Originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, Maria is a mother of three and one of the founding members of Dahlia Green Cleaning Services. Maria gained early experience in small business management as a teenager, helping her mom who managed a corner store in Mexico. When she arrived in Austin over eight years ago, Maria began working with a local family as a domestic worker, taking care of housecleaning and other services. Unsatisfied with the pay and lack of control over her work schedule and working conditions, Maria joined Brenda Jimenez, Cyndi Jimenez and Eva Marroquin to take our Cooperative Business Institute start up course and launch the first worker-owned green cleaning cooperative Texas.
As a member of Dahlia, Maria has begun to build a new life for herself and her family. Unlike her previous work experience, Maria now has a voice over decisions that affect her and her workplace. Unlike her previous work experience, Maria is now earning a living wage and has more control over her schedule. Dahlia has also provided Maria with a range of opportunities for personal and professional growth. In addition to housecleaning, she also serves as the Treasurer on Dahlia’s Board of Directors and is responsible for bookkeeping and payroll. As the co-op grows, Maria looks forward to providing similar opportunities to future members. On what she likes best about cooperatives, Maria says, “Everyone wins together. There isn’t just one person who creates wealth for themselves. All the benefits and profits are divided equally for everyone.”
Ricardo moved to Austin, TX in 2007. He currently serves as a manager for a global patient navigation program called Health Network at the Migrant Clinicians Network. His professional interests have been in healthcare relating to migrant populations and other marginalized communities. Ricardo has conducted Promotora training workshops across the U.S. designed to promote community involvement in health issues and patient advocacy. He is also a volunteer for the Care Communities, a local non-profit providing assistance with patients battling Cancer and /or HIV/AIDS. Ricardo also played an active role in the launching of FarMax, a start-up pharmacy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. His background in Business Management and Marketing, along with his interest in sustainable business practices, led him to volunteer in Cooperation Texas’ Cooperative Business Institute (CBI). In 2012 he was able to be part of the launch of the first worker-owned green cleaning cooperative in Austin, TX called Dahlia Green Cleaning Services.
Anika recently moved to Austin in May of 2012 to join the team at Public Works as a Program Associate. In this role, Anika is responsible for conducting trainings, reaching out to new potential allies and working with state and national partners as they strive to build support for an effective public sector that is dedicated to equitable opportunities for all Americans. Prior to joining Public Works, Anika was part of the inaugural class of State Policy Fellows with the D.C. based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities under the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative. She was placed with the Michigan League for Public Policy in Lansing, Michigan, for a two-year fellowship committed to expanding diverse voices in state policy debates. During her time with the League, Anika became their first lead policy analyst on racial equity, immigration and the corrections budget. Anika has her Master of Social work emphasizing in social policy from the University of Michigan. While in graduate school, Anika was a resident and member of the Black Elk student housing cooperative where she was nominated to serve on the board for North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) where she served a three year term from 2009-2012. During her time on the board she was the co-chair of the inclusion committee and led several workshops on non-violent communication at the annual NASCO Institute. Anika has also served on the board for the Asian Pacific Islander American Vote, Michigan chapter as their Public Policy Chair, and is a current member of the Wheatsville Food Co-op and the University of Michigan Credit Union.