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Vernon interviews Pamela Madzima, Alabama State Coordinator for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/LAF. Vernon and Ms. Madzima discuss the Alabama Cooperative Ecosystem, and her experiences at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/LAF.
Based at the Rural Training and Research Center in Epes, Alabama, Pamela Madzima has worked with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund for 18 years providing technical assistance and support to member-cooperatives of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and the Alabama State Association of Cooperatives.
Ms. Madzima’s primary responsibilities have included directing and coordinating outreach, and technical assistance programs to member cooperatives, and to small, limited resource landowners that are interested in forming agricultural/marketing cooperatives; and assisting cooperatives with: organizing and becoming incorporated; developing by-laws that are consistent with cooperative principles; exploring marketing outlets for value-added products; resource development; and facilitating education and training plans to assist cooperative leaders and members to function as a cooperatives.
Pamela has served on various committees and led community development projects, including the Federation/LAF’s Rural Development Americorps VISTA program, which placed 15 volunteers with local cooperatives in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Ms. Madzima has also served as a member of the Board of Directors and Loan Committees of Shared Capital Cooperative and the Southern Reparations Loan Fund; and as a community associate with the Black Belt Community Foundation. In 2019, Pamela was promoted to her current position as the Alabama State Coordinator with the Federation/LAF.
Our host, Vernon Oakes, is a consummate advocate for cooperatives. He is a Past President of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, and he’s served on several boards and committees to advance the interests of cooperatives. Recently, he served on the Limited Equity Cooperative Task Force, established by Anita Bonds, At-Large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia. Vernon is an MBA graduate of Stanford University, who has used his business acumen to benefit the community, by promoting the added value of the cooperative business model.