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Michael Beall steps down as president and CEO of NCBA CLUSA; Judy Ziewacz named interim CEO

ncba-clusa-logo-500 399b4On Friday, November 13, the board of directors of the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International released a statement announcing the resignation of Michael Beall as president and CEO of NCBA CLUSA.

During his three-year tenure as CEO and president, Beall “made numerous contributions to the financial and business operations of NCBA CLUSA,” the statement said, adding that Beall had left “to pursue other career opportunities” and will join the Tacoma, Washington-based Credit Union Strategic Planning as senior consultant.

“All of us here at NCBA CLUSA join in wishing Michael well in his new position,” the statement said.

The NCBA CLUSA board has named Judy Ziewacz, former executive director of the Cooperative Development Foundation, as interim CEO.

“I am pleased to once again serve NCBA CLUSA and the broader cooperative community during this transition period to ensure that the initiatives and priorities of NCBA CLUSA continue uninterrupted,” Ziewacz said. “The work NCBA CLUSA is engaged in both domestically and around the world promotes the resilience of the cooperative business model, and I look forward to working with our board, leadership team and staff to contribute to the ongoing success of the organization.”

For more than 35 years, Ziewacz has championed cooperative development. In 1985, she was instrumental in launching the nation's first statewide co-op development center: the Wisconsin Cooperative Development Council, now known as Cooperative Development Services. She also played a key role in establishing CooperationWorks!, a national cooperative development network responsible for the creation of hundreds of co-ops and thousands of jobs. 

She was a driving force behind the establishment and funding of the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) Program in the 1990 Farm Bill. In 1996, she became the executive director of the Cooperative Development Foundation and later led the application process to secure dotCoop as a new Top Level Domain (TLD) for use by the international cooperative community. She currently serves on the boards of the National Cooperative Bank and Capital Impact Partners.

(November 18, 2015)

NCBA CLUSA’s new “OwnIt” initiative boosts co-op identity to consumers

ownit-hand 89b9aIn collaboration with the International Co-operative Alliance and Domains.coop, the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is pleased to announce the launch of a consumer awareness initiative specifically for cooperatives, “OwnIt: Your Work. Your Identity.”

The OwnIt campaign will provide cooperatives in the U.S. both digital and paper resources to help communicate the value of their co-op identity to members and consumers. The campaign website (www.ownit.coop) features an expanding toolkit including videos, templates, posters, flyers, social media graphics and sample copy that highlights the value of using the .coop domain and the COOP Marque as effective tools co-ops can use to differentiate themselves from other types of businesses.

Along with the ability to apply for a .coop domain, the COOP Marque and NCBA CLUSA membership, the site will feature a blog where readers can submit stories and events about their cooperatives. In 2016, NCBA CLUSA anticipates the launch of an interactive forum that will provide a platform for connecting cooperatives and members across all sectors.

“We’ve designed this campaign and website to be multi-use, with the ability to evolve to meet changing needs,” said Patricia Sterner, COO for Domestic Initiatives at NCBA CLUSA. “Ownit.coop is now the primary resource for co-ops to easily find tools, templates, techniques and tips on communicating the value of a .coop and the COOP Marque—and really, the co-op business model—to members and customers in the marketplace. As people begin to understand the power of cooperatives, and the brand and platform grow, we see it becoming a vehicle for members and consumers of co-ops to get engaged with, participate in and provide support for both their local co-op and the entire movement.”

With U.S. consumers now familiar with trust marks like Non-GMO, Fair Trade and USDA Organic on food products and momentum behind the “Shop Local” movement, John Torres, Director of Communication and Public Relations for NCBA CLUSA, believes that cooperatives are in an ideal position to elevate awareness of the co-op business model by using the .coop domain and COOP Marque.

“Retail label trust marks are sought after by consumers, helping them to make better informed decisions,” he said. “Using the COOP Marque is the natural next step for co-ops to communicate their cooperative identity and we expect to see it everywhere. When co-ops can talk together about the .coop domain as THE place of business for cooperatives and when co-ops can talk together about the Marque as THE mark of a transparent, ethical and democratically run business, that’s when change happens in the minds of the consumers. OwnIt is an initiative that all cooperatives can use and draw common language from to communicate these differences—while still maintaining their uniqueness. NCBA CLUSA is actively supporting this initiative on behalf of our members and with our partners at Domains.coop and the ICA.”

