Position title: Cooperative Development Specialist
427 Lorch St, Taylor Hall, Madison, WI 53706
Kristin Forde is part of the team of Cooperative Development Specialists at the Center who supports worker cooperatives in rural community 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.
Kristin arrived to the worker co-op world via taxi in 2004 as a Union Cab member. While working as a cab driver, she helped launch member education initiatives, participated in newly developed cooperative grievance procedures and conflict resolution systems, was a founding member of Madison Worker Cooperatives (MadWorC), served as Board president for one term, and participated in the planning of Madison’s first Cooperative Business Conference in 2012. She comes to UWCC after working for ten years in a non-profit agency providing and managing crisis childcare. She is a UW-Madison graduate with a degree from the School of Education. Additional life experiences Kristin brings forward include teaching in New Orleans and Madison public schools, community organizing with Industrial Areas Foundation, restorative justice in Wisconsin prisons with Prison Ministry Project, racial justice organizing with Families for Justice, and community theater performances and productions at Bartell Theater. When not working, Kristin enjoys gardening, hiking, dancing, and dreaming up her next travel adventure with her son.