2020 Board Election Candidates

Welcome our candidates for the 2020 board elections! Voting will be open shortly - if you are a member of ACBA, your primary contact will be receiving a link to the online vote, or you can vote in-person at the upcoming Cooperative Artists Showcase.

Garrick Jannene


Garrick’s Candidate Statement

My name is Garrick, and I’m a worker-owner at Key Figures, where I have been working for a little over a year. I am thrilled to bring my years of progressive organizing experience to the Austin Cooperative Business Association!

I’ve been in Austin for three years. Originally, I’m from Wisconsin, where I joined my first co-op, Riverwest Co-op Grocery and Café in Milwaukee, in 2013. While in Wisconsin, I founded a College Democrats chapter that collected hundreds of signatures for the recall of then-governor Walker after his attack on unions, and also coordinated logistics to help with the occupation of the Wisconsin state capitol back in 2011. More recently, I led the tech committee of the Austin Democratic Socialists of America, where I built and implemented many of the chapter’s IT systems.

As an ACBA board member, I’m looking forward to building on our success to grow the cooperative community here in Austin, and to create connections with other solidarity economy organizations both locally and around the world. Specifically, I hope to build our capacity and programming to provide guidance for those looking to convert existing businesses to worker cooperatives, and to provide technical assistance for those creating new worker co-ops.

I view the cooperative economy as the way of the future, and a framework we can use to fix the structural issues of our world today. We can use the cooperative model to create a more just and equitable future. Interest in co-ops has been rising rapidly, making now the perfect time for us to come together, start a co-op renaissance, and build the better world of our dreams!

Carol Fraser


Carol’s Candidate Statement

Hi there! My name’s Carol Fraser and I’d be thrilled to continuing representing Wheatsville on the Austin Cooperative Business Association Board of Directors. For the past two years, I’ve helped grow the ACBA, finding grant funding, securing sponsorships and donations, advocating for co-ops at City Hall, and growing co-op member visibility throughout Central Texas. I’ve also been the behind-the-scenes coordinator of the Commit to Co-ops! Workshop Series and a variety of grant-funded research and advocacy projects. My hope is that for the next two years I can help the Board, and the ACBA as a whole, hire permanent full-time staff who will strengthen our ability to advocate for and develop cooperatives.

I originally hail from Massachusetts via Montreal and California. In 2016 I came to Austin to go to the University of Texas, where I studied urban planning and sustainable design. I came to co-ops by way of working on Ferme Cooperative Tourne-sol, a medium-scale organic farm in Les Cèdres, QC. My professional passion is to work at the intersection of sustainability and economic development; my personal passions are cycling, music, and delicious food!

Ryan Nill

Ryan’s Candidate Statement

Ryan Nill has served on the board of the ACBA for 3 years. He is one of the founders of the Key Figures Cooperative and La Reunion Cooperative Apartments. While at ACBA he has led the Housing committee which has successfully advocating for several pieces of housing co-op legislation at the city level. Lately, he has been enjoying learning how to record ACBA events and produce a podcast.

Doug Addison

Doug’s Candidate Statement

Cooperative ownership encourages people to become better citizens and see themselves as more than consumers. It can strengthen other democratic institutions from school boards to city hall. Cooperatives have the potential to change the way our economy is structured by focusing on more than return on investment. They democratize our wealth and encourage participation to achieve a more equitable society. As we grow the cooperative economy through more cooperatively owned and operated businesses, we can prove to our political and business leaders that the co-op model is a viable way to build a sustainable economy that benefits everyone. For these reasons, I seek a seat on the ACBA Board of Directors to help the organization continue with its mission to support and grow the cooperative economy of Austin as a representative of Polycot Associates.

Doug Addison is an Austin-based web developer, food co-op board member, backyard chicken advocate and author. Doug prefers open source software, such as the Drupal content management system, and finds many similarities between the community spirit of such projects and the values and principles of the cooperative movement. He has been a Wheatsville Food Co-op board member since 2010. Doug also contributes to Austin’s food and sustainability effort as a board member of Austin's Funky Chicken Coop tour, which is held every spring on the Saturday before Easter. Doug's background includes newspaper reporting and magazine writing and editing in the business and science fields. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University and has written two books about web design: Web Site Cookbook (O'Reilly, 2006) and Small Websites, Great Results (Paraglyph, 2004). Doug lives in central Austin.

Announcing the Cooperative Arts Showcase and Fundraiser!

Celebrate and Support the Hidden Talents in Austin's Co-op Community At a South Austin Oasis Under the Stars!


This Fall, join ACBA as we celebrate the unique talents of Austin's Co-op Community!

Buy tickets here!

This First-of-its-kind Evening will include food and drink from Wheatsville, Black Star, Our Taco House, Tito's Handmade Vodka and other local co-ops and co-op supporters. Our silent Auction features top Central Texas destinations like Alamo Drafthouse, William Chris Vineyards, and a very special Cheesemaking Class and Dinner for Eight from L'Oca D'Oro.

Cooperation Club Members receive a special discounted ticket to the Artists Showcase and a variety of other perks. Click Here to join the Cooperation Club and get this great deal!

Attend for Free

Want to attend but a little short on cash? Artists in the Showcase and Volunteers attend free of charge! Artist submissions accepted HERE through 9/20. Volunteer Sign-up is HERE.

This spectacular new event is not to be missed! Get your tickets today!

Thank You to our Sponsors

A huge Thank You to our sponsors and donors: Polycot Associates, Black Star Co-op, William Chris Vineyards, Alamo Drafthouse, Tito's Handmade Vodka, L'Oca D'Oro plus more to come!

