Hazel CorcoranExecutive Director / Directrice générale
Based primarily in Calgary, Hazel Corcoran has served as CWCF’s Executive Director since 1995. She first became interested in the idea of employee ownership while completing a Master’s in Linguistics at Berkeley. She later went on to study law, and discovered the worker co-op model while completing a research paper on various models of workplace democracy. Coincidentally, CWCF was in the process of forming nearby, and Hazel attended the founding AGM and ultimately helped the Federation draft its bylaws.
Worker co-ops appeal to Hazel as a way to empower workers and help them flourish in the workplace and learn new skills. She believes it’s the most humane way to organize the economy. She would like to see Canada’s worker co-op sector grow significantly, and hopes it can partner with government and the solidarity economy to achieve this.
In addition to her work with CWCF, Hazel has also served as a director of a variety of co-operatives, in the past including Calgary Co-op, First Calgary Credit Union, le Conseil canadien de la coopération et de la mutualité, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada. She is currently a director of The Co-operators where she chairs the Member and Co-operative Relations Committee.
In her spare time, Hazel enjoys spending time with her family, walking in nature, and cooking Cajun food, a legacy of her origins in New Orleans. She’s also an active member of Prairie Sky Cohousing in Calgary.
#104, 402-30 Ave NE Calgary AB T2E 2E3 Canada
Kaye GrantCommunications and Member Services Manager/ Responsable des communications et les services aux membres
Based in Winnipeg, Kaye Grant has served as CWCF’s Communications and Member Services Manager since 2013. She is also the key Consultant with Reconnaissance Management Consulting Group Inc. Kaye has worked for over 25 years within the non-profit/social enterprise sector in a number of roles. Kaye’s experience in working with the non-profit sector and local community groups enables her to maintain working relationships within the community. She has experience in training and facilitating workshops and courses in business related subjects. Kaye is on the CCEDNet board and also on the Manitoba Co-op Association Board as the CWCF representative, as well as the Peg City Car Co-op Board in Winnipeg.
Kaye has long had a passion towards poverty alleviation and equality and has focused her work with organizations that contribute to this mandate. She was introduced to the worker co-op model by her then-teenage son, and found the variety of tasks he was performing as a member of one intriguing. She ultimately found a way to pursue this interest at CWCF, where she appreciates the opportunity to work with its members.
Kaye’s two young adult children have shaped her work with their values of equity and collaboration, and she wants to help build up the worker co-op model so it offers more opportunities for young people to find fulfilling work. Increasing awareness of worker co-ops is one of her main goals.
Kaye is an avid cyclist, biking wherever and whenever she can, and is also committed to making cycling possible for everyone.
820 Garwood Ave Winnipeg MB R3M 1N4
Kristin Van HattemRRSP Program Manager and Bookkeeper / Responsable du programme REER et comptable
Based in Kentville, Nova Scotia, Kristin Van Hattem has served as CWCF’s RRSP Program Manager and Bookkeeper since November of 2016. She has learned a great deal about worker co-ops during her time with the federation, and likes how they emphasize work-life balance and give employees a say in their working conditions. Kristin also appreciates that CWCF supports a national network of worker co-ops and how these organizations are concerned with wanting to make the world a better place. She is especially excited by the work being done by so many innovative co-ops and CEDIFs throughout Nova Scotia.
In her spare time, Kristin enjoys discovering new trails, parks and beaches with her family. She relaxes by reading, crafting and doing crossword puzzles.
Suite #1, 41 Aberdeen St. Kentville NS B4N 2M9
Rebecca SmythExecutive Assistant / Adjointe exécutive
Based in Calgary and bilingual, Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textiles, and has had a varied career since, often working at museums and festivals, and most recently at a local grocery store.
“A lot of my career choices have been motivated by my interests and my values,” she says. “The one thread that ties all my work together is I wanted to learn something, or it allows me to kind of leverage what I’m good at to build something cool.”
