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Free Sessions to Cover Co-op Ownership and Investment in November in Dieterich, Carthage and Stockton

October 25, 2016

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MACOMB, IL — In November, the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development (USDA-RD) will host three training sessions that will cover cooperative ownerships. Leslie Watson, founder and board member of the Northeast Investment Co-op (NEIC) in Minneapolis (MN), will present at the sessions, which are set from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 in Dieterich (IL), Wednesday, Nov. 2 in Carthage (IL) and Thursday, Nov. 3 in Stockton (IL).

Sponsored by MAPPING the Future of Your Community and the Illinois Cooperative Development Center (ICDC), both programs of the IIRA, along with the USDA-RD and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the events are open free to the public. The Dieterich event will be held at the Civic Center, located at 102 W. Virginia St.; the Carthage event will be held at Marine and Trust Bank, located at 410 Buchanan St.; and the Stockton event will be held at the Stockton Park House, located at 600 N. Pearl St.

According to Karen Peitzmeier, a cooperative development specialist with the ICDC, the sessions will provide individuals with an opportunity to learn about how to invest patient (long-term) capital, actively recruit local businesses to occupy property and support those businesses as they grow and thrive, in order to bring transformative change to each community one building at a time.

"We are presently consulting with an attorney to determine the legal aspects of this type of initiative," she explained. "We are excited that Leslie will be sharing information with the citizens of these Illinois communities to provide a greater understanding of cooperative ownership. Residents already have a vested interest in their communities, and the conversion of commercial real estate to a cooperative investment provides an opportunity to get involved and positively impact the community," she added.

The NEIC was created to organize collective investment, renovation and management of commercial and residential property. With nearly $300,000 in member investments, former industrial buildings in an area of rundown storefronts and absentee landlords have been transformed into a successful building with thriving tenants. NEIC is now sharing its cooperative model nationally, deploying its board members to discuss this unique business model.

To attend one of these free programs, pre-register by sending an email to Peitzmeier (at that identifies: your name, where you plan to attend the session (Dieterich, Carthage or Stockton), your email address and phone number. A complimentary light meal and beverages will be available. For more information, contact Peitzmeier (309) 298-2835.

Learn more about the Northeast Investment Co-op at Visit IIRA online at

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