Skip Navigation
*To search for student contact information, login to FlashLine and choose the "Directory" icon in the FlashLine masthead (blue bar).

Kent State Presents Cooperative Start-Up Forum on April 29

Posted Apr, 23, 2010

The Ohio Center for Employee Ownership (OEOC) at Kent State University and the Mid American Cooperative Council are conducting a Cooperative Start-Up Forum on Thursday, April 29, in Fairlawn. This session will help small business owners, economic development professionals and students learn the basics of cooperatives and provide them with some real-life examples of a variety of successful cooperatives in action. A cooperative may be the best business structure for existing or potential small business owners.

“Individuals that are looking at starting a business may not be sure about the best way to organize the operation,” said Roy Messing, program coordinator of Kent State’s OEOC.  “Recent changes to the Ohio Revised Code a few years ago not only made it possible to organize as a cooperative, but also provide advantages to those who do so. Cooperatives have played an active role in the economic development in the agricultural sector of our economy. With these recent changes in Ohio law, the cooperative structure may benefit existing or potential businesses in achieving success and meeting their goals in the future.”

The Cooperative Start-Up Forum will provide attendees with the necessary tools to determine if a cooperative is the right choice for them. It also will identify the next functional steps for cooperative business development. The program will compare and contrast the various business models. Attendees will have the opportunity to talk with people who have actually been involved with successful start ups and the operation of cooperatives. 

The workshop will address:
• What are cooperatives?
• Who owns them?
• How do they function?
• How to establish your business as a cooperative
• Strengths and weaknesses of co-ops versus other business structures
• Common pitfalls to establishing a new cooperative business
• Raising equity: How much and when it is needed?

The workshop will be held on Thursday, April 29, from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Akron-Fairlawn Hilton, 3180 West Market Street, Fairlawn, Ohio.

Workshop facilitators are: Rod Kelsay of the Mid American Cooperative Council; Roy Messing of Kent State’s OEOC; Alicia Cordell of Casa Nueva Restaurant in Athens, Ohio; Tom Snyder of the Ohio Cooperative Development Center; and Scott Bagley of the National Network of Forest Practitioners.

There is no cost for the program, but registration is required. To register for this workshop or for additional information, call Roy Messing or Ashley Hernandez at 330-672-3028 or e-mail or


# # #

Media Contacts:
Roy Messing,, 330-672-3028
Ashley Hernandez,, 330-672-3028
Bob Burford,, 330-672-8516