Seeing ROC leaders volunteer time to keep learning is always motivational

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I was so happy to attend the Cooperative Development Institute’s leadership training last Saturday at the beautiful West Wood Village in Plymouth, Mass. Representatives from nine ROCs in Mass. were there and most came in small groups. Folks from Edgeway and Twin Coach, Wheel Estates, Turnpike Park, Pine Tree and Cranberry villages, Oak Hill, Rustic Pines and of course our hosts, West Wood Village.

There is nothing more meaningful and inspiring to me than to be with a dedicated
group of ROC leaders and TA provider staff members working collaboratively to overcome challenges and produce success. On this day, I was not the only one to draw energy from getting together. I was smiling ear to ear when several people said, “Let’s have more of these!” Someone even said, “in two weeks!”

Meeting attorney Adam Bond and hearing his presentation was terrific. He’s good. Numerous co-ops are using him but everyone was able to share in his experience with back rent collections and rules enforcement, as well as generally benefit from sage advice like, “Don’t post Board business on Facebook!”

I was happy to introduce representatives of the National Co-op Bank who are looking seriously at a program to finance homes in ROCs. They were impressed with the communities they saw and the ROC leaders they met. We’re hoping they will decide to begin financing homes soon! The program could go nationwide pretty quickly after a successful test in Massachusetts. My fingers are crossed.

Other workshops included one by Kim Capen, the ROC Association’s New England Representative. He serves on the ROC USA Board of Directors. He talked about Community Building based upon his experience at Medvil Co-op in Goffstown, N.H. Jo-Anna Jackson and Thomas Choate of CDI’s NEROC team also facilitated a workshop on how to build a stronger community and Thomas lead a discussion on resolving conflicts. ROC-NH team member Angela Romeo, who works with ROCs in New Hampshire, joined by video conference to speak on community infrastructure. And, Gary Faucher facilitated an open forum on enforcing community rules through relationship building and communication.

It was all good content made effective by strong participation by everyone. I was so impressed with the insight that ROC leaders demonstrated throughout the day. You all inspire me. Thank you!

This is one of several regional meetings taking place. Earlier in the month, CASA and ROC-NW – TA providers in Oregon and Washington – collaborated on the ROC-A-PALOOZA for ROC leaders in those states. I was not able to attend but I heard great things about it. If anyone has any pictures and stories to share – please do!



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