To strengthen cooperatives and the cooperative movement by promoting innovative educational responses to social and economic changes.


To provide members a forum to highlight programs and practices that increase understanding, innovation and professionalism in cooperative education.Ace benefits cooperative education and the cooperative movement by:

  • Promoting cooperative research
  • Developing linkages between universities, cooperatives and supporting organizations
  • Building capacity to support the development of innovation and acumen in cooperatives
  • Spreading the word by providing resources on cooperative education

The Board and Staff

tanyaPRESIDENTTANYA GRACIE was first elected to the ACE board in 2009. She has brought her leadership and enthusiasm to her role as president.  Working with and for the membership, Tanya is excited about the potential of ACE, its strategic focus and contribution to the cooperative movement. Tanya is now at the Public Policy Forum, an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of government in Canada. She was most recently with Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC), the national association serving as the advocate and champion of cooperative and mutual enterprises in Canada. Tanya is a recipient of the ACE Hlushko Award for youth.


jessicaVICE PRESIDENT – JESSICA GORDON NEMBHARD  is Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College, of the City University of New York (CUNY). In the early 2000s she was an Assistant Professor in the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and a co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative at UMCP.   A cooperative ambassador, economist and community economic development expert, Jessica is author of the recently published book, “Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice”. The result of 15 years of careful research, the book solidifies Jessica as a historian of cooperative empowerment and transformation within low-income and minority communities. Her book argues that co-ops not only should be, but have historically been a social justice tool within African American communities. Jessica is a 2016 inductee to the Cooperative Hall of Fame.

cathyCo – SECRETARYCATHY STATZ is Education Director of the Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU), headquartered in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. She coordinates a variety of cooperative education programs for Farmers Union members, their children and the general public, including the WFU Summer Camp Program at Kamp Kenwood, and the National Farmers Union College Conference on Cooperatives.
Cathy grew up on a dairy farm near Sauk Prairie, Wisconsin, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English (with Secondary Level Education Certification) and a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and is the 2006 recipient of Lawrence University’s Nathan M. Pusey Young Alumni Achievement Award. She has been a member of ACE since 1997 and was named the 1999 recipient of the ACE William Hlushko Award to Young Cooperative Educators.

morgan1Co -Secretary – MORGAN CRAWFORD was introduced to cooperatives through living in student and community housing cooperatives in Berkeley and Iowa City. In his role as Director of Education for the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO), Morgan organizes educational events and programming for the members and staff of cooperatives in the U.S. and Canada, builds relationships with regional and national cooperative organizations, and facilitates the empowerment of young cooperative leaders. Morgan strives to support the development of a cooperative movement that is universally accessible, socially just, economically responsible, and environmentally sound. He is a nerd at heart, a passionate educator, and a lover of effective and supportive meeting facilitation.

rodTREASURERROD KELSAY is the Executive Director of the Mid America Cooperative Council. The council is an association of over 110 cooperatives that covers the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. The council’s principal focus is cooperative education. The council has a very diverse group of members covering credit unions, agricultural, finance, food marketing, genetics, hospital laundry, housing, Library, and rural electric cooperatives.   Rod holds a masters (MS) degree from the University of Illinois and a BS degree from Purdue University. Rod has managed strategic planning and business analysis projects with cooperatives for over 25 years. Rod is the past Chairman of the Board for the Association of Cooperative Educators an international association of cooperative educators, and past president of the National Association of State Cooperative Council Executives. In 2000 Rod received the ‘Sagamore of the Wabash’ from Governor Frank O’Bannon.

andreDIRECTORANDRÉ MARTIN and his team are assisting ACE to manage its membership roster, administration and communication. André is an associate professor in the Faculty of Administration within the Institute for Research and Education for Cooperatives and Mutuals at the University of Sherbrooke (IRECUS) in Québec. In addition to teaching to the master’s degree, André participates in research and is invited to give lectures in Canada and abroad, especially in South America. His areas of interest include ethics for cooperation, education, complexity, and pedagogy. He earned his degrees in Colombia, South America, at the University of Sherbrooke (master’s degree) and at the Laval University in Quebec City, earning a PhD in Co-operative Philosophy. He is engaged in the Quebec cooperative movement and participates in numerous educational committees. He is exploring opportunities in post-doctoral work in the US. André has been an ACE director since 2012.  

micheleDIRECTOR – MICHELE AASGARD joined the ACE Board in 2014. She is the Executive Director of the Alberta Community and Cooperative Association, based in Stony Plain, Alberta. Michele is accountable for the association’s program budgeting, tracking and overall success, along with developing short and long-term planning supported by budget estimates. Michele also monitors and measures existing programs and practices and identify process improvement strategies so the not-for-profit association runs as effectively as possible.  Before joining ACCA in 2003, she completed her Certificate in Adult and Continuing Education, with Distinction from the University of Alberta. Michele began her career in 1982, working with the Alberta Government.

ellenDIRECTOR – ELLEN GODDARD is Cooperative Chair in Agricultural Marketing and Business, University of Alberta. She came to Alberta from a position as National Australia Bank Professor of Agribusiness and Associate Dean, Coursework, at the Institute of Land and Food Resources, the University of Melbourne. Prior to that Australian appointment Ellen worked in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Guelph. Over the past 30 years Ellen’s research has been focused on economic modeling of domestic and international markets for food products (particularly meat) for policy analysis purposes. Since her appointment at the University of Alberta, Ellen has been teaching an undergraduate course in cooperatives and through that course has supervised a number of undergraduate research projects, some of which have won undergraduate student research awards at the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in the U.S. Ellen has also supervised numerous MSc and PhD students who have conducted research on various aspects of cooperatives.

DIRECTOR OSCAR COLÓN RIVERA joined the ACE Board of Directors in 2016.

Oscar is with the Cooperativa de Seguros Múltiples, where he has distinguished himself through a true commitment in the cooperative movement of Puerto Rico as well as the field of cooperative education and social responsibility. 

Oscar’s formal studies in Educational Technology from the Universidad Central de Bayamón and his prowess in audiovisual production, photography, stage illumination, radio broadcasting, and event coordination make him a welcome addition to ACE.


ACE Institute Administrator – CATHY L. CHAMBERLAIN joined ACE in 2007. Once the association’s vice president, Cathy wanted to bring her professional skills to assist this important organization. From a co-op family, she has been part of the cooperative movement her entire life. She was communication and university relations manager of GROWMARK, Inc., Ontario for many years before opening CL Chamberlain Communication in the mid 2000s. She is a recipient of the ACE William Hlushko Award for youth and the ACE Contribution award.  Cathy is a graduate of the University of Guelph and earned a master’s in journalism from Western University.



ErinHancock2016CENet Consultant – ERIN HANCOCK is working with ACE on the online community project known as the CENet (Co-operative Educator’s Network). She also works as the Manager of Promotion and Partnership for the Co-operative Management Education Programs at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Prior to these roles, she served as the Manager of Research and Education for Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada.

As a master’s student at the University of New Brunswick, she undertook research on co-op policy in the province, and helped establish the Co-operative Enterprise Council of New Brunswick.

Erin was the 2014 winner of the William Hlushko Award to Young Co-operative Educators.