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I am from Swansea and have been involved in co-ops all my adult life. My first contact was as a suppliers’ representative, then as an educationalist, followed by eight years as Personnel Manager of a major regional society. For the last twenty years I have run my own training business working with mutual and public sector organisations. I am a director of the Phone Co-op. Having spent many months of looking at structures and rules Council must now turn to its role of keeping to account. Less long speeches and more incisive questioning!
I have been a Pharmacist in the employ of the Co-op movement since 1979 when I initiated my training in Chatham, Kent. Since 1981 I’ve worked in the town of Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire culminating in being nominated and winning Welsh Care Pharmacist of the Year in 2010. I’m married to Maria, we have two grown up daughters, Sioned and Lowri, and I'm very privileged to have a beautiful granddaughter Lili. I am passionate for my country, language and culture. My aspiration for the Council is to make a difference to the success of the Co-op Group in these tough economic times.
I have a long family connection with the Co-op, recently serving on my Area Committee and Regional Values and Principles committee. My background is in music (LRAM, B.Mus); I have held various teaching and administrative posts at home and abroad (Malaysia and Papua New Guinea). I currently work self-employed in design and print. My aspirations for The Co-operative are that we should provide the very best service to our members and customers, acknowledging the vital importance of all aspects of our values and principles. For relaxation I play in a brass band and enjoy country walking, theatre and concerts.
Co-op Store Manager
I grew up and live in Penarth, where I started working for the Co-op 10 years ago, starting as a customer team member and working my way to store manager in our large Nelson store in Wales. While still working with the Co-op I attended Aberystwyth University to study International Politics and History and became the Mayor of the Town at the age of 21. I enjoy playing and watching football, especially Cardiff City. I'm passionate about the Co-op and committed to doing all I can to ensure our Co-op is a success to our members, colleagues, customers and communities.
Biography not submitted
Jenny de Villiers (Senate member)
Although involved as a family with the Co-op, my true understanding began in 1993 with my roles at the Co-operative College with member education and international programmes with ICA co-operatives. During this time I was also Secretary/Treasurer of Co-operatives East Midlands and then Co-operatives West Midlands, promoting co-operative enterprise. I joined the Group Board in May 2013, elected from my region and stepped down as Chair of the Regional Board. Elected as a Vice Chair of Council in December 2014 and then to Senate in May 2015. Aspiration - to support Council pathway to renew our Co-operative Society.
I started work as an Agent for Co-operative Insurance Society in 1973. 33 years later and 8 career moves, I retired as a Senior C.I.S. Official. Having been brought up in a Co-operative household (my father also clocked over 30 years’ service), it was a natural career path. Subsequently my wife and two children were also C.I.S Employees. I’ve always trusted Co-operative values and hopefully played my part convincing others of our unique operation. I’ve been entrusted as an elected member for over 10 years and feel privileged to continue supporting and promoting our wonderful organisation which we all own.
I’ve been a Co-operative group employee for over 6 years and am fully signed up to the Co-operative difference including our values and principles. Part of that is holding our board and executive to account and to make sure past errors are not repeated – this is what inspired me to stand for the council. I am keen on pushing for a healthier democracy and better society outside the Co-op too and am an active member of my local Labour branch, the Electoral Reform Society and Republic.
Tanya Noon (Senate member)
Member & Community Relations Officer
I am representing the East Midlands, and have been involved in co-operative democracy for over 30 years. I Work for an independent co-operative society and have a great understanding of all stakeholders due to my grassroot community work. I am also Secretary to a Football Supporters’ Trust, represent a number of Fairtrade Towns and a Trustee of my local Village Hall. I have an ability to communicate at all levels and wants to ensure there are channels for members to interact with the Council to enable everyone's voices to be heard. I was appointed to the Senate for one year.
Store Manager (Co-operative Employee)
As a former Store Manager for the Co-operative, I have been in conversation with members almost every day for twenty years. During this time I hope I have gained a good understanding of what our members expect from a co-operative. More recently I have put my retail experience to use all over our area supporting independent family run shops. My hope is that our stores will become more involved in the local communities they serve and in turn the local communities will continue to support our Co-operative stores.
I am a National Council member for East of England Region. I live in Essex, close to the boundary with Greater London. I am a retired Engineering Manager and have worked predominantly in Food Related industries. I have been a Co-operator and an elected member of various boards and committees for almost thirty years. I believe that the Members' Council needs to be an effective bridge between members and the Board / Executive. Outside my involvement with the Co-operative movement, my interests include History – Local and Social; Travel; Family and going for long walks.
Louise Walker (Senate member)
Partnership Support Officer
I have been an Elected Member since March 2009, with experience on Area Committee, Regional Board – being elected Chair in June 2014 - and on the Senate of the Council. My employment background is as a primary school teacher, then founder of a small business. I also worked in the voluntary sector, co-ordinated a project promoting credit unions and currently work in local government. The Council needs to represent the interests of Member Owners and hard-working Colleagues, as we are the eyes and ears of the business. Working together we can ensure the Society’s renewal and future success.
I was delighted to be elected to the Members’ Council and see my role as working with my colleagues to keep a close eye on all proposed strategies. As a firm Co-op supporter I fully endorse our ethics – Fairtrade devotion for starters! I take my role on the Council very seriously and welcome the opportunity to ensure that our Values and Principles are always upheld. As an organisation commanding respect, we must take seriously our responsibilities. My successful career in Public Relations enables me to positively promote us to the media – our standards are first class, let’s tell the world!
