The Cooperative Business Model Works.

We Make It Work Even Better.®

Leverage our team’s expertise to prepare yourself and your co-op for the brightest possible future.

We are a team of business strategists and leadership development professionals who are driven by a desire to help you create a winning strategy, a healthy culture, satisfied members, and happy directors at your co-op. There is no doubt that electric cooperative leaders face an uncertain future filled with tough challenges. We are here to help you weather the coming storm, produce great results for your co-op, and enjoy a career filled with meaning and satisfaction.

Our team has devoted their careers to consulting with business leaders, coaching them on key strategic challenges, creating new insights for them, listening to them, and learning from them. We have also published hundreds of research studies and books on business strategy and leadership. And, we have a knowledge base and depth of experience that is unmatched. Every service we provide is founded upon tools, insights, and principles that have been proven by data and experience to actually work.

Our Promise To You

The team at GreatCo-Ops will never take you for granted.

  • We will work hard to deserve your trust.
  • We will deliver exceptional results.
  • We will provide the most responsive service you have ever experienced.

Your success is our top priority. You have our word.

Matt Gilley

Founder of GreatCo-Ops. A trusted advisor to senior cooperative leaders and directors who want to create higher levels of performance in their people and their co-op.

Jose Berrios

An experienced senior executive and vital partner to electric co-op leaders and directors who want to maximize opportunities, overcome challenges, and create lasting value for members.

Debra L. Nelson

An internationally recognized researcher, coach, speaker, and consultant who helps people become more successful leaders.

J. Lee Whittington

A dynamic leadership development expert who creates and delivers engaging workshops that produce real results for co-op leaders, directors, and high-potential employees.

Mike Crownover

With broad experience as a C-Suite executive at one of the world’s largest energy companies, Mike is ideally suited to helping electric cooperative leaders address their most complex challenges.

Laura Little

A highly skilled leadership expert with the insights needed for today's co-op managers to be successful.

David Vequist

A skilled facilitator, consultant, HR professional, and researcher who helps co-ops enhance culture, boost employee engagement, and achieve maximum levels of member satisfaction.

Want to learn more?

Contact us today.

Matt Gilley

Founder of GreatCo-Ops

Matt has over 20 years of experience as a trusted advisor and consultant to senior executives at organizations of all sizes, from startups to some of America’s largest public companies. He has worked with electric cooperative management and directors on matters related to leadership development, strategic planning, acquisitions/divestitures, personnel matters, culture, and more. As a university business school professor, Matt has earned numerous awards for his teaching, research, and community service. In addition to presenting his research at conferences around the world, Matt’s studies have appeared in the most selective management and leadership journals, including Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Business Research, and many others. Prior to completing his Ph.D. in management with a specialty in corporate strategy, Matt leveraged his M.B.A. in corporate finance as a financial analyst for a global aerospace firm. Matt was raised on a farm and ranch in North Texas that was served by his local electric cooperative, and he is currently a co-op member in Central Texas.

Jose Berrios

In his decades as a senior leadership development executive with major global corporations, Jose gained a wealth of insights that are valuable to co-op directors and managers at all levels. Jose has a talent for quickly building trust and rapport, as well as the knowledge, experience-proven tools, and temperament to ensure a terrific coaching relationship and outcomes. Moreover, as a former board member and global chairman of the 300,000-member Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Jose appreciates the special challenges leaders face when running a complex, member-centric organization. Jose served as Vice President of Leadership Development for media giant Gannett Co., owner of USA Today, many television stations, newspapers, and online businesses, for 20 years. Previously, he was an HR executive with Time Inc. and NBC. Jose has coached leaders at many types of organizations and has spoken before thousands of business leaders around the world, from small groups of executives to audiences of over 15,000. Jose’s home is served by his local electric cooperative.

Debra L. Nelson

Debra specializes in leadership development for managers and directors. She has served as a consultant and executive coach for successful men and women in a variety of industries, including electric and gas utilities, communications, transportation, insurance, healthcare, oil and gas, financial services, trucking, and others. Debra has authored over 120 research studies and book chapters focusing on leadership, women in the workplace, preventive stress management, and healthy organizations. Among Debra’s books are Gender, Work Stress, and Health; Organizational Leadership; Stress and Challenge at the Top: The Paradox of the Successful Executive; Preventive Stress Management in Organizations; and Organizational Behavior: Science, the Real World, and You. Prior to her recent retirement from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, where she served as Professor of Management, Debra was honored with a host of teaching and research awards, including the Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award, the Regents Distinguished Research Award, the Richard Poole Outreach Excellence Award, the Greiner Graduate Teaching Award, and the Chandler-Frates and Reitz Graduate Teaching Award. Debra has been an electric cooperative member for over 25 years.

