Cooperative Governance

Our Team of independent consultants specialize in helping your board and General Manager work together to govern and lead your cooperative.  We each offer individual services upon request, but most of our clients access our services through the award-winning, innovative Cooperative Board Leadership Development Program (known as CBLD and pronounced C-build).

CBLD 2019

It's been 15 years since the pilot program that launched CBLD.  We are stronger than ever, serving more different kinds of organizations every year.  Our consultants continue to develop their skills and tools for supporting boards toward effectiveness, efficiency and excellence. 

Our award winning, innovative program includes direct support to organizations and their leaders and provides new tools, resources and connections to the broader community of governing boards. Over time, the program has grown and adapted to the needs of participants and we continue to develop resources to support our clients.

The CBLD Program includes ongoing, customized support and planning and facilitation of a one-day in-person retreat -- all designed to meet your co-op's needs. Fifteen consulting hours are included in the calendar-year program. Retreat designs vary widely and might include board, board & top management, or board and key stakeholders. Learn about ongoing hours and how your CBLD consultant will be matched with your organization  with care.  Our goal is long term relationship, and we work hard to ensure that your consultant will become a trusted member of your team.

Our consultants developed and structure their work around  the Four Pillars of Cooperative Governance—Teaming, Accountable Empowerment, Strategic Leadership and Democracy. Support for GMs focuses primarily on building and sustaining a strong Board/GM relationship. Participating in CBLD strengthens your co-op and the community of co-ops.

CBLD Features and Benefits

The CBLD program includes regular contact with your primary CBLD Consultant, planning and facilitation of a one-day board retreat, a variety of in-person sessions,  and access to resources via the CDS Consulting Co-op Library.

The CBLD fee for 2019 is $7,160, paid in quarterly installments in March, June, September and December. This is a 3% increase over the fee in 2018.  In addition, your co-op is responsible for costs associated with your retreat and attending in-person events.

What about the new and very little co-ops?

We support startups via the CBLD for Startups program and we welcome inquiries from very small co-ops and organizations. CBLD for Startups includes everything in CBLD plus five bonus hours to be used during the year. Not far enough along in organizing to be ready for CBLD this year? Contact Thane Joyal for information about special arrangements for governance development & support for the very new and very small.

Add-ons and Extras

With more than 10 years of experience in supporting organizations via the CBLD program, we've come to learn that some organizations prefer and benefit from multiple day retreats, more than one retreat per year, and some use more hours than the 15 that are included in the program. No problem! Your CBLD consultant will welcome inquiries about additional retreat days, consulting hours and customized events. Want an individualized workshop for your organization? Click here for more information or contact Thane Joyal

Individual Consulting Services

In addition to the CBLD program, our consultants offer a wide range of board development services to meet your needs. Consultants set their own rates for additional offerings outside CBLD.  For information about how our consultants can support your co-op, please contact Thane Joyal or contact any of the independent consultants on our team.  


Associated Consultants

Adam Schwartz

Creating a Cooperative Culture, Connecting Co-ops across Sectors

Art Sherwood

Board Leadership Development, Strategy and GM/CEO Coaching

Ben Sandel

Leadership Development, Startup Co-ops, Capitalization

Jade Barker

Board Leadership Development

Leslie Watson

Board Leadership Development

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