Rodney North is a 20+ year veteran of the member-owned co-op movement and today works with cooperatives, non-profits and social enterprises in the DMV, with a focus on governance, culture, marketing and strategy. He is a leader in the DC Cooperative Stakeholders Group, a volunteer organization that is collaborating with the DC government's Department of Small and Local Business Development and aims to launch the District’s first cooperative development center. Rodney is also a member of the Design Team for the Alliance for Regional Cooperation - a new organization that supports locally-rooted businesses in the DMV.
After living in Guatemala, Mexico and studying international development economics at Dalhousie University (Canada) Rodney joined the Equal Exchange worker-owned cooperative in 1996. Equal Exchange is the $70M enterprise best known for their pioneering Fair Trade work with small-farmer cooperatives around the world, and consumer-owned food co-ops across the US. During his 19 years there Rodney held various elected leadership positions, including six years on the board of directors. In his “day” job he served as The Answer Man, which included PR manager and Spokesperson duties.
He is also a former board advisor to La Siembra, a $7M worker cooperative and fair trade enterprise in Ottawa, Canada.
In 2015-2016 Rodney served as the Director of Marketing and External Relations for Fairtrade America, a non-profit certifier of fair trade products.