Awards for Excellence

2014 Awards for Excellence in the Food Co-op Community:  Nominations due April 18

The Howard Bowers Fund/CCMA awards for Cooperative Excellence are given for excellence in the food co-op community.  They are an opportunity for you to recognize outstanding food co-ops, your colleagues, your board members, and outstanding programs and systems developed by consumer cooperatives.

Formerly known as the CCMA awards, the program is now under the sponsorship of the Cooperative Development Foundation through its Howard Bowers Fund for Consumer Cooperatives.  The deadline for nominations is April 18, 2014 and the awards will be presented during the banquet at CCMA.   You are invited to submit nominations using this  CDF Award nomination form in the following categories:

  • Cooperative Service  ==  In recognition of dedicated leadership and exemplary service by an individual to a food co-op or co-op.
  • Cooperative Innovation/Achievement  ==  In recognition of the innovative application of the co-op business structure to a co-op, an innovative program or service, or outstanding achievement by a food co-op.
  • Cooperative Excellence  ==  In recognition of a food co-op that has made significant progress in meeting the needs of members through growth in net sales and earnings, initiation of new and innovative programs, and expansion of member services.
  • Cooperative Board Service  ==  In recognition of outstanding dedication and leadership.

Awardees are selected by an awards committee made up of leaders in the food co-op community.  For a nomination form or more information or if you are interested on serving on the awards committee, please contact Ellen Quinn at or 202 442-2331.

Thank you for your support of the Bowers Fund!

In past years, the food cooperative community has honored the following individuals and co-ops:

