History

As CDS Consulting Co-op client co-ops have grown over the years; so has our consulting business. 

Like many organizations in its infancy, CDS Consulting Co-op started with one consultant working in collaboration with Cooperative Development Services in St. Paul, Minn. to service food co-op clients in the Upper Midwest with financial and expansion planning.

Over the past two-and-a-half decades, more consultants joined the group.  Soon they were meeting the technical and development needs of food co-ops all around the United States.  We are now a group of over two-dozen consultants located around the country serving co-ops in all sectors.

CDS Consulting Co-op became a cooperative in 2008 after a mutually beneficial 21 year affiliation with Cooperative Development Services.  CDS Consulting Co-op is now organized as a shared services cooperative owned by our consultants in order to continue to increase our capacity for meeting the needs of our clients.

Throughout our history, our work has been driven by ethical service, excellence and leadership.  We are thrilled and proud that three of our co-op members, Walden Swanson, Kate Sumberg and Bill Gessner have been recognized for their indelible contributions, and were inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2008 (Walden and Kate) and 2012 (Bill).  In 2014, CDS Consulting Co-op was awarded the Cooperative Innovation Award by the Consumer Cooperative Managers Association.

Here are the group photos from some of our annual meetings.

June 2015 CDS Consulting Co-op Annual Retreat - Boise, ID

First Row: Art Sherwood, Garland McQueen, Carolee Colter, Marilyn Scholl, Melanie Reid, Nicole Klimek, Ben Sandel, Kevin Edberg, Pete Hodgson, Mark Goehring. Second Row: Michael Healy, Sarah Dahl, Jade Barker, Paul Feiner, Jeanie Wells, Walden Swanson, Mel Braverman, Kevin O'Donnell, Adam Schwartz. Third Row: Todd Wallace, Leslie Watson, Thane Joyal, Joel Kopischke. Not Pictured: Debbie Suassuna, Helena O'Connor, Joan Stockinger, John Foley, Kate Sumberg.

June 2014 CDS Consulting Co-op Annual Retreat - Madison, WI

First Row: Mel Braverman, Melanie Reid, Carolee Colter, Leslie Watson, Nicole Klimek, Pete Hodgson, Walden Swanson, Adam Schwartz, Thane Joyal, Todd Wallace, Joel Kopischke. Second Row: Michael Healy, Patricia Cumbie, Bill Gessner, John Foley, Pete Feiner, Rose Marie Klee, Ben Sandel, Mark Goehring, Art Sherwood, Jeanie Wells, Marilyn Scholl. Not Pictured: Debbie Suassuna, Helena O'Connor, Joan Stockinger, Kate Sumberg.

June 2013 CDS Consulting Co-op Annual Retreat - Austin, TX

First Row: Helena O’Connor, Michael Healy, Todd Wallace, Art Sherwood. Second Row: Mark Mulcahy, Joel Kopischke, Walden Swanson, Pete Hodgson, Melanie Reid, Adam Schwartz, Ben Sandel, Leslie Watson. Third Row: Nina Johnson, Bill Gessner, Marilyn Scholl, Carolee Colter, Jeanie Wells, Mel Braverman, Nicole Klimek, Mark Goehring. Not Pictured: Debbie Suassuna, Joan Stockinger, John Foley, Kate Sumberg, Paul Feiner, Rose Marie Klee, and Thane Joyal.

June 2012 CDS Consulting Co-op Annual Retreat - Philadelphia, PA

First Row: Kevin Edberg, Ben Sandel, Todd Wallace, Mel Braverman, Carolee Colter, PJ Hoffman, Jeanie Wells. Second Row: Joel Kopischke, Bill Gessner, Adam Schwarts. Third Row: Pete Hodgson, Walden Swanson, Art Sherwood, Nina Johnson. Fourth Row: Melanie Reid, Helena O’Connor, Marilyn Scholl. Fifth Row: Michael Healy, Mark Goehring, Mark Mulcahy. Not Pictured: John Foley, Joan Stockinger, Debbie Suassuna, Kate Sumberg.

June 2011 CDS Consulting Co-op Annual Retreat - San Diego, CA

First Row: Thane Joyal, Art Sherwood, Joel Kopischke, Carolee Colter, Todd Wallace. Second Row: Jeanie Wells, Helena O’Connor, Joan Stockinger, Marilyn Scholl, Nina Johnson. Third Row: PJ Hoffman, Bill Gessner, John Foley, Tami Bauers. Fourth Row: Mel Braverman, Mark Goehring, Michael Healy. Not Pictured: Pete Hodgson, Debbie Suassuna, Kate Sumberg, Walden Swanson.

