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Cooperative sector in Cambodia key to economic development

cambodia-500 249d4Dr. Ty Sokhun, Secretary of State for Cambodia's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, speaks at NCBA CLUSA's reception last week.

NCBA CLUSA hosted senior representatives from Cambodia’s government, the United Nations, regional USAID leadership and active development organizations at a reception in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, last week to discuss opportunities and challenges facing the country's economic development.

Amy Coughenour, NCBA CLUSA's COO for International Development, and Sam Filiaci, NCBA CLUSA's regional director for Southeast Asia, provided an overview of NCBA CLUSA's successful international programs in sustainable agriculture, nutrition and agribusiness in Southeast Asia and around the world.

During the event, Coughenour invited participants to exchange ideas and discuss opportunities on how Cambodia can increase economic opportunities in agriculture for farmers—including women and youth—expand market and finance linkages, and strengthen the cooperative sector as a key player in agricultural value chains.

“We are excited to see Cambodia’s focus on growing its agribusiness in partnership with the cooperative sector. Now is a great time to share our successes in the region and around the world and to explore new partnerships here in Cambodia,” Coughenour said.

Investing in the agricultural sector is a priority for Cambodia, Dr. Ty Sokhun, Cambodia's Secretary of State for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said at the event. “These investments are essential not only to ensure the achievement of food and nutritional security and poverty alleviation, but also the revitalization of rural societies and inter-connections within a rapidly-changing world," Sokhun said.

In partnership with donors and the private sector, NCBA CLUSA’s programs in Southeast Asia have created and supported profitable business activities through a network of farmers, cooperatives, processors, financial institutions and exporters. NCBA CLUSA’s global trading partner, Cooperative Business International (CBI), and its regional partners are the largest buyers, processors and exporters of quality assured and internationally accredited specialty coffees and spices in Asia, sourcing products for businesses like Starbucks and McCormick and Frontier spices, just to name a few. 

NCBA CLUSA’s accomplishments in the region over the past 35 years have significantly increased incomes and economic opportunities for farmers in 18 countries from Indonesia and East Timor, Africa and Latin America through sustainable cooperative businesses.

The August 28 reception was attended by senior representatives of Cambodia's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, agribusiness leaders in Cambodia, NGOs active in the agriculture and natural resources sectors in Cambodia, United Nations agencies including FAO and WFP, and prominent donors to the agriculture sector in Cambodia including ADB, USAID and others.

 

NCBA CLUSA offering NPCC pre-conference webinar on Best Practices, Reverse Best Practices with Adam Schwartz and Kevin Higginbotham

Webinars 5.0 123b1"Best Practices" and "Reverse Best Practices" are two of the most popular sessions at the annual National Purchasing Cooperatives Conference, NCBA CLUSA's premier event for purchasing and shared services co-ops. Scheduled for October 5 – 7 in New Orleans, Louisiana, this year's conference will again feature these intensive, participatory sessions. (Click here to view a complete conference schedule of events.) 

To maximize attendee participation, Best Practices session moderator Adam Schwartz, founder of The Cooperative Way, will collaborate with Reverse Best Practices session moderator Kevin Higginbotham, CEO of Evergreen Marketing Group, on a pre-conference webinar for registered and prospective attendees scheduled for Monday, September 21, from 1 – 1:30 p.m. Click here to register

During this 30-minute webinar, you'll gain helpful tips, insights, group delivery techniques and examples to help your cooperative fully contribute to the discussion and elevate the learning that will take place during both sessions. This webinar will also feature commentary from members of the NPCC Planning Committee. 

If you haven’t already made arrangements to attend the 2015 National Purchasing Cooperatives Conference, please register now and reserve your room. Attendees have until September 14 to take advantage of NCBA CLUSA’s discounted room rate at the Ritz Carlton, a luxury hotel on the edge of New Orleans’ historic French Quarter.


Impact of Fairtrade certification on producers and consumers explored in NCBA CLUSA webinar

fairtrade-logo-coffee-web 01aa7What is behind Fairtrade certification and how does it impact producers, cooperatives and consumers? To answer these questions, NCBA CLUSA hosted representatives from Fairtrade America, Equal Exchange and Guatemala-based FECCEG Coffee Cooperative last week for a webinar on how Fairtrade certification benefits smallholder farmers and cooperatives, builds a responsible food supply chain, and guides consumer buying decisions.

Moderated by NCBA CLUSA Senior Program Manager Emily Varga, the webinar also explored how consumer perception of fair trade practices is shaping the marketplace.

The August 26 webinar came on the heels of the U.S. launch of FECCEG Coffee Cooperative’s Kishé brand, a Fairtrade-certified specialty coffee grown by smallholder farmers in the highlands of Guatemala.

