Helena O'Connor

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CDS Consulting Co-op

Helena O’Connor has approached her career with an entrepreneur’s flair for growth and systems development that has defined her work in human resources improvement.

Helena has lived in four different countries, started her own wine business abroad, and has now settled in the United States in North Carolina.

Although Helena calls North Carolina home, she recently moved to Athens, Greece, to care for her elderly mother. Helena hopes to work with European co-ops while supporting those in the United States remotely, making the occasional visit stateside. Currently Helena is working part time, taking selected projects on a case by case basis.

Before becoming a consultant, she worked for nine years as the human resource manager at Weaver Street Market Co-op. During her tenure, the co-op grew to three locations and a full-service restaurant, employing over 200 people. Her expertise encompasses all aspects of human resource management including employee recruitment, employee satisfaction surveys, compensation analysis, Open Book Management and financial literacy training, human resource audits, and managing change and developing human resource structures for expanding businesses. Having served as the worker-owner representative to the Weaver Street Market Co-op board of directors, Helena brings a special understanding of policy governance and board relations to all her work.

Helena has been certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) since 1999 and holds a MA in Organizational Communication and Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has studied Open Book Management with ZingTrain and The Great Game of Business.

Helena enjoys working with food co-ops because they uphold high standards for staff treatment and compensation. “I believe fervently in the partnership between employees and management. I have a passion for co-ops. It’s a model that provides benefit to so many stakeholders—the community, workers, management, producers and consumers.”

Helena’s services include:

Helena O’Connor has approached her career with an entrepreneur’s flair for growth and systems development that has defined her work in human resources improvement.

Author's Articles

Title Issue Date

According to 2013 CoopMetrics data, 30 percent of member co-ops in the National Cooperative Grocers Association have expanded or opened a new store in the last five years; and many more co-ops are

172 May-June 2014 May 29, 2014

A few staff members crowded the back of the small room. Latecomers straggled in until most chairs were full.

169 Nov-Dec 2013 December 9, 2013

Don’t open a shop unless you like to smile. 

– Chinese proverb

April 11, 2013

An audit can be described as an unbiased examination and evaluation of systems and processes of an organization in order to demonstrate whether they are in compliance with a standard.

161 July - August - 2012 August 7, 2012