Hawaiʻi Cooperative Webinar Series

Strength is in our Members is a webinar series brought to you by the Hawai‘i ‘Ulu Cooperative and The Kohala Center.



Co-op Basics & Panel Discussion

February 17 @ 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. HST. 


Come explore the unique benefits and challenges of being a member in a cooperative and learn about the different types of cooperatives that exist in Hawaiʻi. Join us to hear from a panel of members representing a diverse set of Hawaiʻi Cooperatives as they tell us about their co-op, how it works, and how it is making a difference for their members, their community and Hawai’i.

While co-ops come in all shapes and sizes, they share a common values base of cooperation over competition and a recognition that we’re stronger together.

  • David Bissell, President and CEO of Kaua‘i Island Utility Co-op
  • Clifford Chang, Board President of Kōkua Market
  • Dana Shapiro, General Manager of Hawai‘i ‘Ulu Cooperative
  • Jack Spruance, Treasurer of Hikiola Cooperative  


Members are the Foundation

April 28th @ 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. HST.

This workshop focuses on cooperative membership and members’ relation to the board and the management of the cooperative.

We will be joined by Travis Forgues, Executive Vice President of Membership at Organic Valley (CROPP Cooperative). Travis will share insights from Organic Valley’s 34+ years in business and offer ideas for how Hawai’i co-ops and members can best serve each other for long-term success.

Data Management of Membership in a Cooperative 

April 21 @ 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. HST.

Managing a large membership can have its challenges. Come learn about a new tool developed by Sam Aruch of Natural Resources Data Solutions (NRDS) and how it is being applied to manage complex data sets by the Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Cooperative. Also applicable to non-coop businesses such as food hubs.


Financials & Fundraising for Cooperatives

May 19 @ 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. HST.

Cooperatives operate a unique financial model, and are traditionally funded by their members; yet, co-op members do not always have the capacity to invest.  So how do co-ops raise the capital they need to start-up and make it past the breakeven point?

Come hear from Dave Swanson, Partner at Dorsey & Whitney and Josh Bakke, CPA at Moss Adams about the ways cooperatives can legally raise funds without violating Hawaiʻi and federal securities laws. Local co-ops will also share their experiences about what fundraising approaches have and have not worked.


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