Lorie Cahill is ROC Association’s newest Director

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A Montana ROC leader has been voted the new ROC Association Director for the Mountain/West region.

Lorie Cahill, president of Green Acres Cooperative in Kalispell, will serve a two-year term on the ROC Association Board following this summer’s election in the Association’s Mountain/West region. That region is made up of 27 resident-owned communities (ROCs) in Washington, Oregon, Montana and Utah.

She will also serve on the ROC USA Board or Directors for two years.

I’m extremely excited to be part of something that can help all of us the co-ops become better communities,” Cahill said.

Cahill joins Natividad Seefeld, President of Park Plaza Cooperative in Fridley, Minn., and Kimber Capen, former President of Medvil Cooperative in Goffstown, N.H. Capen and Seefeld were elected in 2015 in the New England and East, Midwest and South regions, which together represent 164 other ROCs in 10 states from Texas to Maine.

Cahill (pictured below with her husband, Marty) has served as Board President at Green Acres for several years. She works at a local mental health crisis facility, caring for clients and fielding calls on a crisis line.

Green Acres is a resident-owned manufactured home community of 32 homes in the heart of Kalispell, the regional hub of Northwest Montana long known as the gateway to Glacier National Park. Green Acres has been supported by NeighborWorks® Montana, a ROC USA-certified Technical Assistance Provider, since becoming a cooperative in 2010.

As Board President, Cahill has helped guide the ROC through a $250,000 infrastructure project.

“That was a huge learning experience, I learned a great deal about sewer – more than I ever wanted to know!” she said, adding that the experience made her more engaged in local government as she met with and spoke to numerous city officials and boards. “But it also allowed me to meet some people who could help me on this project but also later down the line with other things, and that has saved us significant money already.”

ROC USA President Paul Bradley congratulated Cahill on Thursday, the day after voting closed.

“This was close election between two exceptionally qualified ROC leaders, and I’m thrilled to welcome Lorie to the Board,” Bradley said. “There are almost 1,400 homes in the Mountain/West Region, and those families are fortunate they’d have been well-represented by either strong volunteer leader.”

Cahill ran against Sam (Priscilla) Morris, president of Saunders Creek Cooperative in Gold Beach, Ore., and succeeds Liz Wood, a two-term Director and ROC leader at Duvall Riverside Village in Duvall, Wash.

The ROC Association Directors are a vital part of the way ROC USA operates, offering ROC residents — those directly served by ROC USA’s work — with three peers on ROC USA’s Board. They are, in essence, three of Bradley’s bosses.

“Transparency is so important and ROC USA Board members, be they ROC Association Directors or those chosen by the other LLC Members, see it all and help shape our mission,” he said. “The ROC Association Directors bring the voice and perspective of ROC residents to the very core of our social venture.”

ROC Association is made up of ROCs that are or once were under contract with a Certified Technical Assistance Provider trained and certified by ROC USA® Network. These communities elect Directors to the ROC USA, LLC Board of Directors, helping ensure customer involvement in the governance of ROC USA as a non-profit social venture.

One Director is elected from each of three regions and serves a two-year term. Staggered elections are held every other year. The Association was started by two ROC leaders, Seefeld and Lois Parris, both former appointees to the ROC USA Board of Directors.

Membership is free to all of the more than 190 communities that have been or are supported by a ROC USA Network Affiliate. Those communities represent almost 12,000 homes in 14 states.

Looking forward, Cahill said she hopes to bring more ROC leaders together to share their collective experiences and expertise to streamline projects for their peers.

“I’m really hoping that I can dive into infrastructure and community management issues in particular,” she said, citing tree care as a persistent issue that experienced ROCs can help newer ROCs manage more cost-effectively. “I think all of us are brand new to this idea of managing and taking care of our communities ourselves. We should be able to save each other time and money just by looking at what we’ve already done.”