Monday, February 25, 2013

New Resident-Owned Community in Plymouth, MA

For Immediate Release
Feb. 20, 2013
West Wood Village Resident Association Inc.
Homeowners purchase 66-site Plymouth park; join growing
Mass. trend of resident-owned manufactured home communities

Bob Howard, President, West Wood Village Resident Association (774) 283-2878
Andy Danforth, Housing Program Director, CDI (401) 439-9795
Michael Sloss, Managing Director, ROC USA® Capital: (202) 595-2690
Paul Bradley, President, ROC USA, LLC (603) 856-0709

Plymouth, Mass. – Homeowners in this 66-home manufactured housing community took a big step toward securing their financial futures when they collectively bought their neighborhood as a resident corporation today.
Bob Howard, interim association president, said the board of directors is focused on providing good services, including a staff person to perform maintenance and upkeep around West Wood Village.
”I think the overall feeling is one of happiness with becoming a resident-owned community and being able to run our own lives,” said Howard, a retired chemical engineer. “We now have control of our destiny. Before we were all living on a month-to-month lease, and there was always the possibility of being sold.
“It’s getting rid of the unknown. We know now that we as the community are running the community.”
The resident association purchased the community Feb. 20 for $3.83 million with assistance from the Cooperative Development Institute. CDI is a certified technical assistance provider with ROC USA® Network, a national non-profit organization that works to help residents of for-sale mobile home parks form cooperatives and buy their communities. Technical assistance will continue to be provided by CDI to the association for the length of the mortgage — a minimum of 10 years.
“I’d say the partnership with ROC USA has been excellent,” Howard said. “They’re very supportive and CDI has been very supportive. I know we couldn’t have done this without them.”
West Wood Village is the fifth Massachusetts community in the ROC USA Network. CDI and ROC USA helped more than 450 homeowners in two Carver communities purchase their parks in June. In these democratic associations, homeowners in the community each buy one low-cost share. Each household has one vote on matters of the community. The members elect a Board of Directors to act on day-to-day issues and vote as a membership on larger matters like the annual budget, by-laws and community rules.
Andy Danforth, Director of CDI’s New England Resident Owned Communities (NEROC) Program, said, “It’s very rewarding to work with residents all over the state who are working hard to bring more economic stability to their lives through this process of democratic ownership.”
Financing for the project came from ROC USA Capital and CDI. ROC USA Capital is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ROC USA and a U.S. Department of Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution.
ROC USA Capital Managing Director Michael Sloss pointed to the community’s prime location near a large shopping center, historic downtown Plymouth, and major roads to Boston, Cape Cod and Providence, R.I.
“ROC USA Capital was very pleased to partner with the homeowners at this community and CDI to preserve 66 affordable homes in Plymouth,” Sloss said. “To deliver long-term affordable fixed-rate permanent financing while promoting preservation of this attractive neighborhood represents tremendous community impact.”
West Wood Village just finished digging out from winter storm Nemo, a blizzard for the record books. Howard said the 30 inches of snow that fell in Plymouth was compounded by gusty winds, which knocked out power. With drifts well up onto the windows of homes, many of the elderly residents were essentially trapped.
A year from now, Howard said the community will be better equipped to handle such a storm.
“We’re purchasing the right equipment, we’ve got the right attitude and we should be in good shape to handle it,” Howard said, noting that as residents have gotten to know one another better through the purchase process, they’ve become more apt to help out their neighbors. “We have a plan to handle that type of situation, we’ll just hire additional people plus the person we have working here to take care of it.”
Cooperative ownership of mobile home parks as a way of preserving affordable communities is a priority for several national non-profit organizations that in 2008 formed ROC USA to make resident-owned communities viable nationwide. ROC USA is sponsored by the Ford Foundation, NeighborWorks® America, NCB Capital Impact, the Corporation for Enterprise Development, and the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. The Community Loan Fund, a non-profit community development financial institution in New Hampshire, leveraged its experience with 103 resident-owned communities in that state to launch ROC USA with national partners in 2008.
ROC USA is a non-profit organization with a national network of eight organizations such as CDI and a national financing source for resident-owned communities. “We solve the two basic barriers to resident ownership – access to expert technical assistance and financing to help homeowners become buyers when their community is for sale,” said Paul Bradley, ROC USA’s founding president.
ROC USA Network has helped 45 communities preserve nearly 3,000 homes in 13 states since its launch in May 2008.
The Cooperative Development Institute is a regional cooperative development center, founded in 1994, which has assisted dozens of new and existing cooperatives throughout New England and New York. It is involved in cooperative housing as well as agriculture, consumer, worker-owner, energy, and fishing cooperatives. For rural senior co-op development, CDI received support from the Cooperative Development Foundation.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Job: ICA Group seeks Exec Dir

The ICA Group (ICA) seeks an Executive Director to lead its growth. Founded in 1978, ICA is a nationally-recognized nonprofit with a history of leadership in worker ownership and social enterprise. ICA acts a source of information and expertise for alternative business structures and for other businesses that empower workers and produce or retain secure, quality jobs.
The Executive Director should be a strategic thinker and leader, who can build the organization together with the board and staff. Below please find the position profile. Please help us by posting this profile at your workplace and passing it on to qualified candidates. 
Resumes will be reviewed as they are received, and will be accepted until the position is filled. Applications should be emailed to Thanks for your help in this search. Apologies if you receive this more than once,

Ann Silverman
Consultant to the ICA Group

Executive Director Sought                      

The ICA Group (ICA) seeks an Executive Director to lead its growth. Founded in 1978, ICA is a
nationally-recognized nonprofit with a history of leadership in worker ownership and social enterprise.
We expand economic opportunity and self-determination, by supporting initiatives that encourage
workplace democracy, build community assets, and provide fair wages and benefits. ICA acts a source of information and expertise for alternative business structures and for other businesses that empower
workers and produce or retain secure, quality jobs.  

