Meet the Candidates Running for Election to the 2018 NCBA CLUSA Board of Directors


NCBA CLUSA is pleased to announce the candidates running to fill five seats on the 2018 Board of Directors: Carla Decker, Kimberly Garmany, Diane Gasaway, Anya Irons, David E. Leppert, Jeanne D. Matson, Michelle Schry and David Swanson. Read about them below!

The online election will open on March 26 and close on April 26; during this period, NCBA CLUSA members in good standing will be able to cast their votes. Your participation helps us set the strategic vision for the organization, ensuring that NCBA CLUSA remains a dynamic voice in the cooperative space.

The election results will be announced at NCBA CLUSA’s Annual Business Meeting & Virtual Town Hall, which will be held on May 1, 2018 in Washington, D.C., during Co-op Week.

Carla Decker

Carla Decker has served as President & CEO of DC Federal Credit Union (formerly District Government Employees FCU) since 2001. Under her leadership, DC FCU expanded its service area from an employer-based field of membership to one led by a mission in community development and service. DC FCU leverages impact through public and private partnerships to lift the most financially vulnerable‚ÄĒfrom youth to social service recipients to immigrants.

DC FCU’s ACCESO addresses the otherwise unmet financial needs of Latino immigrants in the District via a multi-cultural, multi-lingual community branch. In 2017, Carla made the list of the 100 Most Influential People to the Hispanic Community in DC by “El Tiempo Latino,” the region‚Äôs principal Spanish language news publication.

For its mission of financial inclusion, DC FCU is designated by the Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Today, the credit union continues to leverage that designation by contributing to public policy initiatives such as “Financially Fit DC,” growing a network of strategic¬†public-private partnerships and utilizing grant funding to build human and financial capital.

Carla is co-founder of the Network of Latino Credit Unions & Professionals. She serves on the boards of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, NCBA CLUSA and the Cooperative Development Foundation. Carla is the U.S. representative to the board of the Americas’ Region of the International Co-operative Alliance. For her work as an International Credit Union Development Educator, Carla earned the 2017 “Joe Biden Development Educator of the Year” award from the International Credit Union Leadership Foundation in the UK.

Carla holds a master’s degree in International Commerce and Politics from George Mason University in Virginia. She was born and raised in Lima, Peru.

Candidate Statement

Kimberly Garmany

Kimberly Garmany currently serves as the Director of Community Engagement at College Houses, a group equity nonprofit cooperative student housing organization that serves 532 members in Austin, Texas. It was during Kim’s time as a student cooperator at College Houses that she discovered and fell in love with the versatility and benefits of the cooperative business model.

While earning her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership & Ethics, Kim served as the Development Officer on the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO)’s Board of Directors. During her time there, she provided leadership on the Executive Committee and the Financial Sustainability Committee, served on the Hiring Committee and presented at numerous workshops and conferences.

In 2012, Kim’s NASCO Board term ended and she joined a local effort already in motion called the Austin Co-op Think Tank (ACTT), a cross-sector discussion and action group focused on creating more opportunities for cooperation among co-ops in Austin, Texas. Kim served on the initial steering committee for ACTT and as lead organizer for the first Austin Co-op Summit. ACTT partnered with NCBA CLUSA for this event, which led to Austin becoming the first official cross-sector regional Cooperative Business Association. Kim became a founding board member of the Austin Cooperative Business Association and served as its inaugural Board President until 2015 when she ran for and was elected to NCBA CLUSA‚Äôs Board of Directors.

During her three-year term on NCBA CLUSA’s Board, Kim participated in strategic visioning for the organization, including the hire of the organization’s current president and CEO. Her role at College Houses allows her to connect student members with the wider co-op community.

Candidate Statement

Diane Gasaway

Diane Gasaway is the Executive Director for the Northwest Cooperative Development Center (NWCDC), a nonprofit organization devoted to assisting new and existing cooperative businesses ranging from home care worker co-ops to community solar co¬≠ops. The center’s primary focus is cooperative education and business development to new and existing co-ops throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Since Diane joined the center in 2003, it has grown from two to ten employees, providing co-op technical assistance to more than 1,500 people every year.

