Cooperative Governance


Our Approach


We have a highly collaborative team approach to our work. Individual consultants bring the wisdom and knowledge of the full team to their direct client work. 

CDS CC consultants and co-op boards and GMs have been working together to meet the needs of individual co-ops via the CBLD Program for over 12 years! The award winning, innovative program includes direct support to individual co-ops and provides new tools, resources and connections to the co-op community. Over time, the program has grown and adapted to the needs of participants and we are excited to announce the most recent evolution of the CBLD Program.

Our work with many co-ops... large, small, well-established, startup, highly functional and successful, and those facing a range of challenges... allows us to have experience working with issues that are important to the community of co-ops and support your work on priorities at your co-op with a depth of knowledge that come from working with organizations like yours.

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

Joel Kopischke

Board Leadership Development, MBTI® Personality Type Assessments, Leadership Coaching, Cooperative Governance

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

“ I'm impressed with the work of the CBLD team and the CBLD program and I encourage co-op boards and managers to participate in the program. It's made a big difference! ”

C.E. Pugh, Chief Operating Officer, National Co+op Grocers

“ During the two years we've participated in CBLD, we've undergone a true cooperative revolution. We can't wait to take our co-op to the next level and, thanks to CBLD, our board has the tools to do so. ”

Delene Porter, Board President, Daily Groceries, Athens, Ga.

“ I cannot imagine where the food co-op sector would be today without the trail-blazing CDS Consulting Co-op has done in cooperative governance. They have created a truly cooperative way forward for boards to lead in a transparent, dynamic way that both protects the health of the business and encourages community democracy. ”

Jacqueline Hannah, General Manager, Common Ground Food Co-op, Urbana, Ill.

“ Our CBLD consultant has, after eight years, become a trusted partner in our board work...from helping to rework our board meeting agenda to build in valuable strategic discussion time, to working with our board and our committee chairs in planning retreats. ”

Janice Parker, former Board Administrator, PCC Natural Markets

“ We all have a lot of good ideas for retreats, but our CBLD consultant, in his role as facilitator, helps us prioritize, focus and refine our ideas. He helps us see a bigger picture, plan with the future in mind, and find new ways to keep our sessions fresh and invigorating. He asks outstanding questions. ”

Maggie Lucas, Board Chair, PCC Natural Markets

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.

VISIT THE LIBRARY