The Organization and Its Activities 
The ICA Group provides strategic analysis and technical assistance services to a range of businesses,
including cooperatives and social ventures. As a consultant and thought leader, ICA has helped to develop and grow enterprises in a number of industries. We have operated at the intersection of workforce development and such sectors as staffing services, home healthcare, and healthy foods. We work with community development organizations, foundations, trade unions and business owners.
ICA’s business support services include: feasibility analysis and business planning, strategic planning,
and research.
Feasibility Analysis and Business Planning--We assess market opportunities, research operational
requirements and develop financial projections to evaluate the viability of business or program ideas. If
the analysis proves positive, ICA prepares a detailed business plan which serves as both a fundraising tool and guide for operations. In some cases, we assist clients to raise and package financing, recruit
management and perform other tasks necessary for implementation.
Strategic Planning--Utilizing a collaborative approach, ICA applies thoughtful strategic analysis to
groups working towards the goal of economic self-determination. Through market analysis, operational
assessment, social impact studies, and assessments of potential social enterprises, we help organizations
bring their mission to fruition. Recent clients have included The Paraprofessional Health Institute (PHI)
and NCB Capital Impact’s Green House and Village to Village Network initiatives.
Research--ICA builds upon the knowledge it derives from its consulting engagements to produce thought-provoking research in the fields of cooperative development, employee ownership and workforce engagement. In recent years, we have completed a social impact assessment for the National Cooperative Grocers Association and explored growth strategies for the Alternative Staffing Alliance.
We manage the Alternative Staffing Alliance, a national association of social purpose staffing
organizations, which we created and continue to support with key funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
LEAF, our companion loan fund, finances start-up or expansion of cooperatively owned businesses,
primarily in low-income communities. LEAF’s Executive Director reports to the LEAF board, and works collaboratively with the ICA staff.

ICA’s Executive Director supervises a staff of two business consultants and a contract bookkeeper. S/he manages our operating budget, which is currently $500,000. Staff work collaboratively and serve as the members of the corporation. The Executive Director reports to our seven member Board, who bring expertise from a number of fields to the organization.
Executive Director
Strategic Challenges and Opportunities 
1.Grow the organization and its program activities—The Executive Director should bring vision and
leadership to the organization. S/he will be expected to review key areas of recent organizational growth, including the Alternative Staffing Alliance, and identify synergies and opportunities, together with staff. S/he will propose and implement a plan for strategic organizational growth.
2.Develop the ICA brand—ICA is well known among a small group of mission driven businesses and
philanthropic organizations, however there are many who are not familiar with our work, particularly in
recent years. We seek to increase the number of groups who know and value our work, and seek our
assistance. The Executive Director will lead efforts to better publicize our organization and our activities.

3.Build and diversify our base of support—ICA is currently reliant on a small group of dedicated longterm funders and fee for service contracts. We look to deepen our resource pool, with increased funds from individuals, foundations and corporations, as well as a greater number of fee for service contracts.

4.Capitalize on our staff and board strengths—Our staff and board are talented small groups. We aim
to develop the board’s leadership, enhance our staff’s skills, and add people with complementary skills.

Our Ideal Candidate 
The ideal Executive Director for the ICA Group will possess the following skills and attributes:

  • Strategic thinker who is able to both identify new business opportunities and work with clients. 
  • Successful resource developer with demonstrated skills and a proven track record generating fee revenue and raising philanthropic funds. 
  • Organization builder who brings vision and personal investment to growing the organization. 
  • Experienced and entrepreneurial business developer who possesses strong financial analysis skills and an understanding of socially responsible enterprises. 
  • Savvy manager with strategic knowledge and ability in budgeting and financial oversight. 
  • Articulate spokesperson and communicator who delivers a message well orally and in writing, and comfortably uses social media and technology tools.
  • Confident and collaborative team leader with knowledge and experience delegating, trusting and inspiring a skilled and dedicated staff. 

We seek an Executive Director who embraces our mission, and who brings commitment, confidence,
and a sense of humor to their work. Candidates should have a minimum of 5 years of progressive
leadership experience, preferably in the nonprofit sector, as well as experience working collaboratively
with Board and staff members. A Bachelor’s degree is required; a Master’s in a related field is preferred.

Please submit a cover letter, detailing your salary requirements, and a resume to: Resumes will be reviewed as they are received, and will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls or letters please.
The ICA Group is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. We encourage applications from
candidates from diverse backgrounds and cultures.