2013 Annual Cooperatives Conference Keynote Speakers

Conference Overview
Keynote Speakers
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Doug O'Brien, J.D., LL.M.

Acting Under Secretary, Rural Development U.S. Department of Agriculture

Doug-OBrien 514f7Doug O'Brien, was appointed Acting Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development on May 6, 2013. Prior to his appointment, O'Brien served as Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, a Senior Advisor to Secretary Tom Vilsack and Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.

Before joining the United States Department of Agriculture, O'Brien served as the Assistant Director at the Ohio Department of Agriculture. In this capacity, he assisted the Director in administering the day-to-day operations of that department in such areas as plant industries, animal health, and its laboratories. In addition, he was responsible for developing the department's biofuels, bioproducts and renewable energy policy.

O'Brien has also served as Senior Advisor to Iowa Governor Chet Culver, Interim Co-Director for the National Agricultural Law Center in Fayetteville, Ark., and Senior Staff Attorney at the Drake Agricultural Law Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

He is former counsel for the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, where he worked on the 2002 Farm Bill.

He also served as Legislative Assistant for Representative Leonard Boswell, focusing primarily on Rep. Boswell's work on the House Agriculture Committee, and as a Clerk for Justice Jerry Larson of the Iowa Supreme Court. O'Brien graduated from Loras College and earned a Juris Doctorate with honors from the University of Iowa. In addition, he holds a Master's Degree in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas.

O'Brien, who was raised on a diversified farm in Iowa, has dedicated his career to agriculture and rural policy.

Congressman Chaka Fattah

2nd District, Pennsylvania

Chaka-Fattah 34eb8Congressman Chaka Fattah is serving in his 10th term in the U. S. House of Representatives. Before his election to United States Congress in 1994, Fattah served six years as a Representative in the State House followed by six years as a State Senator.

Congressman Chaka Fattah is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. This committee is responsible for setting spending priorities for over $1 trillion in annual discretionary funds. Congressman Fattah is Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies (CJS). Fattah is also Chair of the Congressional Urban Caucus, a bipartisan group of 47 Members representing America's metropolitan centers.

Congressman Fattah earned a Master’s degree in Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, Fels Institute of Government. He also attended Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where he received a certificate in the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.

Fattah is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including 10 honorary doctorates and the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. Time Magazine named Fattah one of the 50 most promising leaders in the country.

Sponsor the 2013 Annual Cooperatives Conference

Conference Overview
Keynote Speakers
Registration & General Information
Sponsor the Conference

2013 NCBA CLUSA Annual Cooperatives Conference



NCBA CLUSA’s Annual Cooperatives Conference (ACC) at the Loews Madison in Washington, D.C. is a perfect opportunity to get in front of the largest cross-sector gathering of U.S. cooperatives in the country. Held November 12–14 in the heart of the nation’s capital, this meeting will bring you face-to-face with potential clients, business partners and advocates for your brand, service or organization and is consistently attended by well-informed and curious decision-makers willing to interact with new ideas and fresh perspectives.

Attendees vary from C-level to mid-management staff, and often include members or supporters of cooperatives and college-age students. Interests include advocacy, technology and software, organic/sustainable food and farming, financial services, healthcare, management and succession planning, strategies for competing with “big box” companies, relationship management skill building, board training, marketing the co-op advantage and much more.

If you’re interested in learning more about the sponsorship ideas listed below or a custom package designed with your unique needs in mind, contact Bryan Munson at bmunson@ncba.coop or 202.442.2318.

ALL sponsorship packages include:

  • One (1) exhibit hall table
  • Logo on signage in registration area
  • Recognition on NCBA website (link with logo)
  • Sponsorship ribbon on attendee registration badge
  • Acknowledgement in email/event marketing and promotional materials


Showcase the hospitality, customer service and brand excellence that wins your organization new business as official Host of the Annual Conference! Along with sincere Thank-Yous at the podium from NCBA CLUSA, top-level logo placement on all signage, an extra-large exhibit space and three (3) complimentary registrations, you receive:

  • Youth Engagement: Is your company looking to inspire and connect with future generations? Do you want to establish a direct connection with your work and the cooperative sector? If so, this package enables you to host (5) five college-age youths at the conference, inspiring them and providing a once-in-a-lifetime networking and learning experience. NCBA CLUSA can make all the logistical arrangements and you have the option of self-selecting the youth or empowering NCBA CLUSA to do so on your behalf.
  • Wednesday Luncheon: One of the highlights of the program, this luncheon is presented by the Loews Madison and will feature Doug O’Brien, Acting Undersecretary for USDA Rural Development as the Keynote Speaker. You will have an opportunity to make a few brief remarks to the attendees before introducing the speaker, while also personalizing the dining experience with your organization’s unique tastes. Custom menus, table tents or branded server-attire are some ideas NCBA CLUSA has executed in the past.
  • Conference Planner: Forgo the traditional conference bag in favor of a high-quality, leather conference planner that ensures your brand stands out not only during the conference, but long after the event.
  • USB Flash Drives: Deliver your message to attendees via branded flash drives inside the conference planner. Go the extra mile by creating a special video greeting from your CEO or VP of Business Development announcing a new service or product launch that can be pre-loaded onto the USB.
  • Branded Notepad & Pen: Showcase your commitment to sustainability with a customized recycled notepad and pen combo inside the planner. As a promotional item that will be used during the day and long after the seminar concludes, you will receive added visibility with multiple impressions.


Complete with two (2) complimentary registrations, this sponsorship package allows your organization to show its support to CLUSA’s 60 years of development work across the globe. Along with the basic benefits, your sponsorship will include recognition via:

  • Speaker Podium: NCBA CLUSA CEO Mike Beall will recognize your contributions and support to the CLUSA program from the podium as he highlights the importance of our international efforts.
  • Video: Throughout the reception, a 2-minute video detailing CLUSA’s work successes through pictures will loop for attendees to view; your logo and a “Sponsored By” message will appear on the video’s end-slate.
  • Custom Signage: On-site, a welcome sign along with table tents and branded napkins will ensure your organization is recognized throughout the event.


We’ve combined two of our more popular sponsorships together this year to create an opportunity for your company to showcase its commitment to something everyone can appreciate – FOOD! This sponsorship includes one (1) conference registrations and two (2) branding integrations:

  • Daily Breakfast: Always comprised of delicious food choices, this special continental breakfast package offers your organization two (2) opportunities to help kick-start the conference EVERY day.
  • Daily Snack Break with Coffee/Tea: Be front and center at seven (7) refreshment breaks as conference attendees cruise through in search of a “pick-me-up.”


This package affords your organization the opportunity to engage conference attendees at NCBA CLUSA’s Wednesday reception, being held near Capitol Hill at the historic Credit Union House, a fantastic location that’s a perfect atmosphere for stress-free conversation in a uniquely classy DC locale. This sponsorship includes:

  • Wednesday Reception: After a day packed with intense sessions, attendees will be looking forward to an opportunity to unwind and converse about the day’s events. Table tents, signage and custom napkins will position your organization as part of the conversation.
  • Transportation: The District can be a challenging place to navigate on foot, so your sponsorship will provide a motor coach for all attendees of the reception. Want to up the ante? Leave a gift on the attendee’s seats as they board the bus back to the hotel at the conclusion of the reception!


Is your business, product or service focused on technology? Are you looking to make a splash within a brand new sector? In addition to your basic benefits, take advantage of this special price break and receive:

  • Wi-Fi: No longer a “nice to have,” wireless internet is now a critical tool to maximizing productivity and networking opportunities. Enjoy high-profile brand exposure with a custom network name and password while providing attendees with necessary Wi-Fi to keep the conference connected.
  • A/VWe’ll ensure your logo is on all PPT slides, and we can also work with you to develop an additional (6) six unique impressions per session as the A/V sponsor.


Unlock a unique range of exposure by associating your brand with the hotel door keys that attendees will use multiple times every day! Because they’re always on-hand, this in-demand sponsorship provides exclusive added value. A fantastic tool for creating unique messaging, this package includes an exhibit hall table and all basic benefits.

TABLE-TOP EXHIBIT SPONSOR – $1,500 per table

These tables do NOT include complimentary registration, but include other great benefits.

  • Logo on signage in registration area
  • Recognition on NCBA and CCMA conference websites (link with logo)
  • Sponsorship ribbon
  • Acknowledgement in email/event marketing and promotional materials

2013 Annual Cooperatives Conference Agenda

Conference Overview
Keynote Speakers
Registration & General Information
Sponsor the Conference


Tuesday, November 12, 2013
12:00 pm

5:00 pm

Conference Registration and Exhibits Open
1:00 pm

1:30 pm

Conference Welcome Remarks

Michael V. Beall
President & CEO
1:30 pm 2:30 pm A Conversation on Cooperative Development
Learn how NCBA CLUSA and CooperationWorks! developed a unified national strategy for cooperative development centers and other recipients of the USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant. This session will provide outcomes of a recent summit meeting, as well as the emergence of a national strategy to ensure sustainable funding now and in the future for cooperative development.