Violetta Nafpaktiti, COO for Domains.coop, released a joint statement with Nicola Huckerby, Marketing Lead for Identity.coop, on behalf of the ICA, endorsing the OwnIt campaign and encouraging U.S. cooperatives to join together under the .coop and COOP Marque banners to highlight both their work and their identity as cooperatives.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to be part of this exciting initiative for U.S. cooperatives,” they said in the statement. “As millennials look for new ways to empower themselves in their careers and alternative economic ideas are gaining traction, co-ops are the perfect and ready-made solution for people to jump in and get involved. All it takes is for them to understand WHY co-ops do what they do and that is what OwnIt is all about.”

NCBA CLUSA is the member association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector advocacy, education and technical assistance that helps cooperative businesses thrive. Celebrating 100 years of cooperation in 2016, NCBA CLUSA seeks to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals, families and communities. Since 1953, NCBA CLUSA has worked in more than 85 countries in the areas of cooperative development, food security and nutrition, agricultural development, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women and youth. NCBA CLUSA currently implements projects in 18 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Domains.coop Ltd. is an accredited domain name registrar, based in the United Kingdom. The business is a subsidiary of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) and dedicated to promoting, managing and supporting the .coop domain name registrations from co-operatives across the world. In late 2013, the ICA launched the Global Co-operative Marque, which has been promoted jointly with .coop byDomains.coop.

Don’t miss out! NCBA CLUSA's Co-op Professionals Conference is less than a week away

cpc-logo-500 d7053NCBA CLUSA’s second annual Co-op Professionals Conference is less than a week away, but there’s still time to register and take advantage of this opportunity to earn up to 12 Continuing Legal Education and Continuing Professional Education credit hours. Click here to view a full schedule of events and a breakdown of CLE/CPE credit hours.

Scheduled for November 9 – 11 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Co-op Professionals Conference is your chance to join a growing community of legal and accounting professionals serving the co-op sector.

With advanced, in-depth discussions on co-op organization, governance, financing and taxation, attendees will become experts on the unique legal and accounting issues co-ops face. Registration includes conference materials and admission to all sessions, networking events and meals. NCBA CLUSA members pay $400; non-members pay $475.

Attendees new to the cooperative sector should plan to attend NCBA CLUSA’s Co-op 101 Primer on Monday, November 9, prior to the afternoon conference welcome and introduction. This session will also be relevant for conference attendees looking for a refresher on the basic structure and unique issues cooperatives face.

Save 20 percent on Co-op Professionals Conference registration with NCBA CLUSA membership!

CPC-logo-1 198bbThe second annual Co-op Professionals Conference is less than a month away! If you haven’t already registered, there’s still time to take advantage of the savings that come with an NCBA CLUSA membership.

Join today and benefit from the member discount on conference registration, including more than 20 percent off CPC registration. Email NCBA CLUSA Director of Member Relations Thomas Bowen at tbowen@ncba.coop for details.

By joining NCBA CLUSA, you contribute to a powerful voice for cooperative interests on Capitol Hill and get substantial discounts on NCBA CLUSA’s premier learning events, including the annual Co-op Professionals Conference. Your membership dues also help fund NCBA CLUSA’s cooperative development work in the U.S. and 18 countries worldwide.

Scheduled for November 9 – 11 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, NCBA CLUSA’s Co-op Professional Conference is your chance to network with legal and accounting professionals serving the co-op sector and earn up to 12 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit. Click here to view a full schedule of events and a breakdown of CLE/CPE credit hours. 

With advanced, in-depth discussions on co-op organization, governance, financing and taxation, attendees will become experts on the unique legal and accounting issues co-ops face.
Registration includes conference materials and admission to all sessions, networking events and meals. NCBA CLUSA members pay $400; non-members pay $475.

The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the trade association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector advocacy, education and technical assistance that helps cooperative businesses thrive. Celebrating 100 years of supporting cooperatives, NCBA CLUSA continues to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals, families and communities. Since 1953, NCBA CLUSA has worked in over 85 countries in the areas of cooperative development, food security and nutrition, agricultural development, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women and youth.



For nearly 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has encouraged communities to live cooperatively, harnessing the uncommon power of common purpose. NCBA CLUSA applies cooperative principles in development, advocacy, and education.