Cooperative Service:  In recognition of dedicated leadership and exemplary service by an individual to a cooperative or cooperatives.
  • 2013 – Ruffin Slater, visionary leader, astute strategic thinker and innovator, and dedicated advocate of the cooperative business model.
  • 2012 – Carolee Colter, for her 30 years of developing food co-op managers so they are able to create the positive workplace culture that allows staff to flourish.
  • 2011 – Amber and Nicole Sallaberry, for their establishment of the first food co-op in Nevada, along with a farm distribution center.
  • 2010 – Nancy Casady, for her combination of compassion and business sense
  • 2009 – Dan Nordley, for his 35 years of support for individual co-ops and national network.
  • 2008 – Margaret Lund, being the innovative driving force behind the NCDF, creating access to capital for cooperatives that might not otherwise have found it, and building NCDF into the premier cooperative development loan fund with assets of over $11 million.
  • 2007 – Kris Nelson, for her vision and leadership to grow and diversify Lakewinds into one of the largest natural food co-ops in the Midwest.
  • 2006 – Michelle Schry, for her work as a co-op manager and NCGA board member and for her dedication to the food co-op sector and her colleagues in it.
  • 2005 – Holly Jarvis, for a career of leadership and dedicated service to the food co-op sector, as an innovative and successful co-op manager, and as board chair of NCGA throughout its transition.
  • 2004 – Gail Graham, was cited for her success in improving profitability and leading expansion and relocation efforts at three co-ops in the Minneapolis area: The Wedge, Seward Co-op and Mississippi Market.
  • 2003 – Paul Cultrera, for twenty years of dedicated leadership among co-ops across the country.
  • 2003 – Alex Gyori, for twenty years of dedicated leadership among co-ops across the country.
  • 2002 – Bob Davis, for his outstanding service providing many years of dedicated leadership to cooperatives in Greenbelt and other communities.
  • 2002 – Bill Gessner, for his creative and complete dedication to the growth of consumer cooperatives over many years of service.
  • 2001 – Pam Mehnert, for her positive influence on cooperatives nationwide.
  • 2000 – Dan Foley, for his leadership and visionary contributions to the local, regional, and national food cooperative community.
  • 1999 – Marilyn Scholl, for demonstrated commitment to the growth and development of consumer co-ops in over 20 years of service.
  • 1998 – Nick Masullo, for 22 years of service to the cooperative movement.
  • 1997 – Karl Kruger, for over 40 years of service to the cooperative movement.
  • 1996 – Theresa Steig, for dedicated leadership and exemplary service to food cooperatives and the entire U.S. cooperative movement.
  • 1995 – David J. Thompson, for his dedicated leadership and exemplary service to the national and international cooperative movements.
  • 1994 – Karen Zimbelman, for her dedicated leadership to consumer cooperatives across the country.
  • 1993 – Terry Simonette, for his efforts to build a viable cooperative food distribution system in the U.S.
Cooperative Innovation/Achievement:
  • 2009 – La Montanita Cooperative for creating a highly successful co-op system in New Mexico
  • 2008 – Sacramento Natural Food Co-op for pulling together to increase efficiency in their core store location, grow sales 10%, and retire debt incurred at a record pace while remaining cashflow positive, saving the cooperative.
  • 2006 – Davis Food Co-op for their “Carrots in the Classroom” program.
  • 2005 – Tak Tang, for his vision, technical skills, and leadership in the development of key components of an IT infrastructure for co-op operations.
  • 2004 – Stuart Reid, called a “renaissance man” is recognized for his commitment to cooperatives and for his efforts to build business relationships between food co-ops and farmer co-ops in developing countries.
  • 2003 – Community Food Co-op, Bozeman, Mont., for its strongly successful retail operation that is deeply embedded in its community.
  • 2002 – Corinne Shindelar, for her vision and leadership at numerous cooperative organizations in creating innovative programs that have resulted in strong, vibrant consumer cooperatives.
  • 2001 – Weaver Street Market, for its innovative worker and consumer-owned structure and community outreach.
  • 2000 – Walden Swanson, for the development of the innovative and practical CoCoFiSt Program.
  • 1999 – Federation of Ohio River Cooperatives, for the achievement of a successful merger with Northeast Cooperatives.
  • 1997 – Northeast Cooperative, for the Management on Contract Program.
  • 1996 – New Pioneer Co-op, for 25 years of inspiration and innovation.
  • 1995 – David Barry, for devoting 21 years to the nurturing of food cooperatives in New England.
  • 1994 – Midwest Cooperative Grocers Association, for their commitment to strengthening cooperatives, improving service to their members and promoting the principle of “Cooperation Among Cooperatives.”
  • 1993 – North Coast Cooperative, Inc., for incorporating an innovative recycling program within the cooperative and providing community leadership in recycling education.
Cooperative Excellence: (Retailer of the Year)
  • 2013 – Lexington Cooperative Market
  • 2012 – Ashland Food Co-op
  • 2012 – Putney Food Co-op
  • 2011 – Seward Grocery Co-op & Deli
  • 2010 – Wheatsville Co-op (Austin, TX)
  • 2009 – Valley Natural Foods (Burnsville, MN)
  • 2008 – Onion River Co-op/City Market (Burlington, VT)
  • 2007 – Ozark Natural Foods (Fayetteville, AR)
  • 2006 – Whole Foods (Duluth, MN)
  • 2004 – Community Mercantile Cooperative
  • 2003 – Williamson (Willy) Street Co-op
  • 2001 – Hanover (NH) Consumers Cooperative
  • 2000 – Co-opportunity Consumers Cooperative
  • 1999 – Lakewinds Natural Foods Co-op
  • 1998 – Puget Consumers’ Co-op
  • 1997 – Outpost Natural Foods Co-op
  • 1996 – Brattleboro Food Co-op
  • 1995 – Weavers Way Cooperative Assn.
  • 1994 – Sacramento Natural Foods Cooperative
  • 1993 – Wedge Community Food Co-op
Board Service:
  • 2013 – Rose Marie Klee, for her leadership and dedication to using cooperatives to make a better world
    2013 – Steven Maviglio, for exemplary board leadership in a challenging time
  • 2012 – Richard Ellsworth, for his steady, wise, creative, questioning, open, supportive, and inspiring leadership.
  • 2012 – Leslie Watson, for her leadership from start-up to a model food co-op that serves its community.
  • 2009 – Gail Bartlett, in recognition of her wisdom and leadership at Blue Hill Cooperative.
  • 2008 – Martha Whitman, in recognition of her years in management and Board service, and as Board President, La Montanita Co-op in Albuquerque, NM.
  • 2006 – Bentley Lein, in recognition of six years of leadership as member and President of the board of People’s Food Co-op (LaCrosse) and as a mentor to other board presidents.
  • 2006 – Robert Noble, in recognition of eight years of leadership as member and President of the board of Weavers Way Cooperative, during which he helped re-establish the Cooperative as a vibrant and healthy organization that is an asset to its community.
  • 2005 – Beth Skinner, in recognition of eight years of leadership and dedicated service as President of the Board of Berkshire Co-op Market.

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