Co-op Directors 101


December 12, 2022, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Compeer Financial, Sun Prairie, WI

Outstanding board leadership is a critical component of being a successful cooperative business. Great boards don’t just happen, they are built and honed. Governance training is critical to developing a productive and forward-thinking board and ensuring a positive relationship between the board and management.

Directors have many duties and responsibilities. Every director has a unique combination of skills, expertise, and blind spots to the board room. The stronger the individual directors are, the stronger the board will be as a whole.

This training is designed for directors from all types and sectors of cooperatives.

Who should attend: Newly elected directors and directors who have not received formal cooperative board training.


9:30 a.m.   Registration and Refreshments
10:00 a.m. Roles and Responsibilities of Directors

This session will focus on the relationship between the board, management, and members, as well as the different functions performed by cooperative directors, including:

  • Assessing the cooperative’s performance
  • Monitoring the cooperative’s financial health
  • Hiring and oversight of management
  • Establishing cooperative policies
  • Serving as an ambassador for the cooperative
  • Preserving the cooperative character of the organization
  • Keeping members informed
12:00 p.m.   Lunch (included with registration)
1:00 p.m.  Tools for an Effective Board

In this session attendees will learn about strategies for developing an efficient board. We will review the following:

  • Core board documents that every director should have and understand
  • Best practices for agenda setting and meeting facilitation
  • Decision making strategies including methods for processing information and tools for closing the decision
  • Using committees effectively
3:30 p.m.   Q&A and Adjourn


Courtney BernerCourtney Berner headshot
Executive Director, UW Center for Cooperatives

As Executive Director, Courtney develops research, outreach, and education programs on cooperatives and provides support to new and established cooperatives in a wide range of industries. Her areas of expertise include cooperative education, business development, cooperative finance and governance, and innovative uses of the cooperative model.

Kelly Maynardphoto of kelly maynard
Cooperative Development Specialist, UW Center for Cooperatives

Kelly Maynard is part of the team of Cooperative Development Specialists at the Center, focusing her work on supporting food and agricultural enterprises in rural communities. She enjoys working with diverse groups as they refine their cooperative business proposition and she prioritizes facilitation and learning about group process and governance in the early stages of cooperative development.

Kristin Fordephoto of Kristin Forde
Cooperative Development Specialist, UW Center for Cooperatives

Kristin Forde is part of the team of Cooperative Development Specialists at the Center, who supports cooperatives in rural communities with an emphasis on worker cooperative conversions. She emphasizes the importance of both individual and collective commitment to the significant cultural and organizational change that is required to shift toward democratic and participatory decision making. She enjoys learning about the many creative ways cooperatives organize and structure themselves; and developing effective formats for group processes.

Registration & Logistics


  • $100/attendee
  • Registration cost includes program, materials, coffee break, and lunch.

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. If you are interested in receiving updates for future Director Training options, please sign up for UWCC updates.

There is a limited number of scholarships available for cooperatives with demonstrated need for financial assistance, which may include:

  • Board members or organizers from start-up cooperatives
  • Board members from emerging cooperatives that are in the process of becoming operational and already incorporated as a cooperative
  • Board members from established cooperatives that have limited financial capabilities.

Please contact Kelly Maynard at for more information.

Please contact Kelly Maynard at with questions.