Our Consultants

Art Sherwood



Bellingham, Washington


(360) 961-9950


Board Leadership Development, Strategy and GM/CEO Coaching

Profile Video

  • Profile Overview

  • Articles from CDS Consulting publications

  • Articles in Cooperative Grocer

  • Other works by Art Sherwood

Profile Overview arrow

  • Profile Overview arrow
  • Profile Overview
  • Articles from CDS Consulting publications
  • Articles in Cooperative Grocer or other publications
  • Other works by Art Sherwood

Art Sherwood has been active in leadership development and training for over 15 years.

He has worked with a variety of for- and not-for-profit boards in the areas of strategy, planning, board leadership development and teams including being the board president of Bloomingfoods and a founder of the Local Growers Guild, a farmer marketing cooperative. Art also holds the David Cole Professor of Entrepreneurship chair at Western Washington University in Bellingham. As a professor, he researches cooperative organizations and teaches cooperation in the classroom while leading the Western’s entrepreneurship programming. Since Art joined the CDS Consulting Co-op team in 2009, he has developed the Cooperative Strategic Leadership program designed to help GMs lead strategic change in their co-ops and conducted underlying research that led to the development of the 4 Pillars of Cooperative Governance by CDS CC.

“I am motivated by a belief and passion to work together with others to make the world better by building on good things, like food co-ops,” Art said. He applies his business strategy experience from other sectors into helping boards of mission-driven organizations be more effective. “I think the next evolution for food co-op boards is to foster the team relationship the board has with the general manager, and to expand the role of strategic leadership and our understanding of democracy in taking things to the next level,” he said.

Art’s services include:

  • Board leadership/teaming training and support
  • Ongoing coaching/consulting support to boards and GMs
  • Governance workshops and trainings, including community conversations with owners
  • Strategic visioning and planning for boards and GMs
  • Board/Management retreat planning and facilitation

“ Working with Art on strategic conversations and multi-year planning has made a huge difference in my own professional development and skill set, not to mention the forward-thinking culture that has developed at our co-op. Without his guidance and expertise we wouldn’t be moving so quickly and in such a passionate way towards our 2022 Vision and goals. ”

Pam Mehnert, General Manager, Outpost Natural Foods, Milwaukee, Wisc.

“ Art does not equivocate about the responsibility of each of us on the Board and never promises that our role as Board members will be easy. Art’s ideals are balanced by his on-the-ground experience, a rare combination. He is able to provide examples, distinguished by candor and insight, from his experience with many co-ops. ”

Mary Avery, Board President, Neighborhood Co-op, Carbondale, Illinois

“ Art has brought important experience, expertise and guidance to our board as we work to provide true long term cooperative strategic leadership for Good Foods Co-op. He is helping us develop our vision of strategic leadership and the discipline and tools with which to do the job. ”

Richard Stump, Board President, Good Foods Co-op, Lexington, Ky.

“ CBLD and Art came along at a crucial time in our history. Thanks to Art’s help, his dedication to Coops, his smarts, and his compassion we have been able to emerge not just intact, but thriving! Thanks, Art and CBLD! ”

Steve Peterson, Board President, Oneota Community Food Cooperative, Decorah, Iowa

“ As the CBLD consultant to Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op, Art has been tremendous for our Board. Art has greatly enhanced our development giving us superb guidance in various aspects of Policy Governance and helping us to solidify our action with the principles of Cooperative Strategic Leadership. We have had an excellent experience gaining from his impartations, and fun too! ”

Sam Eakin, Board President, Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op, Roanoke, Va.