Both Butch and Debbie moved into their communities years before they became ROCs. Today, they are happily reaping the benefits of becoming resident owned, in large part by participating in ROC USA’s online training platform called ROCKET. This platform is free to ROC Members and boasts a variety of different sessions, from mental wellness to board training. Listen in to hear more about what ROCKET offers all ROC Members, how the trainings have benefited Butch and Debbie in their personal lives and within their communities, and the new opportunities available now and coming soon.
Episode: Residents “ROC” on ROCKET
Welcome to the Ownership Matters podcast, where hosts Paul Bradley and Mike Bullard of ROC USA highlight the stories of people at the heart of the resident ownership movement! In today’s episode, Paul and Mike welcome guests Butch Johnson and Debbie Holt.
0:12 – Today’s episode and guest introduced
Lawrence “Butch” Johnson Jr. is a resident at Breezy Acres Cooperative in Colchester, Vermont. Prior to becoming a ROC member, he was in the U.S. army for 5 years and worked as a truck driver and mechanic until 2013. He moved to Breezy Acres in December 2015, but the community didn’t become a ROC until February of 2022. Now, he enjoys being a part of ROC USA and takes advantage of the many programs offered to members.
2:28 – Butch’s involvement on ROCKET
Butch’s extensive involvement in his community and the things he has learned on ROC USA’s training platform ROCKET have tremendously helped him deal with his PTSD, conflict management, stress and more. He got involved in the Better Together Leadership Program last May. By the end of it, he had completed upwards of 45 ROCKET courses.
7:08 – Butch’s advice for listeners interested in ROC’s online training
Butch shares that he has been actively encouraging the members of his community to also get involved in ROCKET. Not only was he a huge fan of last year’s Better Together, he got involved in the program’s book club. Reading the book as a collective was a huge success and the group is planning another one for the future.
8:40 – What’s on the agenda for this year’s Better Together Leadership Program?
The program reconvenes in April of this year, and Butch will be one of the advisors of the group. It is his hope that his encouragement will help other members take the jump into doing their own coursework for the benefit of our communities. The more we can get the word out about these available courses and resources, the more it will benefit us all.
10:10 – Thanks to Butch for joining us today
10:37 – Welcoming our second guest, Debbie Holt
Debbie is a resident at Harbor Village Cooperative in Newport, Oregon. She and her family had an annual tradition of taking trips to the Oregon coast for family vacation. In 2016 when she was planning and preparing for retirement, she did some house hunting in the little coastal town and found the community. Since she has become a member of a ROC, Debbie has joined the association’s Outreach and Education Committee, attends Better Together Calls and participates in as many ROCKET trainings as she can.
12:07 – Debbie shares about her community
Newport, Oregon is both a tourist and a working fishing town. Debbie’s community is right on Bay Boulevard where the fishermen deliver their fleet. She describes it as the quintessential move to the town which she used to vacation in.
13:06 – How Debbie heard about ROCKET
Through frustrations of watching all the things you have to do in order to run a resident owned community, Debbie felt motivated to find out what the right and wrong thing to do was. After reaching out, she started taking classes to learn about what it takes to be a successful co-op. She has been taking her time with it and doing it ever since!
14:14 – Debbie’s favorite aspect of ROCKET
Debbie’s favorite ROCKET course was their Better Together Leadership Program. It involved both online coursework and weekly meetings. In these meetings, what was most fun to her was speaking to others who live in cooperatives and share similar struggles as her own community. This was the first time she had been involved in Zoom meetings. She shares the excitement she felt in getting to see the faces of other people and connect with them on a personal level. Being open about how each person helped deal with the issues they experienced in their own communities was really helpful and comforting. Laughing with them about these problems made her feel less frustrated and less alone in the struggle.
17:00 – Closing thoughts from today’s conversations.
This year’s Better Together Leadership Program will focus on how to become a master facilitator through holding good meetings and stepping up to be an effective community leader. Thanks to Debbie and Butch for sharing their experiences with us! We hope their stories help motivate listeners like you to try ROCKET!
Listen to Sara Terry’s podcast episode.
Watch the “A Decent Home” PBS Special on WORLD Channel through March 15, 2024.
Listen to the Clackamas River podcast episode with Board President Tom Powers.
Learn more about ROC USA through our website.
Thoughts? Questions? Stories? Send them to email@example.com.