Association Services

  Thomas Bowen,  Director of Membership Click Here to Email Thomas Bowen 202.383.5461                         The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA (NCBA CLUSA) represents a cross-sector co-op community of more than 40,000 businesses that control over $3 trillion in assets.  We unite co-ops by promoting the cooperative business model, driving cross-sector collaboration, and being the national ‘voice’ for cooperatives to raise the profile of co-ops everywhere. Our work is grounded in our three-part mission:
 To raise the profile of cooperatives
 To promote and protect the cooperative business enterprise model To drive cross-sector collaboration among cooperatives in keeping with Principle 6 of the Cooperative Principles       We believe in collaboration, and in bringing value to the many efforts already underway through our cooperative development partners and intermediaries that are doing the necessary ‘boots on the ground’ cooperative development work. In our role as facilitator, convener, and financing partner, we assist our partners in their work with strengthening the structure, reach and financial sustainability of existing cooperatives, as well as efforts to establish new cooperatives.  We are collaborating with Cooperation Works! and Cooperative Development Centers across the country to develop more diverse – and sustainable – funding for their important work. We are responding to local and regional nationwide that are interested in establishing Cooperative Business Associations, with the intent of creating local cooperative ‘chambers of commerce’ to drive the financial success of cooperatives in these associations, raise the profile of cooperatives in their communities, and foster cross-collaboration among cooperatives. Using the power of cooperative development work and our collective cooperative voice, NCBA CLUSA advocates on Capitol Hill on behalf of cooperatives, fighting to maintain or increase government funding for cooperative programs and securing access to legislation that protects the cooperative business enterprise model. Throughout the United States, NCBA CLUSA is working with cooperatives and cooperative development organizations to embed cooperatives in their local and regional economies. With our partners NCBA CLUSA supports cooperative development, funds cooperative education, and promotes the need for research to continually strengthen the case for cooperatives in our economy. OUR FOCUS NCBA CLUSA takes very seriously its role as CONVENER of cooperatives and cooperators across the country. ADVOCACY NCBA CLUSA is also working hard to amplify the voice of cooperatives at the national level, specifically through increased advocacy work on behalf of cooperatives sectors.  For example, NCBA CLUSA sent letters to members of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees pressing for tax reform to retain the tax exemption for credit unions. Likewise, through the efforts of NCBA CLUSA and partners, a significant shift in the government’s fiscal year 2014 spending bill has made provision for $5.8 million for the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) and an additional $3 million for the Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant (SSDPG). Moving forward, we plan to establish a congressional Cooperative Caucus as a forum to brief legislators on cooperatives and cooperative sectors. CONFERENCES NCBA CLUSA hosts and/or supports several conferences throughout the year: 2016 NCBA CLUSA Annual Cooperatives Conference, May 2nd-4th, Washington DC Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA):  June 9-11 in Western Massachusetts Co-op Week (in partnership with the National Cooperative Bank and the Cooperative Development Foundation):  May 2-6 in Washington, D.C. 2016 Cooperative Professionals Conference, September 19th-21st, Miami, Florida 2016 National Purchasing Cooperatives Conference, September 19th-21st, Miami, Florida   COOPERATIVE BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS (CBA'S) We are working with several groups throughout the country that are organizing to establish CBAs.  To support these efforts NCBA CLUSA is providing financial support, human resources and business planning to launch what can be thought of as local “co-op chambers of commerce”, with missions to promote the co-op business model, grow the bottom-line of cooperatives in local communities, and engage more consumers as co-op members.  We are focused on four locations: Austin, Texas  (Austin Cooperative Business Association) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia Area Cooperative Association) Upstate New York Western Massachusetts (Valley Cooperative Business Association   COOPERATIVE BUSINESS SERVICES We are committed to raising the profile of cooperatives as economic drivers in our communities.  To that end we will be providing services such as internal and external “cooperative assessments” for members interested in (internally) better integrating the cooperative principles into their business plans and operations, and (externally) leveraging cross-sector relationships to promote their businesses to a broader base of consumers.  We will be utilizing the Blueprint for the Cooperative Decade in this work with our members, with a projected outcome of better identifying and communicating the economic power of cooperatives in given communities.   COOPERATIVE BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE In 2014 we will be establishing the Cooperative Business Roundtable, which will be a convening of CEOs from our larger members.  We have recognized the opportunity to bring CEOs together to network with each other about the opportunities and challenges for cooperatives in today’s economy as well as those they face in their own cooperatives.  Plans are being made to launch the inaugural session of the Roundtable during Co-op Week in Washington, D.C. (May 5 – 9, 2014).     OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH CooperationWorks AND THE COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT CENTERS CooperationWorks! Is the center for excellence for cooperative business development. They are a dynamic and innovative national cooperative created to grow the cooperative model across the United States. Cooperative development centers work to revitalize communities through effective cooperative enterprise development. The centers provide a broad spectrum of expertise and technical assistance, including feasibility studies, market analysis, business plan development, governance training, and educational programs. NCBA CLUSA works closely with both CooperationWorks! and the centers to provide support and resources to aid in their very critical work. NCBA CLUSA understands that it is imperative to grow and sustain financial support so that CooperationWorks! and the centers may foster cooperative economic development. To that end, NCBA CLUSA is co-hosting with CooperationWorks! a summit to engage the cooperative development centers on a national level that will bring forth strategies that will diversify and grow funding. PARTNERSHIP WITH FREELANCERS UNION NCBA CLUSA first began working Freelancers Union in 2010 while assisting organizations across the United States that were applying for funding to develop the new national health care CO-OPs. NCBA CLUSA first provided expertise to Freelancers Union regarding board governance and board development for the application and later played a role in board training for Freelancers Union. Since that time, a close and productive relationship has grown between the two organizations. Sara Horowitz, Found and Executive Director of Freelancers Union, recently wrote; “Cooperatives are deeply knit in the American fabric. In 1752, founding father (and volunteer firefighter) Ben Franklin started the nation's first mutual fire insurance company, Philadelphia Contributionship, which still operates today. In his book For All The People, historian and woodworker John Curl highlights the amazing diversity of cooperative businesses that popped up in the 1800s -- mining coops, shoemaking coops, knitting coops. Basically anything workers could unite to own, they did. We are beginning to see the rise of that mutualistic ethos once again. Many of these efforts directly mirror the late 1800s mutual support model -- but this time with the internet helping bring what had once been local models to national scale.” Freelancers Union has a mission of promoting the interests of independent workers through advocacy, education, and services. NCBA CLUSA is working with the Freelancers Union to provide certain training, education and support services to assist the Freelancers Union in fulfilling their research of cooperatives, member educational programming, project management, board education, business model transition, and public relations objectives, and services for which cooperation may be mutually beneficial. REGIONAL FARMERS MARKET/USDA RCDG GRANT NCBA CLUSA’s 2012 USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant is dedicated to supporting the establishment of a Regional Farmer’s Market located in the Mississippi Delta, in partnership and through the leadership of Shreveport Federal Credit Union and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. The establishment of food hubs that address food deserts is a particular area of expertise for NCBA CLUSA through our international work, and we are applying that expertise to our rural cooperative development partnerships. The work is also supported by previous project work related to wealth creation and development of value chains, especially as relate to cross-sector cooperative business opportunities. The initial work around the establishment of a regional farmers’ market located in Marks, Mississippi has been led by the Shreveport Federal Credit Union, which located a branch in Marks in 2006. Joining with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, the primary cooperative development expert in the rural south, Shreveport FCU has worked with local community leaders to further explore opportunities for community engagement and is currently building out the concept for the market, setting in motion plans to launch the market by the end of 2013. The idea for the Delta Regional Market (a name under consideration) came about through multiple meetings with community members, mayors of several towns, and farmers in which they addressed the challenges which have caused this region to be so economically deprived. The Market will be a food hub for the entire community providing reasonably priced, fresh, locally-grown foods; creating jobs for some and for others an entertainment and a gathering place that is planned to be a major draw for customers within a 50-mile radius.  On-street parking provides plenty of space for customers, and the building is located near local businesses to encourage foot traffic to nearby merchants. The Market will also be a showcase for the community’s cultural roots. In addition to being a Food Hub with sales of fresh farm products, the Market will also house a small Museum called “The Muletrain Museum and Gift Store”, a Kidz Zone, and a small Food Court. “Sunday Go to Meeting at the Market” will highlight the deep spiritual roots of the people of the Delta, and provide the opportunity for area churches from diverse communities to bring their choirs and congregations to the market to sing in the food court area on Sunday afternoons as an additional way to attract consumers to the Market. Another central feature of the Market will be the participation of the North Delta Produce Growers Association, which will use part of the Market’s building to expand their commercial enterprise which currently sells purple hull peas to Walmart. Expansion of their operations will increase the distribution opportunities for their participating farmers, and open the door for other farmer cooperatives to join. Leadership and partnership must go hand in hand for the success of this project. Shreveport Federal Credit Union is stepping up with some of the financing for the building; the Federation of Southern Cooperatives is providing the hands-on expertise in agricultural as well as small cooperative business development. Thanks to funding from the USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant, NCBA CLUSA is providing expertise in business planning, project design and financing to support the launch and sustainability of the project. We believe the Delta Regional Market can become an important pilot for other communities to follow, and we will work with our partners to document and evaluate every step of this important project. Links to partners: Shreveport Federal Credit Union Federation of Southern Cooperatives North Delta Produce Growers Association USDA

