Esteban Kelly is Guilded’s Founder and Executive Director. He also is the Executive Director for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and is an important leader and creative force in solidarity economy and co-op movements. He has served on numerous boards including the USFWC, the US Solidarity Economy Network, the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA-CLUSA), and the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF). He is a co-founder of the cross-sector Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA), and recently worked at the New Economy Coalition as Development Director and then Staff Director. Esteban is a mayoral appointee to the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council, following eight years as a worker-owner at Mariposa Food Co-op institutionalizing its staff collective and expanding food access in West Philly.
Formally introduced to cooperatives through student housing co-ops, in Berkeley California, Esteban soon began organizing co-ops across Canada and the US with the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO). Esteban was inducted into NASCO’s Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2011, in recognition of his ten years of service – including seven years on their board and three years working as their Director of Education and Training.
Esteban is also a dynamic educator and movement facilitator. He is a founder and core trainer with AORTA, a worker co-op whose consulting supports organizations fighting for social justice and a solidarity economy. He and his family live in the LCA housing co-op – a community land trust in West Philadelphia.
Ajoke Williams (she/her) is Guilded’s former Program Manager with skills in tech development, fundraising, communications, project management, and consulting for artist and activist organizations.
Elizabeth López (she/her/ella) is the Operations Manager at the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. Elizabeth was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, the daughter of two working class Mexican immigrants who taught her how to luchar. She began organizing for immigrant rights and reproductive justice, which led her into labor organizing. While getting her MA in Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University, she founded Workers’ Dignity- a Nashville worker center led by member low wage workers organizing for economic and transit justice- and eventually served as Operations Manager and Interim Co-Director. Elizabeth recently returned to the Philly area and is usually found exploring, reading, making things, and eating delicious food with her partner and their dog. Her passions lie in being a “builder” and helping folks empower themselves to fight back, organize and transform our lives.
Vanessa Bransburg is the Senior Managing Director at the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI), Gilded’s Fiscal Sponsor. At DAWI, Bransburg supports staff professional development and builds strong organizational culture. Vanessa also provides training and consultation to cooperative developers working with vulnerable workers and immigrant communities.
Camila Tapia-Guilliams (they/them) is a mixed media artist, educator, and community organizer, weaving together narratives of identity, community care, cooperation, and solidarity in their art. Their work has been featured in numerous DC-MD-VA galleries, on the cover of the Washington Socialist and in After the Storm Magazine. They created and led the Cooperative Arts Cohort, and are the Co-Lead on the Community Team for Anticapitalism for Artists. They are a founder and worker-owner of Transverse Cooperative, a democratic artist-owned co-op dedicated to labor organizing and mutual aid in the arts as a means of collective liberation. Camila graduated in 2019 from the University of Maryland, College Park, where they were a worker-owner of the Maryland Food Collective. You can find out more about them and their projects on their Instagram @byunnaturalcauses or by reaching them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren Ruffin is Fractured Atlas’ Chief External Relations Officer, responsible for the organization’s marketing, communications, community engagement, and fundraising.
Arnaud Hubert is the Smart EU Coop Liaison to Guilded. Arnaud launched the first phase of Guilded’s preliminary research, and spent time in Belgium and the US assessing the ecosystem and the requirements for adapting Smart to other countries.
Rafael Espinal is the Executive Director of Freelancers Union. He became New York’s youngest elected official when he joined the State Assembly at age 26. The son of Dominican immigrants who were union members as well as freelancers, Rafael quickly became a leader fighting on behalf of workers, small businesses, artists, low-income communities, and the environment.