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April 1, 2020

Report Back: Shavelta Harding, Up & Coming Conference in Madison, WI part 3

In early March 2020, a group of Gem City Market Member-Owners attended the Up & Coming Food Co-op Conference, in Madison Wisconsin. Up & Coming attracts start-up organizing groups, board members, and co-op staff from around the country to learn and grow together. This year the conference was in Madison, WI on Mar 6-7, 2020.

Programming was 2 days with over 55 workshops presented by 50+ speakers, both consultants and peers. Our own Amaha Sellassie, Kenya Baker, and Lela Klein presented, attending their 3rd Up & Coming to-date. With their costs covered by the conference organizers for presenting, CO-OP Dayton was able to also send: elder Mama Nozipo Glenn (who some may know as Mama Paparazzi), Rachel DB our Membership Committee Co-Chair and Interim Marketing Coordinator, and two of our GCM community-elected board members – David K. Greer and Shavelta Harding.

Read David K. Greer’s Report Back

Read Amaha, Kenya and Lela’s Report Back

Now we’ll hear from our newest community-elected Board member Shavelta Harding.

Shavelta is a Daytonian through and through having grown up near what is now the future site of Gem City Market. Shavelta joined the Gem City Market Board in May 2019, for a two-year term. Shavelta is inspired by the connections and relationships that are built when we cooperate toward a common goal.



[Photo credit Troy Freund Photography]

I had a great time networking with all vendors and learning so much from each co-op. I sat in on sessions that helped equip me with a plethora of informative ideas and avenues to take to gain leverage in the co op industry.

I learned how to deal with people coming from various lifestyles and cultures. I learned how to communicate effectively, and tips on how to enhance productivity and inventory. Even suggestions that only my notes could regurgitate and divulge so eloquently.[Photo credit Troy Freund Photography]

The best take away was the bonds I built with the Cleveland people. I am working with them to this day to try to merge the two cities and collaborate more often. Until the virus hit the nation we had big plans, but I am so grateful that we went on the trip before this hit home.

[Photo credit Troy Freund Photography]

I am honored to have gone for the first time and I would really appreciate attending again at the next event. I plan to gain much more knowledge all along the way. The possibilities are endless. I am so happy to still be in contact with them, especially as we share a state. This quarantine is helping us organize and plan for a great gathering that will publicize all the entities at hand.

[Photo credit Troy Freund Photography]

We were just a small piece in the big puzzle that was the actual conference. Not even to leave out the HUGE meeting with like minded folks with the same face as mine. I was ecstatic for that meeting that Malik coordinated. I am forever gracious of the contact list he disclosed to us all afterwards. Many great connections to say the least.

[Photo credit Troy Freund Photography]

Have you seen our first Report Back from David K. Greer?

Or the second post in the series from Amaha, Lela, and Kenya?

What about the final installment from Mama Nozipo Glenn?

Stay tuned for Report Backs from our remaining GCM delegates. 

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