Bowers Fund Helps Grow Co-ops

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Thanks to co-ops' support of the Bowers Fund, approximately 20 -people receive scholarships to the attend CCMA conference (Consumer Cooperative Management Association) each year. 

The Howard Bowers Fund was established to honor Howard Bowers, who dedicated his life to the consumer co-op movement. In his five-decade career, he worked for food co-ops throughout the Midwest and served on the boards of the Cooperative Development Foundation and the National Cooperative Business Association.

The Bowers Fund supports the food co-op movement through grants for education and training for food co-op staff, managers, and boards. 

The Bowers Fund is administered by the Cooperative Development Foundation
( and managed by a board of advisors from the food co-op sector. Current board members are Alex Gyori of Brattleboro Food Co-op, Annie Hoy of Ashland Food Co-op, Ellen Michel of Bloomingfoods, Mari Niescior of Outpost Natural Foods Co-op, Bob Noble of Weavers' Way Co-op, Michael Novak of NCB, and Karen Zimbelman of NCGA.

Howard Bowers Fund at CCMA

The Bowers Fund raises money at CCMA and in October (Co-op Month) on Howard Bowers Day. This year at CCMA, there will be:

  • Silent auction 
  • Food co-op quilts
  • To Be Announced: Thursday evening

The money raised through Howard Bowers Day in October goes to new and about-to-open co-ops. Money raised at CCMA goes to scholarships for CCMA and to grants. Sample grant recipients are the Indiana Co-op Development Center for its regional food co-op workshop and Harlem Natural Food Co-op for board and management training.

The Bowers Fund also manages the Howard Bowers Awards for Cooperative Excellence, which are presented during the banquet at CCMA.

If you have questions, please see or contact Ellen Quinn at [email protected] or 202 442-2331. 

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