Our Consultants

Martha Whitman



Albuquerque, New Mexico


(505) 804-0947


Board Leadership Development

Profile Video

  • Profile Overview

  • Articles from CDS Consulting publications

  • Articles in Cooperative Grocer

  • Other works by Martha Whitman

Profile Overview arrow

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

Martha Whitman loves the business of co-ops and has participated as a worker, manager and director of food cooperatives and credit unions for over 30 years.

She said that her experiences working with co-ops have been so positive that she said “it has motivated me to use all my energy and talent to make them better.”  As part of her work with cooperatives, she was the former manager of La Montanita Food Co-op in Albuquerque, and later served on the board as its president.  Martha was also the vice president of finance at School Personnel Credit Union in San Francisco.  She received the Howard K. Bowers Fund Cooperative Board Service Award in 2008, and was the chair of NCBA’s public policy committee during the 2012 United Nations International Year of Cooperatives.

Throughout her career, Martha has  led successful cooperatives and  promoted good governance process with the understanding that they co-exist within a capitalist system.  “I believe co-ops are a hopeful endeavor and a solution to some of the negative  aspects in our economy,” she said.  Martha thinks one of the challenges contemporary boards are addressing today is how to continually define the co-op within the marketplace as values-driven organizations and strong business partners.

Governance has a critical role in driving that conversation.  From her perspective, it is important that co-ops look at the global picture and see themselves as players in making a better world.  Martha is particularly drawn to assisting co-op boards because they often attract passionate people who sometimes find out governance is different from what they thought it might be.  “I want to share what I’ve learned about what makes the work more interesting and effective.  I am eager to help strengthen our co-ops in a healthy and sustainable way,” she said.

Martha’s services include:

  • Board leadership training and support
  • Retreat planning and facilitation
  • Ongoing consulting support to boards
  • Governance workshops and trainings
  • Board resource development


“ Martha has a real knack for seeing the heart of issues and problems. Our board loved working with her and our time together was highly productive. ”

Kim Lindgren, Board President, Southwest Farm Fresh Co-op, Durango, CO

“ Twelve years of board experience (most as President of La Montanita Co-op), wonderful, imaginative work as a trainer for NCG's board level workshops and continuing writing for NCG's LEADER e-magazine combine to make Martha Whitman a powerhouse of co-operative governance education. If you want to apply the theories in real time let Martha be your guide. ”

Ariana Marchello, Board President, La Montanita Food Co-op, New Mexico

“ Martha Whitman is a delight to work with. She is a deeply dedicated cooperator who works tirelessly to find new and better ways for co-ops to serve their communities in meaningful ways. ”

Karen Zimbelman, Director of Membership and Cooperative Relations and Facilitator of BEST (Board Effectiveness Support Team), National Co+op Grocers

“ Martha's previous experience as a general manager provides her unique perspective to the Board/GM relationship. She intuitively understands the role of each member of this partnership and never fails to guide both the Board and GM in identifying, understanding and fulfilling their roles. ”

C.E. Pugh, Chief Operating Officer, National Co+op Grocers (Former General Manager of La Montanita Food Co-op)