For most of my adult life I have been involved in community engagement through union organizing, co-op work, and by living & working in collective situations. Along the way I have attended dozens of workshops in co-op development, community/union organizing, consensus/collaborative decision-making, anti-oppression work, open space technology and management theory & practice.
1) Organized unions in the warehouse and healthcare industries in the mid-west.
2) Helped establish food-buying clubs that evolved into food co-ops in the 1970’s.
3) Served on co-op boards and union/community support committees into the early 1980’s.
4) Lived and worked as a chef in the UK, India and Australia in the mid 80’s.
5) Moved to the Northwest in 1987. Owned and operated a country inn and small restaurant in the Columbia River Gorge.
6) Re-engaged with the co-op movement when we moved to Portland, OR in 1998.
Over the past fourteen years I have been developing and using my skills to train co-ops & non-profits in formal consensus decision making processes, co-op governance, anti-oppression work, worker self-management, and using open space technology to explore and resolve issues. Most of my work has been as a long-term Board member of Peoples Food Co-op, advanced consensus training with C.T. Butler and social justice work with Sisters Of The Road in Portland. I have also done short-notice board governance work for Alberta Co-op. I’m participating in the United States Federation of Worker Co-ops’ Democracy at Work Network training program for peer advisors. Currently, I’m facilitating a member & staff engagement process with the Olympia Food Co-op (Olympia, WA) with the goal of determining the long-range direction of the co-op. For current projects go to my website: obliquesolutionsnw.com