Student and Alumni Profiles

Adam Trott, Master's Graduate ‘19

Director of Member Relations, Shared Capital Co-operative; Executive Director, Valley of Worker Co-operatives, USA

"I learned more in one year in the Master's program than I thought I'd learn during the whole program. The quality of the professors, staff support, breadth of material, and opportunity to work with peers in other co-ops throughout the world created an unforgettable and life-changing educational experience for me.

I had been a member of food and worker co-ops for nearly 15 years before starting this Master's program. My only regret in my career is not taking advantage of the programs at Saint Mary's sooner so that I could add value to the co-ops I belong to with resources, strategies and support. I could sense immediately after my first semester that my contribution was more informed, more connected, and more useful."


Choan Sokchiveneath Taing, Master's Graduate '20

Senior Manager, Socio-Economic Development, Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec (FCNQ), Canada 

"I’ve very much enjoyed the Master’s program and experiences therein! Because of the program's design and flexibility, I could strive to find the balance between work-family-study: things that I had been struggling with all my life. But the crucial ingredient to succeed is the bond between your colleagues in the cohort supporting-as-family (thank you to my 2017 cohort!). The co-operative tour to Italy was fantastic. We've learned so much from other co-operators and what great memories."


Cynthia MacNeil-Burke, Master's Graduate '22

Branch Manager, Connect First Credit Union, Canada

"This program provides a thorough understanding of the cooperative business model and builds exceptional management skills. This education immerses cooperative experts in the values and principles of cooperation, propelling them to exceptional growth in their careers. My education has served as a driver for my engagement in my credit union and the wider credit union sector. I am immensely grateful for the role this education has played in my career and the opportunities it has presented. It serves as a beacon of hope for the future of the credit union sector."


Erbin Crowell, Master's Graduate ‘09

Executive Director, Neighboring Food Co-op Association, USA

"In this economy, people are hungry for alternatives. The co-operative business model offers a different approach to business—one based in unity, democracy, and sustainability. Co-operative management education gives co-op managers the tools they need to innovate and succeed. I can’t speak highly enough of this program."


Michelle Cooper-Iverson, Master's Graduate '22

Chief Operating Officer, Co-operative Housing Federation of BC and COHO Management Services Society, Canada

"I really enjoyed my education and got a lot out of it right from the first semester. It has provided me with confidence in my leadership role and I am more willing to make bold suggestions and contribute in new ways to my organization. Networking is big for me. Seeing people in your cohort in leadership in their co-op makes you a better leader in your own co-op."


Stephen Gill, Master's Graduate '23

Founder and CEO at VME Co-operative, CEO and CTO at Coop Exchange, Scotland, UK

"My choice to embark on this Master’s program was the second most important decision of my life – after marrying my wife! I could not get enough of the readings, lectures and class discussions. I expanded my knowledge weekly and made critical connections with others in co-ops from around the world. I balanced my work in my technology worker co-operative, my work on a start-up which focuses on addressing the issues of co-operative capital, my family life and my studies. This program is full of busy people with big lives, and we support each other as we move along. 

As co-operators, we have an opportunity to enact our values for the betterment of our communities and to offer something radically different than just ‘business as usual. I have now enrolled others in my co-operative into the co-operative management programs so we can ensure a strong future that is grounded in co-operative values and principles. This is an investment that will be repaid many, many times over for the benefit of our co-operative."