Nidia Gómez, commercial manager for FECCEG and a webinar panelist, said consumers who buy Kishé coffee and similar products are “not just supporting a vague idea—they’re directly supporting smallholder farmer independence.”

Unlike the traditional trade system that favors the most powerful—often at the expense of the farmer—the Fairtrade model sees producers as equal participants in trade and is designed to encourage smallholder farmers to work together in cooperatives, leverage their selling power and earn sustainable livelihoods, said webinar panelist Tia Loftsgard.

As the director of Business Development for Fairtrade America, Loftsgard’s role is to introduce U.S. companies to small producers and educate American retailers and consumers about the direct impact their decision to support Fairtrade products has on farmers.

These efforts, coupled with the pioneering efforts of NCBA CLUSA member Equal Exchange, go far to provide clarity on which companies are truly doing “good and meaningful work,” as opposed to “green-washing” their image, said Carly Kadlec, a green coffee buyer for Equal Exchange.

Founded in 1986, Equal Exchange predates certification systems. The worker co-op was integral to “developing the idea of fair trade and using the mechanisms of trade to create a more just and democratic world,” Kadlec said.

Since then, demand for ethically-produced goods among consumers has steadily increased, Loftsgard said, In fact, a recent Neilson study found that products with sustainability claims on the packaging—such as the Fairtrade mark—are growing at twice the rate of generic products. And when companies actively market the impact ethical trade practices are having at the producer level, market growth spikes even higher, she said.

Introduced in 2002, the Fairtrade mark is now trusted by 60 percent of U.S. consumers, making it the most trusted ethical certification logo in the nation, Loftsgard said. The mark currently appears on close to 30,000 products sold in more than 120 countries, identifying coffee, chocolate and other products that meet the ethical, environmental and economic standards set by Fairtrade International.

These standards range from adhering to the United Nations’ labor code to ensuring the participation of women and not planting GMO seeds or using banned pesticides. Fairtrade International gives newcomer co-ops five years to fully adopt the standards. Because Fairtrade International requires the same standards globally, Loftsgard said, consumers can easily understand what Fairtrade certification means.

With all the sustainability claims currently in the marketplace, becoming a responsible consumer can feel overwhelming, Kadlec said, but coffee—a product most Americans regularly consume—is a good way to begin incorporating ethical choices into everyday life.

“Change doesn’t happen with everything all at once, but coffee is a great entry point to becoming a more conscious consumer. Fairtrade certification makes it easy to figure out which companies are doing awesome, sustainable work and really impacting the entire supply chain,” she said.

To view a list of upcoming NCBA CLUSA webinars, click here.

Still time to save $$ on upcoming NCBA CLUSA conferences—CPC early-bird registration ends September 3!

save-cpc-npcc 5e2c4Attendees of NCBA CLUSA’s 2015 National Purchasing Cooperatives Conference and second annual Co-op Professionals Conference can still save money on registration and hotel accommodations.

There are only a few days left to take advantage of early-bird pricing for the 2015 Co-op Professionals Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from November 9 – 11. Designed for legal and accounting professionals who serve cooperative businesses, this conference will advance an emerging platform for professional development within the co-op movement.

Register on or before Thursday, September 3 to lock in the $350 early-bird rate for NCBA CLUSA members ($475 for non-members). The Early-Bird Full Registration Package includes conference materials and admission to all sessions, networking events and meals. Single-day and student registration packages are also available. Click here to explore options. 

While early-bird registration is now closed for the 2015 National Purchasing Cooperatives Conference, there is still time to save money on hotel accommodations. Attendees have until September 14 to take advantage of NCBA CLUSA’s discounted room rate at the Ritz Carlton on the edge of New Orleans’ historic French Quarter. Click here to make your reservation. 

NPCC is an excellent opportunity for professional networking within the purchasing and shared services co-op industry. At this year’s conference, attendees will learn how to shape and adopt corporate practices that spur both robust industry growth and member engagement. Topics include building member loyalty, creating revenue opportunities for members, improving the member-supplier relationship, board governance, strategic planning, succession planning and worker co-ops.

Conference attendees will also consider the creation, mission and potential structure of a Purchasing Co-op Association. Click here to view a complete schedule of events.


In Niger, NCBA CLUSA partners with World Food Programme to build resilience

USAID-NCBA CLUSA-sign-REGISER-500 33a4dA new partnership between NCBA CLUSA’s USAID-funded Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel – Enhanced Resilience (REGIS-ER) project and the World Food Programme (WFP) in Niger is bolstering efforts to reduce food insecurity in Sabon Machi.

A rural commune in southern Niger, Sabon Machi is home to a particularly vulnerable population where United Nations agencies, the Government of Niger, NGOs and other actors are pooling resources to build resilience.

