Cooperative Excellence Award History

Past Co-op Excellence Award Winners

Cooperative Excellence

(Retailer of the Year): In recognition of a retail cooperative 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

2023 – Littleton Food Co-op (Littleton, NH)

2022 – Oryana Community Co-op (Traverse City, MI)

2019 – Middlebury Natural Food Co-op (Middlebury, VT)

2018  – BriarPatch Food Co-op (Grass Valley, CA)

2017 – City Market/Onion River Co-op (Burlington, VT)

2016 – City Center Market (Cambridge, MN)

2015 – People’s Food Cooperative (La Crosse, WI)

2014 – River Valley Market (Northampton, MA)

2013 – Lexington Cooperative Market (Buffalo, NY)

2012 – Ashland Food Co-op and 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 Consumers Cooperative (Hanover, NH)

2000 – Co-opportunity Consumers Cooperative (Santa Monica, CA)

1999 – Lakewinds Natural Foods Co-op

1998 – Puget Consumers’ Co-op

1997 – Outpost Natural Foods Co-op (Milwaukee, WI)

1996 – Brattleboro Food Co-op (Brattleboro, VT)

1995 – Weavers Way Cooperative Association (Philadelphia, PA)

1994 – Sacramento Natural Foods Cooperative (Sacramento, CA)

1993 – Wedge Community Food Co-op (Minneapolis, MN) and North Farm Cooperative

Cooperative Service

In recognition of dedicated leadership and exemplary service by an individual to a cooperative or cooperatives

2023 -Grace Cox, Olympia Food Co-op and Kelly Dean Wiseman, Community Food Co-op (Bozeman)

2022 – Ahzjah Simons for commitment to Sevananada Natural Foods Market and her community

2022 – Jacki Arthur, for her over 21 years of service, in which she has dedicated her education, experience, and business acumen to Three Rivers Market, resulting in a true cooperative center and strong, dependable business that creates and nourishes a healthier environment, healthier people, and a healthier community throughout East Tennessee.

2019 – Allan Gallant, for tireless advocacy of the cooperative movement

2018 – Barry Smith, for commitment to Flatbush Food Co-op and devotion to the great co-op world for the past 45 years

2017 – Randy Lee, for his personification of cooperation and teaching it through his work

2016 – Sean Doyle, for his visionary and strategic approach to growing the cooperative sector

2016 – Sharon Murphy, for her leadership and vision, which always looks to the future

2015 – Terry Appleby, for his vision and leadership in the co-op and the community

2014 – Ann Hoyt, for her long leadership of CCMA and in various cooperative sectors

2013 – Ruffin Slater, for his visionary leadership, strategic thinking, innovation, and dedicated advocacy of the cooperative business model.

2012 – Carolee Colter, for her strengthening of food co-ops through making them a positive workplace using her expertise in human resources

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 and her attitude that “it’s about so much more than the store”

2009 – Dan Nordley, for his 35 years of support for individual co-ops and a 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.

1992 – K. Jesse Singerman, to honor a skilled and vital leader of consumer cooperatives for her efforts to build a viable cooperative food distribution system in the U.S.

1991 – Walden Swanson, Cooperative Development Services

1989 – David Gutknecht, Cooperative Grocer

1988 – Arthur Gerstenberger, Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society

1987 – Donald R. Lefever, Universal Cooperatives

1986 – Howard Bowers, Hyde Park Cooperative Society

Cooperative Innovation and Achievement

In recognition of the innovative application of the cooperative business structure to an enterprise or an innovative program or service

2023 – Jeanie Wells, Columinate

2022 (Innovation) – Emily Rogers of Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society her outstanding leadership in creating and implementing social impact programs that have generated enormous positive benefits in our community.

2022 (Achievement) – Crystal Halvorson and Rick Remington of Menomonie Market Food Co-op for coming to the aid of a sister co-op during a time of stress, for strategically approaching the long term welfare of both co-op stores.

2019 – Nancy O’Connor for her dedication to helping people discover and enjoy healthy foods

2018 – Durham Co-op Market for commitment to re-shaping the traditional image and impact of a cooperative grocery store

2016 – Central Co-op for its creation of an example of what a cooperative for the 21st century could look like

2014 – CDS Consulting Cooperative for its innovate programs and use of technology in the support of food cooperatives

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, increase sales 10%, and retire debt while maintaining positive cash flow, thus saving the co-op

2006 – Davis Food Co-op for its 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 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 for its successful retail operation that is deeply embedded in its community

2002 – Corrine Shindelar for her vision and leadership at numerous cooperative organizations and for creating innovative programs that have resulted in strong, vibrant consumer co-ops

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 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 co-ops in New England

1994 – Midwest Cooperative Grocers Association for its commitment to strengthening cooperatives, improving service to their members, and promoting the principle of “cooperation among cooperatives”

1993 – North Coast Cooperative for incorporating an innovative recycling program with the co-op and providing community leadership in recycling education

1992 – Frontier Cooperative Herbs for providing exemplary employee benefits which nurture the health and welfare of individuals and their families

1991 – Thomas S. Condit, NCB

1989 – North Coast Cooperative, Puget Consumers Cooperative, and Center for Cooperatives, UC Davis

1988 – Wisconsin Cooperative Development Council

1987 – Telecommunications Cooperative Development Council

1986 – Central States Cooperative

Cooperative Board Service

In recognition of outstanding dedication and leadership

2023- Cameron Hildreth, Community Food Co-op (Bozeman)

2022 – Dorian Gregory for bringing her leadership and diversity of experiences to build a culture of teamwork on the board of River Valley Food Co-op.

2019 – Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation board of directors

2018 – Alan Weisberg for his leadership and vision for growth to BriarPatch Food Co-op.  Laura Miklowitz for joining the Hendersonville board during a time of turmoil and providing leadership skills that transformed it into a strong, cohesive governing body.

2016 – Marshall Kovitz for his leadership, passion for good governance, and resolve in the face of challenging times

2015 – Jennifer Nalbone for her leadership that inspires strong mutual support among board members at Lexington Co-op in Buffalo, NY

2014 – Jade Barker in recognition for her outstanding dedication and leadership at River Valley Market

2013 – Rose Marie Klee for her leadership of Wheatsville Food Co-op, the Austin Think Tank, and the Austin cooperative community

2013 – Steven Maviglio for his leadership and dedication to Sacramento Natural Foods through challenges and difficulties

2012 – Richard Ellsworth for his guidance through Valley Natural Food’s milestones

2012 – Leslie Watson for her commitment to East Side and all food co-ops and their benefits to their communities

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