November 2012 eCooperator

Co-op News

Michael Beall to Take the Helm at NCBA

Michael V. Beall, Esq. has been hired as NCBA’s new president and chief executive officer. A seasoned association management professional, Beall has held leadership positions in three state credit union associations (Missouri, Maryland/District of Columbia and North Carolina), as well as with the World Council of Credit Unions.

Beall brings to NCBA a broad understanding of the cooperative business model and a commitment to core cooperative principles. As a state association leader he knows from experience the power of member engagement and he has been a leader in credit union advocacy in the halls of government at both the state and federal levels. He also has been a driving force in the expansion of the credit union community’s Development Educator program, a professional development program that instills the cooperative principles in senior cooperative and credit union executives in the United States and abroad.

Beall will assume the position on November 16, 2012.

Cooperative Leaders From Around the World Gather in Quebec

As the keynote speaker at the recent 2012 International Summit of Cooperatives, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright praised cooperatives around the world for their role in helping people create jobs and build prosperity—while giving women in developing countries a voice not just as laborers, but as owners and strategists.

More than 3,000 cooperative business leaders from 92 countries attended sessions at the Summit, held recently in Quebec City, Canada. NCBA interim president and CEO Liz Bailey moderated a panel discussion of the findings of a McKinsey & Company study on cooperatives released during the conference, while Amy Coughenor, NCBA's vice president of international development, participated in the forum, "Inter-Cooperation North-South."

The McKinsey & Company report compared organizational, structural and governance differences between cooperatives and for-profit, shareholder-owned companies. The study found that whereas cooperatives excel in areas such as aligning employees toward a common purpose, they tended to be out-performed by for-profit companies in terms of innovation and rapid decision-making. In counterpoint to this finding, panelist Bill Cheney, president of Credit Union National Association, gave several examples of credit unions achieving innovation by collaborating with other credit unions and cooperatives.

In another report released during the Quebec Summit, a majority of the CFOs and cooperative senior executives interviewed globally by Deloitte confirmed that the financial crisis had had a negative impact on their access to financing and capital. And nearly 70% of respondents listed access to funding as one of the top three strategic priorities currently facing their organization.

CHS Grows to Meet Demand & Stay Competitive

In order to meet growing demand from Asia, CHS, America's largest farm cooperative, has been expanding its grain buying, storing and shipping assets along the US Pacific Northwest and Gulf Coast, as well as in South America and Eastern Europe.

CHS supplies grain, crop nutrients, feed for livestock, food and food ingredients and energy, along with insurance, financial and risk-management services. By expanding its global footprint, CHS is better able to stay competitive, as the grains industry continues to consolidate, with a handful of very large, very powerful corporations dominating the market. According to Carl Casale, CHS president and CEO, his organization's cooperative ownership structure helps deter others from considering CHS itself a takeover target.

Some 350,000 farmers and ranchers own CHS either directly or indirectly through more than 1,000 smaller co-ops.

Co-ops Featured on NBC Nightly News

Co-ops recently took center stage on an NBC Nightly News segment as a television reporter showcased the Tacoma Park Silver Spring Co-op in Maryland and the member-owners who shop there. During this video, NCBA interim president and CEO Liz Bailey explains that a tough economy can actually be good for co-ops, as "people look for ways they can get value, where they can leverage group buying power to their advantage."

David Walker, an employee at Tacoma Park Silver Spring Co-op, explains to viewers that "as a consumer-owned co-op, we're oriented more toward serving the needs of the customer, rather than on the profit that can be extracted from the customer."

Several recent studies also get a mention during the news report, including a recent National Cooperative Grocers Association study that found that cooperatives create more jobs and pay higher wages than conventional grocery stores. The reporter also mentions a survey conducted by NCBA and the Consumer Federation of America, which found that a third of all Americans belong to a consumer-owned co-op, such as a grocery, credit union or retail store such as REI. Watch the segment »

Co-op Spotlight

Spotlight on Land O’Lakes, Arden Hills, Minnesota

Land O' Lakes, Inc.Land O' Lakes, Inc.

NCBA recognizes innovative cooperatives. Each month, we feature a member who's doing something great in the co-op community. Know a member you'd like to nominate? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Why are co-ops special?
Cooperatives help empower people to improve their quality of life. We have seen that across the United States during our 90+year history. And now we see it internationally. Through our work in our International Development Division, we apply an integrated approach to international economic development. In a recently completed $5.7 million project in Malawi funded through USAID, Land O’Lakes assisted 2,400 farmers and their 14,000 family members to aggregate their milk for sale and trained them on improved farming techniques.

What is the most innovative thing your co-op has done?
Land O’Lakes has developed market-leading brands that stand for quality, reliability and value. We have the number one butter brand, number one deli cheese and number one branded and specialty egg brands. We are the global leader in young animal milk replacer and the number one seed and crop protection wholesaler and livestock and lifestyle animal feeds. We are the second largest agricultural cooperative in the United States. We are number 210 on the Fortune 500 List. Land O’Lakes donates 2 percent of our pretax profits to its Foundation, which has awarded more than $17 million in grants and charitable donations since 1996.

How and why was your co-op founded?
Land O’Lakes was founded more than 90 years ago to provide farmers with an ownership stake in the food industry, to ensure market access and to help farmers increase efficiency and improve productivity while providing consumers with top-quality, wholesome dairy products. Learn more »

Upcoming Events

11.19 United Nations IYC Short Film Festival Awards Ceremony

Uses film to spread the word about cooperatives—what they are, how they work and why they matter. Awards ceremony to be held at UN headquarters in New York City. More »

12.5 NCBA Webinar: Innovative Ways of Marketing the Cooperative Advantage

Explores ways to leverage the co-op difference to create a unique advantage in the marketplace. Panelists from Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Oxford Brookes University and Del Norte Credit Union. More »

12.6 Emerging Business Models: Cooperative Innovation in the New Normal

Addresses the most common business models being formed, and compares each model’s similarities and differences based on their business risks and tax implications. More »

In the Community

NCBA New Member: Family Savings CoOp

Family Savings CoOp (FSC) is a Cooperative Association (the CoOp) of producer and consumer members who have decided to live cooperatively. FSC serves it members by providing access to products and services that: 1) educate, 2) reduce costs (savings), 3) create entrepreneurship, and 4) promote unity. More »

NCBA New Member: Healing Tree

Healing Tree Cooperative started in 2010 as a small exercise and physical therapy clinic in San Francisco. It strives to use the best methods of treatment incorporating the strongest research to improve health. The cooperative plans to open a community health center providing space for fitness, education, and healing professionals. Its current business plan includes personal and group fitness training, full spa services, sauna, steam room, herbal baths, and physical therapy. More »



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