Film Producer and Director
Atautsikut/Leaving None Behind
John Houston will help launch the start of Congress by sharing his stories at the celebratory event, kicking off the three days of discussion, debate and conversations on the theme, Deepening our Cooperative Identity.
Born in Liverpool (UK) in 1956, Guy Ryder studied Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge and Latin American Studies at the University of Liverpool. He speaks French and Spanish as well as his mother tongue, English. He started his professional career in 1981 as assistant at the International Department of the Trade Union Congress in London.
Since her debut on stage and in television in the early 2000s, Karina Lehoux has been a facilitator in more than 850 events, including: seminars and conventions, annual general meetings and public forums. More recently, she has been using her experience in television to facilitate virtual conferences, awards and international events. Last October, she was the spokesperson for the Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité. Karina Lehoux is a graduate of Laval University (bachelor’s degree in business administration) and HEC Montréal (DESS in communication-marketing).
Alexandra Wilson discovered a passion for cooperatives in 1974, when she led her neighbours in a successful fight to create the Bain Apartments Cooperative, putting a stop to the landlord’s plans to evict 260 low-income households. This involvement as a teenager in saving her own home led to a career in the development, management and provision of association services to housing cooperatives. After nine years with the Cooperative Housing Federation of Toronto, five as managing director, and 15 years at the head of the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada, Alexandra started up the Agency for Cooperative Housing, serving as CEO from 2005 until her retirement in 2021.
Dr. Carlos Zarco has a degree in Medicine and post-graduate studies in quality management and senior management of health institutions. He has master’s degrees in Planning and Quality Management, Science in Health, and Advanced Clinical Management. Dr. Zarco is a member of the Board and Director-General of Fundación Espriu, President of the International Health Cooperative Organisation, IHCO, and member of the Board of the Alliance for Health Promotion.
Julie LaPalme is Secretary General for Cooperative Housing International, one of the International Cooperative Alliance’s eight sectors. Since 2014, Julie has been raising awareness about housing cooperatives at a global level, facilitating peer-to-peer exchanges, and sharing good practices through a comprehensive communications program.
Jose Pérez has been working on the promotion of health cooperatives since 2000. Currently, he is Deputy Director of Fundación Espriu, Spanish organisation gathering health cooperatives in Spain, and Secretary-General of the International Health Cooperative Organisation.
Masters of Ceremony
Proudly representing the Korean cooperative movement, Gwangseog Hong will be one of two MCs at Congress. He is the team leader of the international cooperation office at the Korea National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF), and deputy secretary general of the International Cooperative Agricultural Orgnisation (ICAO) Secretariat.
Joining Mr. Hong as co-MC is Zuraidah Hoffman. She leads the World Cooperative Congress communications team, after joining the ICA in 2019 as the interim communications director. With more than 20 years of experience in communications, she spent the last decade working closely with NRECA International, a global rural electrification NGO that takes its roots from the American electric cooperative movement. An experienced storyteller, producer and communicator, Zuraidah has travelled the world to produce stories on the impact rural electric cooperatives have on improving lives. A trained journalist and alumni of The George Washington University, she has experience in both written and visual media, international community outreach programmes and strategic communication.