Each year, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) honours individuals and organizations working in the Canadian co-operative and mutual sector to recognize their outstanding contribution to the sector. Each year, a CMC Awards Committee reviewed the list of candidates with great care before selecting the winners from among the nominations submitted by CMC’s member co-operatives.
We are pleased to announce the 2021 winners.
The Emerging Co-operator Award: Recognizing outstanding co-operators, aged 35 and under
Marc Henrie’s interest in the co-operative movement began in high school where he: promoted the social enterprise concept, with an emphasis on the co-operative model; and, actively took part in credit union and food co-op meetings in his community. In 2003, Henrie was appointed to the first Youth Advisory Committee of the Mouvement des caisses populaires acadiennes. He also has taken advisor and board roles for numerous co-operatives in Eastern Canada. His passion for co-operative development earned him CDR-Acadie’s first Young Co-operator of the Year award in 2012. He was also a member of Canada’s Emerging Co-operators before becoming Executive Director of CDR-Acadie in 2017.
Henrie is well known for his commitment and experience as one of the leaders of the social economy in Atlantic Canada. Under his guidance, CDR-Acadie has become even more active and seen its team quadruple in size from four people in 2017 to about 15 in 2020. He also was instrumental in making CDR-Acadie the first co-op with an interprovincial mandate to benefit the entire French-speaking population in Atlantic Canada.
The Co-operative Achievement Award: Honouring individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the cause and development of co-operative and mutual enterprises in Canada and internationally.
Tom Webb has served tirelessly for over 40 years as a co-operative movement builder, manager, educator, convener, author, speaker, board member and volunteer. He constantly brings people back to the core of the co-operative model – values and a commitment to a world where people matter more than capital, where the dignity of the human person is honoured above all else. Even in retirement, he is consistently called upon and without hesitation answers every email and phone call and strives to continue building the co-operative movement.
As a deeply skilled and moving speaker, author and teacher. He can get to the core of the issues and powerfully compel people to live their values and contribute to their community. He has defined doing business differently for several generations of co-operative leaders.
Tom was a founder of the Master of Management – Co-operatives and Credit Unions Program at Saint Mary’s University. This institution was a co-operative alternative to an MBA program. It is now known as the International Centre for Co-operative Management. He was also a founder of the Centre of Excellence in Accounting and Reporting for Co-operatives and a Director for the Extension Department at St. Francis Xavier University. He has been invited to speak at conferences around the world and hosted the innovative Imagine 2012 Co-operative Economics Conference, in collaboration with the Co-operative Summit.
Small Co-operative of the Year Award: Recognizing the unique impact of a co-operative on a community.
ROFTB Cooperative Inc. is made up of seven member groups. Together, this francophone group develop many projects, making a significant contribution to the French language and francophone culture in Northwestern Ontario. Examples of projects include the Centre francophone de Thunder Bay, which embodies the spirit of cooperation and the Franco Festival, the largest Francophone festival in Northwestern Ontario.
In 2015, the Cooperative purchased and renovated a building to create a francophone multi-service centre, where five of its members rent space. With this building, ROTB Co-operative Inc. is able to create partnerships with other francophone groups in in Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario. In particular, the Centre allows for the pooling of equipment and greater collaboration for the city’s francophone organizations and allows the francophone minority language community to gain visibility.
John Kay, president of the CMC Board of Directors, emphasized the importance of these awards: “CMC’s annual awards ceremony is a unique opportunity to recognize leaders in Canada’s co-operative sector and celebrate the successes and contributions of outstanding co-operators. Congratulations to all the winners! Your passion for the co-operative model is a source of inspiration for everyone involved in the co-operative sector.”
Jim Bettcher, CMC Awards Committee chair, added: “This year’s laureates are being recognized for their co-operative leadership. These people and organizations have exemplary backgrounds and are true role models for people who want to get involved in the co-operative sector. They embody the seven co-operative principles daily, and demonstrate an ethic based on honesty, transparency, social responsibility and altruism. Congratulations to these exceptional people and businesses.”