Rebecca anticipates serving as “an extra set of hands” at CWCF, helping with a variety of tasks including planning the upcoming conference and AGM. She believes her prior work experience in the arts nonprofit sector has prepared her well for this role, as it also required her to dabble in a little bit of everything. She sees the Executive Assistant role as a chance to contribute her organizational skills to the worker co-op movement and learn more about this sector at a time when its values are particularly needed.
“CWCF is an organization that’s already done so much to build awareness and community around a just economy,” she says. “I see a really great opportunity to leverage my admin skills to make the work more impactful.”
In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys spending time in her garden, going for hikes, and working on puzzles. Welcome, Rebecca!
#104, 402-30 Ave NE Calgary AB T2E 2E3 Canada
Kenzie LoveCommunications Assistant / Adjoint administratif et en communications
Based in Calgary, Kenzie Love has served as CWCF’s Communications and Executive Assistant since 2017. A former journalist, he holds an MA in Journalism from Western University, and is pleased to have the chance to employ his research and writing skills with organizations including CWCF, the Canadian Unitarian Council, and Autism Calgary.
Kenzie has appreciated the chance to learn about worker co-ops in his role with the federation, and has particularly enjoyed the opportunity to connect with worker co-op members across Canada through the member profile series he writes for the newsletter. He hopes that he can make the worker co-op model better known and understood through his work.
In his spare time, Kenzie enjoys reading, pub trivia, choral music, and going for walks with his dog, Louis.
#104, 402 – 30th Ave NE Calgary AB T2E 2E3 Canada
Janielle MaxwellProject Coordinator – Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Social Acquisition Project
Janielle is happy to be in a position where she can help improve access to viable long term business solutions for marginalized people. This will not only increase capital and economic stability in these communities, but contribute to solving the multi-factoral business succession dilemma Canada currently faces.
As a Black woman of colour who grew up amongst other equity seeking groups (other racialized individuals, people with disabilities, LGBTQx+ etc.); she is well aware of the inequities and barriers marginalized people face in social, academic, and professional spaces. Due to personal experience with all of the aforementioned contexts, she has developed a strong passion for true advocacy that catalyzes measurable change for the systematically underserved, underrepresented, and under-credited.
She is currently completing her MSc in Rural Planning and Development at the University of Guelph; with a One Health Specialization. Her research focuses on farm-level best management practices (BMPs) amongst minority farmers; whether that be racialized or small-scale farmers. Due to the scale of their operations or cultural perspectives on land and food, most of these producers farm to increase food security and/ or food sovereignty. Thus, many of these farmer’s practices differ from the norm, as they usually implement some form of regenerative or holistic agriculture. It follows that such groups can be uniquely positioned as models for new or improved BMPs that are better suited to reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture. As an aspiring One Health practitioner, she also considers the interconnections between human, animal, and environmental health in this matter.
Apart from work and school Janielle is a HUGE foodie. She loves exploring international cuisines and is always following Mark Wiens, ‘The Taste Life,’ and ‘The Best Food Review Show Ever’ (traveling social media foodies) on their next adventures. Some international dishes she’s proud to have mastered so far are: Indian channa masala, Nigerian jollof rice, and Egyptian koshari. Accordingly, she is also an advocate for not only food security, but food sovereignty- as she does believe investment in these essentials has the potential to promote socio-economic development in communities our system has historically underserved. She currently volunteers at an organization that seeks to mitigate the negative effects of urban planning on marginalized groups and her hobbies include: poetry (she hopes to publish a book soon), herbal/plant-based medicine,languages (fluent in French and learning Spanish), exploring her culture, and all things self-care i.e. candles, crystals, aromatherapy.
Josh DykeRRSP Program Administrator/ Administrateur, programme REER
Based in Kentville, Nova Scotia, Josh Dyke has served as CWCF’s RRSP Program Administrator since 2016, a position that has grown since he began the job to include more hours and interaction with investors. Josh had little knowledge of worker co-operatives before starting with CWCF, but has come to learn more about them through his work with the federation, including a course on co-op governance he took through CoopZone.
Josh likes working for CWCF because it’s good to its employees and responsive to employee needs. He also appreciates the values CWCF holds and how it tries to promote these through services such as the RRSP Program.