Ticket prices:

Early Bird Prices (before September 30!)

Early Bird Cooperation Club Member


Sales end on Sep 30, 2019

Exclusively for Cooperation Club Members. Join today to access this special offer.

Early Bird General Admission


Select quantity: Early Bird General Admission

Sales end on Sep 30, 2019

Early Bird Co-op Board/Worker Ticket Block


Select quantity: Early Bird Co-op Board/Worker Ticket Block

Sales end on Sep 30, 2019

Especially for ACBA Member Co-ops: Send Up to 9 Board Members or Workers for a single low price!

Regular Prices (after September 30!)

Cooperation Club Member


Sales start on Oct. 1, 2019

Exclusively for Cooperation Club Members. Join Today to access this special offer! https://acba.coop/cooperation-club

General Admission


Sales start on Oct. 1, 2019

Co-op Board/Worker Ticket Block

$300.00+$20.71 Fee

Sales start on Oct. 1, 2019

ACBA Member Co-ops: Send up to 9 Board Members and/or Workers for one low price!

Austin’s Commitment to Co-ops Grows, with a Strong Chance for City Funding

This Summer, ACBA has built on several years of work to see co-op technical service and education included in the City budget. ACBA has long advocated for this, with endorsements from the City’s Economic Prosperity Commission and the Small Business Division, which recommended $75,000 for co-op education, business outreach, and technical support. ACBA has organized emails to City Council offices from member businesses, and speakers to attend multiple budget hearings. On Wednesday night, several ACBA members and supporters showed up at City Hall to ask City Council directly for this funding.  Council will decide on the final 2020 budget between September 10th and 12th Please take a moment to contact your city council member and ask them to support co-ops in the new budget!

This funding has long been in the works, and enjoys broad support from City Council.  Please contact your city council member to make sure this is the year the funding finally happens and thank them for the efforts, past present and future!


City Council Approves a resolution supporting the development of cooperative businesses and directing the City Manager to convene stakeholders and to develop recommendations that detail ways the City can promote the development of new and existing cooperative businesses, commonly referred to as co-ops.( SPONSOR: Council Member Laura Morrison CO 1: Council Member Kathie Tovo CO 2: Council Member William Spelman)


March- Economic Prosperity commission recommends the City of Austin dedicate resources to cooperative development.

March- City Council Directs the City Manager to take steps to support cooperatively owned businesses.( Notes: SPONSOR: Council Member Delia Garza CO 1: Council Member Gregorio Casar CO 2: Council Member Jimmy Flannigan CO 3: Council Member Ann Kitchen )

October - EDD publishes recommendations in response to City Council Resolution, including a recommendation for total of $75,000 for worker cooperative outreach, education and technical assistance


September - CM Tovo moves to enact the funding recommended by EDD in the 2019 city budget, joined by CMs Garza, Pool, Casar and Alter.  Motion fails.


August - City Manager Cronk includes $2000 for co-op outreach in the draft budget.  CM Pool lists the funding as a priority for this budget cycle.  ACBA members speak at public hearing in support of the inclusion of the recommended $75,000 in this year’s budget.

September - Stay tuned to find out!


CALL TO ACTION - $75,000 in City Budget for Worker Co-op Conversions and Podcast

commit to coops.png

On Wednesday August the 28th the City Council is having a public hearing on the budget. One of potential line items on the budget is $75,000 to create educational material and hire somebody for a year to work on worker co-op conversions. For more updates please check out our Facebook Event for this action.

One reason this budget resolution is so important is that the recently passed Federal Main Street Employee Ownership Act. will finally allow cooperatives to access funding from the Small Business Association that was previously inaccessible. All the current infrastructure for providing SBA loans lacks knowledge about cooperatives. So, approving the budget item would be a huge step to adding to the systems that will allow Cooperatives to get access to the SBA loans.

Please check out this podcast to hear Andrea Harrington, a lawyer for Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, discussing the Maintstreet Employee Ownership Act with the ACBA board.

Building a Culture of Excellence

Thanks to everyone who attended the third workshop in our 2019 “Commit to Co-ops” series. Beth Beutel of Wheatsville Food Co-op explored performance issues within cooperatives, and how you can overcome organizational challenges to help your cooperative achieve long-term excellence. She explained how you can use six simple steps to create concrete solutions to problems such as absenteeism or lack of engagement. As a bonus her presentation is full of amazingly adorable animal memes!


Below we have the third episode of our Commit to Co-ops! podcast hosted by ACBA Board member and co-op leader Ryan Nill! You can hear the workshop in its entirety, including responses and questions from the audience, and follow along with the presentation. This handout can also help you to work through the issues discussed in the workshop.

Stay tuned for the next episode and recap of our fourth workshop, Beyond with the Breakdown: Communication in Co-ops, presented by Kavita Koppa, coming sometime in the summer.

Also be sure to attend the next workshop on July 20, Convert Your Business to a Co-op, a panel moderated by ACBA President Donald Jackson. More details coming!

"Building Resilient Communities" Panel Podcast


This podcast is the “Building Resilient Communities” panel that was held at the New Story Festival. The panel is moderated by Annelies Lottman, from the Yard to Market Co-op and the Texas Rural Cooperative Center, featured on the panel are:  

·         Frankie Bayne from the Central Texas Farmer’s Co-op

·         Dana Curtis from Key Figures Cooperative

·         Ryan Nill from Community Housing Expansion of Austin and ACBA board member

·         Robert Burns from College Houses co-ops