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NCBA CLUSA hosts first cooperative delegation from Egypt

egypt-delegation-500 71e76In what marked the first official cooperative-to-cooperative visit between the United States and Egypt, representatives from Egyptian agricultural associations met with NCBA CLUSA officials last week at the organization’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The visit continues a trend toward greater collaboration between the global cooperative community and the U.S. as a leader in the cooperative development sphere. NCBA CLUSA has previously met with similar delegations from Puerto Rico, Brazil, Israel, Turkey, China and Romania. NCBA CLUSA will host a group from India at the end of the month.

“We are always excited to learn from others within the co-op community, and we hope that NCBA CLUSA will continue to be a touch point for international delegations interested in learning more about the cooperative business model,” said Mike Beall, president and CEO of NCBA CLUSA. Beall offered a welcome and overview of the cooperative sector in the U.S. to the Egyptian delegation.

Co-ops comprise an increasingly significant part of the U.S. economy, Beall told the group. Currently, he said, there are an estimated 40,000 co-ops in the U.S. generating $3 trillion in assets. One out of three Americans belongs to a co-op, and more than 100 million Americans are credit union members, he added.

The Egyptian delegation was curious about the challenges national-level co-op associations in the U.S. face when balancing competing political interests, and how NCBA CLUSA convenes all sectors on issues critical to all co-ops, such as advocacy and education.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), Egypt’s cooperative sector is currently undergoing reforms to better protect member control. There are currently an estimated 7,000 cooperatives in the country with a total membership of around 5 million. Egypt’s new constitution includes a commitment to support the cooperative sector, an ILO report said.

The Egyptian delegation’s August 5 visit to NCBA CLUSA took place with support from the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. This program has provided an opportunity for the delegation to learn how co-ops across sectors operate in the U.S. and how American associations influence decision-makers to spur sound policy at national and state levels.

During their visit, the delegation expressed particular interest in NCBA CLUSA’s international development work, shared by Amy Coughenhour, COO for NCBA CLUSA’s international program. That work represents more than 60 years of projects in food security and nutrition, national resource management, sustainable agriculture and community-based health. What began in 1916 with agricultural co-ops in India is now an international development organization implementing a $217 million project profile in 18 countries.

“We’re very proud to share with the international delegations the work we’re doing around the world to advance the capacity of smallholder farmers, cooperative businesses and community groups to increase incomes and build resilience within their families and communities,” Coughenhour said.

While NCBA CLUSA is not currently active in Egypt, in 1993 the organization launched the Small and Micro Enterprise Credit Project there. The decade-long project lent more than $566 million to low-income clients and small businesses with a 99+ percent repayment rate. A critical facet of the program was a poverty-lending program to help female heads of household in urban settlements start or expand income-generating activities using a group lending method.

At the close of the project in 2004, 98 branches of Egypt’s nationwide Banque du Caire had initiated micro-lending. By the project's wrap, some 95,000 loans worth $50 million had been made to more than 300,000 people, 51 percent of whom were women—a 100 percent increase in female clients.

Obama highlights NCBA CLUSA's Yes Youth Can program as example of success in Kenya

Obama kenyaspeech APPhoto BenCurtis 23aecAP Photo/Ben Curtis

When 34 Yes Youth Can participants were selected to attend U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech at the Safaricom Arena in Nairobi, Kenya, on Sunday, they were excited and surprised to hear him specifically highlight their organization.

“There are some amazing examples of what’s going on right now with young people. I’m hopeful because of a young man named Richard Ruto Todosia. Richard helped build Yes Youth Can—I like that phrase, 'Yes Youth Can'… After the violence of 2007 and 2008, Yes Youth Can stood up to incitement and helped bring opportunity to young people that were scarred by conflict,” Obama said. 

With more than 1 million members, Yes Youth Can has become one of the most prominent civil society organizations in Kenya. The program is funded by USAID and implemented in Nairobi and Kenya's Coast region by NCBA CLUSA. Other development partners are implementing the program in other regions of the country. 

Yes Youth Can participants are entrepreneurs and leaders, having developed local “bunges,” or youth parliaments, that empower young people to participate in the political processes and develop entrepreneurial skills. These groups have developed credit unions, encouraged ID card registration and developed small businesses to improve their livelihoods.

