Lisa Stolarski

Current research interests:

I am currently working exclusively as a practitioner, therefore my current research is somewhat limited to project-oriented topics.  Having said that, I have a personal interest in co-op history, interpreting wherever possible in terms of the genealogy of cooperative thought. This is an avocation for me and something that I am not engaged in studying professionally.

Closer to my professional objectives, I am  interested in solutions to the particular challenges to urban cooperative development in historically dispossessed communities and the intersection between the practices of cooperative and community economic development.

Finally, I have recently become interested in exploring the New Work concepts of Frithjof Bergman in relation to cooperative development and community economic development.

Research topics:

  • Cooperative history in the US and the UK
  • Cooperative history related to the Cooperative League of the USA
  • Federal policy related to urban cooperative development in the US
  • Challenges for cooperatives as community economic development in the US.

Research methodologies:

  • Qualitative Research –  needs assessments, focus groups, qualitative surveys. In grass-roots work, there is no substitute for living in the community and getting to know the people.
  • Quantitative Research –  Use standard data sets from the US Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and local sources.  Have utilized quantitative surveys.

Contact me for:

Generally to discuss any of the topics listed above.  I live and work in Detroit and am interested in networking with others involved in urban cooperative development.


Lisa Stolarski, Director of Technical Assistance and Project Planning at C2BE has a Master’s of Science in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.  She moved to Detroit from the District of Columbia where she worked for 1.5 years as Executive Director for the National Cooperative Business Association’s domestic development program.  Prior to working at NCBA, Ms. Stolarski worked three years for Keystone Development Center, a rural cooperative development center serving Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Ms. Stolarski specializes in urban cooperative development as a vehicle for community economic development. Through her professional organization, Cooperation Works, she led legislation in 2011 aimed at funding urban cooperative development in the United States through HUD; the bill was called the National Cooperative Development Ace in 2011 and was modified and reintroduced as the Cooperative Jobs Act in 2013.

Ms. Stolarski has also been a champion of cooperative education, having organized A Discussion Course of Cooperatives through the East End Food Co-op board, which won an award for Best Cooperative Curriculum in 2008 from the Association of Cooperative Educators.  She has served on the boards of Cooperation Works! the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, East End Food Co-op and Mustard Tree Housing Cooperative.  She was also a founding member of Jane Street Housekeeping, a worker-owned cooperative.

Lisa Stolarski

Lisa Stolarski

Center for Community Based Enterprise

Name: Lisa Stolarski
Institution: Center for Community Based Enterprise
Phone: 240-204-2523