“This concerted effort combines the resources of WFP and REGIS-ER to increase the number and scope of activities that have a sustainable impact on improving the resilience of the target community,” said Amath Diop, NCBA CLUSA’s deputy chief of party for REGIS-ER.

Located about 30 miles north of the regional capital of Maradi, residents of Sabon Machi battle chronic food insecurity triggered by acute rainwater runoff, soil erosion, reduced water availability and decreased agricultural productivity. An especially poor harvest in late 2014 prompted this partnership between NCBA CLUSA and the WFP.

The partnership aims to increase the resilience of 1,829 vulnerable households in 48 villages, reaching a total of 12,803 people. Specifically, REGIS-ER and WFP will reclaim more than 9,000 acres of degraded farmland, introduce the practice of conservation farming on more than 400 acres and support the planting of 68 home gardens.

The partnership has already conducted community-led total sanitation activities in 17 villages, which constructed 425 latrines, rehabilitated five wells, drilled four boreholes and offered basic hygiene training. REGIS-ER and WFP have launched 50 mother-to-mother support groups and five “safe space” clubs for teenaged girls.

The partnership is also supporting the traditional practice of habbanayé, in which initial livestock are provided to a beneficiary by the project, while the livestock's offspring are later distributed to other beneficiaries. NCBA CLUSA provided a breed of red goat that reproduces quickly, enabling vulnerable communities to build assets over a short period of time.

REGIS-ER and WFP are also enlisting local governmental officials to help propel project success. Harounda Dan Fadji, mayor of Sabon Machi, demonstrated his personal commitment by devoting five acres of his own land to produce peanuts, millet and cowpea for seed.

“The yields were so impressive that people throughout the commune considered it worthwhile to collaborate with the project,” Fadji told local project staff.

“[REGIS-ER] has changed the lives of people in our community and is now increasing its impact, thanks to this partnership with the World Food Programme,” he added.

REGIS-ER is part of USAID’s “Resilience in the Sahel Enhanced” (RISE) Initiative, which is committed to reducing the vulnerability of target populations in the Sahel region. This five-year, $70 million project addresses the root causes of chronic vulnerability in Niger and Burkina Faso, while promoting economic resilience. REGIS-ER is empowering local communities with the tools and knowledge necessary to adapt to climate change, withstand food crises and improve nutrition, especially among children under five. The project is expected to impact an estimated 2 million beneficiaries by its conclusion in 2018.


Subcategories

  • US Development PR

    NCBA CLUSA is dedicated to the continued growth and strengthening of cooperative businesses across the United States. Cooperatives at all levels provide a much needed and sought after alternative to other business models. Throughout the United States, NCBA CLUSA is working with local cooperatives to embed them as permanent fixtures in their local economy. Through the implementation of cooperative development grants, NCBA CLUSA is providing support and training to coops across all cooperative sectors, through case studies and economic impact research. Using that research and the power of the collective cooperative voice, NCBA CLUSA advocates on Capitol Hill on behalf of coops, fighting to maintain or increase government funding for cooperative programs and securing access to legislature that protects the cooperative business model.

    Our domestic development 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, and as well as their efforts to establish new cooperatives. In particular 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.

    PARTNERSHIP WITH FREELANCERS UNION
    COOPERATIVE BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS (CBA'S)
    OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH CooperationWorks AND THE COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT CENTERS
    LINKS TO OTHER COOPERATIVE ORGANIZATIONS
    REGIONAL FARMERS MARKET/USDA RCDG GRANT
  • Advocacy PR
  • International Development PR
  • CBJ - PR

Services

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

  Pat Brownell Sterner, Chief Operating Officer Click Here To Email Pat 202-638-6222   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. CO-OP TALKS Another significant focus for NCBA CLUSA is boosting our presence with members through a series of Co-op Talks.  These meetings will be excellent opportunities for us to listen to our members, recruit new members, and learn more about what cooperatives need in communities across America.  Current list of venues include: Denver, Colorado Madison, Wisconsin   CONFERENCES NCBA CLUSA hosts and/or supports several conferences throughout the year: Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA):  June 12-14 in Madison, Wisconsin Co-op Week (in partnership with the National Cooperative Bank and the Cooperative Development Foundation):  May 5-9 in Washington, D.C. Purchasing Cooperative Conference and the NCBA CLUSA Annual Meeting:  September 8 – 11 in St. Paul, Minnesota   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

