Melissa Hoover

Executive Director Democracy at Work Institute - City of Oakland, CA

Oakland, CA

Melissa Hoover is the founding Executive Director of the Democracy at Work Institute, the think-and-do-tank that expands worker cooperatives as a strategy to address economic and racial inequality. A leader in the worker ownership movement for over fifteen years, Melissa helped start and grow the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives, the national grassroots membership organization for worker-owned businesses. She was a cooperative business developer for many years with the Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives in Oakland, doing business and capital planning, training cooperative members, and serving as CFO in the first year of each startup’s operations. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of The ICA Group/Local Enterprise Assistance Fund and The Working World, and serves as a strategic advisor to foundations, investors, nonprofits, unions, local governments and other organizations that want to incorporate worker ownership into their economic development and community wealth-building programs.

Originally from Kansas City, Melissa attended Stanford University on a full scholarship, earning a BA in History with a research focus on immigrant women’s role building cooperative movements in the U.S.

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