Our Consultants

Bill Gessner



Minneapolis, Minnesota


(612) 799-6238


Expansion Planning, Business Development, Financial Pro Forma, Capital Campaigns

Profile Video

  • Profile Overview

  • Articles from CDS Consulting publications

  • Articles in Cooperative Grocer

  • Other works by Bill Gessner

Profile Overview arrow

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

Bill Gessner is our lead consultant with over 25 years of experience assisting over 250 co-op expansion projects.

His primary focus is assisting food co-ops in the planning and implementation of expansion, relocation, and new store projects.

Bill has developed a systematic approach to expansion planning that includes assessing feasibility and timeline management that has helped countless co-ops reach their goals. He said, “I continue to be inspired by the people I work with in the food co-ops and their communities. What excites me is combining the business and community aspects of the cooperative model to help co-ops develop and grow.”

Bill is the recipient of the NCB Honored Cooperator award in 1997, the CCMA Cooperative Service award in 2002 and in 2012 was inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame.

  • Expansion/relocation projects
  • Organizational planning and facilitation, including business and strategic
  • Management support and development
  • Capitalization development including member loans
  • Financial planning and pro formas

“ Bill Gessner’s coaching has been critical to the success of both our expansion project and our growth from a $1 million to an $8 million co-op. From our quarterly work plans to our weekly sales report, nearly every effective management system we have grew out of our work with Bill Gessner. ”

Tim Barlett, General Manager, Lexington Cooperative Market, Buffalo, N.Y.

“ From financial pro formas, to management support, to board training on expansion – every cent we spent on working with Bill Gessner paid us back in measurable results that made the difference in our relocation and expansion. Our co-op would not be the great success it is today if it were not for Bill seeing us through the expansion process every step of the way. I don’t think I would have the great job I have today, much less our community a co-op, if Bill hadn’t been there to show us how to pull it off. I am truly, deeply grateful. ”

Jacqueline Hannah, General Manager, Common Ground Food Coop, Urbana, Ill.

“ It was essential to have Bill Gessner as the lead consultant for the Wedge Community Co-op’s two year expansion and relocation project. He is hard-working and experienced, is a good negotiator and a great planner. I would definitely rehire him. ”

Dan Foley, former General Manager, Wedge Co-op, Minneapolis