Diane became involved with the cooperative movement in 2000 through her work with the Washington Rural Electric Cooperative Association (WRECA) as their Office Manager/Legislative Assistant. Prior to WRECA, Diane spent 13 years in banking services. She received her master’s degree in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College.

In 2009, NWCDC became a ROC USA¬ģ Network affiliate. Diane has been a ROC USA, LLC Board Director since September 20I3. She holds the same position at Cooperation Works!

Candidate Statement

Anya Irons

Anya Irons has served as Director of Operations at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board since 2013, an organization she has worked for since 2007. Anya also serves as General Counsel‚ÄĒUHAB‚Äôs sole in-house attorney.

Until recently, she also performed the duties of interim Director of Co-op Development, overseeing the rehabilitation and co-op conversion of UHAB’s development pipeline of 99 buildings. With legal matters an integral part of preserving the affordable co-ops created by UHAB, Anya helps ensure the survival of this unique form of homeownership. She regularly fields questions on co-op management, interest inheritance and stewardship.

Anya’s other legal interests include community land trusts, elder law and wills, trusts and estates. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and New York Law School.

Candidate Statement

David E. Leppert

David Leppert is best described as a cooperative entrepreneur. David has led the construction of multiple billion-dollar enterprises that have transformed the building material industry. Throughout his twenty-plus years of cooperative development, he has intimately explored challenges and aspirations with thousands of independent business owners.

As President of Cooperative Solutions, David evaluated industry-wide problems and designed cooperative mechanisms to strengthen the competitive position of those open to change. He has led the construction of enterprises that continue to significantly impact a variety of industries, including drywall, roofing, tool & fastener and HVAC.

In 2017, David co-founded an agricultural cooperative in California, expanding from his core competency of purchasing cooperatives. He has earned the distinction of “Honored Cooperator” from NCBA CLUSA and has been profiled in both INC. Magazine and the Wall Street Journal for his creative use of the cooperative model.

Candidate Statement

Jeanne D. Matson

Since 2007, Jeanne D. Matson has served as President & CEO of Starnet Commercial Flooring, a purchasing cooperative of independent commercial flooring contractors in the U.S. and Canada.

Prior to joining Starnet, Jeanne was an executive at the Clairol division of Procter & Gamble. She advanced through the Brand Management system, ultimately serving as Vice President of Retail Marketing for the U.S. business. Subsequently, Jeanne was promoted to General Manager-P&G Professional Beauty Products for North America market, a position she held for eight years.

Jeanne holds a bachelor‚Äôs degree from Miami University (Ohio) and an MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She resides in Darien, Connecticut and has two adult children. Jeanne is active in her community as a volunteer EMT with Darien EMS-Post 53 and serves on the board of the Connecticut Women’s Forum and the Center for Hope in Greenwich, CT.

Candidate Statement

Michelle Schry

Michelle Schry is Development Director for the Central U.S. region of the National Co+op Grocers (NCG). Prior to joining NCG in 2015, Michelle spent 20 years in cooperative retail management in CEO level positions.

She has also been active in service to the larger co-op community, serving as a board member of Cooperative Development Services, National Co+op Grocers and NCBA CLUSA.

Michelle is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, which awarded her the 2006 Rada Distinguished Alumni Award. She was honored with the Cooperative Development Fund’s Howard Bowers Cooperative Service Award in 2006.

Candidate Statement

David Swanson

An attorney at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, David Swanson has been a partner in the Corporate Practice Group since 1998, chair of the Cooperative Law Practice Group and co-chair of the Project Development & Finance Group. For more than 30 years, his practice has focused on cooperatives large and small, assisting with legal issues unique to cooperatives, including tax and securities issues.

Dave has also assisted clients with organizational issues, project development, financing and transactions. His client base spans numerous cooperative sectors, including agricultural, rural electric cooperatives, consumer cooperatives and purchasing cooperatives, as well as cooperative financial institutions.

Dave also serves on the boards of several cooperatives and cooperative oriented nonprofits, including the National Cooperative Bank, NCBA CLUSA, Cooperative Development Services, Northcountry Cooperative Foundation and the Ralph K. Morris Foundation. He served on the Shared Capital Cooperative Board of Directors from 2001 to 2017.

Candidate Statement

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