Executive Director Thomas Beckett has for most of his career worked as an attorney serving the needs of small and startup businesses. He has been professionally focused on cooperatives for the past ten year and provides business & legal guidance to cooperatives throughout North Carolina and the South. He has completed and is certified by the CooperationWorks! Cooperative Business Development Training Program. Beckett has presented on the Business Law for Worker Cooperatives at the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives conference in June 2012, and at the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy in July 2011 and 2015. He also provides business & legal education and guidance to cooperatives throughout North Carolina and the South. He has taught Business Law at Warren Wilson College and is certified to present the FastTrac TechVenture program, the Kauffman Foundation’s entrepreneurial training curriculum. He has significant experience working with agriculture enterprises in the region, including cooperatives, quasi-cooperatives, and nonprofits, as well as with working farmers. He is currently on the Board of Directors of Shared Capital Cooperative Development Fund. Beckett previously served on the Boards of CooperationWorks, the Center for Participatory Change and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP). He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and earned his law degree and later an MBA at the University of North Carolina.
Serving as Associate Director for the center, Ms. Evans has been with the organization for 2 years, providing technical assistance and training in developing cooperative economies across the state. She works to advance the cooperative ecosystem in North and South Carolina and also oversees our annual internship program to train future cooperative developers across the country. Her previous work includes experience in business development and work with nonprofits, particularly in the areas of regulatory compliance, media production, promotions and public relations. Ms. Evans strives to serve her community and offer solutions through economic development. She was selected to be involved in the 2017 Cooperative Leader and Scholar Institute, a participant in the CooperationWorks “The Art and Science of Cooperative Development” training program, serves on the board of local nonprofits and is a member of the co-design team for United Way’s social innovative initiative. Ms. Evans earned her Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration degrees at North Carolina Central University. She has a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Morgan State University.