Our People

Our Staff

Karen Miner

Karen has been the Centre’s Managing Director since 2012. Plus, she is a Governance Researcher and Adjunct Professor. Her work is focused on building networks, combined with sharing and exchanging knowledge. Highlights include local, national, and global relationships and partnerships; online teaching (co-op innovation, management, governance); travelling to co-operative hot spots, and leading within and beyond the industry.

Karen has lived, worked, and played in various regions of the world. She is an expert in the management and governance of values-based businesses, with an emphasis on co-operatives, credit unions, and mutuals (plus, the broader social solidarity economy). Her professional experiences span working with co-operatives, non-profits, profit-oriented organizations, and government; she is educated in business and planning disciplines, plus she is a Certified Management Consultant and a Certified Director (ICD.D and ACCUD) through the Institute of Corporate Directors and Canadian credit union system. Great governance is a specific professional passion for Karen: she conducts research on governance and has served on business, non-profit, and charity Boards in organizations as varied as outdoor retail, financial services, energy efficiency, environmental advocacy, and fair trade certification.

Karen loves outdoor recreation, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying exceptional local food and wine. 

Contact: karen.miner@smu.ca 

Erin Hancock

Erin Hancock (she/her) is the Program Manager for Education. Prior to joining the Centre’s team, she worked with Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada and the Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network.

Erin serves on the board of iNova Credit Union and chairs the Co-operative Social Responsibility Committee and also serves on the board for the Community Housing Management Network Co-operative. She has served on the boards of the Bus Stop Theatre Co-operative, the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada, the North American Students of Co-operation and the Ottawa Women’s Credit Union. She was a co-founder of the Co-operative Enterprise Council of New Brunswick.

She holds an MPhil (Public Policy & Co-operative Development), a BPhil (Leadership Studies, Psychology & International Development), a Certificate in University Teaching and a Certificate in Co-operative Management.

Contact: erin.hancock@smu.ca | +1 902 802 7897  

Dr. Sonja Novkovic

Sonja Novkovic is a Professor of Economics and Academic Director of the International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary’s. She has been teaching in the CME program from its inception in 2003.

Sonja is a member of the NCBA Council of Economists (2017-Present). She serves as co-chair of the International Co-operative Alliance Advisory Group on Cooperative Identity. She is an affiliated researcher at the Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives at HEC Montrèal. She served as Chair of the International Co-operative Alliance Research Committee (2013-2021) and is past president of the International Association for the Economics of Participation (IAFEP). 

Her research interests are in the field of economic democracy, including labour-managed and cooperative firms, social economy, and comparative economic systems. She is a partner in a four-year research project on co-operative governance funded by FWO – Belgium. Her co-edited volumes include Co-operatives and the World of Work (Routledge, 2019); Cooperativism and Local Development in Cuba: An agenda for Democratic Transformation (Brill, 2018); Co-operative Governance Fit to Build Resilience in the Face of Complexity (ICA, Brussels 2015); Cooperative innovations in China and the West (Palgrave, 2015) and Co-operatives in a Post-growth Era (Zed books, 2014).

Contact: snovkovic@smu.ca

Jude Robertson

Jude Robertson(she/her) joined the International Centre for Co-operative Management as Operations Administrator in 2017. She has worked in administration, project and event management with educational, private, municipal and federal organizations for over 18 years. In addition, she has worked in film, television and education. 

Jude has a Bachelor of Science from Mount Allison University, a Diploma in Festivals and Special Events Management and a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA). 

Jude is a lover of travel and photography. 

Contact: jude.robertson@smu.ca | +1 902 491 6257

Rosa Poirier-McKiggan

Rosa (she/her) is an Acadian-Scottish settler person living in Kjipuktuk on unceded Mi’kmaq territory. A passion for social and ecological justice and solidarity economics drives her work.  She joined the International Centre for Co-operative Management as Program Assistant in 2019. She is a co-owner and board member of Glitter Bean Cafe worker co-operative. She is an organizer of community land trust start-ups, mutual aid and solidarity initiatives. She has a BA in Political Science and Environmental Sustainability Studies (Dalhousie University), a Certificate in Indigenous Studies (Dalhousie University) and a Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development (Concordia University). She loves hosting gatherings, cooking for loved ones, contemplating over espresso and swimming in the ocean.

Contact: rosa.poirier-mckiggan@smu.ca 

 

Cian McMahon

Cian McMahon is an ICCM postdoctoral fellow researching participatory democratic cooperative governance systems (FWO SB-project S006019N). Prior to affiliating with SMU, he completed a Ph.D. on worker cooperatives and sustainable development at the National University of Ireland Galway, where he also taught courses on heterodox economics and radical political economy. McMahon worked previously as a Policy Analyst with the Irish progressive left Think-tank for Action on Social Change (TASC). He subscribes to a public role for academics through involvement with labour and community activist education.

Contact: cian.mcmahon@smu.ca

Our Faculty 

Our programs are delivered by passionate and engaged researchers and practitioners from the co-operative sector. The online nature of our programs enables us to work with experts nationally and internationally. 

Our Co-operative

The Co-operative Management Education Co-operative (CMEC) ensures that the International Centre for Co-operative Management responds to the real business needs of co-operatives, credit unions, and mutuals. 

Our Partners

The Centre is enriched by its partnerships with centres and institutions in co-operative education and the student and alumni-led co-operative. 

Our Donors

Our work is made possible with the generosity of our donors. We are sincerely grateful to:

  • Atlantic Central and League Savings & Mortgage
  • Heartland Farm Mutual Insurance
  • The Co-operators
  • Staff, alumni and supportive individuals