Shirley Sherrod, Nick Buettner to headline 2016 CCMA Conference

NCBA CLUSA is pleased to announce that Shirley Sherrod and Nick Buettner will each present keynote addresses at the 2016 Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) Conference at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, from June 9 – 11.

Sherrod and Buettner—both leading voices in their fields of community development and longevity, respectively—will bring valuable perspectives from outside the cooperative space to this year’s conference, co-hosted by members of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association, with Franklin Community Co-op and River Valley Co-op as primary local hosts.

As former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sherrod’s keynote will focus on opportunities within the food co-op industry to address diversity in a positive and effective way.

Sherrod currently serves as the executive director of the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc. and as vice president of Development for New Communities, Inc., an organization she and her husband established in the 1960s. Sherrod went on to work for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives to help black farmers keep their land.

As Blue Zones’ Community and Corporate Program director, Buettner’s work encompasses strategic planning as well as operations and the facilitation of successful implementation of Blue Zones Community and Worksite project.

His firsthand travels to the world’s five Blue Zones—locations that enjoy the greatest life expectancy—with his brother, Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner, has given him unique insight and knowledge into these populations’ secrets to living longer, better lives.

Look for more details on these keynotes in the coming weeks.

Under the theme, “Disrupting the Future: Cooperative Food and the Next Generation,” the 2016 CCMA Conference will focus on challenging food co-op leadership to address diversity and inclusion at their stores and through their hiring practices. The conference will also address the need for a radical shift in thinking to ensure that food co-ops can successfully differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive natural foods marketplace.


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