2014 Purchasing Cooperatives Conference

NCBA CLUSA‘s Purchasing Cooperatives Conference is the only event by, for and about purchasing and shared-services cooperatives. Drawing CEOs from leading cooperatives, this conference is the best opportunity for professional networking, benchmarking and sharing of best practices unique to purchasing and shared-services cooperatives.



The 2014 Purchasing Cooperatives Conference brings together powerful programs and products, but it’s the people who connect the creativity and vision of the industry with market growth and the future of cooperatives that makes this conference unique. Take advantage of two days of networking with peers, colleagues, friends, and industry icons.


PCC's budget-friendly conference offers many outstanding speakers at open sessions and break-out sessions that give you a sound return on your investment. The basic registration fee includes access to two general sessions, open sessions, exhibit hall and expanded networking events, including:

  • Tuesday breakfast

  • Extensive breaks

  • Tuesday lunch

  • Tuesday evening reception with Annual Cooperatives Conference participants

  • Wednesday joint breakfast


This conference program is designed to provide you with an outstanding educational experience and exceptional networking opportunities that will enable you to move your co-op forward. Gain new skills and knowledge to enhance your expertise as a cooperative leader. If you attend only one conference this year, the 2014 Purchasing Cooperatives Conference is your best value!



Monday, September 8

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Registration open

12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Exhibit Hall Open

2:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.


2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Best Practices Roundable, Part 1

Don't miss the conference's most popular session: Talking with other co-op leaders about what works is a great way to find opportunities for your co-op to grow, become more efficient, reduce costs and increase profits. Come prepared to share your best practice and learn from your purchasing cooperative peers. This session promises to be interesting, informative and interactive! 

3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.


3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Best Practices Roundtable, Part 2

6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Reception and dinner



Tuesday, September 9

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Registration open

8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Exhibit Hall open

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Newcomers breakfast

Is this your first time at the Purchasing Cooperatives Conference? Would you like to meet NCBA CLUSA board members and staff, the Conference Planning Committee and your peers? Join us for breakfast to learn how you can maximize your experience at the conference. 

9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.


9:15 a.m.- 10:00 a.m.

Executive Compensation in Purchasing Co-ops 

Presenters: Angelo Kostopoulos, CEO, AKRON Inc., and Jesse T. Cantrill, Compensation Consultant, Cantrill & Moyer, LLC

In 2013, working with sector leaders, NCBA CLUSA commissioned a compensation study of purchasing and shared-service co-op executives. Compensation is a key indicator in measuring job satisfaction, and knowing how competitive your salary is can be critical when negotiating a compensation and benefits package. During this presentation, the study's designers will share their findings and conclusions, answer your questions and explore next steps. 

10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Keynote Presentation & Discussion: "The Changing Face of Distribution" 

Presenter: Jack Keough, president of Keough Business Communications and contributing author to Industrial Distribution and The Electrical Distributor

A distributor’s biggest competition used to be “the guy down the street.” Not anymore. Today, distributors are faced with not only traditional competitors, but also mega-companies expanding across the country through mergers and acquisitions. New online retailers like Amazon Supply, Google and others are creating upheaval in the distribution sector. Competition is fierce, margins are getting slimmer and this is impacting the entire supply chain as well as relationships between distributors and their customers. Writer and consultant Jack Keough will unpack these changes, address the need for distributors to embrace technologies such as e-commerce and highlight the increasing importance of building relationships with suppliers and customers. 


Keough brings more than 30 years of experience in the distribution and manufacturing sector to the presentation. He was the editor of Industrial Distribution for 26 years. He is now a contributing editor to the magazine and a frequent speaker at industry events and seminars. 

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Lunch and Networking Roundtables

Enjoy lunch and networking with your peers as you discuss, in small groups, hot topics relevant to your organization and career. (In advance of the conference, registrants will receive a survey to inform topic selection for this lunch.)

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

ROI Roundtables 

In small, interactive groups facilitated by thought leaders in organizations serving this sector, discuss business challenges, opportunities and solutions. (Participants will change tables once to gain exposure to a new group of peers and ideas.)

2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.


3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Keynote Session: "Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade" 

Presenter: Dame Pauline Green, president, International Co-operative Alliance

Dame Green will address a joint session of the Purchasing Cooperatives Conference and Annual Cooperative Conference. Her session is certain to inspire all cooperative leaders as she challenges us to achieve recognition for the cooperative model of business within global institutions so that the movement can continue to grow and expand in the coming decades. 


Dame Green is the first woman president of the International Co-operative Alliance in its 116-year history. Elected in 2009 at the General Assembly, Green argued that the time is right for radical change in the priorities of the ICA and called on members to rally to help her achieve the sort of global body that the size and reach of the movement deserves. 

