NWCDC has a strong team of Cooperative Development Practitioners ready to assist you and your cooperative. Skills specific to start-up and organizational business development include feasibility research, business planning, financial management, dynamic governance (Sociocracy), accountability models, governance training, 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.
Victoria O’Banion: Marketing and Acquisitions Specialist
Victoria recently joined Northwest Cooperative Development Center and serves as the marketing and acquisitions specialist for ROC Northwest. Victoria brings with her nearly seven years of project and program management experience with Rebuilding Together, most recently as the Senior Director, National Programs and Strategic Partnerships. Victoria is well versed in the affordable housing arena and has experience in worker and consumer cooperatives. She lives in Spokane with her husband, two dogs, and six chickens.
Sam Green: Financial Officer
Sam joined NWCDC in 2014 as a volunteer becoming a staff with the Resident Owned Community program in 2015. After several years as marketing and acquisition specialist Sam moved into his current position as Financial Officer. He manages grant applications, the center’s bookkeeping, and efforts to establish NWCDC as a Community Development Financial Institution. Sam is a graduate of The Evergreen State College and working towards becoming a CPA.
Dr. John A. McNamara: Senior Cooperative Development Specialist
John joined NWCDC in the Spring of 2014. John has 26 years of practical experience in the worker cooperative world with Union Cab of Madison. John holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration and a Masters in Management: Cooperative and Credit Unions from Saint Mary’s University (Halifax) and now teaches in the Masters program as part-time faculty. As a student researcher, he assisted in the development of the Co-op Index Report, a tool for measuring co-ops against the values and principles of cooperation. He taught a summer course on worker cooperatives at The Evergreen State College (2014-2018) and at Presidio Graduate School in their Cooperative Management Certificate and co-edited a collection of essays on measuring co-operatives available as an e-book at no cost from the Cooperative Difference. John also serves as Chair of the Union-Coops Council of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives.
Deborah Craig: Cooperative Development Specialist
Deborah Craig joined the NWCDC in the Spring of 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. In addition to working with NWCDC, Deborah serves as a peer adviser with the Democracy at Work Network. Deborah is also part of the first cohort of Democracy at Work Institute’s Fellows. Deborah specializes in home care/caregiver cooperatives as well as working with the ROC Northwest program.
Cristina Klatovsky: Cooperative Development Specialist
Critstina joined NWCDC at the beginning of March 2018. She works out of Yakima, WA, and primarily covers the Eastern Washington service area for the ROCNW program. She brings to NWCDC over 20 years of experience training diverse groups in shared governance, program management, and conducting extensive community outreach throughout the area. Cristina is passionate about community engagement, facilitating training and presentations. As a certified Spanish/English Interpreter, she is committed to assuring the opportunity to participate for all regardless of language. Cristina has hit the ground running, falling in love with every community she visits and looks forward to every bit of it.
Fred Medlicott: Cooperative Development Specialist
Fred volunteered for NWCDC as an intern in the fall of 2017 and joined the staff in June 2018. Fred finished his Bachelor’s at The Evergreen State College and joined the 2019 cohort for the Masters in Management: Cooperatives and Credit Unions program at Saint Mary’s University. He works primarily in the ROC NW program but also provides other cooperative development support as needed.
Sascha Fischel-Freeman: Cooperative Development Specialist
Sascha joined NWCDC in 2020. His introduction to cooperatives came from the CECOSESOLA cooperative network in Barquisimeto, Venezuela where he worked for four years. Later, he worked for the Shelton School District in Shelton, WA where he coordinated the district’s program for homeless youth and families. As an employee of the district, he worked to implement restorative alternatives to zero tolerance discipline, and worked as an advocate for immigrant communities, other communities of color and youth experiencing homelessness. Sascha holds a bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College focusing in community studies and youth development and a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Cultural Studies in Education. He is excited to partner with communities around the state of Washington to develop and foster internal leadership and to develop systems of mutual support. Sascha is a bilingual, English-Spanish speaker.
Luis Sierra: Cooperative Development Specialist
Luis joined NWCDC in 2021 and serves a cooperative development specialist for ROC Northwest. Luis brings a dozen years of experience in limited-equity housing cooperatives- as an educator and technical assistance provider for boards, and as a member, director, and treasurer of the cooperative he lived for 11 years. Luis‘s experience also includes agricultural cooperative development in fresh fruit and vegetable distribution and meat processing. Luis‘s first cooperative experience was in college as a member of the UC Berkeley’s Composting Collective.
Sebastian Lopez: Cooperative Development Specialist
Sebastian is a 2018 graduate of The Evergreen State College, where they studied political economics and statistics. Since then, Sebastian has become a worker-owner of two worker cooperatives based in Olympia, Washington, including New Moon Cooperative Cafe (NMCC), a prominent worker-owned co-op restaurant that converted in 2013 and continues to run strong today. There, Sebastian took on the roles of Budget Coordinator and led projects within their “Marketing, Events, Outreach, or Whatever” (MEOW) committee. Sebastian and other owners at NMCC also worked to convert a renowned bar and restaurant in Olympia known as Le Voyeur into a worker-owned and managed co-op in 2019. Sebastian is a big believer in the transition towards a global cooperative economy based on solidarity and mutual aid and believes this passion will push them to provide as much assistance as possible towards the growth of resident-owned communities and other affordable housing cooperative projects. Their hobbies include star-gazing, taking their Schipperke/Chihuahua mix named Pixie out on walks, playing Civilization, and showing up against oppression in all forms.
Sam Carlson, American VISTA Volunteer
Sam graduated from Portland State University in 2021 with a B.A. in Community Development.
At NWCDC, the scope of his work includes developing a model for converting privately-owned
multifamily properties into resident-owned cooperatives, supporting the South Sound
Association of Cooperatives (Co-Sound), and investigating additional sources of income that
NWCDC can leverage to grow its organizational capacity.
Sam’s interests include hiking, gaming, and conducting amateur research on topics such as
pre-Columbian indigenous agricultural practices, ecologically informed urban design, and
ecologically/economically sustainable land use planning.