Center Director, Cooperation Works
Thomas A. Beckett, Co-Executive Director of Carolina Common Enterprise, has for most of his career worked as an attorney serving the needs of small and startup businesses. He has been professionally focused on cooperatives for the past seven years. He has completed and is certified by the the CooperationWorks! Cooperative Business Development Training Program. Beckett speaks regularly on small business legal issues, and presented on the Business Law for Worker Cooperatives at the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives conference in June 2012, and at the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy in July 2011 and 2015. He also provides business & legal education and counseling to cooperatives throughout North Carolina and the South. Beckett has contributed a chapter on cooperative law to the upcoming Third Edition of Putting Democracy to Work: A Practical Guide for Starting and Managing Worker-Owned Businesses, by Frank T. Adams & Gary B. Hansen. He has taught Business Law at Warren Wilson College and is certified to present the FastTrac TechVenture program, the Kauffman Foundation’s entrepreneurial training curriculum. He has significant experience working with agriculture enterprises in the region, including cooperatives, quasi-cooperatives, and nonprofits as well as working farmers. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund and CooperationWorks. Beckett previously served on the Boards of the Center for Participatory Change and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP). He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and earned his law degree and later an MBA at the University of North Carolina.