Meet Our Team

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. Since 2023, NWCDC has Co-Directors that share the duties of an Executive Director with specific areas of work for Housing, Education, Cooperative Development, and the NW Cooperative Fund.

Sam Green, CPA: Co-Executive Director

Sam joined NWCDC in 2014 as a volunteer becoming a staff with the Resident Owned Community program in 2015. After several years as a 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 Western Governors University. Sam became a licensed CPA in the fall of 2023. As Co-Director, Sam heads up the housing programs (including ROC Northwest) and grants team for NWCDC as well as the NW Cooperative Fund, a revolving loan program providing support to cooperatives in the Pacific Northwest.

John A. McNamara, PhD tit: Co-Executive Director

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 Master’s program as part-time faculty.  John participated in the development of the Co-op Index Tool and has taught at The Evergreen State College and Presidio Graduate School. He co-edited a collection of essays titled Co-operatives for Sustainable Communities (2015) with a chapter on Social Auditing and wrote a chapter in Humanistic Governance in Democratic Organizations (2022). John serves on the Board of Directors for CooperationWorks!, is Chair of the Union-Coops Council of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and is on the Steering Committee for the Oregon New Economy Project. As Co-Director, John heads up the Education and General Cooperative Development programs along with the communications and networking teams for NWCDC.

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.

Diane Gasaway: Cooperative Development Specialist

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. She served on the board of the National Cooperative Business Association/Cooperative League: USA.  After 20 years of service as the Executive Director of NWCDC, Diane stepped back to focus entirely on cooperative development both as a co-op developer and member of Dumpster Values, a worker-owned retail store in Olympia, WA.

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.

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 earned Master in Management: Cooperatives and Credit Unions program at Saint Mary’s University through the International Centre for Cooperative Management in 2023. He oversees the Co-op Academy, supports interns at the center, supports the ROC NW program, and provides other cooperative development support as needed.

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.

Janett Morell: Cooperative Development Specialist

Janet joined NWCDC at the end of March 2022. She works out of Kitsap County, WA , and primarily covers the Western Washington service area. Janet moved from Arizona to WA state in 2019. Janet worked in early childhood education for 10 years. In WA Janet has worked with Kitsap Community Resources as well as Turning Pointe advocacy center working directly with youth and families. Janet is bilingual and enjoys working with diverse communities.

Rebecca Cienfuegos: Cooperative Development Specialist

Rebecca joined NWCDC in late 2021 and lives in Granger, Washington. She will be working with ROCs and other co-ops on the east side of Washington state. She graduated from Central Washington University and has worked most of her career in Early Childhood Education. Rebecca served as Center Director/Manager of Head Start for over 17 years and with the University of Washington for 3 years as Quality Recognition Specialist.

Rebecca grew up in a migrant setting moving to many states during her childhood. She was ten years old when her parents decided to buy a home in Granger and make it their forever place. She loves her small town and knowing the community. Rebecca has three wonderful daughters and two Goldendoodles.

Annie Hoy: Cooperative Development Specialist

Annie joined NWCDC in the fall of 2021 and is a native of El Paso, TX, but has lived in Oregon since 1972, currently residing in Ashland, OR. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon. After a career teaching broadcast news at Southern Oregon University as Jefferson Public Radio’s first News Director, Annie joined the staff at Ashland Community Food Store in 1994 and led the drive to convert the natural foods retailer to a consumer-owned food co-op. That is when she caught the “co-op bug.” Annie joined the staff at NW Co-op Development Center to foster growth in the co-op sector in southern Oregon. Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you she is a real co-op geek.

Nora Edge: Cooperative Development Specialist

Nora joined the NWCDC in 2022  as a housing cooperative specialist with the Resident Owned Community(ROC) program. Prior to joining, Nora was the executive director, as well as a founding member, of Capital Homecare Cooperative in Olympia WA. At Capital Homecare Nora gained a working knowledge of the benefits of a democratically controlled workplace, of having workers serve as the decision-makers, and of the cooperative mission toward community care and building equity in the local economy. She is excited to continue her work with the ROC Northwest program and continue to provide support to the home care cooperative economy both locally and nationally. Nora is a graduate of the St. John’s College Great Books program, where she earned a BA in philosophy and literature.

Jadira Amaya: Cooperative Development Specialist

Jadira joined NWCDC in January of 2023 as a Housing Cooperative Specialist and Technical Assistant for ROC USA. Born in Los Angeles California, Jadira lived in Jalisco Mexico for a portion of her childhood and grew up in Salem Oregon before residing in Yakima Washington for the past 17 years. Jadira recently moved to Spokane Washington where she’ll be working with ROCs in the Eastern Washington area.

Jadira had worked in the government sector for 16 years; working for the Oregon Youth Authority/MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, Yakima County Courthouse/District Court, and the Washington State Department Social and Health Services. Prior to joining NWCDC, Jadira operated her own clothing business for 7 years, passing it down to her daughter Jasmine, before relocating to Spokane to live with her life partner Leticia and 7-year-old son.

In her Yakima community, she was an active member of the Junior League of Yakima, and volunteered at Rod’s House, Casa Hogar, and the Madison House. She was a member of the Juvenile Court’s CAB and Truancy programs, a mentor for the YWCA middle school girl’s iMentor program, and a mentor for students at Washington Middle School.

Jadira’s personal, business, and professional background experience has provided her with the tools, knowledge, and compassion to work with diversified communities. She’s excited to be a part of the NWCDC Team.

Kate Melman: Cooperative Development Specialist

Kate joined the NWCDC staff in 2023 as a Cooperative Housing Specialist. Prior to NWCDC, she worked for 15 years to advance immigrant rights and address access barriers throughout the U.S. South. She recently moved to the Pacific Northwest after a decade below sea level in New Orleans, her spiritual home.

Kate traces her co-op roots to a worker-recovered print shop and worker-run bakery in post-2001 economic crisis Argentina. A wide range of professional and personal experiences have shaped her approach to cooperation and collaboration. Highlights include radical hospitality work with Casa Marianella in Austin, TX, immigration and family law paralegal work, and mutual aid and solidarity as a way of life in New Orleans. She’s excited to get to know and work alongside Washington communities turning shared governance into reality.

Kate grew up in Washington, DC. She earned a BA in Sociology and Latin American Studies from the University of Vermont and an MS in International Development from Tulane University. In no particular order, her lifelines include humor and laughter, second lines, music, impromptu cooking experiments and communal meals, and meandering conversations with family and friends.

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, and program management, and conducting extensive community outreach throughout the area. Cristina is passionate about community engagement and facilitating training and presentations. As a certified Spanish/English Interpreter, she is committed to assuring the opportunity to participate for all regardless of language. At the beginning of 2023, Cristina stepped into a part-time support role.

David Sanchez: Cooperative Development Specialist

David joined the Northwest Cooperative Development Center in 2022 and serves as a Cooperative Development Specialist in the ROC NW program. David brings several years of non-profit experience in housing and community development. David enjoys spending time with his dog and cat.