Erin Hancock, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada’s (CMC) Manager of Research and Education, is the latest recipient of the William Hlushko Award to Young Cooperative Educators. The award, established in 1978, was presented by the Association of Cooperative Educators (ACE) at an awards banquet in Austin, Texas on July 14, 2014. The Award recognizes an ACE member, 35 years or younger, for achievement as a cooperative educator.

In addition to being an emerging educational voice in Canada’s co-operative movement, Erin is also the Chairperson of the Canadian Co-operative Research Network – Réseau canadien de recherche sur les coopératives that she helped launch in 2012 as a hub for co-operative researchers.

Ms. Hancock is also vice president of the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation that promotes research on the co-operative economy in Canada and elsewhere. “Erin is already a co-op leader in North America and is regularly a speaker at conferences and on webinars,” says her nominator Steve Dubb of The Democracy Collaborative in Maryland. “I cannot do justice (here), but Erin has been involved in many projects,” he adds.

In her role at CMC, Erin’s current project is the creation of an online resource directory on co-operative governance. The Co-operative Governance Portal will be launched later this summer and will provide co-operators with tools developed for and by co-operative boards of directors. CMC Executive Director, Denyse Guy, said “Erin is a young, dynamic leader who is already making an impact on the co-operative movement. Everything she has taken on has been positive and well executed; this award is very well deserved.”

Ms. Hancock will be honoured alongside longer serving co-operators, including Lee Egerstrom and Margaret Lund, both of Minnesota, for their contributions to education and co-operative development, and Colette Lebel of Montreal, Quebec for staff development and mentorship.

The annual ACE Institute is an annual conference dedicated to highlighting innovative programs in co-operative education and recognizing the achievements of co‑operative educators. It provides a unique opportunity to network with educators across cooperative sectors as well as national boundaries.