Patricia Sterner

Debbie Trocha
Indiana Cooperative Development Center

Kevin Edberg
Cooperative Development Services

Diane Gasaway
Northwest Cooperative Development Center
2:30 pm 2:45 pm


2:45 pm 4:00 pm Improving Lives Through International Cooperative Development: NCBA CLUSA Programs Around the World
Did you know that NCBA CLUSA is working to support cooperative, economic, and social development in 15 countries through 26 active projects around the world? For the last 60 years we have been implementing international development projects in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.  Come and learn about the exciting work we are doing in food security, agricultural development, strengthening of communities and farmer organizations, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, and youth.

Amy Coughenour
CLUSA International  
4:00 pm 4:15 pm Break



4:15 pm 4:45 pm Congressman Chaka Fattah (invited)
2nd District, Pennsylvania
5:30 pm 7:30 pm Hosted Reception
60th Year Anniversary Celebration of NCBA CLUSA’s international development projects in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
7:00 am 8:00 am Continental Breakfast

7:00 am 5:00 pm Exhibits Open

8:30 am 9:30 am The Emergence of Cooperative Business Associations
As a result of the International Year of Cooperatives, there has been a rise in cross-sector cooperative groups all across the United States, which are also known as Cooperative Business Associations. Attend this session to learn how the development of CBAs will raise the profile of cooperatives in an area, strengthen existing cooperatives, drive sector-to-sector business to cooperatives, and deepen the economic impact cooperatives have in the local economy.

Tom Decker

Brian Donovan
Austin Cooperative Business Association

Erbin Crowell
Valley Cooperative Business Association

Bob Noble
Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance

Holly Fearing
CUNA Mutual Group


9:30 am 9:45 am Break

9:45 am 10:45 am

A Profile of Cooperatives – From Start-Ups to Established Co-ops
Presenters will share their experiences about being a cooperative, and the common challenges they faced and best practices learned.

Tom Decker

Kim Pinkham
Pioneer Valley PhotoVoltaics Cooperative

Ronald Blount
Alliance Taxi Cooperative

Abdi Guled
Takoma Park Silver Spring Food Co-op


10:45 am 11:00 am Break



11:00 am 12:30 pm

NCBA CLUSA Annual Business Meeting
Get an update on NCBA CLUSA’s activities in 2013, the Association’s 2014 outlook, and attend the Association’s Business Meeting.

Michael Beall
President & CEO

Wilson Beebe
President, Thanexus, Inc.

Jerry McGeorge
First Vice Chair, NCBA CLUSA
Director of Cooperative Affairs, CROPP Cooperative


12:30 pm 1:30 pm

Hosted Luncheon

Doug O’Brien (invited)
Acting Under Secretary
USDA Rural Development


1:45 pm 2:00 pm Break
2:00 pm 3:00 pm

Tax Issues Impacting Cooperatives
Learn about current tax issues impacting the operations of cooperative businesses, and the steps NCBA CLUSA has taken to protect the cooperative business model.

Larry Blanchard
CUNA Mutual Group

Alan Knapp

John McKechnie
Total Spectrum

Rachel Stanley
Office of Congressman Ron Kind

John Weinfurter
Witt | O'Brien's


3:00 pm 5:00 pm

Recharge, Refresh, and Reconnect Break
Allotted time reserved for conference attendees to relax and unwind, have meetings with colleagues, or catch-up on work before departing for the offsite reception.


5:00 pm 7:30 pm Offsite Hosted Reception
Meet with Members of Congress and legislative leaders to discuss opportunities and challenges facing cooperative businesses.

Credit Union House
403 C Street, NE
Washington, DC

Thursday, November 14, 2013
7:00 am 8:00 am Continental Breakfast
7:00 am 11:00 am Exhibits Open

7:00 am 11:00 am Conference Registration

8:00 am 9:30 am The Role of Youth in Leading the Next Generation of Co-ops
The impending retirement of the baby boomers is expected to have a major impact on workforce capacity, and cooperatives both large and small will need to develop a succession plan. What’s your succession plan for youth in building leadership at your cooperative? Session will explore how to grow your cooperative through the engagement of youth leaders.

Esteban Kelly
NCBA CLUSA Board Member
AORTA Consulting Co-op

Katie Campbell

Theresa Hilinski
Cooperative Trust

Morgan Crawford

Steve Uram
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association 
9:30 am 9:45 am Break

9:45 am 10:15 am Conference Chair Remarks

Jerry McGeorge
First Vice Chair, NCBA CLUSA
Director of Cooperative Affairs, CROPP Cooperative


10:15 am 10:45 am Scoping the Future for Cooperatives
The cooperative decade and beyond promises to be exciting and challenging for cooperatives. Understanding and making good decisions about our cooperative businesses will support our success today and enable us to be better prepared for the future. How can we scope the future of cooperatives successfully? Our presenter will provide an overview of the US Cooperative Business Research Institute, and how it will help cooperative leaders seize the opportunities and address the challenges of today and our future.

