By Andrea Cumpston, Director of Communications & Marketing
Seattle offered environs exciting to foodies and co-op professionals alike for NCBA’s Annual Meeting & Co-op Conference, held Oct. 2-5, 2012. This marks the second year that NCBA has held the meeting away from its headquarters in Washington, DC, and the new location brought new faces and opportunities for networking.
Highlights of the conference included the keynote from Gar Alperovitz, who reminded the audience that they have the potential to be actors in the making of the history happening now, as well as a “year in review” from NCBA interim President & CEO Liz Bailey, who noted the efforts of the US cooperative community to seize the opportunity of the International Year of Cooperatives to raise the profile of cooperative enterprise with government and the public. Among the achievements of the year is the White House Community Leaders Briefing which brought 150 co-op leaders together to discuss co-ops, jobs and the economy with Obama Administration senior staff.
New to the conference is an alliance with the Cooperative Trust, a grassroots group of young people working in credit unions and cooperatives. Through this alliance and the “Crash NCBA” program, 15 young people came to the conference; Crash NCBA offered additional programming specifically for this group, including mentoring sessions.
No trip to Seattle would be complete without some excellent food, and Thursday night, attendees enjoyed a five-course meal imagined and assembled by the Seattle Chef’s Collaborative. The Collaborative works with chefs and the food community in Seattle to celebrate local foods and foster a more sustainable food supply. The meal, paired with local wines at each course, put all into a delightful food coma for the rest of the evening and brought the conference to a delectable close.
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