J. Lee Whittington

J. Lee has decades of industry and consulting experience, including over twenty years working in manufacturing and distribution, where he held executive positions in marketing, logistics, and general management. His consulting and leadership development experience includes engagements with electric cooperatives, high tech companies, major logistics organizations, national retailers, heavy manufacturers, and a variety of not-for-profits and government organizations. J. Lee is Professor of Management at the University of Dallas and is formerly dean of UD’s Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business. He focuses his teaching, research, and consulting in the areas of leadership, organizational behavior, and spiritual leadership. His research has been published in numerous top journals, including The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Management, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, and others. He is co-author of the book Leading the Sustainable Organization. His book, Biblical Perspectives on Leadership and Organizations, was published by Palgrave-Macmillan in 2015, and his latest book, Enhancing Employee Engagement: An Evidence-Based Approach was also published by Palgrave-Macmillan in 2017. He has received multiple awards for excellence in teaching and research. He has been recognized as a Distinguished Scholar in Organizational Behavior by the Southwestern Academy of Management. In 2011, he was selected by students and alumni to receive the Haggerty Teaching Excellence Award at the University of Dallas. He attended Austin College where he graduated with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science. He received his M.B.A. and Ph.D. in Management from The University of Texas at Arlington.

Mike Crownover

In his decades of leadership at energy giants Valero and Halliburton, Mike gained valuable insights, tools, and approaches that electric cooperative leaders can use to enhance their performance, strategies, and organizational culture. Prior to his retirement in 2016, Mike was Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer with Valero Energy. In that role, Mike had responsibility for the company’s human resources, training and development, benefits, executive compensation, advertising, communications, facilities, administrative services, and global security. Previously, he served as Valero’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources, a position he held almost 12 years. Prior to joining Valero, Mike served as Human Resources Manager at Halliburton Energy Services. Under Mike’s leadership and approach to the management of Valero’s talent, the company was consistently ranked as one of America’s best places to work by Fortune and other ranking organizations. Mike’s expertise positions him very well to coach co-op leaders on complex board and personnel issues, methods for improving organizational culture and employee engagement, compensation structure, strategic planning, and much more. Mike’s home in the Texas Hill Country is served by his local electric cooperative.

Laura Little

Laura is an Associate Professor of Management in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, where she leads their Institute for Leadership Advancement. She has been on the UGA faculty since 2008. Laura is an award-winning professor who teaches a variety of leadership and organizational behavior courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels covering topics such as leading teams, resolving conflict, communicating effectively, and much more. Laura’s research has been published in several leading journals, including Academy of Management JournalAcademy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Personnel Psychology. Laura received her doctorate in management at Oklahoma State University. Her home is served by her local electric cooperative.

David Vequist

David has over 20 years of experience as an HR executive, researcher, and advisor to senior executives at many different types of organizations. In addition to having served as a vice president in human resources for a major healthcare firm, David worked as a management consultant for Ernst & Young and Holland & Davis (now Endeavor Management).

Over the years, his clients have included major corporations in the energy sector, such as Schlumberger, Devon Energy, Tesoro/Andeavor, and El Paso Corporation. He has also consulted with Bloomberg, Intel, AT&T, Wal-Mart, USAA, Bacardi, Heineken, Coca-Cola, MD Anderson, JD Powers, Pearson (formerly Harcourt), Ascension Health, and other leaders in their industries. His clients have also included the United Nations, the European Union, and the governments of Colombia, Egypt, South Korea, Mexico, Malaysia, Guatemala, Turkey, and the Philippines.

David is also the founding director of the Endeavor Institute, which prepares organizations for disruption by helping them better understand emerging trends. He has been featured in pieces in the Associated Press, Reuters, the New York Times, Voice of America Radio, the Houston Chronicle, many trade/industry publications, as well as in interviews around the world in regional/local magazines, newspapers, television, and radio.

He earned a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Tulsa and is currently chair of the Management Department in the H-E-B School of Business & Administration at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.

David’s home in the Texas Hill Country is served by his local electric cooperative.