Image of text that says "IG Co-op. Our journey to worker-ownership"
The Improve Group became a worker-owned cooperative in August 2023. Employees who choose to be worker-owners share in profits and elect and serve on the co-op Board of Directors. While we continue to thoughtfully adapt internal practices under this new business structure, our approach to evaluation, planning, and facilitation remains the same.

Founder Leah Goldstein Moses stepped down as CEO in 2022. As she said in her announcement, IG strives for a culture where we share leadership, trust one another, and promote equity. To continue on this path of shared decision-making and leadership, IG did not replace Leah with another CEO. Instead, all staff now have the opportunity to be leaders, supported by an experienced management team with decades of combined experience at IG. Further, becoming a worker-owned co-op means staff are not only leaders, but owners. Worker-owners purchased the business from Leah and directly and entirely control IG.

Becoming a co-op aligned our business and leadership structure with our long-held values. While we did a lot of planning and continue to closely monitor how this transition affects IG’s internal operations, we are not changing how we work with clients or do evaluation. Our work is guided by the same values and we remain on our path toward more equitable practices. The main difference you might notice is that your project lead or team member is also an owner!

Employees have the option of whether to be worker-owners. A majority of staff opted to be worker-owners when we made this switch. We will continue to be staff-driven by listening to all staff to understand what they want to see from The Improve Group. We are excited and confident about The Improve Group’s future. We will aim to be reflective and apply what we learn as we go - we are evaluators, after all! 

A team of IG employees worked for nearly 2 years with Project Equity and Nexus Community Partners to plan the transition and design the co-op. In planning this transition, the team talked through how to apply our values to decisions about how the co-op would be structured—such as who is eligible to be a worker-owner, how we share profits, and who makes what decisions. We also dug into the difference between management and ownership. Long-time Improve Group managers stepped into the day-to-day roles from which Leah stepped away. They report to our Board, which is made up of worker-owners.

Our Board

In addition to Leah, who will hold a seat on the board for the co-op’s first several years, Board members include:

  • Business Operations Manager Jessica Schuetz, who serves as the Board member liaison. Jessica plays an invaluable behind-the-scenes role to The Improve Group’s work, managing all things finance. She has been with IG since 2011.
  • Senior Marketing Associate Dan Goldstein, who serves as the Board secretary. Dan has been with The Improve Group since 2013. As Senior Marketing Associate, Dan focuses on communicating our work and growing IG’s external relationships.  
  • Director of Consulting Stacy Rassel, who serves as Treasurer. Stacy has been at The Improve Group since 2010. As a Director of Consulting, she lends her many years of evaluation expertise to advise colleagues on complex, equity-focused evaluations.
  • Managing Consultant Courtney Clingan, who has been with The Improve Group since 2013. Courtney leads teams in conducting community-responsive evaluation. 
  • Senior Consultant Nick Stilp, who brings to evaluation his extensive facilitation skills and attention to how all involved in an evaluation can benefit most. He has been with IG since 2017. 
  • Director of Consulting Sara S. McGarraugh, who serves as Board President. Sara supported IG’s transition to a co-op, experience she will share with the board. Sara has been at IG since 2012, in which time she has led several complex, community-centric evaluations. As a Director of Consulting, Sara works to broaden and deepen IG’s work with partners.

Follow along: Updates from our first year as a co-op

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