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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Talking Co-ops

Vernon Oakes Interviews Jim Johnson of the Democracy at Work Network

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January 22, 2018
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Vernon and Jim discuss the process of establishing a worker co-op, and the steps companies should take to prepare for the transition to a worker co-op. 

GEO Collective member Jim Johnson has been in small business for over thirty-five years, and has spent over twenty of those years working with and for co-ops. He is a co-founder of the Democracy At Work Network, the technical assistance service of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and currently serves on DAWN's Board of Governors and its Training and Certification committee. He also currently serves DAWN as a certified Peer Advisor, actively providing technical assistance to worker co-ops, start-ups, and conversions.  This interview was recorded in 2015.

Listen to more interviews from Everything Co-op on Youtube and Chirbit


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Vernon Oakes is President of Oakes Management Inc. As President, he has renovated and managed his own properties, and those owned by other entities since 1985. Mr. Oakes is the immediate Past President of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, and serves on several boards to advance the interests of cooperatives. He is also a former coordinator of the MBA program at Howard University, and an MBA graduate of Stanford University, who has used his business acumen to benefit the community by providing quality housing for all populations. Vernon is a consummate advocate for cooperatives.

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