Professor Art Sherwood
Scott College of Business
Indiana State University


10:45 am 11:00 am NCBA CLUSA's Call to Action and Closing Remarks

Michael Beall
President & CEO

Wilson Beebe
President, Thanexus, Inc.

Jerry McGeorge
First Vice Chair, NCBA CLUSA
Director of Cooperative Affairs, CROPP Cooperative


2013 Annual Cooperatives Conference

Conference Overview
Registration & General Information

2013 NCBA CLUSA Annual Cooperatives Conference


Tuesday, November 12 - Thursday, November 14, 2013

Loews Madison Hotel

About the Event

Experience the only conference for cooperatives of all sectors! NCBA CLUSA‘s Annual Cooperatives Conference draws hundreds of cross-sector cooperative leaders passionate about learning the latest best practices and trends for creating powerful change in their organizations. Join us in Washington, DC for two exciting days of advocacy, collaboration and education. At the 2013 NCBA CLUSA Annual Cooperatives Conference, the possibilities are endless! Engage with thought-provoking cooperative leaders, learn important trends and best practices, connect with your co-op peers, and join our unified voice for cooperatives on Capitol Hill.

Register now to experience the only conference for cooperatives from all sectors! You cannot afford to miss this event!


Program Highlights

  • Strategies and best practices in cross-sector collaboration and development
  • Keynote remarks from members of congress and officials from federal agencies
  • 60 year anniversary celebration of NCBA CLUSA’s international development projects in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia
  • How to create opportunities for young cooperators to participate, lead and succeed


Who Should Attend

Cooperative leaders, board members, staff and supporters from all co-op sectors in the domestic and international markets. Those who are interested in learning about the cooperative business are also invited to attend this conference.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsoring the NCBA CLUSA Annual Cooperatives Conference provides excellent exposure for your organization. Contact Bryan Munson to obtain further information.


2013 Annual Cooperatives Conference Registration & General Information

Conference Overview
Keynote Speakers
Registration & General Information
Sponsor the Conference

Conference Registration Fees

  • $275 One Day Attendee
  • $575 NCBA CLUSA Member
  • $675 Nonmember
  • $775 Member Service Provider/Supplier
  • $875 Nonmember Service Provider/Supplier Networking

Hotel Information

A block of rooms is being held for attendees of the 2013 Annual Cooperatives Conference at the Loews Madison Hotel, 1177 15th Street NW, Washington DC 20005. A special conference rate of $249/Single occupancy plus applicable tax (currently 14.5%) is offered to attendees. Please call the hotel directly at (855) 325-6397 before Friday, October 25, 2013 to ensure the group rate. Be sure to tell the reservations clerk the group name, NCBA CLUSA Annual Conference, in order to get the group rate. Reservations made after the October 25 cutoff date are based on availability and may be at a higher rate.


Onsite Registration Open

You can register onsite at the Loews Madison Hotel via American Express, MasterCard, Discover, Diners Club or VISA.


Getting There

The Loews Madison Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of downtown just four blocks from the White House. The Loews Madison Hotel is 6 miles from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Airport Code - DCA) and 28 miles from the Washington Dulles International Airport (Airport Code – IAD). The hotel is easily accessible by Metrorail via Metro's Blue and Orange lines at McPherson Square Station or via the Red Line at Farragut North Station. The hotel does not provide shuttle service.

Taxi fare cost approximately $20 (each way), and Shuttle/Van service is $30 (reservation required). Valet parking is available at the hotel at the $15 daily rate.

For further information, please visit the Loews Madison Hotel's website.


Cancellations & Substitutions

NCBA CLUSA is not responsible for cancellations or delays due to acts of God or other emergencies making it impossible to hold this conference.

Cancellation Policy

  • Refund minus $100: Should you need to cancel, refunds will be processed less a $100 administrative fee

  • No refunds of conference registration fees will be given for cancellations received on or after Friday, October 18, 2013

  • NCBA CLUSA regrets that refunds will not be given for no-shows

Note: Cancellations by telephone will be accepted, but must be followed up with a letter that includes the name of the NCBA CLUSA staff member who accepted the cancellation.

This letter may be:

  • Mailed to:
    Attn: Racquel Codling
    1401 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 1100
    Washington, DC 20005

  • Faxed to: 202.638.6726 Attn: Racquel Codling

  • Emailed to: Racquel Codling



Substitutions for the entire program may be made at any time including on-site registration.



Business casual attire is appropriate for this conference



By registering, you authorize NCBA CLUSA to use any photographs taken of you during the course of the 2013 Annual Cooperatives Conference. Photographs may be used in promotional materials or stories that appear in professional publications or online content.


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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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

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.