Hall of Fame Inductee Spotlight: Rosemary Mahoney


In a 30-year career spanning continents and cooperative sectors, Rosemary Mahoney’s keen business sense has made her a trusted cooperative advisor and innovator of business tools that have strengthened the entire field.

As an agricultural economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Mahoney saw the economic potential of cooperatives for farmers and small businesses. Early in her career, she worked on the project that resulted in the formation of Organic Valley, the largest organic food cooperative in the U.S.

With the fall of the iron curtain, Mahoney focused on Eastern Europe. As Chief of Party for Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (VOCA), she introduced the cooperative model in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Mahoney has since consulted with more than 25 start-up cooperatives around the world, including 15 projects in Africa.

In the United States, Mahoney focused on practical, scalable strategies to help support cooperatives. At Cooperative Development Services (CDS), she promoted the use of financial benchmarking tools, an innovation that evolved into CoMetrics.

Mahoney helped establish CDS Consulting Cooperative, which provides technical assistance to food co-ops and was a valued advisor in the reorganization of today’s National Co+op Grocers.

Mahoney is a founder of CooperationWorks!, a national network of cooperative development centers; helped launch Blue Hawk Distributor Cooperative for heating and air conditioning businesses; and worked to establish the .coop domain name.

Businesses continue to value Mahoney’s economics-based approach to co-op development. She remains an advisor at CoMetrics and serves on 13 boards, including as Board Chair of Capital Impact Partners, a national Community Development Financial Institution.

Let Rosemary know you appreciate her commitment to cooperatives by adding your name to the Friends of Rosemary Mahoney page in the Cooperative Hall of Fame Commemorative Program.

To add your name, visit the Cooperative Hall of Fame sponsorship page or contact by April 1, 2018.

The Cooperative Hall of Fame is administered by the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF), the 501(c)(3) non-profit affiliate of NCBA CLUSA promoting community, economic and social development through cooperative enterprise. The Cooperative Hall of Fame gallery is on display at NCBA CLUSA headquarters in Washington, DC, and can also be viewed online at

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