Press Release - Community Wealth Building Conference

Contact: Eric Reinke, rmeocsept7@gmail.com, 720-308-2847

Conference on ‘new economy’ to feature trailblazers in employee ownership

August 26, 2013 (Denver) – Colorado is home to two of the three, flagship employee-owned companies featured in the award-winning 2011 documentary film ‘We the Owners'. Leaders at Namaste Solar and New Belgium Brewing are among those scheduled to present at ‘Community Wealth-Building: Creating the New Economy’, a conference set for 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Sept. 7 in the Baerresen Ballroom at the Tivoli Student Union at 900 Auraria Parkway in Denver.

Hosted by The Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center, the conference will feature keynote speaker Steve Dubb, one of the strategic planners behind Cleveland’s pioneering Evergreen Cooperatives and Research Director at the Democracy Collaborative.

“Colorado has introduced the nation to several innovative business models - in employee ownership, in cooperative health care, and in growing green,” said conference organizer Eric Reinke. “We are looking to inspire a fuller conversation about what is happening in Colorado and what can happen in Colorado to empower people and communities in creating the new economy.”

The daylong conference will share proven approaches and new developments in Denver and in Colorado that root our economy and build community wealth.

A host of speakers will provide insights into how to create the new economy. Mickki Langston, Executive Director and co-founder of the Mile High Business Alliance and a BALLE local economy fellow, will speak on creating a more resilient, connected, and healthy local economy. Richard Eidlin, policy director for the American Sustainable Business Council and Director of the Greater Good Academy, a training program for early-stage, civic-minded entrepreneurs, will moderate the panel discussion, “Capital Access for Community Wealth-Builders.”

Breakout sessions will include how to obtain capital to start a business, how to start a cooperative business, urban agriculture as a community wealth-building strategy, how a cooperative can transform health care in Colorado, presentations from nationally recognized leaders in employee-owned businesses, opportunities and solutions for workers who are left out, and emerging collaborative models in the local food system.

The Strengthening Neighborhoods program of the Denver Foundation has provided scholarships to pay the registration fee for those with financial need.

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The Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center is a Denver-based non-profit whose mission is to promote the employee-ownership model as an important business option in our nation’s system of free enterprise and as a path to greater commercial vitality, employment opportunity and economic security for all Americans.

Co-operate Colorado, an advocacy non-profit, is a sponsor of the Community Wealth Building Conference.

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