About Us about us header
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Our Mission Our Mission Banner

The mission of the Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center (RMEOC) is to build a more just and sustainable economy through employee ownership.

We believe that a just economy is one that works for everyone, that is built upon inclusive and sustainable systems, and that provides equitable opportunity to build wealth.  Our current economy benefits too few, at the expense of too many.  But employee ownership is a powerful tool to change that.

RMEOC’s founders understood the power of employee ownership when they launched the organization as a 501(3) nonprofit in 2012 – and we see growing evidence of it every day as we help more and more businesses become employee owned, creating wealth for working people, helping to close race and gender wealth gaps, and building more sustainable, resilient, and profitable businesses that provide long-term benefit to our communities.

Learn more about our founders’ story here.


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MinsunJi

Minsun Ji, Executive Director

Minsun Ji (Ph.D.) is a labor-community organizer, activist scholar and popular educator, inspired by Paulo Friere. She has long experience in non-profit management and employee ownership efforts.

Minsun was a graduate program director of the Center for New Directions in Politics and Public Policy in the Political Science Department at the University of Colorado Denver where she created the first graduate program tracks in the social economy and community-labor organizing to grow leaders of social economy-labor organizing in Colorado. With a strong belief in robust university-community partnerships, she developed a labor-community fellowship program, including paid student internships to support community and labor activist students.

Minsun also comes with a background as a labor organizer and worker coop educator. Minsun organized immigrant janitors with SEIU, and immigrant workers as program director with the American Friends Service Committee. Minsun also became the founder and Executive Director of Denver’s first immigrant worker center, El Centro Humanitario para los Trabajadores (Humanitarian Center for Workers), where she served for a decade. Minsun helped build the power of one of vulnerable immigrant population through policy advocacy, popular educational programs, and leadership development. During this time, Minsun helped create Denver’s first immigrant worker cooperative (Green Clean for Life) and co-authored Immigrant Worker-Owned Cooperatives: A User’s Manual to share knowledge about building worker cooperatives for immigrants. Beginning in 2019, Minsun began a series of worker cooperative training for diverse immigrant groups.

As an activist-scholar, Minsun has published various articles regarding the social economy, worker cooperatives, social/labor movements, community economic development and innovative social financing. She serves as a research fellow at the Institute for Cooperative Digital Economy at the New School of Social Science, and a J. Robert Beyster Employee Ownership Fellow at the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University. She was also a Colorado Governor’s Commissioner on Employee Ownership (FY 2019-2020) and has been actively engaged in labor-cooperative issues as an Executive Committee Member at the Union-Coop Council of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC). Currently, she is also engaged in building worker-owned platform cooperatives in different cities in the U.S. and other countries, in connection with the worker-owned Drivers Cooperative in New York.

minsun@rmeoc.org

303.250.5920

AshleyOrtiz

Ashley Ortiz, Technical Assistance Director

Ashley Ortiz is the Statewide Technical Assistance Director with Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center, with a background of more than 15 years in entrepreneurial business support and a passion for social justice and an equitable economy. Her previous work includes cooperative business development with the Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives in the Bay Area and work as a baker-owner at Arizmendi Bakery in San Rafael. Ashley co-founded the L.A. Co-op Lab, where she now serves as an Advisory Board Member, and she has taught classes about labor/power dynamics and worker-owned cooperatives. In 2019 she was selected for the inaugural cohort of start.coop’s business accelerator program designed to empower entrepreneurs to build transformative, scalable, cooperatively-owned businesses. Ashley earned her bachelors degree in Psychology at the University of Colorado and holds an M.A. in Urban Sustainability focused on social and economic justice from Antioch University.

ashley@rmeoc.org

415.405.5196


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Christopher Arnold, President (Chair)

Christopher believes in cultivating business as a force for good in the world. Having spent the first 17 years of his career working for large corporations, he has first-hand experience with the damaging effects of profit-centered business mindsets. Today, as founder of BRiiO Advisors, Christopher provides sensible leadership and business practices to leaders who care about the success of their team, their community, AND their business.