June 2010 CDS Consulting Co-op Annual Retreat - Bloomington, Indiana 

First Row: Michael Healy, Joel Brock (our IT guy), Mark Mulcahy, Mark Goehring. Second Row: Mel Braverman, Tami Bauer, Walden Swanson. Third Row: Marilyn Scholl, Nina Johnson, Carolee Colter. Fourth Row: Pete Davis, Bill Gessner, Joel Kopischke, Mary Courteau. Fifth Row: Todd Wallace, Art Sherwood. Not Pictured: Debbie Suassuna, Kate Sumberg.

June 2009 CDS Consulting Co-op Annual Retreat - Champion, Pennsylvania

Front Row: Mark Goehring, Michael Healy, Walden Swanson, Bill Gessner, Mel Braverman, Bentley Lein. Back Row: Pete Davis, Mary Courteau, PJ Hoffman, Carolee Colter, Thane Joyal, Kevin Edberg, Marilyn Scholl. Not pictured: Tami Bauers, Debbie Suassuna, Kate Sumberg, Holly O’Neil, Denise Chevalier, and Marshall Kovitz.

June 2008 Cooperative Development Services Food Co-op Consultants and Friends - Port Townsend, Washington

Left to Right: Bentley Lein Kevin Edberg Kate Sumberg, Walden Swanson, PJ Hoffman, Bill Gessner, Michael Healy, Marilyn Scholl, Marshall Kovitz, Denise Chevalier, Mel Braverman, Ann Woods, Holly O’Neil, Mark Goehring, Thane Joyal, Stuart Reid, Pete Davis.

June 2006 Cooperative Development Services Food Co-op Consultants - Atlanta, Georgia

Left to right: Bill Gessner. Pete Davis Linda Stier, Mel Braverman, Kate Sumberg, Marilyn Scholl, PJ Hoffman, Mark Goehring, Denise Chevalier, Michael Healy, Kevin Edberg, Loretta Norris.

June 2005 Cooperative Development Services Food Co-op Consultants - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Front row: Kevin Edberg, Kate Sumberg, Marilyn Scholl, Denise Chevalier, Pete Davis, Peg Nolan, PJ Hoffman. Back Row: Mark Goehring, Steve Wolfe, Walden Swanson, Linda Stier, Mel Braverman, Michael Healy, Bill Gessner.

June 2004 Cooperative Development Services - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Front row: Nathan Dorn, EG Nadeau, Peg Nolan, Marilyn Scholl, Denise Chevalier, Mary Myers, Pete Davis. Second row: Jean Andreasen, Bill Gessner, Janda Groves, PJ Hoffman, Ann Waterhouse, JoAnne Berkenkamp, Ann Woods, Kate Sumberg. Back Row: Jim Ennis, Michael Healy, Vicky Chaput, Linda Stier, Steve Wolfe, Mel Braverman, Walden Swanson, Kevin Edberg.

June 2002 Cooperative Development Services Food Co-op Consultants - Eureka, California

Left to right: Ann Waterhouse, Michael Healy, Peg Nolan, Linda Stier, Walden Swanson, Kate Sumberg, Denise Chevalier, Mel Braverman, Marilyn Scholl, Bill Gessner. Kevin Edberg, Pete Davis.

June 2001 Cooperative Development Services: Food Co-op Consultants and CDS Staff - Chicago, Illinois

Front row: Pete Davis, Peg Nolan, Marilyn Scholl, Walden Swanson, Denise Chevalier, Darcy Klasna. Back Row: Mel Braverman, Vicky Chaput, Linda Stier, Steve Wolfe, Michael Healy, Kevin Edberg, Ann Waterhouse, Bill Gessner.

June 2000 Cooperative Development Services Food Co-op Consultants - Boston, Massachusetts

Front row: Michael Healy, Patricia Cumbie, Ann Waterhouse, Pete Davis, Mel Braverman.
Back Row: Linda Stier, Marilyn Scholl, Denise Chevalier, Walden Swanson,Bill Gessner.

October 1998 Cooperative Development Services Food Co-op Consultants, Organic Alliance and CDS Staff - Madison, Wisconsin

Front row: Scott Beers, Laurie Greenberg, Darcy Klasna, Corrinne Wilson, ?, Angela Sterns. Back row: Bill Gessner, Paul Cultrera, Mary Myers, EG Nadeau, Barbara Duff, Steve Wolfe, Marilyn Scholl, Walden Swanson, Sarah Marquardt, Kate Sumberg, Rosemary Mahoney.