caroleeThe Cooperative Service Award was bestowed on Carolee Colter at the Consumer Co-op Managers Association (CCMA) conference this June. It recognizes her contribution to our sector in human resources.

Carolee began working for a co-op warehouse in 1973 and soon found that human resources were her niche, because she has always been interested in what makes for a positive workplace. After relocating to Seattle, she was personnel coordinator at PCC and then at two co-op distributors in the Northwest. Since 1984, Carolee has consulted for co-ops, and community-based organizations across the U.S. and Canada. In 2009, Carolee joined CDS Consulting Cooperative to extend and strengthen her human resources training and consulting for co-ops.

Her nomination was enthusiastically endorsed by a wide range of people. Here are a few of them:

“A sincere thank you to Carolee for keeping us on the path of ­continuous improvement.”
—Jan Rasikas, general manager, Viroqua Food Co-op

“I know for a fact that our sector would not have developed as professionally as it has without her influence.”
—Pam Mehnert, general manager, Outpost Natural Foods

“Retail food co-ops are stronger today because of Carolee’s work. Co-ops are small functioning democracies and democracy is messy. Carolee helps us clean up the mess, take the trash out and wash the windows. We see more clearly because of her help.”
—C.E. Pugh, National Cooperative Grocer’s Association

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