Esther West

Position title: Cooperative Development Specialist


Phone: (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. Bringing insights from various urban and rural planning experiences prior to joining the Center, Esther researches ecosystems that support the creation of new co-ops, Latinx cooperatives, and conducts 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 a member of MadWorC, is a proud Xicanx, and in her free time illustrates various cooperative projects and plays Cole Porter on the piano.

Academic Publications:

  • Zingale, N. C., Samanta, A., & West, E. J. (2017). Loose governance in action: Tinkering around in a shrinking city. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 39(1), 32-57.
  • Lindsey, G., Singer-Berk, L., Johnston, W., Adcock, K., Folkerth, M., & West, E. (2019). Monitoring Trail Traffic in the Cincinnati Metropolitan Region, Ohio. Journal of Park & Recreation Administration, 37(3).
  • Chen, Na; Lindsey, Greg; Johnston, Wade; Adcock, Kelley; and West, Esther (2019). Trail Users in the Cincinnati Metropolitan Region: Purposes, Patterns, and Preferences. Proceedings of the Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning: Vol. 6 : Issue 1, Article 59.
  • Figure. West, Esther (2019) Cuyahoga Watershed [map]. From Tighe, J. R., & Ryberg-Webster, S. (Eds.). (2019). Legacy cities: Continuity and change amid decline and revival. University of Pittsburgh Press.