Staff Programming


Wednesday, May 27th

Welcome - Conference Kickoff | 11 AM CT
Maintenance planning | 12 PM CT

This workshop includes maintenance planning strategies, co-op vs organization maintenance, working with contractors, and basic maintenance tips. We’ll also discuss maintenance practices as they relate to COVID-19 by touching on who is allowed into the building, how maintenance fees are covered, prioritizing maintenance costs, and changes in maintenance priorities connected to social distancing. 


Guest speaker Noni Session, East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative | 2 PM CT
(Student and Staff session)

Noni Session was inducted in the NASCO Hall of Fame this fall for her work with EB PREC (East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative). She is the Executive Director and founding member of the EB PREC. She will speak on the challenges faced by the organization in the tight housing market of the Bay Area and the solutions they have built with the support of their community. 

Creating a Mediation and Member Review Policy | 4 PM CT
Lincoln Miller, Boulder Housing Coalition (BHC)

Conflict in co-ops can lead to unhappy humans, high vacancy, and may cause houses to collapse. Over the last 4 years, Boulder Housing Coalition (BHC) created a volunteer-based Mediation and Member review system. BHC partnered with a local Restorative Justice organization to train our mediators and created a Mediation Team as well as a Cooperation Committee. The mediators help with conflicts while the committee works to hold co-opers accountable for chores, labor, and uncooperative behavior, through the member review process. We will learn from BHC’s experience while we share skills for conflict mediation and member review systems.


Thursday, May 28th

Networking Hour (Staff & Student) | 12 Noon CT
Co-op Member Debt and Finance Policies | 1 PM CT

The current increase in unemployment is testing the best practices and policies used by housing co-ops for addressing member debt.  This session will include a list of existing best practices gathered from housing co-ops, leading to an open discussion about strategies co-ops have used to adapt to a changing environment and the longer-term impact on co-op finances, and what if any changes in finance policies may become permanent.  


Hasten Slowly and You Will Soon Arrive Book Release | 4 PM
(Student and Staff session)

The cooperative housing model has grown from renting rooming houses to ownership of property worth millions of dollars, but it has only scratched the surface of what can be achieved. The group equity movement has slowly made its way toward a distant destination, guided by its ever-changing members, and it seems certain to continue for years to come. "Hasten Slowly and You Will Soon Arrive" is the story of that journey, written by Jim Jones.

This free event, open to the public, will include a book reading by author Jim Jones followed by an interview with Jim by NASCO Board Director Caroline Elbert and a Q&A from the audience. 

Pre-order a copy of “Hasten Slowly” here (bulk pricing available) or get a discounted copy with your conference registration.


Friday, May 29th

Staff Peer Consultation | 12 PM CT

The peer consultation process is an opportunity to practice the analytical and strategic thinking skills necessary for exercising leadership.  Co-op staff have unique jobs and regularly face unique problems. With so few colleagues and peers, it can be difficult to gain insights into the issues that you encounter. In an effort to create a positive space for the solicitation of meaningful feedback, moving us from a gathering of peers to a community of practice, NASCO staff will facilitate Peer Consultation sessions to allow participants to collaboratively provide guidance to one another.

If you plan to present and receive feedback on a challenge you’re facing, please prepare to discuss an actual challenge from your co-op with the following qualities:

  • It matters to you
  • You care enough about the issue that you are willing to change your behavior to make progress
  • It’s something you are working on currently or have worked on before
  • You need others for progress
  • It’s narrow enough that it is manageable to address (instead of dismantling the patriarchy, focus on equity in your co-op)


Preparing for Resilience Roundtable | 2:30 PM CT

This space will be used for co-op staff to talk about the possibilities for going forward this fall with potential school closures and further COVID 19 restrictions. Facilitated with a few guiding questions, this is a space to talk about what cooperatives are planning and how we can be best prepared together.  This session is geared towards those charged with managing the cooperatives' finances. 


Closing Session | 5:30 PM CT

Saturday, May 30th 

Roundtable Discussion on Working in the Cooperative Sector | 12 PM CT
(Student and Staff session)

This roundtable gives staff members a chance to talk to current cooperators about how they got involved in the cooperative sector, what skills they have/needed to succeed, and what their co-op looks for in hiring.