“That’s the kind of young leadership we need,” Obama said to an audience that was more than three quarters youth.

"They were inspired as the leaders that will make the change Kenya needs," said Joyce Wafula, Chief of Party for NCBA CLUSA’s Kenya Program.

Since 2011, Yes Youth Can has registered more than 135,000 youth, almost half of whom are women, for national ID cards, which are a voter requirement in Kenya. Almost 90,000 youth were linked to credit institutions and seven Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) were developed specifically for bunges and youth. These SACCOs leant $123,000 in small loans for livelihoods projects.

These youth are also becoming leaders in their communities. Over 43,000 youth—40 percent of whom are women—have been elected to leadership roles in village councils, churches, local health committees, women’s groups, farmers groups and cooperatives. This is a huge increase in youth participation across Kenya. In fact, there are 87 percent more youth involved in the coast provinces and 67 percent more in Nairobi since the beginning of the program.

“When it comes to the people of Kenya—particularly the youth—I believe there is no limit to what you can achieve… We are investing in the young people of Kenya and the young people of this continent… and it’s the young people who must take the lead,” Obama said on Sunday. The president was in Kenya to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Throughout the weekend President Obama emphasized the importance of youth and women in starting businesses and leading.

The Yes Youth Can Program has been extended until the end of September 2015, with additional funding from the Coca Cola Company's 5by20 initiative. These extra funds will be distributed as small grants to 5,000 youth participants, particularly young women, to receive training on business skills and start income-generating projects in their communities. 

Obama’s trip comes on the heels of a 10-year renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, promoting trade across the continent. This is the president’s fourth trip to Africa and the first time a sitting president has ever visited Kenya.

At NCBA CLUSA-hosted event, USDA Deputy Under Secretary O’Brien calls co-ops “bright spot” in rural America

mike-PressClub 9939fCo-ops are a “bright spot” for job creation in rural America, and with “wise, strategic” investment in cooperative business, the public and private sectors can help provide the influx of capital Middle America needs to match the rate of post-recession economic recovery enjoyed by metropolitan centers along the East and West Coasts.

That was the message from Doug O’Brien, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development, at last week’s Co-op Month Forum and Panel Discussion hosted by NCBA CLUSA at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The event highlighted the role of co-ops in growing the U.S. economy and creating sustainable jobs, and featured development experts from the USDA, U.S. Small Business Administration and the private sector.

Co-ops currently provide 185,000 jobs in rural America and deliver services to more than 130 million member-owners and customers. Last year, the nation’s farmer co-ops alone charted record sales of more than $246 billion.

Ripe with what O’Brien called “historic opportunities and potential” in the areas of infrastructure and workforce development, rural America is poised for significant growth and holds unexpected benefits for investors, he said.

According to the study, “Promoting Growth for All Regions,” released in 2012 by the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development, the rural regions of some 30 industrialized countries worldwide—among them the U.S.—are growing faster than urban regions in the same countries, O’Brien said. The study also shows that investment in rural areas tends to yield greater returns on public and private dollars than comparable investment in urban areas.

“It’s time for policymakers to look to rural places when they’re thinking about investments,” he said. “And it’s time for those who already work in rural America to think about what they’re doing and consider whether they can do it better.”

O’Brien’s call for more strategic development in rural America was echoed by the five panelists who participated in the October 22 discussion.

Public investments in rural America administered by the USDA are prioritizing local food production in high-poverty areas, said Lillian Salerno, administrator of the USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service. One in four children in rural America lives in poverty, and one in eight children struggles with “deep” poverty. These households exist well below the poverty line, or on about $11,500 per year for a family of four.

In the Southern U.S., Salerno added, poverty is exacerbated by food deserts—communities with little or no access to fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables. In such food deserts, the USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service has already funded hundreds of farmers markets and other rural food hubs—many of them “co-ops or potential co-ops,” she said.

Largely driven by consumers—especially young people—who expect to know whether their food is sustainably and ethically produced, the “food hub” movement is gaining momentum across the country, said Deb Trocha, executive director of the Indiana Cooperative Development Center and NCBA CLUSA Board member. Farmers markets, once a “hobby,” she said, are now operated as profitable businesses. Co-ops, too, are taking the cue and increasingly prioritizing strategic planning and capitalization, she said.

