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ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Conversion to Cooperatives Project (CoopConvert) aims to better understand business conversion to cooperatives (BCCs) as outlets for preserving jobs, addressing business succession needs, and starting new cooperatives across Canada. Creating knowledge, building capacity, and enhancing sustainable cross-sectoral networks, the CoopConvert Project is of interest to the cooperative movement, policy makers, retiring business owners, unions, local communities, and working people, in Canada and beyond. Go here for a detailed project description.

OUR MAIL LIST

CONTACT

T: +1.416.978.0515

E: info@coopconvert.ca

 

The CoopConvert Project is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grants, and supports the objectives of SSHRC’s Insight and Connection programs.

LEAD RESEARCHERS

Marcelo Vieta

Marcelo Vieta is Assistant Professor in the Program in Adult Education and Community Development, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT). He is also a co-founder and an executive committee member of the Centre for Learning, Social Economy & Work (CLSEW). Marcelo researches and teaches on workplace and organizational learning and social change, alternative economic arrangements, economic democracy, the social and solidarity economy, the sociology of work, the philosophy of technology, and Critical Theory. Regionally, he specializes in Latin America, Canada, and Italy. In recent years, Marcelo has been teaching, researching, and publishing on the historical conditions, the political economic contexts, and the lived experiences of the worker-recuperated enterprises, business conversions to cooperatives, and community cooperatives.

Claude-André Guillotte

Pr. Claude-André Guillotte is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship at the School of Management of the Université de Sherbrooke. He mainly teaches entrepreneurship with the Bachelor of Business Administration and Strategy with the Executive MBA. His research interests include cooperative entrepreneurship, strategic management of cooperatives and mutuals, corporate governance and cooperative law.

Claude-André is also Director of the Research and Education Institute for Cooperatives and Mutuals at the University of Sherbrooke (IRECUS). He is responsible for the strategic mandates led by students in the cooperative and mutual profile of the MBA.

Claude-André holds a degree in Civil Law from the University of Ottawa and holds a Master's degree in Management and Governance of Cooperatives and Mutual Societies from the Université de Sherbrooke and a Doctorate in Management from the Université de Sherbrooke on the creation of cooperative value. He is a trainer and speaker to varied audiences.

Fiona Duguid

Fiona Duguid (PhD) is a researcher based out of Chelsea, Quebec. She previously worked for the Co-operatives Secretariat for the Government of Canada and the Canadian Co-operative Association. She conducts research focusing on cooperatives, social economy, sustainability and community economic development. She is a Research Fellow with the Centre of Excellence on Accounting and Reporting of Co-operatives, Saint Mary’s University (SMU), and an instructor in the SMU Co-operative Business Management program, as well as the MBA program (CED) at Cape Breton University.

Dionne Pohler

Dr. Dionne Pohler is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto. Dionne is also a research fellow in Co-operative Strategy and Governance with the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan. Dionne’s research with the Centre focuses on governance successes and failures in the Canadian credit union system and cooperative federations, and cooperative development in rural settler and Indigenous communities. Dionne helped develop a cooperative model of economic and social development alongside Western Canadian rural communities as one of the co-investigators on the Co-operative Innovation Project (CIP). CIP required extensive stakeholder outreach and engagement, and eventually led to the creation of a non-profit organization, Co-operatives First, dedicated to working with rural and Indigenous communities to address the needs identified by community members. Dionne was a founding board member of Co-operatives First.

COOPERATIVE SECTOR AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Dan Brunette

Daniel Brunette is the Director, Advocacy and Partnerships for Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada where he provides strategic, advocacy and policy-related advice to support CMC’s strategic plan and the evolving needs of members. This includes oversight on research,  analysis of policy issues and the development of CMC policy positions. In addition, he is responsible for developing and sustaining relationships, partnerships and alliances across a broad spectrum of influencers and stakeholders.

Daniel is fluently bilingual and brings more than 18 years’ experience with not-for-profit organizations, including the Ottawa Community Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa and the University of Ottawa.  He also has extensive experience as a senior volunteer, most notably as the former Chair of the Government Relations Committee of Association of Fundraising Professionals-Canada, where he was responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of a national advocacy program.

