Who We Are
Cooperative Advantage includes seasoned coaches, consultants and executives with deep experience developing and advising leaders, developing business and sustainability strategies, and transforming organizations to deliver excellent performance in service of a better future.
We share a vision, grounded in client experience and research, that the best businesses in the 21st century will work from a compelling purpose beyond their own self interest, attract and unleash the full contribution of the best employees and stakeholders, and learn to excel in cooperation with others.
Our experience spans work with the largest organizations in the world to niche players across a wide range of industries in more than two dozen countries.
helps leaders develop and amplify the co-creative power of people, organizations, and systems in service of a better future. He is an executive advisor, coach, business and sustainability strategist, and facilitator with extensive experience working with leaders, organizations, and systems on leading edge initiatives in more than 2 dozen countries across a wide range of sectors. His work has included extended assignments in Australia, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the UK. His work has included developing and implementing novel approaches to leadership, strategy, change, and sustainability.
David Co-Chairs the Advisory Board for Aclima Inc., an innovative technology startup that deploys mobil sensor networks that provides environmental intelligence and informs the link between human health and planetary health. He also serves on the advisory council of Fair Trade USA. He served as Distinguished Fellow at the Fowler Center at the Weatherhead School of Management, and the alumni board for the Berkeley-Haas Center for Responsible Business.
Throughout his career, David has continuously learned through interacting with his clients and from disciplined programs of study and research. Over the past dozen years he has also had an intense focus on inner growth and integrating insights from his work with leaders, organizations and systems. He is senior student at the Academy of Inner Science, founded by Thomas Hubl, which connects inner wisdom with outer knowledge. In this context he co-facilitates large groups and works to heal collective trauma. David is also a practitioner of Aikido, the way of harmony, through which he practices the transformation of relation from “power over” to “power with” others.
Past roles include co-founder of Sustainable Value Partners, Partner at Blu Skye Sustainability Consulting, and Vice President at A.T. Kearney where he led an Asia-based practice. In 2004 he begin Wal-Mart on its sustainability journey in partnership with the founder of Blu Skye and Conservation International. This work was heralded as having a huge impact on Wal-Mart and on sustainability practices across the business sector.
David has worked with leaders in many industries including: agriculture, chemicals, consumer products, energy utilities, financial services, government, healthcare, high-tech, oil and gas, retail, and transportation in 25 countries worldwide. Clients include: Aclima, All Nippon Airways, Anthem, Bunge, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Light and Power, City of Cleveland, Dairy Management Inc., Fair Trade USA, Nestle, OOCL, Philips Electronics, Rockwell Automation, Sony, Staples, Wal-Mart, and Waste Management.
David has led a wide range of engagements focused on strategy formulation, implementation, and system change. In his system change work David partnered with David Cooperrider, Professor of Social Entrepreneurship and the developer of Appreciative Inquiry to develop an insight informed “whole system” emergent approach to industry level sustainability. This approach was applied and refined in a number of industries including Magazines, and Dairy. It was also used to launch the multi-year Sustainable Cleveland initiative.
A few examples of innovative engagements include:
- Cathay Pacific Airways – Company-wide transformation that innovated in areas of strategy, cost, service organization structure. Strategy was undertaken at a time when the airline was already very successful but needed to realign to foster continued and increased success. Included aligning the leadership team around a compelling case for change.
- Airline Maintenance Industry – worked with ANA, SR Technic, Northwest Airlines, and American Airlines to learn together how to better integrate safety, quality, onetime performance, and cost effectiveness. Included deep exploration of performance and practices and development dof innovative next practices.
- Walmart Sustainability – partnered with Conservation International and Jib Ellison to formulate, launch, and shepherd sustainability strategy and program. Worked most closely in developing initial strategies and launching efforts in areas of buildings, fleet, greenhouse gas, China, supplier engagement, various sustainable value networks, and a CEO summit.
- US Dairy Industry – system-wide “whole system” summit and transformation effort to reduce greenhouse gas throughout the dairy value chain including growers, dairy farmers, transporters, processors, and retailers. The effort launched by that summit has in a series of ongoing innovations and helped the industry significantly reduce its overall environmental footprint.
David holds a DBA, with a focus on social entrepreneurship, from Case Western Reserve University, an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and a BS degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University.
