Cooperative attorney and NCBA CLUSA member Linda D. Phillips is a 2017 recipient of The Denver Foundation’s Philanthropic Leaders Award. Now in its fourteenth year, the award recognizes professional advisors who have distinguished themselves as champions of philanthropy and the charitable community.
“Linda’s lifetime commitment to giving and service are evident in her everyday work,” said Jason Wiener, president of Jason Wiener P.C. and co-founder with Phillips of Colorado Cooperative Developers.
“Linda has left an indelible mark on many communities through her work in building and supporting cooperatives and the arts. This kind of recognition for the important work that her closest friends and colleagues have witnessed for years is long overdue.”
Phillips’ work with cooperatives began in 1991 when her then partner co-wrote a uniform statute on cooperatives for Colorado. She was part of a committee that shepherded its passage by the state legislature.
Then, in 2011, she helped the founders of the Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center (RMEOC) become a nonprofit corporation with a mission of worker ownership using cooperatives and ESOPs. Phillips served on their Board of Directors for several years, acting as a resource and educating them and their clients about worker cooperatives.
She joined staff from RMEOC, the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and The Denver Foundation on a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, in 2013 to learn about the Evergreen Cooperative model and the potential of cooperatives to help low-income communities create jobs.
Phillips has been a speaker about the social and business value of cooperatives at numerous events and locations across Colorado, including through the Community Wealth Building Network, the Colorado Bar Association and events sponsored by The Denver Foundation, Gary Community Investments and RMEOC. She is a co-founder of the Cooperative Professionals Association, a nationwide network of cooperative attorneys and accountants sponsored by NCBA CLUSA.
“Community and cooperatives are about bringing people together. It is the little gestures, like delivering food on Thanksgiving. It’s also the bigger steps like helping people gain both work and self-esteem through cooperative ownership,” Phillips said during her acceptance speech.
“Community also includes the goals of organizations like The Denver Foundation, which energize the larger community with funds from generous donors. I am honored to be part of that group,” she added.
In addition to her work with Colorado utilize their assets for social progress and helps low-income communities harness cooperative business ownership to create jobs and social equality through her own practice, Phillips Law Offices LLC.