Association Services


Succession Planning for Co-op Members Join us for a Webinar on June 26 Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: What will happen to your business when its leadership is ready to retire? During NCBA CLUSA’s June 26 webinar, presenter Gary Pittsford, CFP, president and CEO of Castle Wealth Advisors, will discuss key factors you need to consider in planning for the future of your coop, including: • Issues affecting family members • Transition options • Retirement income security • Tax impacts and options • Business and estate plans Get the answers to your burning questions about the succession planning process and begin to assemble an advisory team who can help you make smart decisions for your organization.   Title: Succession Planning for Co-op Members Date: Thursday, June 26, 2014 Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT   After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.   System Requirements PC-based attendees Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server Mac®-based attendees Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer Mobile attendees Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet       Future NCBA CLUSA Webinar Topics Promoting Cooperation with Financial Cooperatives Learn how financial cooperatives are engaging in cross-sector collaboration by doing business with other cooperative sectors. Cooperative education in colleges and universitiesWhile the cooperative business model is distinct from other business models, our current options for pursuing relevant cooperative management education is limited. Join this webinar to learn about the existing programs, along with work being done to improve management education for the cooperative sector. Cooperative GovernanceWebinar will explore key issues in cooperative governance, and how cooperative governance is different than governance of other organizational models.   NCBA CLUSA’s webinars continue to be a popular source of information on issues impacting the cooperative community. Whether it is marketing and branding your co-op, understanding the legal and governmental framework of cooperatives or learning how co-ops are using technology to be innovative, NCBA CLUSA’s webinars provide useful and timely information to leverage opportunities for growing and improving your cooperative. Webinar Archive Miss a webinar? Visit NCBA CLUSA's archive to view presentations on-demand We'd Love Your Input! Do you have an idea for a webinar topic? Please send your suggestions to:info@ncba.coop



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NCBA CLUSA is the nation’s oldest and largest national membership association representing cooperatives of all types and in all industries. We are democratically organized and operate according to internationally recognized cooperative principles. NCBA CLUSA’s mission is to develop, advance and protect cooperative businesses and to demonstrate the power of the cooperative business model to achieve economic and social impacts. As the apex organization representing the interests of the US cooperative community, NCBA CLUSA provides a strong, unified voice on Capitol Hill. The Association’s portfolio includes programs and services that meet the shared advocacy, education and communications needs of a cross-sector, US cooperative community. In addition to its work domestically, NCBA CLUSA’s international program has been engaged in cooperative and sustainable business development in over 100 countries for close to 60 years.


NCBA CLUSA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a commitment to diversity.  All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, and legally protected characteristics for non-merit factors. NCBA CLUSA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities in all facets of employment, including the employment application and selection process. If you have a disability that affects your ability to use our online system to apply for a position at NCBA CLUSA, please send an email to Misti French or call 202-383-5465.



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The Team

Meet Our Senior Leadership Team

Judy Ziewacz

Judy Ziewacz

President and CEO
Amy Coughenour Betancourt

Amy Coughenour Betancourt

Chief Operating Officer, CLUSA International
Valeria Roach

Valeria Roach

Chief Financial Officer
Lisa Bowman

Lisa Bowman

Chief Administrative Officer, NCBA CLUSA
Larry Thomas

Larry Thomas

Chief Human Resources Officer, NCBA CLUSA

The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the oldest and largest national cross sector association for cooperatives, professionals servicing co-ops, and supporters.