Our Consultants

Jade Barker



Hadley, Massachusetts


(802) 449-4070


Board Leadership Development

Profile Video

  • Profile Overview

  • Articles from CDS Consulting publications

  • Articles in Cooperative Grocer

  • Other works by Jade Barker

Profile Overview arrow

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

Jade Barker has long been interested in making the world a better place, and throughout her life has answered to that calling.

She was drawn to cooperation in college where she lived in a housing co-op in Berkeley, CA, and joined the Cambridge Food Co-op (now Harvest Co-op Market) when she moved to Massachusetts for graduate school. “I believe that participation is an important part of the democratic process,” she said about her attraction to cooperation and social justice. In 2001, she joined the startup effort for River Valley Market in Northampton, MA, served on the board for many years, and was its president from 2010-2013. She was recognized for her leadership excellence at the 2014 Cooperative Consumer Managers Association Conference with a Cooperative Board Service Award.

Jade once considered a career in law, but the win-lose paradigm didn’t appeal to her because she believes there are at least two sides to every story. This led her to become a professional mediator and co-director of the Mediation and Training Collaborative, a program of Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Regions, Inc. In this capacity, Jade worked in several schools grades 5-12, training students to be mediators. “Learning how to collaborate is crucial life skill and essential in working with groups of people,” she said. This is one of her strengths that she carries into all of her work with cooperatives and beyond.

Jade also believes that the work people do for co-ops should be meaningful and enjoyable. “I’m always striving to find ways that make work fun,” she said. “People grow when they are in a positive environment.” Jade also finds her experience with a startup co-op to be invaluable because she’s experienced the different stages of organizational development and has an understanding of what food co-op startups need. “I look forward to helping food co-op boards appreciate the process, listen, and improve their leadership skills,” she said.

Jade’s services include:

  • Co-op governance coaching and training
  • Building successful board/management relationships
  • Mediation, facilitation and conflict resolution
  • Team building and dealing with diversity

“ During her nine years of Board service, Jade has been an outstanding example of how to integrate a commitment to both strategic planning and goal setting as well as effective team development and process. She has consistently been a strong proponent of diversity, listening effectively, and respecting each Director’s ideas and opinions. ”

Roslyn Malkin, Board Member, River Valley Market, Northampton, Mass.

“ A trained mediator by profession, Jade was able to help us discuss difficult issues and listen deeply to all sides of co-op concerns that threatened to divide the Board. ”

Andrea Ayvazian, former Board Member, River Valley Market, Northampton, Mass.

“ Jade is one of those quietly inspiring people that regularly surprises and always delivers. ”

Dorian Gregory, Board President, River Valley Market, Northampton, Mass.

“ Jade has … focused on building a strong working relationship with the GM, and the trust and positive feeling there enables the management and Board to work more effectively. ”

Clare Morenon, former Board Vice-President, River Valley Market, Northampton, Mass.