panorama of participants from december 2018 Co-op Director Forum

Co-op Directors Forum

Co-hosted with Cooperative Network, the forum is designed for board members from all types of cooperatives. Directors will hear best practices from across the cooperative spectrum and learn how the board can best support their co-op’s success.

Winter 2019 Co-op Directors Forum

December 10, 2019, 9:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Compeer Financial, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin


10:00 Alternative Methods for Raising Capital – Access to capital can be a barrier to growing your co-op. Cooperative leaders will share tools they used to raise capital for their co-ops.
Michael Link, Board President, Viroqua Food Cooperative
Cecil Wright, Board President, Maple Valley Cooperative

11:00 Using Member Input to Inform Your Board Strategy – In this session, we will explore how boards solicit input and feedback from their members to inform decision making and strategy.
Rebecca Koehler, Board President, Cooperative Care
Dave Kyle, First Vice Chair, Foremost Farms
Gene Schriefer, Board Member, Wisconsin Grass-fed Beef Cooperative

12:15 Lunch (included with registration)

1:00 Governance Challenges Within and Across Co-op Sectors – Good governance is at the heart of a successful co-op, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges. In this session, attendees will participate in small group discussions regarding governance challenges in their co-ops.
Courtney Berner, Executive Director, UW Center for Cooperatives

1:45 Nuts and Bolts of Strategic Planning – In this session, we will hear from cooperative leaders on the strategic planning process.
Kevin Klahn, Secretary, Landmark Services Cooperative
Rob Peck, Worker-Owner, North Wind Solar

Download the program agenda


Past topics include:

  • Role of the board chair and other leadership positions
  • Facilitating effective meetings
  • Strategies of for good decision making processing and developing a more efficient board
  • CEO review and succession planning
  • Board evaluation best practices in board leadership
  • Understanding & Communicating Co-op Financials
  • Legal & Fiduciary Duties and Liabilities
  • Governance Best Practice
  • Cooperative Equity Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Risk Management at Your Cooperative: What Keeps you up at night?
  • Board Recruitment and Succession Planning
  • Leveraging External Expertise in the board room
  • Economic Tradeoffs of Growth
  • Thriving with a Changing Membership