master in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.