David is co-author and research manager for the book, Flourishing Enterprise, published by Stanford University Press. He lectures at universities in the U.S. and internationally and speaks at conferences and other venues, such as the Academy of Management, Conference Board, and Consumer Electronics Association.
has 25+ years of coaching, mentoring, and teaching experience. Her capacity to clearly see systems, actively reflect, and positively inquire catalyzes change and accelerates potential within individuals and organizations. With an M.Ed. from Antioch University, New England, Susan has worked with executives & business teams across diverse sectors. Her skills are in strategic planning, values driven leadership, and organizational development. Susan’s strong dedication to Affirmative Inquiry creates a space for clients to envision and implement the next stage of their personal and professional development. Susan has also given workshops on courageous public speaking and served as emcee for large organizational events.
Previously, Susan worked as the Assistant Executive Director for Konbit Sante: Cap-Haitien Health Partnership, an NGO in Cap-Haitien Haiti dedicated to working collaboratively with Haitien health practitioners, administrators, and governmental agents to strengthen the health systems in a severely under-resourced and systemically challenged part of the world.
has over 16 years of consulting experience, designing risk management strategies with multinational clients worldwide. She brings over 20 years of education and experience in Montessori methods & Awareness, Mediation & Yoga techniques in companies, such as Gilbane, The Audubon Society, Yale-New Haven Health Systems & Norwalk Hospital. Colleen is a Certified Integrative Coach & served on the certifying body, training over 300 coaching professionals in the Shadow Work Techniques of the Ford Institute on Integrative Coaching.
Colleen formerly worked with AIG as a consultant to multinational corporations in their Global Risk ManagementStrategies, giving her unique insight and experience into the areas of financing and international development work with organizations such as the US Department of State, Bristol Myers Squibb, JP Morgan Chase, Philip Morris, Booz Allen Hamilton, and The World Bank. She coordinated the design & financial vehicles of locally admitted pension programs with the Home Office Treasury & International HR teams for their local employees in over 100 countries.
Colleen graduated with a BA in Education & Psychology from Rosemont College with an additional degree in Montessori Education from Washington Montessori Institute of Loyola University.
is the President of The LEGACY Center, a firm that considers themselves practitioners as well as consultants in the area of values-based cultural and executive development, using the Barrett Values Model as a data collection tool. Ruth was part of the founding team that developed a body of work designed to assist the Legacy companies improve, grow, and protect their values-based culture as they grew and evolved over her 7-year engagement as Vice President of Organizational Development. During her tenure, the organization successfully navigated multiple acquisitions, with each one retaining talent, clients, and productivity as they focused heavily on cultural integration first.
The LEGACY Center was born in order to take the learnings and processes created in the internal organization to other businesses, non-profits, and the public sector. The response to this offering has been strong. Ruth now leads the initiative to partner with executive leaders who desire to foster sustainable, values-based organizations.
Ruth has over 25 years of experience in leadership, team, and cultural development in both the private and non-profit sectors, nationally and internationally, and brings a passion to help executives lead with authenticity and intention. She is a certified practitioner with the Barrett Values Centre, Giving Voice to Values (GVV), and ATD’s Internal Coaching Program. A graduate from the University of Maine with a degree in Education, Ruth has channeled her background in teaching, presenting, facilitating, and coaching into powerful experiences that support the process of developing strong values-based leadership and intentional cultural development focused on Impacting Lives and Developing Leaders.
is a creative leader, collaborator, and project catalyst with a broad interdisciplinary background and two decades experience in business, technology, real estate, and sustainable development. He has led and coached teams in real estate, technology and non-profit organizations.
As a long-time environmental, green building and community development leader, Jay brings a strong passion for facilitating personal and community transformation to co-create a more healthy, just, and beautiful world that works for the benefit of all life.
Jay has held officer positions on prominent sustainability-related 501c3 nonprofits with missions based on social and ecological healing and restoration in the built environment, including U.S. Green Building Council – San Diego Chapter, part of an international network of organizations united under an overarching vision that that buildings and communities will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation, Move San Diego, an organization working toward convenient and sustainable transportation throughout the San Diego region, and Carlsbad Village Mainstreet Association, a community-driven neighborhood revitalization initiative to build a vibrant sustainable neighborhood and thriving economy in the city’s beachside historic district.
He was also an early collaborator and catalyst toward the formation of the Sustainable North Park Mainstreet initiative, California’s first Sustainable Mainstreet Program, and the nearby Ocean Discovery Institute’s Living Lab, a net-zero energy LEED Platinum educational facility.