The Baby Boom generation is set to retire, causing the “Silver Tsunami,” of business transitions. It has been estimated that only about 10% of business owners have a succession plan in pace which leaves the business, employees and customers in a precarious situation. CoActive was formed to bring a different solution to this obstacle for business owner retirement by creating opportunities for Employee-Owned Businesses to form and flourish under a collective approach to entrepreneurship. These business succession gaps are well documented and much research has been developed around Employee-Ownership in Canada; hundreds in Quebec have already made the transition with dozens more looking at the model outside that province. CoActive has planned this service offering to bridge the gap between business and cooperative development in B.C..
Marty Frost, Daphane Nelson and Chris Galloway are the founding directors of CoActive Developments Worker Co-op which was incorporated in September 2022.
Marty Frost has spent the past 43 years working in and for co-operatives. 17 years spent with CRS Workers’ Co-operative, including 10 as General Manager, saw that co-op triple its working membership and quadruple its sales, and become one of the most successful worker co-op businesses in the country. 27 years as a co-op developer, 20 of them with Devco (FWC Development Cooperative), has provided Marty with the opportunity to work with well over 190 groups, supporting the start-up and development of their co-ops, as well as upward of 50 not for profit and charitable enterprises.
Marty has served on the board of directors of the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada, the board of the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation, of which he was a founder, the board of the BC Cooperative Association, where he served for 7 years on the Executive team, and more. He has served on the advisory board to the Ministers responsible for Co-operatives at both Federal and Provincial levels and has done extensive consultations on the Co-ops Act of BC. He currently serves as a director for CCEC Credit Union and recently completed his term as a director of the Canadian Cooperative Investment Fund, representing CoopZone, Canada’s Cooperative Training Centre.
Marty has provided cooperative development and education in eight provinces and two territories of Canada, as well as in Indonesia, Mongolia and China, and has studied at the Mondragon cooperative system in Spain
Daphane Nelson’s small-town roots brought her to Kamloops to pursue a business degree at Thompson Rivers University. Since graduation she has held a range of positions in the financial sector, managed a law firm, has contracted with Community Futures Development Corporation, and recently won a third term as a director with a local credit union. During the onboarding process with that organization, she became enamored with the cooperative model and pursued designations with both Coop Zone and Governance Professionals of Canada, determined to bring the co-operative model to the BC Interior.
Looking at business succession through the cooperative lens is a model that Daphane has spent several years reflecting upon and now plans to pursue it fully with her involvement in CoActive Developments Worker Co-op. Daphane recently assisted with the development of a cooperative with members from both the BIPOC and LGBTQ2+ communities, and has been on an insightful journey about Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, in the context of her work with the credit union and other business activities.
Chris is a passionate co-operator who is currently an independent consultant who specializes in working with credit unions and cooperatives. Chris has a background in finance and worked in the financial cooperative sector in Canada for over ten years.
Chris fully realized the power of cooperatives while representing the Canadian credit union system in Mongolia in 2012 and Malawi in 2015 as part of the Canadian Cooperative Association’s credit union coaching program. Chris believes that growing the cooperative movement is one of the keys to the sustainability of communities and has been actively involved in providing cooperative development services for almost four years.
Chris previously served on the Board of the East End Food Cooperative in Vancouver, and the Board of Cooperatives First, a business development organization focused on increasing awareness and understanding of the co-op business model in rural and Indigenous communities across western Canada. Chris has recently been appointed the trustee of the Spirit of the Rovers Football (Soccer) Supporters Trust and represents approximately 350 owners of TSS Rovers F.C who are Canada’s first supporter-owned professional soccer team and are based in Vancouver, BC. Chris graduated in 2017 from St Mary’s University with a Masters of Management: Cooperatives and Credit Unions.