Greg Brodsky brings a powerful background of strategy, tech, and entrepreneurship. His work has ranged from business development for a multi-million dollar tech start-up to strategic planning for nationally known purchasing co-ops. Perhaps best known for launching the nation’s only purchasing co-ops for bicycle stores and for craft breweries, Greg is currently working to launch a national accelerator program for new cooperatively owned enterprises. He currently serves as board chair of the Cooperative Development Institute.
Tae Chong is manager of social enterprise and workforce at Catholic Charities. He is currently working on three projects: creating a micro-enterprise ecosystem of 10 to 12 small businesses, connecting people in recovery and asylees with employment opportunities, and a research project to extend the careers of skilled older workers at Catholic Charities. Tae has over twenty years experience working with the immigrant and refugee populations in Maine. He has worked with this population as an educator, advocate, policy maker, social service provider and as a business advisor. In his work as an advocate for economic integration of immigrants and refugees in Maine, he has been featured in the Portland Press Herald, the Bangor Daily News, Maine Biz and Maine Magazine. He was a speaker at MaineLive and Ted Dirigo, and has published several articles and reports including Coastal Enterprise Inc.’s (CEI) Building Maine’s Economy and for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He was named as one of Maine’s 50 most influential people by Maine Magazine, and he attended the White House Conference on retaining and recruiting immigrant and refugee knowledge workers. Tae has also held leadership positions as co-chair of the refugee advisory council for the state of Maine’s DHHS Department, as a board member of NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Asian American Heritage Foundation and as board member of University of Southern Maine’s (USM) Department of Social Work. Currently, Tae is serving on USM’s School of Business Advisory Board, Tree Street Youth Project, CDI and Common Threads, a not for profit organization that is creating workforce opportunities for immigrant and refugee women in the textile industry. He is a long time resident of Portland and has served on the Portland School Committee, on the United Way’s Children Leadership Council and the City of Portland’s CDBG Committee. He holds a B.S. degree in Political Science and a Masters in Business Administration from USM.
Maggie is the Southeastern New England Loan and Outreach Officer for the Cooperative Fund of New England, a Community Development Finance Institution founded in 1975. She has served as the Executive Director of local non-profits, working for the Mission Hill Health Movement; for the Boston Collaborative for Food & Fitness with a broad array of community organizations, institutions and municipal agencies; and for Mission Hill Main Streets, working with local businesses and residents to improve the commercial district. Previously she worked at Red Sun Press, a worker-controlled commercial print shop in Jamaica Plain. She serves on the board of the Back of the Hill Community Development Corporation and is a member of Boston Building Resources, Harvest Cooperative Market and the Dorchester Community Food Co-op. She holds a BA from UMass Boston and a Master’s Degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University. She shares her home with her husband and three elderly cats, and prefers to travel by bike.
Director of the Southern Region for the RI Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at URI, Josh works with start-ups and existing businesses, both high growth and main street, to help them launch, grow, and transition successfully. Before his work with the RISBDC at URI, Josh was active in the entrepreneurial community in New Orleans, mentoring through incubators, and consulting through the SBDC there. Prior to business consulting, Josh managed experiential education and university-community engagement programs at Loyola University, New Orleans. Josh holds an MBA from Loyola and an MA in Ethics from Saint Paul University (Ottawa). He lives in southern Rhode Island, his home state, and enjoys spending time with family and friends, getting outdoors and making music. He’s a bookworm with a particular love of philosophy and political economy.
Erin Domagal is the Creative Director of Earth Designs Cooperative, a landscaping cooperative in the Hudson Valley, NY. Her passion for education and the environment flows through her previous work in wilderness and farm-based education programs and her work as herbalist & owner of Wild Seed Apothecary. She has a BFA in Painting from SUNY New Paltz and a Master’s Degree in Education from Goddard College.
Carolyn is a worker-owner and co-CEO of A Yard & A Half Landscaping Cooperative in Waltham, MA. In 2013, she led the conversion of A Yard & A Half Landscaping to a worker-owned co-op, allowing the primarily Salvadoran immigrant employees to purchase the company from their retiring boss. Carolyn has been involved in co-ops and consensus communities since living in a cooperative house in college. She graduated summa cum laude in Religious Studies from Cornell University and holds an MDiv from Harvard Divinity School. She was also a graduate of the 2015 Boston cohort of Inner City Capital Connections. Carolyn, her partner Jesse, and their two boys enjoy running, dancing, and growing ridiculous amounts of food in their small urban garden.
Maria Fernandes-Dominique is a purposeful and innovative community development professional with over 10 years of experience working with resident leaders, elected officials and community partners to tap into and build capacity in Boston’s urban neighborhoods. She has had demonstrated success in community organizing and engagement, legislative and budget advocacy, building collaborative partnerships, authoring strategic communications and advancing community programs through grantmaking.
Colleen Preston is a Housing Program Organizer under CDI’s NEROC Program and is a Cooperative Development Specialist. She is a past President of Cranberry Village, a ROC in Massachusetts, and has been elected to the ROC USA Board. She studied journalism at Virginia Tech and George Washington University, spent several years as a programmer and systems analyst for Honeywell, worked as a reporter for the Attleboro Sun Chronicle for 10 years, ran a rare and used bookstore for 18 years, and has served on numerous committees and boards.
Emma Yorra, Board Treasurer, is a Bookkeeper and Consultant at A Bookkeeping Cooperative, where she is also a worker owner. Previously Emma worked at the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, working with immigrant cooperatives, first as a Cooperative Developer and then as the cooperative program’s Co-Director. She also founded and directed the Nicaraguan office of the cooperative finance fund, The Working World. She has a BA from Skidmore College in Economics and a Masters in Social Economics and Cooperative Business Management from Mondragon University in Spain.
Carla Zottoli is the Executive Director of the Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation, a non-profit organization providing financial support for Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, Massachusetts. Carla came to the MWCC Foundation in 2013 from RCAP, a nonprofit specializing in housing development and homelessness programs, where she was Chief External Affairs Officer. She has also served as an aide to Massachusetts State Senator Harriette Chandler, as a Business Consultant and Educator at the Center for Women & Enterprise (Massachusetts), and also has professional experience in real estate development. Carla also brings experience in strategic planning, fundraising, and board development in non-profit and for-profit management to the CDI Board. Carla holds a BA in Business Management and Entertainment Development from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is a graduate of the Women in Politics & Public Policy Program at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts, Boston.