A graduate of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Josh holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminology with minors in philosophy and psychology. In his spare time, he volunteers as a Beaver Scouter, which he enjoys for the opportunity it allows him and others to have fun.
Suite #1, 41 Aberdeen St. Kentville N.S. B4N 2M9
Laura MacDonaldRRSP Program Assistant / Adjointe, programme REER (On leave)
Based in Kentville, Laura MacDonald has served as CWCF’s RRSP Program Assistant since 2019. When she’s not working at CWCF, Laura owns and operates Deep Hollow Print, a letterpress printing and graphic design studio in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. Laura has been running Deep Hollow Print for over 5 years now, and has won two East Coast Music Awards for her design work in the music industry.
Laura has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the University of Wisconsin, as well as a Certificate in Book Publishing/Editing from Humber College in Toronto.
Laura has a couple of cooperative connections: she lived in an international housing cooperative in Madison, Wisconsin for three years, and her grandfather PD MacDonald was involved in the Antigonish co-operative movement in the 1940s. He started one of the first Credit Unions in Nova Scotia, which he managed until the late 1970s. She’s a big fan of the cooperative lifestyle and is proud to be working at CWCF!
Suite #1, 41 Aberdeen St. Kentville B4N 2M9
Lindsay ReidRRSP Program Assistant / Adjointe, programme REER
Lindsay Reid grew up in a small town in the Niagara Region of southern Ontario.
She studied political science at The University of Western Ontario and graduated with a BA in Labour Studies from Brock University.
She and her partner Adam have resided in the Annapolis Valley since January 2007.
In 2010 they bought a small house with a big yard for their dog and chickens, and lots of gardening in the summer. They welcomed their son Milo in 2011.
In 2010 Lindsay opened a small café in Wolfville with a friend, which they ran successfully for twelve years, and was one of the best experiences of her life. After the closure of the café, she looked forward to new employment opportunities within her community. She was excited to change gears and look for a job using her past administrative experience. She is now finding a nice balance of work and home life, and very much enjoys working with CWCF.
Reba PlummerOntario Director (and President) / Administratrice, l’Ontario, et Présidente Urbane Cyclist
Based in Toronto, Reba Plummer has served on CWCFs board since 2010, and as board President since 2016. The Co-executive Director of Toronto’s Urbane Cyclist, Reba started out as the proprietor of her own bike shop before joining Urbane in 2000. She attended her first CWCF conference in 2006, and has been present at every one since. She is currently on the board of The Co-operators, having been nominated by CWCF, and previously served as the Greater Toronto Area Co-op Network Regional Manager for the Ontario Co-operative Association.
Having been a sole proprietor, Reba appreciates the shared responsibility that comes with belonging to a worker co-op. She finds that the co-op’s members have particularly demonstrated their commitment during the Covid-19 pandemic and stepped up to meet the challenges arising from it. She believes that Urbane’s members are committed to living out the co-op values in their work, seeking to create fair and equitable employment for all.
Reba believes a lack of understanding within the wider community remains a challenge for worker co-ops, and hopes to make them better understood. She would also like to grow CWCFs membership, and to ensure it has more resources available to support the creation of or conversion to worker co-ops.
An avid cyclist, Reba has completed the Adventure Cycling Association’s leadership training and has led several bicycle tours including the Eastern Canada Adventure, a two-week tour from Quebec City to Gaspé. She is also a two-time Cycle Messenger World Champion (cargo bike racing division).
280 College Street Toronto ON M5T 1R9
Kelly StorieDirector-at-Large (and Treasurer)/Administrateur sans région et Trésorière La Siembra
Kelly Storie of La Siembra was acclaimed as a director-at-large for CWCF at its AGM in November, 2021 She believes now is an opportune time to serve in this position, as Canada’s worker co-op movement is well-positioned to seize hold of the growing interest in democratizing the workplace.
