Four outstanding cooperative leaders inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame

Four outstanding American cooperative leaders have been inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame, the cooperative community's highest honour in the USA. The 2012 inductees include cooperative educator...

Four outstanding American cooperative leaders have been inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame, the cooperative community’s highest honour in the USA.

The 2012 inductees include cooperative educator Dr. Michael Cook, cooperative agri-business leader William Davisson, consumer cooperative developer William Gessner, and cooperative banker Charles Snyder (pictured from left to right in the photo*).

These cooperative leaders were recognized at the annual Cooperative Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony at Washington’s National Press Club on Wednesday, May 2, 2012.

Representatives of the International Summit of Cooperatives also attended the Ceremony (see pictures below*).

Those selected for induction in 2012:

Michael Cook (Education), Robert D. Partridge Endowed Professor in Cooperative Leadership and Executive Director of The Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership (GICL), University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dr. Cook’s applied research on the role of cooperatives in the changing global marketplace, combined with his writing, consulting and cooperative business experience, has enabled him to develop educational materials, classroom curricula and a portfolio of business advisory services that have provided a generation of cooperative leaders with the tools to be more effective managers of cooperative businesses.

William Davisson (Agriculture & Farm Credit), CEO (retired), of GROWMARK, Inc.

Mr. Davisson served as GROWMARK CEO for 12 years, a position from which he retired in 2010. As CEO he focused on sales and improvement in operations and led GROMARK through a period of strong growth, including the top three income years in the cooperative’s history.

William Gessner (Consumer Goods & Services), Cooperative developer and member of the CDS Consulting Cooperative.

Bill Gessner’s involvement in the food cooperative community has spanned 35 years. He is credited with having helped transform the community from a hodgepodge of individual stores into an integrated, values-driven national community of consumer-owned retail groceries that has changed the way America thinks about food.

Charles Snyder (Banking and Cooperative Development), President & CEO, National Cooperative Bank (NCB).

In an NCB career that began in 1983 with his appointment as Corporate VP & CFO and led to his selection as President & CEO in 1992, Snyder has played a transformational role in navigating the early years of the Bank’s existence and decisively repositioning NCB as a complex financial institution that provides full service banking to cooperative enterprises.

The Cooperative Hall of Fame, which is administered by the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF), is affiliated with the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA). The Cooperative Hall of Fame gallery is on display in NCBA’s offices in Washington, DC, and can also be visited on the web at www.heroes.coop.

Stéphane Bertrand (left), Executive Director of the International Summit of Cooperatives and Joanne Lechasseur (front), Program Director of the Summit, with Dr. Michael Cook (right), who will attend the Summit in October 2012 and speak during the “Attracting and retaining talent through cooperative values” workshop.

William Gessner will also attend the International Summit of Cooperatives and speak during the “Alliances between cooperatives” workshop.

* All pictures by Maggie Szymanek at Uncommon Photography

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