Heading to Headquarters

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It is an honor to be part of the "blogging team" for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives' annual meeting and bi-annual conference. For the last two years, I have served the USFWC as President and still have one year left on the board before term limits offer me a minimum tw-year break from the board of directors.

For those of you who don't me, please allow me to use my first GEO post to give a small introduction:

I grew up in Toledo, a northwest Ohio blue-collar/union port town and home to the Jeep.  I received a degree in History and English Literature at the Unversity of Wisconsin and during my undergraduate days was a leader in the Memorial Union Labor Organization (one of the only non-TA student labor unions in the country). After graduation, I went to work for Union Cab of Madison Cooperative (my idea was that this would be a great job to have until I decided on grad school). That was in 1988! I served my cooperative for eight years on the board (four as president) and countless committees. For the last eight years, I have been in charge of marketing, customer service, accounts receivable and served on the strategic planning committee. Oh, I finally made to grad school. I just graduated from St. Mary's University with a Master in Management: Co-operatives and Credit Unions. This included a 40 hour study trip to Mondragon at the Otalora Management Institute. I live in Madison with the love of my life and her wonderful daughter (a junior in high school).

In my spare time between work, family, and study, I have started two blogs. Breathing Lessons is about creating a more general cooperative world (at work, at home and in our community). The Workers' Paradise is specific to issues facing worker co-operatives. I hope that The Workers' Paradise would become a place to worker coop praticioners to meet and discuss (and I have had a few folks post their views). I provide the main content, but encourage anyone to join the discussion. Contact me for more information. 

I am looking forward to this weekend and am very pleased that GEO is making this incredible effort to bring the lessons that we hope to provide out from the conference hall to the rest of the coop world. I hope that you enjoy the coverage and please send a post or two (just to let me know you are there). 

Cooperatively Yours,

John McNamara

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