A native Daytonian, Lela’s career has been dedicated to fighting for economic justice for working people. Prior to co-founding Co-op Dayton, she served as General Counsel to the IUE-CWA, a 45,000-member manufacturing union, where she led major strategic projects, advocated on behalf of workers, and created a mentorship program to foster leadership among young manufacturing employees. Lela was also an organizer and later an Attorney with the Service Employees International Union. After witnessing the devastating impacts of the global recession on blue collar communities like her own, Lela returned to Dayton in 2012 to use her legal and organizing training to support community economic development and worker empowerment in her hometown. Lela received her JD from Harvard Law School and her BA from Cornell University.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT MANAGER
Kenya Baker was born in Detroit, Michigan and moved to Dayton during her childhood. She has worked as a teacher in Dayton public schools for the past fifteen years. She is also a serial entrepreneur and author of several children’s books. In 2017, she was inspired by the Gem City Market project to join the cooperative movement. She believes in the power of community and worker ownership to transform Dayton’s neighborhoods and residents’ lives, and she works to get people involved in the Gem City Market and other cooperative projects. Kenya received her Master’s of Education from the University of Dayton and her BS from Wilberforce University.
Rachel joined Co-op Dayton in 2017 to promote the cooperative model of worker ownership as an economic development strategy that prioritizes the wellbeing of local residents and workers. Over the past decade, Rachel has worked in economic development from multiple perspectives, with municipal agencies, non-profit organizations, labor unions, and social enterprises. She has co-authored community and economic development plans; conducted industry and market research; and built financial models for social enterprises. She is also skilled in community and workforce leadership development as well as committee and meeting facilitation. Rachel received her Master’s in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her BA from Amherst College.
Matthew Currie, President
Etana Jacobi, Treasurer
Clay Dixon, emeritus