Cooperative Governance

In-person events

Click here to go directly to our full schedule of events!

Co-op board members and managers have the opportunity to participate in meaningful exchanges with each other at the in-person sessions offered by our team.

At our in-person events, participants gain inspiration and practical tools for governing their food co-ops and engaging with their local communities. We can arrange a number of individualized events for your co-op, such as a Leadership Training, CBL 101, workshops on Applied Governance Topics, or Co-op Cafe for your co-op or region, simply contact us for a proposal

CBL 101: Foundation for Board Leadership

This class provides a strong foundation for directors by covering these topics: Cooperative principles, values and history, legal roles and responsibilities, cooperative governance, financial understanding using the balance sheet.


Applied Governance Topics: Building a Great Relationship with Your GM

In this interactive workshop, experienced directors will learn about creating and maintaining a highly productive and successful relationship with their co-op's General Manager. (GMs, successors, and aspiring GMs welcome too!)  


Applied Governance Topics: Everyone Welcome?

Designed specifically as an opportunity to discuss and explore issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Drawing from the material in the collection entitled Everyone Welcome?, we'll explore past and present to imagine a future where everyone is truly welcome at every retail food co-op.  

Co-op Cafe: Connecting Our Co-op and Communities

This event provides a day of highly interactive and engaging strategic conversations designed to build shared understanding and alignment at your co-op and among co-ops. 



Who Should Attend?

Registration for upcoming events is now open!

Are you wondering what event you should attend?  Use the below grid to help you determine what to register for -- or contact us or speak to your CBLD consultant to inquire! Click the below links to learn more about each individual class.  Interested in an individualized event for your organization? Contact Thane Joyal for more information. 

Who am I?

What event should I attend?

Newly elected directors, candidates, general managers and successors CBL 101: Foundation for Board Leadership
Experienced board leaders, general managers, GM/Executive Direcotrs, successors and aspiring executives Building a Great Relationship with Your GM/Executive Director

Directors and others in retail food cooperatives interested in discussing and exploring issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion

Everyone Welcome?
Directors, managers, membership and marketing leaders, staff, committee members and anyone involved in your organization’s relationship with members and community

Co-op Cafe: Connecting Our Co-op and Communities


2019 Schedule of In-person Events


Date Location CBL 101: Board Leadership Building a Great Relationship Everyone Welcome?  Cooperative Cafe
1/5/19 Asheville, NC X      
1/12/19 Keene, NH X   X  
2/23/19 Raleigh/Durham, NC       X
4/13/19 Philadelphia, PA   X      
10/19/19 New England (co-hosted by NFCA)       X
10/26/19 Philadelphia, PA       X


Date Location CBL 101: Board Leadership Building a Great Relationship Everyone Welcome? Cooperative Cafe
1/12/19 Minneapolis, MN X   X  
1/26/19 Lawrence, KS X      
3/9/19 Twin Cities, MN       X
5/4/19 Traverse City, MI X      
9/21/19 Minneapolis, MN X      
9/21/19 Chicago, IL X      
10/12/19 Madison, WI       X


Date Location CBL 101: Board Leadership Building a Great Relationship Everyone Welcome? Cooperative Cafe
2/16/19 Sacramento, CA       X
3/9/19 Portland, OR X   X  
9/28/19 Sacramento, CA X X    
10/5/19 Portland, OR       X



Logistical Overview of Events

Most of these events follow a full day schedule -- we will provide participants with light breakfast and lunch as well as light snacks and beverages at breaks during the day.  The CBL 101 and Building a Great Relationships Workshops run from 9:00-4:30.  The Co-op Cafe runs from 9:30-4:00. The Everyone Welcome? Workshop follows a partial-day schedule and runs from 9:00-approximately 2:30 (there will be an optional opportunity to engage in an informal discussion following the Everyone Welcome? workshop). Breakfast for both events is available starting at 8:30.

Using this link you can register for an event. Each person you register will be sent an email with detailed logistical information for the event. No payment is required to register. Please contact us if you have any questions in advance of registering!  

Registration for upcoming events is now open!

Associated Consultants

Art Sherwood

Board Leadership Development, Strategy and GM/CEO Coaching

Ben Sandel

Leadership Development, Startup Co-ops, Capitalization

Jade Barker

Board Leadership Development

Leslie Watson

Board Leadership Development

Marilyn Scholl

Cooperative Governance, Board Training, Facilitation, and Assessment, Cooperative Development

Mark Goehring

Leadership Development, Cooperative Governance, Facilitation, Member Linkage

Martha Whitman

Board Leadership Development

Michael Healy

Cooperative Governance, Team Building, Communication

Rose Marie Klee

Board Leadership Development

Thane Joyal

Board Leadership Development, Cooperative Governance, Bylaw Support

Todd Wallace

Board Leadership Development

“ These programs give an open forum for our staff and directors to consider growth and development in a unique, community-centered way. ”

Chris Dilley, General Manager, People's Food Co-op, Kalamazoo, Mich.

“ The two seminars I've attended added great food for thought to our cooperative endeavors. Having a larger context in which to see our daily struggles and opportunities affords a clearer vision and can create healthier and more robust cooperatives at all levels and in all sectors. ”

Christina Nicholson, Operations Manager, Mississippi Market, St. Paul, Minn.

“ The value to our co-op is higher when a lot of people participate in CBLD events. ”

Mary Avery, Board Chair, Neighborhood Co-op Grocery, Carbondale, Ill.

“ CBLD events have allowed us to be more intentional regarding our strategic leadership and rooting all of our conversations within the context of the Ends. ”

Molly O'Brien, Board President, City Market/Onion River Co-op, Burlington, Vt.

“ Board orientation becomes a shared learning experience if your new board members have already been to CBL 101. ”

Sharon Murphy, General Manager, Whole Foods Co-op, Duluth, Minn.

Associated Case Studies

Upcoming Events

Check out our open-access library!

It is a great resource for understanding all of the particulars of good governance - from agenda planning to policy templates, you can find it all in our Library.