Young people are also behind the new “shared economy,” said Ann Marie Mehlum, associate administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, referring to the ridesharing service Uber and Airbnb, a community marketplace for accommodations worldwide.
There’s “energy” around sharing resources, and co-ops should tap into that “natural overlap,” Mehlum said, emphasizing characteristics such as democratic member control, ethical behavior and concern for community.

Leta Mach, who teaches what it means to be a member of a co-op to parents and young children through her work at Parent Cooperative Preschoolers International, said education early on is critical to raising a generation of young people who understand the value of co-ops. At the Greenbelt Cooperative Alliance, where Mach is a member, children are learning entrepreneurship by selling bicycle-blended smoothies at local farmers markets, she said.

Many organizations are advocating for the inclusion of co-op education in curricula nationwide, especially at the MBA level, said Michael Beall, president and CEO of NCBA CLUSA and moderator of the discussion.

A “groundswell” of support from students and parents is needed to change curricula, Trocha said. Co-op leaders could volunteer as guest speakers at schools and show up at career fairs to help spur awareness, she said.

“We’re swinging below our weight,” said Chuck Snyder, president and CEO of the National Cooperative Bank. “We really could be more influential than we are.”

But does the cooperative movement have room for a new crop of young leaders? Georgetown University, Beall said, boasts its own $20 million-strong student-run credit union, but the vast majority of those students go on to Wall Street, not careers in co-op leadership and development.

“This is the brain drain we’re talking about,” Beall said. “We don’t find space for all of these talented young folks.”

When a board of directors recently asked Beall how co-ops could attract young people, he said a “tough answer” immediately came to mind: “Step aside. Somebody has to create a space. If board makeup doesn’t involve folks who are 35, I think co-ops are missing an opportunity to inject a totally different mindset into their operations.”

As the cooperative community advocates for change—whether in curriculum, leadership or federal policy—Beall left audience members with a threefold challenge to “live Co-op Month” now:

• Institutional—self identify as a co-op

• Professional—collaborate across sectors

• Personal—make a co-op part of your everyday routine

“All of us have habits. Choose in some way in your life to bring a co-op in. That could be opening an account at a credit union, buying Organic Valley, or telling your realtor that you want to live in a housing co-op,” Beall said.

That level of professional and personal ownership will help demonstrate that cooperatives are “not a sideline of the U.S. economy for the millions of people who rely on them every day,” he said.

CDF receives $200K USDA grant for home care cooperative development

home-healthcare-pond5-web f5b24The Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) this week received a $200,000 USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant to be used to support the development and expansion of worker-owned home care cooperatives in rural areas.   

The grant provides funds to:

• Conduct research on the quality of care provided by existing home care worker cooperatives

• Develop model pro forma statements for use in evaluating business strategies needed for growth in existing cooperatives

• Reach out to national organizations and groups interested in forming home care cooperatives

• Staff two steering committees of experts to provide guidance on activities related to the grant and worker-owned cooperatives

• Provide technical assistance to cooperatives

In addition to working with start-up cooperatives and outreach with national organizations serving seniors, CDF and its partners will work with three existing home care cooperatives serving rural areas—Cooperative Care in Wautoma, Wisconsin; Circle of Life in Bellingham, Washington; and Paradise Home Care Cooperative in Volcano, Hawaii—to develop strategies to expand and sustain their businesses.

CDF staff, consultants Judy Ziewacz and Julie Ingoglia, and partners University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, Northwest Cooperative Development Center and Cooperative Development Services will provide resources to fulfill the grant requirements. CDF's Mutual Service Foundation (MSC) Fund and the CHS Foundation provided some of the $70,000 match required by the grant. CDF has received a grant from this USDA program for the past four years. 

CDF's MSC Fund supports cooperative development that aids rural seniors. Since the fund's inception in 2004, it has provided more than $800,000 in grants to support its mission. For additional information about the USDA grant, contact Julie Ingoglia, director of cooperative senior programs, at (202) 638-6222 or jingoglia@cdf.coop. More information about cooperative home care and housing is available at www.seniors.coop.  

The Cooperative Development Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C. promoting community, economic and social development through cooperative enterprises. 

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.