The members of CooperationWorks! held a two-day retreat in Carrolton, Ky., Oct. 6 and 7, 2004. Thirty-three participants representing 18 cooperative development centers, NCBA and CDF attended the event. The purpose of the retreat was to bring all centers funded by the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program together to discuss the future direction of the organization.

The retreat began with an overview of the origins of CooperationWorks! followed by a visioning session to identify the core values and prioritize the work areas of the organization. The items were listed and voted on by the group. The top four work areas for the organization were:

  1. Sharing knowledge, skills and abilities
  2. Effective professional education.
  3. Strong linkages to the co-op community
  4. Develop broad based funding

The group also drafted and adopted the following new CW Vision and Values Statement:

Vision and Values Statement

“CooperationWorks! is a network of cooperative developers who share knowledge, develop skills and use the cooperative business model to create social and economic benefits.

We value sharing knowledge, skills and abilities; effective professional education programs; a strong link to cooperative communities; sustainable broad based funding; being a learning organization; earned trust; and ethical development practices as described by the Madison Principles.”

Signing the new vision and values statement Oct. 7, 2004, in Carrolton, Ky., were: Kathy Altman, Steve Burdic, Lori Capouch, Jim Crandall, Elaine Cranford, Susan Davis, Kevin Edberg, Diane Gasaway, Paul Hazen, Heath Hoagland, Mary Holz Clause, Jim Lowry, Cheryl MacArthur, Robert Mailander, Audrey Malan, William Patrie, Laura Powers, Ellen Quinn, Kate Smith, Melbah Smith, Larry Snell and Donna Uptagrafft.

The CooperationWorks! Leadership Committee and the executive director used the new organizational priorities to develop a two-year work plan and the 2005 budget, adopted by the full board in 2005.

2004 Retreat Participants

  • Arkansas Rural Enterprise Center – Annett Pagan, Donna Uptagrafft
  • Cooperative Development Foundation – Elizabeth Bailey, Ellen Quinn
  • Cooperative Development Institute – Stacy Cordeiro
  • Cooperative Development Services – Kevin Edberg
  • CooperationWorks! – Audrey Malan
  • Dakotas Enterprise Center – Bill Patrie, Lori Capouch, Susan Davis
  • Georgia Cooperative Development Center – Bill Thomas, Mike Best
  • Illinois Value-Added Rural Development Center – Mary Holmes, Chris Merrett, Chad Martin
  • Indiana Cooperative Development Center – Kathy Altman
  • Iowa State University Value-Added Agriculture Program – Mary Holz-Clause
  • Kentucky Center for Cooperative Development – Larry Snell, Heath Hoagland, Laura Powers
  • Keystone Development Center – Kate Smith
  • Mississippi Cooperative Development Center – Melbah Smith
  • Missouri Farmers Union Family Farm Opportunity Center – Steve Burdic, Thelma Burdic
  • Montana Cooperative Development Center – Cheryl MacArthur
  • National Cooperative Business Association – Paul Hazen
  • Nebraska Cooperative Development Center – Jim Crandall, Elaine Cranford
  • Northwest Cooperative Development Center – Diane Gasaway, Jim Lowery
  • Ohio Cooperative Development Center – Travis West
  • Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Cooperative Development Center – Bob Mailander
  • Southern States Cooperative Foundation – Nathan Holleman