Nominations now open for the 2016 CCMA Awards for Cooperative Excellence

Nominations are now open for the 2016 Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) Awards for Cooperative Excellence. Managed by the Howard Bowers Fund, these awards recognize food cooperatives and members of the food cooperative community in the following areas: Cooperative Excellence, Cooperative Service, Cooperative Innovation/Achievement and Cooperative Board Service.

Cooperative Excellence
This award is also known as the Retailer of the Year. It goes to the co-op that demonstrates high achievement in the following areas:

Leadership – This co-ops board and management set realistic priorities and follow through on them. This co-op addresses its responsibilities to the public and practices good citizenship. It also practices business ethics and works to protect public health, safety and the environment.

Strategic Planning – The co-op’s board and management set strategic directions to focus on future sustainable growth and market leadership.

Organizational Effectiveness – This co-op values learning at all levels and looks for opportunities to effect significant change and to do better. The co-op has the capacity for rapid change and flexibility and innovation is part of the co-op's culture. The co-op strives for success in design, management, and improvement of key production/delivery and support processes.

Human Resources - This co-op establishes a climate of customer/member-driven excellence, enables its workforce to develop its full potential and makes member education a priority.

Business Results – This co-op shows success in its key business areas while staying true to its mission.

Cooperative Service
This award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions above and beyond normal course of work. This person’s accomplishments are consistently viewed as models by other cooperators and has made a profound difference in store operations and member services. This cooperator is not afraid to take risks to achieve positive change and is a champion of the cooperative principles. In addition, recipients of this award motivate employees and colleagues and are regarded as a mentors, innovators, and leaders. Their accomplishments have not only enhanced the stature, reputation, and overall strength of the cooperative community, but the significant changes they have instituted have allowed the cooperative to better achieve its goals.

Cooperative Innovation/Achievement
This award is given to cooperative innovators who have changed the way that cooperatives approach problems. This can be an individual, a group, or a co-op. Recipients of this award understand the urgency, relevancy, and complexity of the problem or opportunity addressed by the innovation. Due to this innovation, there are measurable improvements or achievements that resonate with the cooperative principles and the cooperative’s mission.

Cooperative Board Service
This award is given to an individual on the board of a food co-op that has gone above and beyond the scope of work expected of a board member. This person has fostered democratic organization and champions the cooperative principles. This board member exhibits highest standards of excellence, dedication and accomplishment, and in doing so has pushed the co-op to meet its goals. This leader has made an extraordinary commitment of time, talent or resources in order to impact the co-op and the community it resides in.

Deadline for nominations is April 17, 2016. Click here to download a nomination form and criteria for each award. Awards will be announced at the 2016 Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) Conference in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The Awards are managed by the Howard Bowers Fund. The Bowers Fund supports training and education of food cooperative managers, staff and boards. Since 1994, the Howard Bowers Fund has provided over $390,000 in support for food cooperatives. The Howard Bowers Fund is offering 25 scholarships to cover the cost of registration for the 2016 CCMA Conference in Amherst, Massachusetts from June 9 – 11. Preference will be given to start-ups and small food cooperatives with limited budgets. An online application and more information about the scholarship and the CCMA Conference is available here.

The fund’s namesake, Howard Bowers, dedicated his life to the consumer cooperative movement. His career spanned five decades, including work with the Chippewa Indian Consumer Co-op in South Dakota, the West Bank Co-op in Minneapolis, the Eau Claire Consumer Cooperative, and the Hyde Park Cooperative Society For more information, go to

The Howard Bowers Fund is one of eight funds managed by the Cooperative Development Foundation. The Cooperative Development Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit foundation headquartered in Washington, DC. CDF’s mission is to promote community, economic and social development through cooperative enterprises.


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