NCBA CLUSA is proud to announce the launch of a scholarship fund for Emerging Co-op Leaders to continue the legacy of our beloved friend and colleague Thomas Bowen, who passed away Friday, August 19.
As an alumni of the Filene i3 innovation program and a supporter of the Association of Cooperative Educators and Cooperation Works!, Thomas was deeply committed to mentoring next-generation co-op leaders.
In lieu of flowers, Thomas’ family has asked that donations be made to the scholarship fund, which will benefit up-and-coming cooperators by disbursing scholarships to NCBA CLUSA’s 2017 National Cooperatives Conference and other educational events. Click here to contribute.
Growing up in upstate New York surrounded by agriculture co-ops and raised by parents who insisted that he join the local credit union, Thomas often said he was destined to work within the cooperative movement. His credit union career began at Envision Credit Union in Tallahassee, Florida. He held numerous roles within the credit union sector—from teller to vice president of Communication. Before joining NCBA CLUSA as Director of Member Relations, Thomas worked for a marketing firm whose sole clients were credit unions.
Everyone at NCBA CLUSA will miss Thomas’ enduring humor, warmth, wisdom and kindness. We know you share in our sorrow during this difficult time, as so many of you counted Thomas a friend, a colleague and a fellow cooperator. He had an extraordinary impact on everyone he met, habitually going out of his way to be bighearted and supportive—Thomas was a member of more than a few food co-ops he had only visited once. In keeping with that spirit of generosity, Thomas was able to give the gift of life to four families through organ donation.
We are proud of Thomas’ legacy and the relationships he cultivated during his years at NCBA CLUSA, and we are honored to continue the work he cared so deeply about with this scholarship fund.