The new executive director of CDS, Kevin Edberg, is inspired—by hard work and cooperation. “One thing really appeals to me; the opportunity to be creative,” Kevin said about his new role at the helm of CDS. “I like to work out the parts that need to fit together to have a successful project, doing the operational plans, the role of disciplined discussions…it’s a chance to do something worth doing.”
Before coming to CDS, Kevin worked for 13 years in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, most recently as head of the marketing department. He developed the Minnesota Grown program and has been an active participant in agricultural cooperative development projects. He is a lifelong Minnesotan, and his interest in community-building has led him to serve on his community’s school board in White Bear Lake. He’s also no stranger to CDS, having served on the executive committee of the Organic Alliance, as well as having contracted with CDS to deliver services to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture during his tenure there.
He began his CDS duties in late October last year, and is excited about the opportunity to link all the centers of co-op activity within and outside of CDS. “We need to work across sector lines to reach consumers and link food producers, credit unions, electrical co-ops, and recognize the power of cooperation in all sectors to give greater social benefits,” said Kevin.
CDS functions as an umbrella organization for all types of cooperatives as well as food and agricultural co-op development services. As an organization, CDS is greater than the sum of its parts, and its overall mission is promote the development of co-op businesses, communities, and other organizations that operate in a cooperative manner.
There is an opportunity within CDS’s different areas of expertise (food co-ops, producer co-ops and the Organic Alliance) to enhance the organization’s impact on all types of co-ops. “For example, CoCoFist has applications in other sectors. It’s one possibility for growth and expansion.” Kevin is an enthusiastic promoter of new co-op development who also wants the average person to experience the co-op advantage. His main mission? “Let’s get together and tell the co-op story.”Add to favorites