Fun with the Bowers Fund

photo of a quilt
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Thanks to your support of the Bowers Fund, approximately 20 people receive scholarships to attend the CCMA conference (Consumer Cooperative Management Association) every 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 of directors. 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, Mari Niescior of Outpost Natural Foods Co-op, Bob Noble of Weavers’ Way Co-op, Michael Novak of National Co-op Bank, Brenda Pfanhl of Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund, and Karen Zimbelman of the National Cooperative Grocers Association.

The 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:

a silent auction from Thursday evening through lunch on Saturday

food co-op quilts for winning bidders to take home for a year

to be announced: Thursday food and music event (after the tours) at the Concourse.

The money raised in October through Howard Bowers Day goes to new and about-to-open co-ops. Money raised at CCMA goes to scholarships for CCMA and 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.

Awards for cooperative excellence

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

Thank you for your past support of the Howard Bowers Fund!  Please support the Bowers Fund this year at CCMA. Bring an item for the silent auction, mingle on Thursday, and bid on a quilt! 

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

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