The Howard Bowers Fund and CCMA

Author:  Ellen Quinn The Howard Bowers Fund was established to honor Howard Bowers, who dedicated his life to the consumer co-op movement. In his five-dec

The Howard Bowers Fund was established to honor Howard Bowers, who dedicated his life to the consumer co-op movement. In his five-decade career, he worked for food co-ops throughout the Midwest and served on the boards of the Cooperative Development Foundation and the National Cooperative Business Association. 

The Bowers Fund supports the food co-op movement through grants for education and training for food co-op staff, managers, and boards, both to individual co-ops and to organizations and programs that benefit multiple co-ops. This year, approximately 20 people will attend the Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) conference with the help of a scholarship from the Bowers Fund. 

The Bowers Fund is administered by the Cooperative Development Foundation ( and managed by a board of advisors from the food co-op sector. Current board members are Alex Gyori of Brattleboro Food Co-op; Michael Novak of National Cooperative Bank; Annie Hoy of Ashland Food Co-op; Jeanne Lakso and Karen Zimbelman of National Cooperative Grocers Association; Ellen Michel of Bloomingfoods; Mari Niescior of Outpost Natural Foods Co-op; and Bob Noble of Weavers Way Co-op. 

The Bowers Fund raises money at CCMA and in October, Co-op Month, for Howard Bowers Day. This year at CCMA, there will be:

  • A silent auction from Thursday -eveningthrough lunch on Saturday;
  • Auction of one food co-op quilt duringthe banquet;
  • To be announced! (Thursday evening).

The money raised through Howard Bowers Day goes to new and about-to-open co-ops. Money raised at CCMA goes to scholarships for CCMA and grants. Some past grant recipients are: Cooperative Development Services, for the Food Co-op 500 Flow Chart; the Indiana Co-op Development Center, for its regional food co-op workshop; and Harlem Natural Food Co-op, for board and management training. 

Awards for cooperative excellence

The Bowers Fund also manages the Howard Bowers Awards for Cooperative Excellence, which are presented during the banquet at CCMA. 

Thank you for your past support of the Howard Bowers Fund! Please support the Bowers Fund this year at CCMA. 

If you have questions, please see or contact Ellen Quinn at [email protected] or 202-442-2331.

This article was featured in Cooperative Grocer, Issue 160 June 2012. Click here to subscribe.

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