Directors Find Value and Camaraderie

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Will you attend the 50th annual Consumer Cooperative Management Association conference June 8–10 in Atlanta?

“I wholeheartedly recommend attending CCMA because it gives folks an opportunity to come together and share, cooperate, learn, and grow,” emailed Lucas Frerichs, a director at Davis Food Co-op (Davis, Calif.), after six CCMAs.

Why do directors urge fellow directors to go to the national conference for consumer food cooperatives? Directors come to learn. They network, strengthen their commitment to the cooperative movement, and have fun.

Learn

“Every year the evaluations of the board training are really outstanding,” said Ann Hoyt, University of Wisconsin, Madison, conference planner for over 15 years. “Strong input from directors about what they want is what makes it a timely and relevant program.” Directors will have two workshop tracks.

The Thursday afternoon bus tour includes a visit to host Sevananda Cooperative’s Natural Foods Market in Atlanta. With some 3,500 active member-owners and 70 paid staff, the co-op had $7.2 million in sales last year from 12,000 square feet of retail.

Network

“It’s great to meet with other board leaders and find solutions to common problems,” emailed Michael Yacavone, president of Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society, Inc. in Hanover, N.H.

Ron Griffith, president of Just Foods: Northfield Community Co-op in Northfield, Minn., met at CCMA “some of the Cooperative Development Services consultants whom we subsequently engaged.”

Grow the co-op movement

“It’s important for us to see that big picture” of the co-op world,” said Ginny Sutton, director and former president of Eastside Food Co-op, Minneapolis, Minn.

Without nearby co-ops, cooperators may feel isolated. “More than anything else, CCMA serves directors and staff by breaking that isolation, by providing a chance to meet people from other co-ops who have struggled with many of the same challenges,” said Tom Strong, president and employee of Sevananda Cooperative.

As Mark Goehring, CDS consultant and former president of Brattleboro Food Co-op, Brattleboro, Vt., highlighted inspiring speeches at recent CCMAs, he recalled the electricity in the room. He said, “I’m a complete believer that co-op principles and values will help us accomplish what we are doing.”

Be inspired

“It’s always an inspirational experience—meeting peers who share the same values and work for the same cause,” emailed Bob Noble, president of Weavers Way Co-op in Philadelphia, Penn., after three CCMAs.

Be part of another outstanding conference. Come to Atlanta.

See other articles from this issue: #123 March - April - 2006