Director of Cooperative Development
Andrew Delmonte (they/them) is an organizer, facilitator, and business developer who believes in the power of communities and workplaces to govern themselves. A lifelong resident of Buffalo's West Side, Andrew has 10+ years' experience assisting cooperatives, social enterprises, independent small business owners, and frontline community organizations with planning and management decisions, financial strategy, governance, group dynamics, and conflict resolution. As a business advisor for the Small Business Development Center at SUNY Buffalo State, they launched the Social Enterprise Center, a project to support small businesses pursuing a triple bottom line. Andrew previously organized and advocated for independent businesses as President and Program Director of Buffalo First, helping to shift public opinion, public policy, purchasing dollars and community investment into Buffalo's local economy. Nationally, they serve as a representative to the Seed Commons General Assembly and as a member of the Seed Commons Sustainability Committee, which makes lending decisions for the cooperative.
Cooperative Development Specialist
Michael Heubusch (he/him) is a community organizer and economist who works as a cooperative developer and educator for Cooperation Buffalo. Michael began his professional relationship with Cooperation Buffalo as an intern while he was a graduate student Buffalo State College, where he graduated with an M.A. in Applied Economics in December 2018. His areas of interest include cooperative economics, radical political economy, and macroeconomic policy. Michael hopes that he can use his knowledge and experience to contribute to the democratization of Buffalo's economy.
Tori Kuper (she/her) is dedicated to growing people, business, and community. Tori is a Cooperative Developer and Board President of Cooperation Buffalo and is also the Operations Coordinator for the New Economy Coalition, where she organized logistics and programming for CommonBound 2016 and 2018. She is part of the 2016 Democracy at Work Institute Cooperative Developer Fellowship Program. In Buffalo, she is a founder of BreadHive Worker Cooperative Bakery; former member, President, and Treasurer of Nickel City Housing Cooperative; and founder of The Buffalo Barn Raisers. She wrote the Worker Cooperative Resolution passed by the Buffalo Common Council in 2014, and is currently working to advance statewide legislation to support worker cooperative development. Nationally, she has sat on the Property and Education Boards for North American Students of Cooperation, where she sat on the Inclusion Committee and led board trainings in anti-oppression. She has led several co-op themed workshops, lectures, and speaking engagements, and enjoys providing new cooperatives with peer support.
Harper Bishop (he/they) is the Deputy Director of Movement Building at PUSH Buffalo, whose mission it is to mobilize residents to create strong neighborhoods with quality, affordable housing; to expand local hiring opportunities; and to advance economic and environmental justice in Buffalo, New York. He has a decade's worth of professional experience in community-based organizations. In that time, Bishop has trained and developed grassroots leadership, written and advocated for progressive policies, and organized for economic, social, and racial justice in his hometown of Buffalo, most recently as the Director of Economic Development at Open Buffalo. He has been a Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Local Economy Fellow, and Co-Chair of the New Economy Coalition. Bishop is a staunch defender of LGBTQ rights and firmly believes that everyone has the right to live their truth free from fear. He is committed to continuing to push for an intersectional analysis that affirms collective liberation and centers the lived experience of those most impacted by state-sanctioned violence and white supremacy. Bishop is a proud trans man, who lives with his partner on Buffalo's West Side and wholeheartedly believes in building the Beloved Community.
India Walton (she/her) is a native and lifelong resident of the “city she loves,” Buffalo, New York. She is the proud mother of four awesome sons. Walton graduated from Buffalo Public Schools, Erie Community College and is pursuing a master’s degree in nursing leadership and informatics. Her toolkit having been enriched by AFL- CIO organizer training, Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo Training, Open Buffalo’s Emerging Leaders program, and Leadership, Organizing, and Action at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. India has grown into a fierce advocate for labor and community, working diligently with the Community First Alliance, Fruit Belt Advisory Council, and a broad coalition of partners in Buffalo’s historic Fruit Belt neighborhood to establish the first of its kind residential parking permit system in Buffalo and incorporate the FB Community Land Trust. Currently, India serves as the first Executive Director of the FB Community Land Trust. India is the First Vice-President of the Fruit Belt Advisory Council and was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of Locust Street Art.
Andre Mayes (he/him) is the full-time Organizer at Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 71 based in Buffalo. In this role, he recruits construction workers and educates the general public on the benefits of working union. In his personal life, he is a proud father, husband and long suffering fan of the Buffalo Bills and Sabres who grew up playing the sports he revered. Coming up as a football and hockey player helped to instill in him the values of teamwork, cooperation and putting the whole above self in the pursuit of a goal. In his adult life, that goal is to make America a truly equitable society.