Recently my predecessor, Terry Appleby, was elected to the Cooperative Hall of Fame. Terry was honored during a special ceremony held in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.
I first shared the news about this last fall. Many of us here know Terry well, but for those who don’t, a quick summary: Terry was the long-time general manager for our co-op. His contributions to our organization and the greater cooperative movement have been numerous and far-reaching. You can learn more about Terry here: https://bit.ly/2JB2tAi.
I started here in the fall of 2016, and worked closely with Terry my first few months. I found him to be a thoughtful and humble man, with an encyclopedic knowledge of cooperatives. Many people who worked with Terry for years weren’t aware of his many awards and accomplishments, because he never talked about them. What he did talk about was cooperatives. His commitment to the cooperative movement is driven by a deep sense of personal conviction and a heart for equality and socioeconomic justice. Before he retired in 2016, Terry’s cooperative career spanned two coasts, two co-ops, and four decades. Leading cooperators from across North America supported his nomination to the Hall of Fame.
I can’t overstate the prestige of the Hall of Fame honor and the selectivity of the process. To quote from the Cooperative Hall of Fame website:
> Induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame is the highest honor that the U.S. cooperative community bestows on the extraordinary men and women who have made genuinely heroic contributions in support of the cooperative form of enterprise.
Extraordinary is right. I’ve been thinking a lot about Terry and his team lately. Over the past few months, thanks to the help and input from all of our teams here, I’ve been working on strategic planning designed to look ahead to our co-op’s future. It’s been a highly rewarding process, and it reminded me that we only have a bright future because we’ve had such a strong and productive past. People like Terry and his peers are the ones who got us here. Their contributions, sacrifices, and forward-thinking approach paved the way for all the good work we’re doing today.
Want to talk more about where we’ve been and where we’re going? Reach out to me anytime. My door is always open. In the meantime, my thanks to all of our members for your dedication and commitment, and congratulations to Terry for a well-deserved honor.