2022 Cooperative Innovation and Achievement Award

Your Feel-Good Story of the Day

Sometimes Really Great Things Come to Really Great People

The Co-op’s Own Emily Rogers receives the 2022 Cooperative Innovation and Achievement Award. The award was presented by her colleagues on June 11, 2022, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

If there’s a Nobel Prize for cooperation, it’s the Cooperative Innovation and Achievement Award—one of the highest honors one can earn in the cooperative industry. The award is given out each year by the Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA), a national conference for food cooperative directors, management, staff, and allies. To quote the CCMA website:

Recipients of this award understand the urgency, relevancy, and complexity of the problem or opportunity addressed by the innovation,
which results in measurable improvements or achievements that resonate with the cooperative principles and the cooperative’s mission.

This year’s recipient: the Co-op’s own Emily Rogers!

Emily began her cooperative career as a cashier in our Lebanon store more than 20 years ago. She’s now the Education Manager leading major initiatives for the entire organization. She spearheaded the successful launch and implementation of the Pennies for Change round-up program, which has contributed more than $1 million dollars directly to the local community through Upper Valley nonprofits.

Her work on food access, sustainability initiatives, member engagement strategy, and other educational programs illustrate her commitment to others and the embodiment of the cooperative principles and values.

Here are a few excerpts from her many recommendation letters:

2022 Cooperative Innovation and Achievement Award

“What sets Emily apart is her commitment to socioeconomic justice and using the cooperative model as a way of contributing to the world around her. Food and social justice is important to her, for both ethical and practical reasons. Rather than superficial altruism, hers is an ethic that is deeply held and regularly practiced.

She is a model to other cooperators and has made a profound impact in her community. Her dedication to servant leadership has enhanced not only her cooperative and the communities it serves, but the greater cooperative movement.”

“Emily is one of those positive thinkers who knows she can overcome obstacles if she really puts her mind to it. Her innovative approaches to ensuring food access to those in need in our area have been outstanding, taking our co-op’s efforts to an entirely new and creative level. She didn’t stop at increasing shopper donations to food access organizations through Pennies for Change; she went on to make sure EBT users had extra funds for purchasing produce and that emergency food access vouchers were available to those in need. None of that was easy to organize across all of the players, but her commitment is genuine. She truly cares about improving the lives of others.”

“When I think of Emily, I’m reminded of one of my favorite sage expressions: “Character is who you are when no one is looking.” Emily is the genuine article, a cooperator of impeccable heart, character, and intellect. She puts her hope in seemingly impossible things, then she puts her immense skills into making the impossible a reality. How she accomplishes all that she does mystifies me, but I think it has something to do with being a dreamer and having fearlessly high expectations.”

“Emily is not only innovative, but she is a team player who values everyone and understands that we all have a role to play in creating a healthy, vibrant community. Emily will always shun the spotlight and speak to the effort of the team in creating the programs mentioned above, but the reality is that without Emily’s leadership in creating these programs that they would not exist.

Emily is affecting change in our community, and we are stronger and MUCH better fed because of her efforts.”

“The CCMA Committee recognizes Emily’s outstanding leadership in creating and implementing social impact programs that have generated enormous positive benefits for communities in the Upper Valley. It is clear that Emily’s commitment to the co-op and her community, paired with her people centered focus, servant leadership, enthusiasm, and positivity makes her very deserving of this award. The committee was impressed by the breadth of types of programs she has stewarded over the years impacting many facets of the local community.”

Congratulations Emily!

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April Harkness

April is the Co-op's ESG Program Manager. Contact April at aprilharkness at coopfoodstore dot com.