christopher@briio.com

720.515.4345

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George Tsai, Vice Chair

George Tsai is a Member in the Employee Benefits Practice Group at Sherman & Howard. George assists all types of employers on employee benefits matters including qualified plans, health & welfare benefits, and executive & equity compensation.

gtsai@shermanhoward.com

303.299.8426

 

Jenny Briggs

Jennifer Briggs, Secretary

Jennifer was the lead cultural steward for New Belgium Brewing as the VP of Human Resources. In her 13 years with New Belgium, she shepherded the company through multiple growth phases driving value growth and an award-winning culture. She was a member of the executive leadership team and helped build a vision and grow the business from a small regional brewery to a national brand with over 900 employees, multiple locations and nearly 1,000,000 barrels of beer.

 

jenniferkbriggs@gmail.com

970.381.9671

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Greg Weiss, Treasurer

Greg Weiss is a CPA who works on the sexier side of accounting: valuation, fraud investigation and forensic accounting. With 7-years in the investment industry and 11-years in public accounting, Greg has a broad base of experience that helps him get to the bottom of the issues at hand and communicate his findings in a way that is easy to understand and truly provides value.

weiss@hlzcpa.com

303.486.0010

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Bill Kirton

Bill Kirton is a retired Methodist minister with more than 40-years of experience in community-based, organizational development, including non-profits. He is an experienced writer and communicator. Bill’s interest in and involvement with local schools, local government and local business organizations have played a major role in his professional and service activities.

bkirton@rmeoc.org

303.916.3128

Dick Peterson, Founder Headshot

Dick Peterson 

Dick Peterson spent most of his career as a real estate broker. During this time, he started three employee-owned companies, including Re/Max of Cherry Creek.  In 2009 Dick realized the need for an organization that supported the creation of employee-owned companies so he — with the help of Bill Kirton and Larry Dunn — founded the Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center.  The rest is current history.

dpeterson@rmeoc.org

303.919.1356

 

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Ahad Ghadami

Ahad Ghadimi is a corporate iconoclast, who has worked with organizations in over 30-countries with the objective of transforming them into highly engaged, employee ownership-cultures. From businesses coming out of bankruptcy or companies transitioning to employee-ownership, Ahad gets involved with companies in one or more of the following roles: adviser, investor, and/or operator.

ahad@coreworkcapital.com

347.559.7558

 

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Abdi Buni

Abdi is a transportation entrepreneur. Since 2010, he has founded three employee-owned taxi companies: Union Taxi Cooperative in Denver with 262 driver owners; Union Taxi in Portland, OR; and Green Taxi Cooperative in Denver with 800 driver-owners. Abdi currently owns and manages Denver ABC Shuttle.

denverprotaxi@hotmail.com

303.761.0111

RubenMedina

Ruben Medina

Ruben was the co-founder of the Huerfano County Ambulance Service in his town of Walsenburg, Colorado. He brings a spirit of servant leadership to RMEOC as he as worked as an EMT-1, a firefighter, and a search and rescue professional. Ruben also worked for the YMCA of Denver for 20 years in a variety of capacities. In addition to serving on many boards and committees, Ruben currently works for the Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities as the Project Manager of the Northwest Aurora/ Montbello Community Engagement. He also has his own consulting company on community engagement and currently works with an NGO out of Nairobi, Kenya. Ruben is a fellow of the ABCD Institute out of DePaul University in Chicago.

rmedina@fsucommunities.org

303.906.4139

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Larry Dunn

Starting his career as a cubicle coder for ANR Freight Systems and the Colorado Department of Human Services, Larry has been an enthusiast of the cooperative nature of open source software for the last 15 years. He was recognized by the Denver Democrats for building and maintaining their website and automating meeting registration. Larry currently works as a freelance software developer.

ldunn@rmeoc.org

720.271.5491