After 22 years at the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) — the last six as executive director — Carol Hunter is saying farewell to CCA…but not to the Canadian co-op sector.
In early November, she will become executive vice-president, Member Relations and Corporate Services, for The Co-operators, an insurance co-operative owned primarily by Canadian co-ops and credit union centrals. A major player in the Canadian co-op sector, The Co-operators ranked no. 118 on the most recent (2008) version of the ICA's Global 300 listing of the world's largest co-ops.
"Carol brings a demonstrated understanding of, passion for and commitment to co-operatives, as well as a solid and sustained track record in member and board relations, co-operative governance, communications and strategic program alignment," said Kathy Bardswick, The Co-operators president and CEO. "Carol's experience with and knowledge of the diverse industry sectors in which the member-owners of The Co-operators operate will serve us well as she assumes this new responsibility."
Perhaps not coincidentally, Carol Hunter's hiring coincides with efforts by The Co-operators to actively promote its co-operative identity. In mid-September, The Co-operators released a series of new television advertisements which use the tagline "Co-operative values. Exceptional service."
CCA, a national association whose member organizations represent some 2,000 co-operatives with more than nine million members, has begun the recruitment process for a new executive director.
"There are few jobs that would attract me enough to leave CCA and the incredible staff that this organization has," Hunter said after announcing her departure to CCA staff. "For the last 22 years I have been blessed to work with a team that is loyal, passionate about co-ops, smart, innovative, and so much fun to work with. It will not be easy to leave and there is much that I will miss. But I will be staying within the co-operative family and will continue to cross paths with many of the CCA staff and most of the CCA members in my new role."