“I feel like a lot of work has been done by the leadership of CWCF, and the board of CWCF, to really bring the worker co-op movement to the forefront of that,” she says. “And with my many years of experience in governance and co-operative governance in particular, I just felt like this could be a good time for me to invest and contribute back to the movement that has been so supportive of La Siembra over its 22 years as a worker co-op.”
Kelly first began working for La Siembra in 2010. She has appreciated the supportive role membership in CWCF has played for the Co-op during its history, both in terms of technical support and in the friendships and knowledge the Co-op has gained from belonging to the wider community. Her prior experience with co-op governance includes terms as a board member for Your Credit Union of Ottawa where she chaired the Audit Committee, and the Ontario Co-op Association, and she currently serves on the board of Equal Exchange.
Kelly wishes that everyone knew that worker co-ops are like any other business structurally and must operate accordingly to be successful, but that they can also do so in a way that is democratically organized, equitable, and has social value.
250 City Centre Ave Ottawa ON K1R 6K7
Evan ProvenPrairies, NWT and Nunavut Director / Administrateur pour les Prairies, les T.N.O. et Nunavut Sun Certified Builders Cooperative Ltd.
Evan Proven has served on CWCF’s board since 2019. A co-founder and longtime board member of Sun Certified, Evan has worked in the construction field for his entire career starting in concrete and moving on to wood framing, cabinet making, and super insulated renovation and new home construction.
Evan achieved his Red Seal Endorsement in Carpentry in June of 2017, and is currently a Masters Candidate for the Management in Co-operatives and Credit Unions program at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. A married father of two and stepfather of two, Evan’s hobbies include beekeeping, gardening, cooking, snowboarding, sailing, and fixing things.
A strong believer in Co-op Principle 6 (co-operation between co-ops), Evan believes Sun Certified has benefited from the networking opportunities membership in CWCF has offered, and wants to continue fostering these as a board member. Although he’s a firm believer in worker co-ops, Evan is aware of the challenges the movement faces, something he’s experienced both as a member of Sun Certified and witnessed elsewhere. But he’s hopeful that promoting the benefits of worker co-ops will succeed in growing the organization’s membership and increasing the movement’s diversity.
“I just personally believe co-operatives are a way better model of running a business and potentially running an economy,” he says. “I think that co-operatives have a really, really important role in balancing the economy and making sure that people have opportunities for meaningful employment that also pay a decent wage.”
109 Chestnut St. Winnipeg MB R3G 1R4
Jessica ProvencherQuebec Director / Administratrice, le Québec Reseau Coop
Jessica Provencher has served on CWCF’s board since 2011. She got her introduction to worker co-ops as a bartender at La Barberie, a microbrewery in Quebec City. During her time there, she spent six years as head of co-operative life, representing the co-op at conferences and on various boards. She is currently on the board of The Co-operators, having been nominated by CWCF.
Serving on the board has allowed Jessica to learn more about worker co-ops in the rest of Canada, and to bring her experience from the Quebec sector to CWCF. She believes she’s benefited from building relationships with members of the worker co-op sector who share common values in spite of geographical separation, and learning that there were more people committed to worker co-ops in Canada than she believed.
“That gave me faith and confidence that there were a lot of people in Canada and throughout the world that wanted this model to be more dynamic and more well-known,” she says. “So I think how I’ve benefited the most is it kept me motivated to work in worker co-ops and to help and support them to be viable.”
Jessica believes in the worker co-op model because it empowers workers in both their work lives and other areas, and thus helps create stronger communities. She also believes CWCF has both a challenge and an opportunity in the coming years to grow Canada’s worker co-op sector, and that issues such as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and precarious employment make this especially timely.
“I think the worker co-op movement can be a very good example of how it works when people come together and share the power and responsibilities in organizations,” she says.
