- Accounting enthusiast As a proponent of the theory that those who can read financial statements can profitably manage multi-million dollar operations, Allen merged ethical business strategies with community development using the cooperative model.
- Social activist Allan’s dedication to the development of equitable communities and economies was rooted in the Civil Rights Movement. He spent his career helping to empower communities to take control over their economies.
- Teacher and mentor Enthusiastically sharing tips for successful business, finance, and cooperative management, Allan was a leader and mentor to many. His legacy lives on through mentees and proteges he taught to honor the principles of democratic ownership while managing the bottom line.
Show your appreciation for Allan’s work by adding your name as a “Friend of Allan Gallant.” Your name will appear on the Allan Gallant page of Heroes.coop and in the Hall of Fame Commemorative Program. The Hall of Fame will be held on October 6, 2022 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
Former Blooming Prairie Foundation and Food Co-op Initiative Board Member
After graduating from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1955, Allan worked for B. Green and Company, his family’s business in Baltimore, MD. Deeply influenced by the civil rights movement and the riots after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Allan merged ethical business strategies with community development at the Ford Foundation and launched the National Council for Equal Business Opportunities. Allan later created the Responsive Management Group to work with organizations and cooperatives in the food industry.
Allan joined the Alaska Commercial Company (ACC) in 1977 in Seattle, WA. It was in Seattle where Allan became a powerhouse in organic food distribution and mentored young people passionate about agriculture and food co-ops. He became a consultant for Puget Consumer Cooperative, now PPC Community Markets, where he was instrumental in the acquisition of NutraSource. The eventual sale of NutraSource helped fund the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, which serves the education and development needs of cooperatives.
It was through his work with PCC that Allan got involved with the Blooming Prairie Warehouse in Iowa City, IA and its subsequent sale that provided $3 million to establish the Blooming Prairie Foundation for cooperative development. With Allan’s help and guidance as an influential member of the Food Co-op 500 Task Force, the Blooming Prairie Foundation became a primary funder of the Food Co-op Initiative (FCI), where Allan served as founding director. Since FCI began its work in 2006, over 170 new food cooperatives have opened their doors, contributing over $465 million annually to the economy and supporting more than 4,260 jobs.
In 2019, Allan was awarded the Consumer Cooperative Management Association’s Cooperative Service Award. This award is given in recognition of dedicated leadership and exemplary service to a cooperative or cooperatives. Allan, who passed away at age 87 on July 24, 2021, will always be remembered for his commitment to food cooperatives and the communities they serve.