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Innisfail hosts Community-based Cooperatives lunch event

Feb 9, 2024 | 0 comments

On Wednesday, March 13, Innisfail Community Economic Development (CED) will provide lunch guests with information about cooperatives and the impact they can have on our town.

Community-based cooperatives can help foster a healthy business environment while providing local investment opportunities. Cooperatives also provide a source of funding for business start-ups or for ventures which are looking to expand.

Guest speakers at the event have extensive knowledge about building community-based cooperatives. Kyle White (Director of Education, Cooperatives First), Dan Ohler (Sangudo Opportunity Development Coop), and Toland Cochrane (Vermillion Development Coop) have years of experience related to the organization and development of cooperatives.

“Whether you’re a community leader, entrepreneur or simply interested in how cooperatives can help our community address challenges, this event provides a valuable opportunity to learn, share experiences, and explore the potential of cooperatives in our community” explains Meghan Jenkins, Director of Community Services for the Town of Innisfail.

The event begins at 11:00 a.m. and runs until 2:00 p.m. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Cost to attend is $25.

Click here to purchase tickets.


Speaker Bios

Kyle White
Kyle is the Director of Education with Co-operatives First, where he leads the development and delivery of start-up supports and online courses. Originally from Newfoundland and Labrador, Kyle has worked his way across Canada, focusing on community economic development, governance, and co-op development in rural and Indigenous communities. With degrees in Geography and Public Policy, Kyle’s educational background has focused on community development, corporate governance, and public policy. In his work at Co-operatives First, Kyle has helped develop more than 100 co-operative businesses and provided educational support to thousands of co-operators. Aside from his work with Co-operatives First, Kyle stays busy as a volunteer, history enthusiast, and long-distance runner.

Dan Ohler

Dan is a proud husband, father, life-long entrepreneur, and community-builder. He’s a down-to-earth farm boy, and a believer in the Co-op model which can fill keenly-felt needs in any community, including yours.

At home in Sangudo, AB, and concerned about the social and economic crumbling of their rural community, a small, dedicated group of local citizens incorporated Sangudo Opportunity Development Co-op (SODC) in 2010.  It was the first of its kind in Canada, which has unleashed close to $1million of local capital into economic development in the small rural community.  It has supported new businesses, expansion/renovation of existing businesses, succession of an existing business, and a housing project.

Dan has been instrumental in the six projects they’ve completed, with the seventh ready to launch.  Dan will share their story about how to mobilize the financial, social, emotional, and intellectual capital which exists in every community.

Toland Cochrane

Toland has helped renovate many of the historic downtown buildings in Vermillion. Through his work with the Vermillion Development Coop, Toland has been instrumental in moving the ‘economic development’ needle’ in his community.

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