3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.


3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.



5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 

Annual Business Meeting of NCBA CLUSA

Get an update on NCBA CLUSA's activities in 2014 and learn about the organization's plans for future programs and services. 

Joint PCC and ACC Reception 

Wednesday, September 10

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Registration open

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Joint PCC and ACC Breakfast

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Exhibit Hall open

9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Panel: Technology Adoption

A moderated panel of leading technology experts explores the evolving nature of technology, its impact on purchasing and related issues keeping you awake at night as a co-op leader. 

9:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.





11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

Reverse Best Practices Roundtable

This is your chance to discuss your business challenges and opportunities with the most innovative minds in the purchasing and shared-service cooperative community. Explore solutions with your industry-leading peers and return to work with actionable strategies you can implement immediately. 

Closing remarks

Agenda subject to change





Dame Pauline Green, President, International Co-operative Alliance

Dame Green will address a joint session of the Purchasing Cooperatives Conference and the Annual Cooperatives Conference on the afternoon of September 9. Her session is certain to inspire all as she challenges participants to achieve recognition for the co-operative model of business within the global institutions so that the movement can continue to grow and expand in the coming decades.


Dame Pauline Green is the first woman President of the International Co-operative Alliance in its 116 year history. Elected in 2009 at the General Assembly, Pauline argued that the time is right for radical change in the priorities of the ICA, and called on members to rally to help her achieve the sort of global body that the size and reach of the movement deserves. 

Learn more about Dame Green here: damepaulinegreen.coop






Take advantage of a great deal and save $100 by registering for the Purchasing Cooperatives Conference early. Early-bird pricing is available through July 31, 2014; rates will increase $100 on August 1.




This year marks the first time NCBA CLUSA's Purchasing Cooperatives Conference and Annual Cooperatives Conference will join forces to bring you a full week of cooperative networking and collaboration. Come for one or stay for both with bonus pricing! Save $175 when registering for both. Click here for more information on the Annual Cooperatives Conference.







The Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel 

225 Third Ave. South

Minneapolis, MN 55401


The Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel is offering PCC and ACC attendees a discounted room rate of $184/night plus taxes. Please make your reservations online or call (612) 375-1700 and ask for the NCBA CLUSA Meeting Block. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations must be made on or before August 18, 2014 to enjoy the group rate (rooms booked after this date may be subject to prevailing rates). 


The hotel is located in the Historic Mill and Riverfront Districts in downtown Minneapolis. 



The Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel is located 8 miles from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (code: MSP). 


The hotel does not provide shuttle service to/from the airport. 


Ground Transportation

Taxi service to the hotel is approximately $50 one way, Super Shuttle is $18 (arrange in advance), and Light Rail is $2.75. 


Information on ground transportation options, including Light Rail, can be found on the airport's Web site


Light Rail

From the airport: Exit at the Government Plaza Station on 5th Street and turn right on 3rd Ave. South three blocks north to Washington Ave. The Depot is on 3rd and Washington Avenues South. The fare is $2.75. 


Car Rental

Many major car rental companies have facilities at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Please visit specific rental company Web sites for details. 



Minneapolis' average high temperature in September is 72 degrees; the average low is 52 degrees. That said, hotel meeting rooms tend to be cool; please pack a jacket or sweater for your comfort. 

September 8th, 2014 10:00 AM   through   September 10th, 2014 12:30 PM
225 Third Avenue South
The Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel
Minneapolis, MN 55401
United States

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Phone: 202.638.6222
Registration Fees - Early Bird (Ends July 31)
Member $ 650.00
Non-Member $ 950.00
*BONUS* Add on the Annual Cooperatives Conference $ 300.00

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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.

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Co-op Jobs

Reaching thousands of like-minded cooperators has never been easier! NCBA CLUSA’s jobs posting service targets your job listing to those in the cooperative community looking to get involved in cooperative work!



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 employment opportunity employer. It is the intent and policy of NCBA CLUSA to bar discrimination in the recruitment, selection, employment, assignment, payment, training, development, promotion, discipline, and termination of its employees. It is also the intent of NCBA CLUSA to treat all applicants for employment and all employees on the basis of job-related qualifications, and not based on race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, pregnancy, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other classification proscribed under local, state, or federal law.

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The Team

Meet Our Senior Leadership Team

Michael Beall

Michael Beall

President & Chief Executive Officer
Patricia Brownell Sterner

Patricia Brownell Sterner

Chief Operating Officer, NCBA
Amy Coughenour Betancourt

Amy Coughenour Betancourt

Chief Operating Officer, CLUSA International
Anthony La Creta

Anthony La Creta

Chief Financial and Administrative 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.