The 2011 Western Worker Cooperative Conference will be held September 5-7, 2011, at the worker-owned Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center. The conference's key note speakers will be:
Rosalinda Guillén is the executive director of De Comunidad a Comunidad (Community to Community Development), a women-led grassroots organization that works on practical solutions to social injustice through self-organizing by disempowered communities to build their own institutions to meet their own self-identified needs. See http://foodjustice.org/. She is working to create a culturally appropriate cooperative development center in order to support local farmworkers in their efforts to establish worker cooperatives. She will share stories of success in forming farmer cooperatives in Whatcom County, WA and Eugene, OR, as well as the issues involved with organizing in multi-ethnic groups in the current farmer - farmworker paradigm. Coming from Mexico as a youth, and raised as a farmworker on a farm in WA, she shares the unique perspective of her personal journey.
Gordon Edgar loves cheese and worker-owned co-ops, and has been combining both of these infatuations as the main cheese buyer for Rainbow Grocery Cooperative in San Francisco since 1994. Rainbow is the country's largest retail worker co-op. Edgar served on the Western Worker Co-op Conference Planning Committee for a number of years, Rainbow's Board of Directors for five years and currently is a member of Rainbow's Co-op Committee, often representing and explaining Rainbow to the co-op curious. His political cheese memoir, Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge was published in 2010. Edgar is described as a smart progressive cheese man with an edge - takes the readers of his book from animal rights to business ethics to taste epiphanies with élan.