The Cooperators Podcast Episode 5 Paul Bradley on Co-Ops and Mobile Homes

Owning a mobile home park is like owning a Waffle House where the customers are chained to the table.

That quip is attributed to a leader in the mobile home industry.  

It’s a thought Paul Bradley, president of ROC USA in New Hampshire, often mulls. That’s because his company is in the business of helping mobile home park residents join together into a cooperative to buy the land their mobile home sits on.

Understand the weirdness. Mobile homes aren’t mobile, not usually. If they are, it would cost the owner thousands of dollars to move it.

They are in a poor position when it comes to dealing with rent hikes.

But when they are owners, everything changes.

Not one of the hundreds of deals Bradley has put together has gone bust. Not a one.

It’s a tremendous example of cooperative principles really working to transform lives.

A lot more can be done and, in this podcast, Bradley calls out for more efforts to bring cooperatives to the economically disadvantaged.

What’s stopping you?

Listen to the podcast here.

CU2.0 Podcast Episode 26 Carl Memnon, COO Grain Technology on an End to Overdraft Fees

Just say no more to overdraft fees.

And make this decision good for your members and also good for your credit union.

You may even grab a few customers away from Chase and the other money center banks.

That’s the promise of fintech startup Grain Technology.

In this podcast Grain co-founder and COO Carl Memnon tells about the company’s proprietary algorithm that lets it devise strategies for making fast loans to users who are about to trigger an overdraft charge and to also help those users find easy ways to start saving.

The latter is the why behind the company’s name – users will see their assets and their credit score grow “grain by grain,” said Memnon.

Memnon also talks about being in the Arizona fintech sandbox and the benefits for a small startup in playing in this sandbox.

Grain is actively seeking to align with credit unions that want to offer its overdraft protection service to members. In the podcast Memnon tells about the benefits to credit unions but a big plus is having cool technology that in effect let’s the member know they will see no more overdraft fees.

Listen up, you’ll find plenty of interest in this podcast.

Listen here.

BTW, the sirens you’ll hear are ambient noise in New York where Memnon was during the call.  If you’ve spent any time in New York you won’t even hear the siren. I couldn’t scrub it out so decided just to enjoy the New York moments.

Like what you are hearing in this podcast? Find out how you can help sponsor the podcast here. Very affordable sponsorship packages are available.

Find out more about CU2.0 and the digital transformation of credit unions here. It’s a journey every credit union needs to take. Pronto.

The Cooperators Podcast Episode 4 Esteban Kelly on Worker Owned Co-ops

Presented by Robert McGarvey.

Listen in here


That sound you hear just may be a tidal wave of worker owned cooperatives.

At least that’s what Esteban Kelly, executive director of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, is hoping for and working for and dreaming about.

He believes that just now be the time for worker owned cooperatives.

Why? Because for so many of us our economic lives are grim. Income inequality is the economic buzz work du jour but it’s just that old saying, the rich are getting richer and the poor, well, you know what’s happening with them.

Kelly says that in a decade maybe 0% of Americans will have zero assets.

That’s busted, baby.

Worker ownership of businesses just may be the cure.

And a lot of it is happening today. Retiring Baby Boomer entrepreneurs are selling their companies to their employees, often as a worker co-op. Home health workers are joining together and forming co-ops. So are cleaning crews.

There’s soaring recognition that it just is better to own a slice of the pie.

Listen to this provocative half hour podcast.

And know we have three or four more worker cooperative podcasts in the pipeline.  Now’s the time to learn more about this movement. And The Cooperators Podcast is where to learn.

The McGarvey Credit Union Podcast: CU2.0 Podcast Episode 25 Joe Bergeron Vermont Credit Unions

Say congratulations to Joe Bergeron – he’s in his 40th year of service to Vermont credit unions and he presently serves as CEO of the Association of Vermont Credit Unions where he has a close up view of the issues and ideas that rock his state’s 19 credit unions, which vary in size from a $1billion+ institution to tiny ones.

In this podcast Bergeron also talks about the relationship between the state leagues and CUNA, state government and the federal, and how small credit unions sometimes matter way beyond their size.

For a topical hook he also talks about CUNA’s GAC and what Vermont credit unions get from that confab.

It’s a wide ranging talk with an eye always planted on the future.

Listen to this podcast here.

Like what you are hearing? Find out how you can help sponsor this podcast here. Very affordable sponsorship packages are available.

Find out more about CU2.0 and the digital transformation of credit unions here. It’s a journey every credit union needs to take. Pronto.

The Cooperators Podcast Episode 3 Daniel Smith, the Cooperative Network

Listen to Daniel Smith talk about cooperatives in the states where his Cooperative Network operates – Wisconsin and Minnesota – and you might think this has to be the promised land. Just about every legislator knows about cooperatives. Most belong to some.  Just about every citizen does similar – many belong to three or five or more.

But listen closely and what Smith is discussing are the crucial issues cooperatives just about everywhere face: the war for talent, the struggle for support in government, and life and death issues that ag co-ops in particular now struggle with.

Smith’s Cooperative Network is a fascinating organization.  It represents co-ops from 12 different sectors – everything from some of the nation’s largest ag co-ops to small Union Cab, a worker owned transportation company in Madison.

They seem diverse – they are diverse – but, said Smith, their cooperative foundation means they have more in common than might initially meet the eye.

Give Smith a listen and you just may hear a blueprint for how to fight for and win more respect for co-ops everywhere, not just the upper midwest.  It’s an inspiring talk.

Listen here.

The Cooperators Podcast Episode 2 John McNamara on NWCDC on New Co-Ops

After 26 years at the legendary Union Cab co-op in Madison WI, John McNamara headed west to pursue a new mission: helping new co-ops come to life and also helping existing co-ops to survive.

What’s fascinating is how the Northwest Cooperative Development Center is bringing to life what might seem surprising co-ops such as mobile home owners who join together to create a co-op to buy the land their homes sit on and also home health workers, to name two areas where NWCDC has had great successes.

Along the way in this podcast McNamara throws light on a lot of what’s needed for a co-op to tick. He describes being a co-op manager as akin to Ginger Rogers’ role where she did everything Fred Astaire did – “but backward and in heels!”

It’s a fast romp of a guide to co-operative success. Listen in here

The Cooperators Podcast, Episode 1 – Roberta MacDonald Cabot

Buckle up for a fast journey into the world of cooperatives with branding guru Robert MacDonald who will tell you why she is optimistic about a world where cooperatives are delivering local – relevant – solutions created by people for people. Be prepared to listen again and again because this is a podcast with a lot of rich content. Along the way you’ll even learn how Cabot got its name – and how many cooperatives there are in the U.S. Do you know? Take your best guess and listen up to get the answer.

Listen here