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256: The Kendeda Fund Impact - Part 2, Nexus Community Partners

The EsOp Podcast: The Kendeda Fund Impact, Part 2 - Nexus Community Partners

We continue our look at the ways The Kendeda Fund impacts employee ownership. Bret Keisling is joined by Benjamin Tsai and Christina Nicholson of Nexus Community Partners which focuses, among other areas, on Community Wealth Building (CWB). which works to build just and equitable communities by promoting local and broad-based ownership; lifting up cooperative and culturally-based economic practices; developing the next generation of leaders; and influencing economic policy and investment decisions.

CWB is guided by a set of values and principles rooted in equity, culture, mutuality and stewardship. It is driven by the belief that economic systems must shift away from extractive models towards strategies that build regenerative local economies.

Benjamin and Christina share how Nexus works to create new worker cooperatives, how employee ownership changes and enhances communities, and why it is particularly critical to increase ownership among people and communities of color. The guests also share how The Kendeda Fund has allowed their work to flourish.

Special thanks to Michael Palmieri of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center for suggesting this series and helping coordinate with the participating organizations.

... or watch the video below.


Episode 256 Show Notes

Links to Worker Co-ops discussed in this episode:

Case Studies of two businesses that converted to employee ownership with help from Nexus:

As referenced at the end of this week's episode, here are the seven principles of worker cooperatives:

  1. Voluntary, Open Membership;

  2. Democratic Member Control;

  3. Economic Participation;

  4. Autonomy and Independence;

  5. Education, Training, and Information;

  6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives; and

  7. Concern for the Community.

Episode 256 Guests

About Benjamin Tsai

Benjamin Tsai is Director of The Worker Ownership Initiative (WOI) at Nexus Community Partners. He consults on business succession planning, and helps owners explore the benefits of selling to employees. This work keeps legacy businesses rooted locally, and broadens access to regenerative economic opportunities for community members. Benjamin comes to Nexus with 18 years of experience in the cooperative sector. He co-founded The Hub Bike Co-op in 2002 and served there as CEO and Development Coordinator until 2018. Since then he has consulted for a variety of Minnesota businesses, co-ops and nonprofits. He is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA), and Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR).

About Christina Nicholson

Christina Nicholson is the Cooperative Finance Developer for the Worker Owner Initiative (WOI), which is part of Nexus’ Community Wealth Building Strategy. She provides technical assistance to both start-ups and existing businesses to create an understanding of the role that Worker Ownership can play in successful cooperative transition strategies. These strategies include succession planning as well as improved workplace culture and stability for employees through worker ownership. With solid technical assistance and organizational support, Worker Owner Cooperatives can grow and perpetuate community wealth by expanding opportunities for local business ownership.

About Nexus Community Partners

Nexus Community Partners Community Wealth Building Values and Principles

Nexus supports strong, equitable and just communities in which all residents are engaged, are recognized as leaders and have pathways to opportunities. The key to building more engaged and powerful communities of color lies in the dynamic relationship between authorship, leadership and ownership.


We'd love to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook at EO Podcast Network and on Twitter @EsOpPodcast. This podcast has been produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network. Original music composed by Max Keisling. Branding and Marketing by BitsyPlus Design.

Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.


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