The members of the CDS Consulting Co-op were deeply honored and humbled by the Howard Bowers Fund Award for Cooperative Innovation and Achievement bestowed on CDS CC at the Consumer Co-op Managers Association conference in Madison, Wisconsin, this past month.
It is certainly gratifying to be recognized for the programs we instigated, like Cooperative Board Leadership Development (CBLD), Four Pillars of Cooperative Governance, and the Cooperative Cafe meeting series, as well as for the work we do in retail improvement, expansion and growth, and startup food co-op development. We believe this award is shared by the many people at our local food co-ops and others working in partnership with us who have contributed their insights and ideas throughout the process of establishing these programs. Our ability to innovate is a direct result of the involvement of many people willing to combine their voices, talents and skills with a strong vision for cooperative success.
The members of CDS Consulting Co-op are passionate about cooperatives and committed to helping them achieve their goals. Likewise, as a result of the contribution of our food co-ops and partners, CDS CC has created programs that have helped revolutionize leadership and accountability for participating co-ops. We do this because we believe in the cooperative business model, and we have faith in the unlimited potential people bring to doing good work on behalf of their owners and the communities.
On a personal level, more than a few tears of gratitude were shed as we read comment after comment from people in our sector supporting the nomination for the Innovation award. Many individual consultants were described as a mentor and supporter as well as “patient,” “helpful,” “passionate,” “no-nonsense,” “kind” and “engaging.” But it means more than anything to know that our collective efforts have had an even greater impact.
River Valley Market in Northampton, Massachusetts, was also recognized this year with the Howard Bowers Fund Cooperative Excellence Award at CCMA. Rochelle Prunty, general manager of the co-op said that she believes their co-op was successful not only due to direct support from CDS CC, but that because the consulting co-op has also facilitated a strategic approach to co-op development through partners like the NCGA, NCB, NCBA andFCI, stronger, thriving food co-ops are building and expanding in our sector. “Without CDS Consulting Co-op I expect that food co-ops may well be a thing of the past instead of a ray of hope for a better future that they have become,” Prunty said.
We look forward to the next decade’s fresh ideas and being of service to you and your cooperative.