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Tracks, Workshops Announced for 2015 CCMA Conference


The 2015 Consumer Cooperatives Management Association (CCMA) Conference—cohosted by NCBA CLUSA and the Boise Co-op in Boise, Idaho, from June 11 to 13—will provide an unprecedented opportunity for managers and board members of food co-ops and their support communities to innovate, grow and lead—cooperatively.

Presented by experts, practitioners and peers, CCMA Conference workshops will explore issues critical to the food co-op sector and help attendees build better co-ops and become better retailers. Workshops, which are organized into six tracks, will be informative, interactive and inspiring. Click on each track below to view descriptions and presenters for each workshop.

Track 1, “Embracing Change,” will explore how co-op leaders can help their constituents prepare for and embrace a changing food environment. Individual workshops include “Changing Our Co-ops for Our Changing World: Diversity & Inclusion Strategy Case Studies,” “Building Alignment for Change: Boise Co-op Case Study,” “Culture Change Through Crucial Conversations,” “The New Normal: Thriving in a Competitive Landscape” and “Rebranding Against the Blurred Lines of Mainstream Retailers.”

Called “Strategic Leadership,” Track 2 will address the roles of the board and general manager and how they can provide effective, strategic leadership for co-ops by working together. Workshops include “Recruit, Orient, Nominate, Repeat: Building a System for Strong Board Perpetuations,” “Board/GM Collaboration on Strategic Leadership,” “Positive Performance Culture,” “Be Prepared: GM Succession and Hiring Skills for Cooperative Boards” and “Empowerment: Fulfilling Your Fiduciary Responsibilities.”

Track 3, “Telling Our Story,” will guide attendees—especially those involved in marketing and membership—toward measuring the impact of their co-ops and telling their stories in a way that leaves members and customers informed, inspired and connected. Workshops include “Building Trust-Based Relationships for Bottom-Line Impact,” “Cooperative Advantage in Action: How P6 Co-ops Measure and Demonstrate Their Impact,” “It’s Not That Hard: Making Social Media Your Biggest Brand Advocate,” “Transparency: Treating Members as Owners” and “Breaking Through the Walls Without Collapsing the Co-op: Board/GM Strategic Leadership.”

What’s the best way to keep employee turnover low? Is it possible to excel despite the challenge of operating on lower margins and with lower costs? You’ll learn real-world solutions to these and other questions in Track 4, “Be the Best Retailer.” Workshops include “Improving Efficiency in Retail Operations,” “Better Hiring = Better Service,” “Cooperative Management Practices to Elevate Competitiveness,” “Managing Your Personnel Line Item” and “Priced to Compete: Pricing Strategy for Co-ops.”

Track 5, “Growing Our Co-op” will address building a capital infrastructure for food cooperative development and other barriers to growth. Workshops include “We Have the Money, We Just Have to Ask for It: Funding Cooperative Development and Community Donation,” “Real Estate Issues: Removing a Big Barrier to Rapid Growth,” “More Stores = More Impact,” “Preparing to Grow” and “Financing Your Project: Two Co-ops ‘Bare All’ with Their Leader.”

Because not every topic fits neatly into the above categories, Track 6, “Workshop Medley,” includes a variety of workshops selected to inspire food co-ops to perform at the highest level. Workshops include “Customer Loyalty and Building Membership,” “From Food for All to Co-ops for All: Is it Possible?” “All About National Co+op Grocers,” “Grow Your Co-op with Capital: Speed Networking with Co-op Lenders” and “Committed Relationships with Younger Co-ops.”

The CCMA Conference will also provide multiple opportunities for the entire CCMA community to engage in the same national conversation. The conference will open with a panel of co-op sector representatives who successfully communicate the cooperative advantage to their members and customers. Day 2 will begin with a presentation by a food industry expert who will share industry trends, consumer expectations and how co-op competitors are positioning themselves. Day 3 will provide a final opportunity for attendees to envision together what the food co-op sector could look like a year from now, then draft concrete steps to propel the movement toward that goal.

To learn more about the 2015 CCMA Conference, and to register, visit Attendees who register for the full conference on or before March 31 will be entered into a drawing to win two free nights’ accommodations at the Riverside Hotel during the conference.

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