Jared BlusteinDirector-at-Large /Administrateur sans région The Allium Restaurant and Bodega Worker Cooperative
Jared is passionate about creating equitable and just societies. After completing a graduate degree in Vancouver in 2017, investigating contemporary economic issues and potential solutions, he cofounded The Allium Restaurant and Bodega Worker Cooperative (The Allium). Jared believes that by empowering workers and making them the directors of produced profits, we actively create more resilient and localized economies, and more ethical societies. Moreover, the non-hierarchical and consensus-based model of many worker co-ops directly help to co-humanize and empower those involved, and develop community cohesion with dynamic ripple effects. In the spirit of allyship, Jared is continually working to help other workers establish their own cooperatives. In addition to co-operating The Allium, Jared is also a manager at the Arusha Centre Society, a non-profit organization that works on a variety of social, economic and environmental issues in Calgary.
211a 12th AVE SW, Calgary AB
Sandra AllenBC / Yukon Director / Administratrice pour la C.-B./ Yukon Shift Delivery Co-op
Sandra Allen has been a member of Shift Delivery for the past two years, and one of its board members for the past year and a half, Sandra enjoys the opportunity serving on CWCF’s board offers to get a broader perspective on the issues facing Canada’s worker co-ops. She’s found it a great learning experience, and believes she has more to learn as a director while also contributing to CWCF.
Sandra believes some Canadian worker co-ops may not fully appreciate the value of belonging to CWCF, and sees this as a challenge but also an opportunity for the organization to highlight the good work it does in bringing its members together and supporting them. As a board member she hopes to keep spreading the word about CWCF and to help worker co-ops stay engaged with CWCF.
Asked what she wishes people knew about worker co-ops, Sandra says that they open up possibilities that don’t exist in conventional businesses, and make work more meaningful than it would otherwise be. Although her initial motivation for joining Shift was her passion for cycling, she’s found the fact it’s a worker co-op a “huge added bonus” to her work there.
In her spare time, Sandra enjoys cycling and exploring nature, as well as visiting Vancouver’s breweries.
1441 Powell St. Vancouver BC V5L 1G8.
Juliet ‘Kego Ume-OnyidoBIPOC Board Advisor
Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido, MBA, is a co-founder of Black Women Professional Worker Cooperative. She is a Strategist & Visionary of F.L.O.W initiative: Financial Literacy & Opportunities for Women, a syndicated, invite-only series of experiential sessions, retreats and podcasts for women leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs. Her other activities and accomplishments include:
Co-Founder, Whole WoMan Network and i.S.E.R.V.E.2050 social enterprises; Nwanyibuife for women/youths, with a mission to raise up a new generation of Transformational, Ethical & Creative African Leaders.
Founder, POETRY4Change & SEED4Her/SEED4Him Leadership Initiatives for African Youths.
Passionate social justice advocate for Gender Equity, Quality Public School Education, Financial Literacy & Empowerment programs, especially in the delivery of certification trainings, seminars and workshops on Self-leadership, Transformational Leadership, Community Development & Wealth creation.
Dynamic Speaker and Trainer on Social Enterprise, Transformational Leadership and results-based Coaching, with a focus on empowering rural women to build sustainable and resilient cooperatives and communities.
Strategic Interventionist, delivering Experiential workshops for Women Professionals and Entrepreneurs on Work-Life Choices, and how to achieve Excellence & Success in the New Empathy-Driven, Data-Value-Based Economy. Author of upcoming books: “UN-Locking Your HeArt of Leadership”; Collections of Short Stories and Poems: “Conversations With An Amichi GrandMother” & “Today, I Will Not Bow.” She is a Sun Life Financial advisor.
Nasreen OmarBIPOC Board Advisor
Nasreen Omar is the Chair of the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op in Edmonton. She migrated to Canada 47 years ago. She has been with the Co-op for the last 25 years. She retired as a Multicultural Program Coordinator from Alberta Health Services (University of Alberta Hospital) after 20 years of service.
She has a B.A. in Sociology and Master’s in Library Science. In both her jobs, Alberta Health Services and Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op, she has been a master trainer of Intercultural Competency. She has an extensive experience in community education. She does a Punjabi radio program, South Asian Men’s, and Women’s support group. She also does community education in parenting in two cultures and general health. She is an active educator of the worker co-op at the MCHB. She researches, designs and delivers workshops to relevant conferences.