To be a catalyst for co-operative developers and professional service providers to foster the social economy through the development of co-operatives.
CoopZone - a leader in the development of co-operatives in Canada
CoopZone adheres to and champions the co-operative values and principles
The CoopZone Developers’ Network Co-operative a bilingual network that brings together, supports, and unifies the voice of professional co-operative developers and professional service providers (e.g., lawyers, accountants) across Canada. As of our newly approved strategic plan (2017 - 2022), our mission is :to be a catalyst for co-operative developers and professional service providers to foster the social economy through the development of co-operatives.
CoopZone was incorporated in 2009, after the successful completion of a business case, financially supported by The Co-operators. Since then, though autonomous in terms of governance, our administration and management has been supported first by the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation (CWCF), followed by the Cooperation Council of Ontario.
We work closely with co-op organizations across Canada, especially the CWCF, as our members are deeply engrained in the Canadian co-operative community. We have been supported by a number of institutional co-operatives and mutuals since our inception, including The Co-operators, VanCity, the Assiniboine Credit Union.
As for our governance structure, CoopZone is supported by one part-time administrator and one program director with a Training Program and Marketing committee to support the delivery of CoopZone's Mission. Our governance structure is made up of 8 seats, including 5 regional directors (BC, Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic), one Professional Service Provider seat (for the CZ Legal Network), and two at-large directors.
We have approximately 40 members, including co-operative developers, lawyers within the co-op sector, and other professional service providers. The way in which they have invested in the co-op is through annual member dues, and also freely sharing their time and expertise through providing webinars without charge (by both co-op developer and lawyer members) and by responding to questions on the very active listserv of members.
Meg Ronson has been CoopZone's Executive Director since 2022 and was previously the Training Program Director for the 2021-2022 academic year. She is a social economy researcher, junior co-operative developer, and economic development professional. She specializes in community and stakeholder engagement and small business education. Meg splits her time between CoopZone and her role as Innovation Lab Manager at the University of Waterloo's Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR).
Adele Rosanova splits her time between her role as Administrator at CoopZone and as Executive Director at Parent Co-operative Preschool Co-op (PCPC). Her love for all things co-operative began over 12 years ago, when she was a parent looking to enrol her daughter at a local preschool. Her role at PCPC helps support other preschool co-operatives in Ontario through mentorship, governance training and consulting. Adele is also a long-standing board member and Treasurer of the King City (Co-op) Nursery school.