meeting room with whiteboard

our team

We’re a passionate team focused on you. Let us guide you with innovative and tactical approaches to organizing your co-op, building strategy and raising capital. We look forward to meeting you!

Our story

As the U.S. banking system began to collapse in 2007, it became very clear that big corporate ownership systems are dysfunctional and harmful to both individuals and communities. Two attorneys, Becky Bowen and Thomas Beckett, decided to create a solution to help.

Through the joint effort of its two founding members, Beckett and Bowen, Carolina Common Enterprise (CCE) launched in 2012 to foster cooperative enterprise and community development as a healthier and more holistic way of doing business.

Today, Carolina Common Enterprise is a not-for-profit cooperative development center serving individuals, businesses and local governments. We’re based in North Carolina and operate throughout the Southeast.

“Our mission is to assist individuals and communities — particularly those in low-income and socially disadvantaged rural and urban areas — in the creation, expansion and improvement of community-based enterprises with a particular focus on those that are cooperatively or mutually owned and governed.”

Thomas Beckett

Thomas Beckett

executive director

“Helping people work together to create something positive in their communities gives me the juice. This work is fulfilling, and with the tremendous variety of communities and types of co-ops, it never gets old.”

I have been a co-op member for most of my life, but I really became focused on cooperative development during the banking collapse of 2007-08. At that time, I was practicing small business law in Western North Carolina and had taken on incorporating some immigrant worker co-ops as a pro bono project. As the financial crisis unfolded, it became very clear to me that we need to redesign the economy at a local and human scale. The cooperative business model is just that.

Education and Training

  • Duke University – B.A. in Public Policy
  • University of North Carolina School of Law – Juris Doctor
  • UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School – MBA
  • CooperationWorks – cooperative business development training
  • Kauffman Foundation – entrepreneurial development training

Makes me proud

I sit on the board of directors of a few co-op organizations, including Shared Capital Cooperative and the Weaver Community Housing Association. Board service is always a learning opportunity for me, and a way to contribute to organizations that do good work. My family and I sometimes take up opportunities to volunteer in the community.

What I love about North Carolina!

People here do great things, but we keep it low-key and humble.

Impact

Cooperative development allows me to use all of my professional skills and experience to transform the economy. One motto of our movement is, “Co-ops Build A Better World.” And we’re doing that, changing the world one business at a time.

Teia Evans

Teia Evans

associate director

“I enjoy helping people realize their dreams. Working collectively is powerful. Ownership is the key to economic freedom and viability. It allows for the preservation of community.”

I provide technical assistance and training in developing cooperative economies across the state. I also work to advance the cooperative ecosystem in North and South Carolina and oversee our internship program to train future cooperative developers across the country. My previous work includes experience in business development and work with nonprofits, particularly in the areas of regulatory compliance, media production, promotions and public relations.

Education and Training

  • North Carolina Central University – Juris Doctor and MBA
  • Morgan State University – B.S. in Communications
  • CooperationWorks – The Art and Science of Cooperative Development training program

Makes me proud

The National Cooperative Business Association selected me to be involved in the 2017 Cooperative Leader and Scholar Institute. I serve on the board of nonprofits involved with cooperative development around the country, and was a member of the co-design team for United Way’s social innovative initiative.

What I love about North Carolina!

Sweet tea, Bojangles’ and college basketball bring fond memories of North Carolina. Mostly I love getting to see all of the state while assisting our clients. From the beauty of the mountains in the west, to the beaches along the coast — North Carolina is ultimately a great place to call home.

Impact

Cooperatives have historically sustained communities and created opportunities. Assisting in these communities has taught me the importance of preserving a viable landmark as well as upholding traditions.

Kelly Liddington

Kelly Liddington

cooperative developer

“I have spent my whole life working with people and trying to move us all forward so that prosperity can be distributed to all who have contributed.”

I have a broad cross-section of training and experience in teaching, training and developing projects that perform beyond expectations. I have nearly 30 years of experience in cooperative extension in Virginia and North Carolina. As part of that work, I was involved in the development of two successful community organizations. Because of my reputation as a developer of people, I was chosen “Virginia’s Top Extension Agent” and honored as “Fair Person of the Year.”

I am an educator at heart and have taught leadership toorganizations and nonprofits which provide fertile ground forfolks to build and refine their leadership skills — the onlytruly empowering skills we have. I have also acquired experiencein managing facilities and events.

Education and Training

  • Old Dominion University – B.S. in Dairy Science
  • The Ohio State University – B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural Education
  • S.U.N.Y. at Cobleskill – A.A.S. in Dairy Science

Makes me proud

The scholarship programs I designed for various organizations for youth to study agriculture and adult member education have given away close to $500,000!

People would be surprised to know

I raise registered Angus seedstock.

What I love about North Carolina!

I grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York so I’m enjoying the distinct seasons here.

Impact

The concept of a democratic workplace is intriguing. The reward for me is seeing people become more than they thought or ever dreamed they could be. Making positive contributions to the community and mankind is why I do this.

Board of Directors

Becky Bowen

Becky Bowen

NC State Extension

Anne Claire Broughton

Anne Claire Broughton

Broughton Consulting, LLC

Partners and National Associations