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CCMA 2019 Cooperative Excellence Awards Winners

Updated: Jul 2, 2019

Five outstanding cooperators were recognized at the 2019 CCMA Cooperative Excellence Awards on Saturday, June 8 in Durham, North Carolina. The annual awards recognize outstanding leadership and innovation in food cooperatives.

Allan Gallant of Blooming Prairie Foundation and Food Co-op Initiative received the Cooperative Service Award given in recognition of dedicated leadership and exemplary service by an individual to a cooperative or cooperatives.

"It is clear that when the cooperative community needs a clear, strong voice in support of cooperatives, they turn to Alan" said Sverre Roang, former Board Chair of Food Co-op Initiative. "He is a tireless advocate for cooperatives, for sure. But he is also a tireless advocate for sound business practices because he knows that is critical to the long-term success of the cooperative movement."

The Merc Co+op's Nancy O'Connor was the recipient of the Cooperative Innovation and Achievement Award, given in recognition of the innovative application of the cooperative business structure or an innovative program or service. Nancy receives the award in recognition of innovative projects like The West Middle School garden and establishing the Community Mercantile Education Foundation.

"Nancy is a true visionary and passionate educator who has dedicated her life to helping people discover and enjoy healthy foods. Nancy's 27 years of dedicated commitment to our co-op have had a lasting impact on our community that is truly impossible to measure" said Rita York Hennecke, General Manager of The Merc Co+op in Lawrence, KS.

The Cooperative Board Service Award was received by the board of the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation (TPCF) and was accepted by David Thompson and Jens Koepke of the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation. The award is made in recognition of outstanding dedication and leadership by a board member or multiple board members.

Since 1992, the TPCF board has raised over $400,000 in matching funds for cooperatives establishing Cooperative Community Funds, leveraged over $43 million for cooperative development, and helped food co-ops build stronger social links with members.

The Cooperative Excellence Award was received by Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op in Middlebury, VT and its General Manager, Glenn Lower. This award is made in recognition of a retail cooperative that has made significant progress in meeting the needs of members through growth in net sales and earnings, initiation of new and innovative programs, and expansion of member services.

"Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op has continued to exemplify what it means to be a cooperative and the significant impact it can have on its members, customers, and the local community, inspiring all of us to do and be more" said John Tashiro, General Manager of City Market Onion River Co-op in Burlington, VT.

CCMA, the premier conference for food cooperatives, is an annual opportunity for food co-op managers and board members from around the country to network, learn, and collaborate. Next year's conference will be held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Through the Howard Bowers Fund for food co-ops, CDF supports attendance at CCMA, providing $10,000 in scholarships for the conference. Since its inception in 1994, the Howard Bowers Fund has given over $500,000 in grants and scholarships for education and training programs for food co-ops.

CDF manages the CCMA Awards for Cooperative Excellence.


About the Cooperative Development Foundation

The Cooperative Development Foundation promotes community economic and social development through cooperatives. CDF is a thought leader in the use of cooperatives to create resilient communities, including the housing and care needs of seniors. Through its funds, fiscal sponsorships, and fundraising, CDF provides grants and loans that foster cooperative development domestically and abroad. CDF's Cooperative Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding cooperative leaders at the National Press Club in Washington, DC each year. (

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