Constructing Sustainable and Equitable Rural Economies

With Ernie Rasmussen, Tribal Liaison, Washington State Department of Commerce; Garrett Dalan, Washington Coast Community Relations Manager, The Nature Conservancy; John McNamara, Senior Cooperative Development Specialist, Northwest Cooperative Development Center

Traditional economic development practices have often failed and even exacerbated the economic, social, and environmental challenges facing rural communities. In order to create a more resilient future for rural communities, innovative solutions are necessary to ensure economic equity and environmental sustainability. Join us as we outline some of the challenges facing rural economies, as well as the promise of new approaches to address these issues.

Click here to view a recording of the session.

John A. McNamara
Senior Cooperative Development Specialist,
Northwest Cooperative Development Center

John joined NWCDC in the Spring of 2014. John has 26 years of practical experience in the worker cooperative world with Union Cab of Madison. John holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration and a Masters in Management: Cooperative and Credit Unions from Saint Mary’s University (Halifax). At NWCDC John has assisted dozens of cooperatives including the conversions of business in to worker-owned and community-owned cooperatives as well as organizing Co-op Academies and many other development projects that foster cooperative businesses. As a student researcher, he assisted in the development of the Co-op Index Report, a tool for measuring co-ops against the values and principles of cooperation. He taught a summer course on worker cooperatives at The Evergreen State College (2014-2018) and at Presidio Graduate School in their Cooperative Management Certificate and co-edited a collection of essays on measuring co-operatives available as an e-book at no cost from the Cooperative Difference. John also serves as Chair of the Union-Coops Council of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives.

Garrett Dalan
Washington Coast Community Relations Manager, The Nature Conservancy

Garrett is a nearly-lifetime resident of rural Western Washington. Growing up in Sequim, he now resides in Montesano with his awesome wife, four hopefully-awesome kids and too many animals on their farm-in-the-city.
With a degree in Fisheries Science, his career has involved private aquaculture and local environmental health. Now with The Nature Conservancy, his work is focused on the Washington Coast. His current project profile includes efforts in economic development, forestry and fisheries.

Ernie Rasmussen
Tribal Liaison, Washington State Department of Commerce

An altruistic visionary supremely guided by his faith and values, Ernie Rasmussen provides the energy to continue to seek progressive systemic solutions to problems on the human scale. Advancing Native American communities and their partners have always been the focus of his work.