Mandate of the Association of Cooperative Educators (ACE)

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.

Board of Directors 2018-2019

ANDRÉA RENAUD, Co-President – Andréa Renaud was elected President of ACE in 2017 at the beginning of her first term as a director. She is a Cooperative Affairs Advisor at La Coop fédérée. Andréa trains employees and members about cooperation and supports them to encourage a better representation of women on boards of directors. She has ten years of experience in the management and governance of cooperative enterprises. She has also worked for the Desjardins Group and SOCODEVI, a development agency. A graduate in Psychoeducation from the University of Trois-Rivières, she also holds a Master’s degree in Cooperative management from the University of Sherbrooke.
DANIEL CÔTÉ, Co-President – Daniel Côté has been teaching at L’École des Hautes Études Commerciales, Montréal, since 1983. He obtained is Ph.D from Louisiana State University in 1985.  At HEC, he has been involved with le Centre de Gestion des Coopératives between 1977 and 2003.  He has been the director of this Centre from 1992 to 2003.  He teaches mostly courses on business strategy at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He retired in August 2014 to fully dedicate himself to his work on co-operative management, both research and teaching. Professor Côté has conducted research on co-operatives for more than 25 years.  He worked on different co-operative sectors (mostly agribusiness and finance) and on issues such as management, strategy, entrepreneurship, etc.  His main concern has always been the management of co-operatives in a competitive environment.  His work focuses on the development of a new co-operative paradigm. He develops the idea that co-operative leaders have an incentive to strengthen their co-operative identity since it is a source of competitive advantage.  His new co-operative paradigm is based on issues of loyalty, mobilization through values, learning organization, meaning and legitimacy.  His approach to research is very much action based where fundamental ideas and concepts (such as loyalty) are being implemented and tested in real life context with existing co-operatives.  He has published extensively on these issues. As of now, he focuses on the foundations of this new cooperative paradigm, looking at concepts such as psychological ownership, co-creation of value, reciprocity and social capital. He regularly gives conferences on co-operatives both in Canada and internationally. In 2004, he received the ACE (Association of Co-operative Educators) awards for Outstanding Contribution to Cooperative Education and Training. In 2014, he received an award from CASC for his outstanding contribution to co-operative research.  He has been selected as fellow of the Filene Institute in October 2011. He is currently teaching a graduate course on co-operative management for the «Master of Management: Co-operatives and Credit Unions» program at St-Mary’s university (Canada). Finally, he chairs the board of directors at Coop HEC, a campus coop with 15 000 members, $10 million in sales and about 100 employees since 2012.
 – JESSICA GORDON NEMBHARD, Vice-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.
 – ROD KELSAY, Treasurer – Rod 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.
 – MORGAN CRAWFORD, Co-Secretary – Morgan Crawford of the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives was introduced to cooperatives through living in student and community housing cooperatives in Berkeley and Iowa City. In his recent past role as Director of Education for the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO), Morgan organized educational events and programming for the members and staff of cooperatives in the U.S. and Canada, built relationships with regional and national cooperative organizations, and facilitated 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.
 – CATHY STATZ, Co-Secretary – Cathy 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.
ELLEN GODDARD, Director – 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. Her research in particular is focused on the role of co-operatives in concentrated agricultural and food markets.
 – THOMAS GRAY, Director – Thomas Gray holds a Ph.D. in rural sociology from Ohio State University and “masters” and “bachelors” degrees in agricultural economics from Ohio State and Cornell Universities respectively.  He also holds a Masters in Social Work from the Catholic University of America.  He has been employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to do research on cooperatives since 1982 and holds an affiliation with the Center for the Study of Cooperatives, University of Saskatchewan as “cooperative scholar”. He currently has over 200 published and professional papers on aspects of cooperative participation and member satisfaction, cooperative organizational design, and has written on such contextual issues as cooperative conversions, market concentration, family farm survival, geographically indicated products, and multi-stakeholder cooperatives.  He most recently received an invitational fellowship from the Japanese Society for the Performance of Science to study and compare governance issues in Japanese agricultural cooperatives relative to those in the U.S. In his youth he spent many hours on dairy farms working on the multiple activities of taking care of dairy cows in up-state New York.
 – OSCAR COLON RIVERA, Director – Oscar Colon 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 great asset to ACE.

Our Team

 – Julien Geremie, ACE Administrator – Julien Geremie is supervising ACE’s administration and organizes our Annual Institute. Julien Geremie is also Deputy Executive Director with the Conseil de la cooperation de l’Ontario in Toronto. He is responsible for providing support to over a dozen start-up co-operatives and social enterprises across Ontario, more specifically in the fields of agriculture, education, rural development, health, succession planning and much more. Julien works collaboratively with hundreds of partner organizations and he has a great knowledge of Ontario’s economic, social and cultural ecosystems. He is a guest speaker at various workshops and congresses both in Canada and abroad. He is the co-chair of the Ontario Social Economy Roundtable, member of the Ontario Government Social Impact Measurement Taskforce and the Community Benefits Group, member of the provincial and national government relations committees for the co-operative sector and more. Julien was also Head Delegate of a Canadian delegation to Japan during the 2016 G7 Summit. He received the Emerging Cooperator Award from Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada in 2018. Julien holds a master’s degree in Political science (M. Sc.) from the University of Montreal and he can be reached at 416-364-4545 or on Twitter @JulienGeremie.
 – Erin Hancock, CENet Consultant – Erin 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.
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