Esther West

Cooperative Development Specialist

(608) 263-4775

427 Lorch Street, Madison, WI

Esther West headshot

Esther West brings a long-time passion for worker co-ops and community development in her role as Cooperative Development Specialist since joining the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives in 2018. Brining insights from various urban and rural planning experiences prior to joining the Center, Esther conducts research that includes understanding what factors and ecosystems support the creation of new co-ops, as well as conducting market and food accessibility analysis. Bringing five years of first-hand worker ownership experience from Equal Exchange, Esther provides technical assistance to home care cooperatives and supporting transitions to employee ownership.

Additionally, she has been Co-Facilitator for the Eastern Coordinating Committee for the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy, a Trainer with Green Worker Co-ops in the Bronx, Equal Exchange’s Education Committee Co-Chair, and worked on issues related to immigration, racial equity, and sustainability. She obtained a Masters of Urban Planning, Design and Development, a Masters of Environmental Studies, and a GIS Masters Certificate from Cleveland State University. She also holds a Bachelor’s in Theology with minors in Political Science and History from Xavier University.

Esther currently is on the conference committee planning the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy 2019 and is a member of MadWorC. In her free time, she enjoys playing a jaunty Cole Porter song on the piano, making sopapillas, and exploring Madison’s glistening lake trails.

Academic Publications:

  • Zingale, Nicholas C., Samanta, Aritree, & West, Esther J.(2017).Loose Governance in Action: Tinkering Around in a Shrinking City.Administrative Theory & Praxis, 39(1), 32-57, DOI: 1080/10841806.2016.1273728
  • Lindsey, Greg, Singer-Berk, Lila, Johnston, Wade, Adcock, Kelley, Folkerth, Megan, & West, Esther (Year). Monitoring Trail Traffic in the Cincinnati Metropolitan Region: A Research Note. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration. Manuscript in preparation.
  • Figure (unknown). West, Esther (2019) Cuyahoga Watershed [map]. From Legacy Cities: Continuity and Change Amid Decline and Revival, by J.R. Tighe and S. Ryberg-Webster, May 2019.p., University of Pittsburgh Press. Manuscript in preparation.