Webinars

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

Webinars

SENATOR BEGICH SUPPORTS CREDIT UNION TAX EXEMPTION

  Thursday, 01 August 2013 10:38 In a July letter to the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) stated he supports credit unions and their tax exemption status. Outside of the Washington beltway, regular folks may not be aware that Congress is working to overhaul the existing tax structure. For the last few years, Congressional tax committees have been considering comprehensive tax reform, and they now plan to draft and pass a bill later in the year. The current process in the Senate is called the “blank slate” approach. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have asked senators to submit letters advising the committee which tax exemptions they support that should be included in the committee’s approach to comprehensive tax reform. Along with his requests to keep housing and energy tax provisions, Senator Begich also included the credit union tax exemption in his July 26 letter to the Senate Finance Committee. In his letter, Senator Begich stated, “Alaska is far removed from traditional financial centers and that credit unions play an outsized role in the state’s economy. That is why Section 501(c)(14), which grants tax exempt status to credit unions, should be retained in any tax reform effort, to ensure continued access to affordable credit for consumers, homebuyers and small businesses alike, all of which contribute substantially to economic growth.” At the Finance Committee’s request, the letter writing exercise has been kept confidential, but Senator Begich, along with a few other senators have made their requests public. It is not clear how senators are participating in the “blank slate” process, or how the House of Representatives will proceed with their tax reform approach. NCBA CLUSA has coordinated its efforts with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) to support the credit union tax exemption and will continue to work with its association partners as the tax reform process moves ahead in Congress.  

SENATOR BEGICH SUPPORTS CREDIT UNION TAX EXEMPTION

Call to Action: Tell Your Members of Congress to Support Cooperative Development Funding!

Cooperative Development Centers Need Your Support! During the Congressional appropriations process, vital funding for the USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program was impacted dramatically, and the cooperative community needs to do everything we can NOW to restore it to sufficient levels. The House of Representatives Agriculture Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014 eliminates RCDG funding that is critical to the development of cooperatives in rural America. The Senate provides $8.8 million in their funding bill for the program. Without sufficient funding for the RCDG program, cooperative development centers providing hands-on assistance will be unable to operate, and the only existing program in the federal government dedicated to cooperative development would be hindered significantly or possibly eliminated. As an NCBA CLUSA member and supporter, you have an opportunity to help! Attached are two letters, one specifically drafted for the House of Representatives and the other for the Senate. Please send the appropriate letter of support to your Representative or Senators and let them know this vital program needs to be saved. If you would like to share the success of your advocacy efforts on this issue or have any questions, please contact NCBA CLUSA’s Vice President of Advocacy, R.L. Condra at 202.383.5480 or rcondra@ncba.coop. Sincerely, Michael Beall President and Chief Executive Officer   Download House of Representatives Letter » Find Your Representative Download Senate Letter » Find Your Senator

Call to Action: Tell Your Members of Congress to Support Cooperative Development Funding!

Legislative Update: Cooperative Development Bill Introduced in the House of Representatives

  Legislative Update Cooperative Development Bill Introduced in the House of RepresentativesLegislation Focuses on Job Creation by Promoting Cooperative Development  (WASHINGTON, DC) – The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) is excited to announce the introduction of legislation that will spur job creation and development of cooperatives. The legislation H.R. 2437 titled, “Creating Jobs Through Cooperatives Act of 2013” was introduced by Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) on June 20 in the House of Representatives. “Co-ops bring communities tighter by encouraging residents to pool their skills and resources,” said Fattah. “They empower people to make decisions that will create opportunities that grow their communities and provide an added sense of belonging. This legislation brings federal resources and a policy priority to that effort.” The legislation would create a national program within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide capital, training and other resources to foster member owned businesses. The bill introduced will strengthen communities, promote self-help, and generate jobs by awarding grants to nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities that help grow or create cooperatives. Also, when establishing cooperatives, communities will be provided with guidance, best practices, and technical assistance. Furthermore, the legislation will create a revolving loan fund, providing seed capital to groups forming cooperatives and funding to train providers in technical issues, supporting existing professional development for organizations engaged in cooperative development. “On behalf of the 29,000 cooperatives throughout the country, we thank Congressman Fattah for his support and leadership,” said Michael Beall, president of NCBA CLUSA. “This legislation is a giant step in providing more communities around the country with the financial backing to grow businesses that share their same values.” Cooperatives already play a significant role in the U.S. economy operating in all 50 states and across all sectors. They are owned and operated by the people who utilize the goods or services provided by the co-op and they operate for the benefit of its members. Cooperatives are a part of many industries including energy, telecommunications, food distribution, insurance, credit unions, agriculture, health, housing, and wholesale and retail purchasing and distribution. There are 29,000 U.S. cooperatives that account for more than $3 trillion in assets, totalling over $500 billion in revenue, $25 billion in wages and benefits, and providing nearly two million jobs. If you would like to receive the text of the bill, or would like to learn how you could have your Member of Congress support the legislation, please contact R.L. Condra, NCBA CLUSA Vice President of Advocacy, at  or 202.383.5480. The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the apex association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, support, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For nearly 100 years NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has grown its international development portfolio to over $34 million of active programs in 14 countries.

Legislative Update: Cooperative Development Bill Introduced in the House of Representatives

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 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

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
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.



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