Co-operatives First is led by an innovative Board of Directors drawn from business, co-operative, and Indigenous communities throughout western Canada. Because Co-operatives First is a registered non-profit corporation, the board arranges for and supervises the organization’s management. They also provide high level strategic direction and oversight.


  • Sheldon Stener

    General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Federated Co-operatives Limited


  • Shaun Soonias

    Director of Indigenous Relations, Farm Credit Canada

  • Annie Charles

    Annie Charles

    Economic Development & Relationship Consultant, FHQ Developments

  • Glen Tully

    Owner, Tulshaw Consulting Inc., former chair of Federated Co-operatives Limited, and past president Canadian Co-operative Association.

  • Eric Moes

    Owner-operator, Little Fork Ranch, Boundary Country, British Columbia

  • Nicole Woelke

    Manager, Data Intelligence at Cambrian Credit Union

  • Julie Breuer

    VP of Member Relations & Stakeholder Engagement, Central 1

  • Leanne Hawes

    VP of Co-op and External Relations, Federated Co-operatives Limited

“Heather and the team at Co-operatives First are top-notch. Not only their knowledge but their understanding of the project. They have truly helped us along every step of the way. Their timely response and knowledge of the steps are extraordinary. They are forthcoming with information. This is one of the most knowledgeable and friendliest teams I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”

Weyburn Theatre

“Co-operatives First made the process of establishing our Artisan Co-operative a very clear and easy process. The expanse of available tools and resources provided by Co-operatives First answers many questions and lightens the workload. Greatly appreciate having the connections made with Trista and Kyle, they keep the co-operative moving forward.”

Nehiyawaskiy Indigenous Peoples Art Co-op

“Our experience working with the Co-operatives First team was absolutely fabulous. The staff was accommodating, knowledgeable and patient. It was truly a breath of fresh air to have such a wealth of skill and resources available to a non-profit. They were invaluable to our successful launch!”

Heart Linked Community Services Cooperative

“Working with Co-operatives First was fantastic! We are still new to the cooperative world, and we relied heavily on their advice and expertise when drafting our rules/bylaws, and our memorandum of association. The team has experience with many different cooperative models, so they provided advice on what has and hasn’t worked for other cooperatives. We wouldn’t have been able to incorporate without their help!”

Ananda Cooperative

“We have had a very positive experience with everyone at Co-operatives First. They have helped us in multiple ways. Right from the first step in knowing how to incorporate, how to set our business and offering ideas for us to help steer us in the right direction plus allowing us to really make our own decisions. If our decisions go off track, they have gently guided us back to where we needed to be. The Co-operatives first guys are always eager to answer questions, and give ideas to us that got us off the ground.”

South East Butcher Block