Audra Krueger

Audra Krueger is the Executive Director of Co-operatives First, a non-profit organization promoting the cooperative model in rural and Indigenous communities across western Canada. Before joining Co-operatives First, Ms. Krueger was Research Liaison at the University of Saskatchewan’s Centre for the Study of Co-operatives. She is former vice-chair of Good Food Junction Co-operative, first director and treasurer of Saskatoon Car Share Co-op, director of Saskatchewan Co-operative Association and Executive Director of the Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op. Ms. Krueger has also researched and written on Mexican agrarian co-ops, which earned her a Master Degree in Collaborative International Development and Sociology from the University of Guelph.

Dan Matthews

Dan Matthews is Manager, New Business & Communications for Co-operatives First. He has extensive advertising, marketing and communications experience. For over a decade, Dan managed national and international accounts for local and national ad agencies. Besides advertising, Dan has led communications in political and economic development offices, as well as managed business retention and expansion for a provincial economic development agency.

GRADUATE RESEARCHERS

Sharry Taylor

Sharry Taylor is a high school guidance counsellor and PhD student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Her work explores the intersection of capitalism and psychiatry as these relate to the well-being of young people. She is interested in how the harms associated with capitalism materialize as emotional distress in young people’s lives, and how adolescent identity is affected when this distress is construed as ‘mental illness.’

She became interested in the cooperative movement because working cooperatively promotes more worker well-being and happiness, something she sees as part of a broader anti-capitalist, pro-human wellness project.

Marcelo Paladino Castro

Marcelo Castro is a PhD student in Adult Education and Community Development at Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He has a Masters in Latin American Studies from Simon Fraser University. His thesis examined how Brazil’s Black Movement organized to challenge racialization, racist practices, and structures of racial inequality. He also has a BA (Hons) in Engineering from the University of Rio de Janeiro State. Marcelo’s current research interest is on the social economy and the future of work with a focus on the cooperativism movement in on-line communities. His dissertation will examine the formation and dissolution of social capital in the creation, rise and demise of online-centred worker cooperatives. Before joining the Coop Convert Project team, he worked for fourteen years in community development and health promotion. Marcelo has a passion for community engagement and capacity building as a way to address systemic inequalities.

Tyler Dilnot

Tyler Dilnot is an alumni graduate student at the University of Toronto. He completed an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Philosophy, graduating with distinction in 2012. In April 2019 he will have completed his graduate studies with a Masters degree in Education. Focusing on Adult Education and Community Development, with a specialization in Workplace Learning for Social Change. Tyler is interested in popular education, workplace democracy, worker self-management and continues to be interested in political philosophy and existentialism. In the Fall of 2018, Tyler traveled throughout Northern and Central Italy studying the Social Economy through a visiting study programme with St.Mary's University, Halifax. In the Summer of 2019, Tyler plans on traveling to Argentina to see first-hand the ongoing processes of Autogestion, or worker self-determination, nestled in popular social movements throughout the country. Tyler sees these radical workers' movements as potentially transformative for their communities, workers and workplaces themselves. Tyler is passionate about reading, traveling and sustainable development. He has traveled to over 30 countries on 5 continents and has planted over 1,000,000 trees by hand.

Josée Charbonneau

Josée collaborates in various research projects led by the IRECUS, a research and education institute for cooperatives and mutuals at the University of Sherbrooke, as a research professional. She holds a master's degree in management and governance of cooperatives and mutuals as well as a master's degree in environment. Her interests lie in the contribution of cooperatives to sustainable development.

Emile Pichette-Lefebvre

Émile Pichette-Lefebvre works at Consortium de Ressources et d’Expertises coopératives and for the Research and Education Institute for Cooperatives and Mutual Societies of the University of Sherbrooke (IRECUS. He does different tasks for both of the co-op organizations like research, process re-engineering, creation of customized training, etc. Émile holds degree in guidance counselor at the University of Sherbrooke. He pursued master’s studies in organizational changes at the University of Sherbrooke. He likes working in the co-op environments for the values, the principles and the people.

Melissa Hillier

Melissa Hillier has worked with small businesses through the Smiths Falls Chamber of Commerce and as a small business owner herself, she became passionate about the difficulties of succession planning and the concept of Cooperatives very early in her career.

She has an undergraduate degree in Human Services Management and is now working towards completing an MBA in Community Economic Development. Melissa has aligned her applied research project to the Conversion to Cooperatives project.

Ashish Krishna Pillai

Ashish K Pillai is a PhD student in the Program in Adult Education and Community Development, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT). His current research interests include cooperative development, knowledge management and human resource management in cooperatives and other social economy organization types.

Ashish has over 14 years’ experience in teaching and research in the areas of marketing, marketing research and strategy.