Solicitor (Co-operative Employee)
I have been a member of the Co-operative for over forty years and am a regular user of the businesses. I believe passionately in the Co-operative movement. The Co-operative offers something different and special to its members and to its employees. As a member of Council I want to work towards the re-building of the Co-operative Group into a strong organisation that provides services to its members in accordance with our Values and Principles. I am a family solicitor with thirty years’ experience who has been working at Co-operative Legal Services since January 2013. I live in Waltham Abbey Essex.
I am a new representative on the Member Council. I stood because I am concerned that the recovery of the coop must continue and that members have real power in the newly evolving local structures of our organisation. I am currently a Member Pioneer working in Norfolk setting up a local community forum to promote the co-op through charitable activity and meaningful member involvement. I have previously worked across the East of England in promoting social business’s, including community shops in Essex, community transport services in Essex and Cambridgeshire and developing further education students unions throughout the region.
I have just been newly elected to the Members’ Council, one of the representatives of the London constituency, joined the Co-operative Party and Movement five years ago. I am an active member of Camden Co-operative Party as well as the minutes secretary of the Kings Cross & Bloomsbury Ward branch of Holborn & St. Pancras Labour Party, having been a Labour Party member for over 30 years. I am a translator and interpreter by profession and am joint owner of a translation company.
The reason I stood for the Members' Council is to do my bit to help rebuild our iconic brand, and reputation as a lifelong supporter of the Co-op I was horrified at what happened a few years ago. I want us back in our High Streets competing with the best with a strong membership base. Retired fulltime Trade Union official. Chair/Trustee of a charity for International Development. Have undertaken extensive public work in NHS, local Govt. Former Chair Ealing Social Services Committee. Freeman of Ealing. Previous experience sitting on successful not for profit Boards.
Dan Crowe (Senate member)
I have been a co-operator since Woodcraft Folk. I trade regularly with the Co-op across our businesses and work to promote our values and principles in my personal and professional life. With a background in policy, research, communications and project management I am trying to use my skills and experience to promote greater opportunities for member involvement in the Co-op. I am particularly keen for the Council to champion innovative and accessible member education and training that promotes the Co-op difference and to support local co-operative, self-help and mutual aid initiatives in the communities where we trade.
Nicolette Ester (Senate member)
Category Development Manager
I am an elected member of the Co-operative National Members’ Council Senate, hoping to bring fresh ideas to help the Group engage with younger members. I have always been passionate about empowering young people within society and businesses: working with the UK Youth Parliament, UK Youth Bank, Diana Award and the Saltire Foundation in Scotland. It was this passion that has led me to become involved with the Co-operative, releasing what could be achieved for the next generation by living and breathing the Group’s unique set of values and principles.
Co-op food store Manager in East London therefore doubly interested in the success of the Group. Particularly keen for colleagues to engage more with the membership side of the Group and for the Group to cascade our Values and Principles and heritage down to the colleagues more effectively. I certainly think we miss a trick by not enthusing colleagues to be advocates for Co-operation and even more so by not promoting our Values and Principles as aggressively as we promote our brand. A way from the co-op, I read thrillers and support Spurs, both stretch the imagination at times.
Technical Manager Depots (Co-operative Employee)
As a proud employee of over 25 years I eat sleep and breathe the coop and cooperation. I’ve a coop sponsored first class degree BA (Hons) in Applied Management and 15 years’ experience of the coops governance as well as School governance for a Coop Business and Enterprise School. During these 25 years I have seen many changes and challenging times but genuinely feel the future looks brighter than it ever has. Our members own the business, and we’re creating a framework where we are better able to engage with them and help them to help us determine our future.
I’m educated to post graduate level and have significant management experience. I gained the Diploma in Co-operation while serving on the North Regional Board. I am dedicated to Co-operative values and principles and enthusiastically support membership activities. I bring an in-depth business knowledge, proven financial acumen, strategic insight, an informed social perspective, respect for governance, an ability to influence and inform decisions and a desire to serve the wider membership. I would like to see the Council perform an effective custodian role, holding the Board to account in areas such as business performance, strategy direction, social responsibility and ethical trading.
As a recently elected Council member I’m new to the Co-op, although having shopped there for over 20 years feel that my local Bromley Cross store belongs to me. Which of course as a member it actually does! That’s what’s so unique about our Co-op and what excites me when I think about the potential for the wider communication of that message. A graduate of Keele University I have worked in strategic planning and marketing for the Tootal Group, organised a reading charity, primary teacher for 12 years and now own and run a schools and colleges healthy vending business.
Nick Crofts (President and Senate Member)
Passionate about the Co-op, I served for six years on Area Committee/Regional Board before joining the Council at Transition. I previously chaired the Board of Venture Housing Association during their recent amalgamation with a Merseyside Registered Provider, and now serve on the board of another Liverpool Housing Association.I am a Labour & Co-operative Councillor in Liverpool, and served four years as a member of the Co-op Party’s National Executive. I also sit on the board of the trading arm of a Merseyside Foodbank and renewable energy co-op. I blog about my presidency of the National Members’ Council - http://nickmembercouncilpresident.tumblr.com
Store Manager (Co-operative Employee)
Hello Members and Colleagues. I have worked as a store manager and taken an active interest in our coop governance and democracy for 27 years. Our society should set the benchmark for fairness in everything it does. The way it treats members, employees, suppliers and the local communities where we trade should all be central to our strategies.As an employee I have campaigned for fairer pay, bonus culture and rewards for our loyal members. Proactive training and education, so our employees become advocates for our co-operative difference is essential if we are to become a successful business once again.
Financial Complaints Handler
I have previously served as a trustee for the British Youth Council that runs the UK Youth Parliament programme, as a trustee for my Students’ Union whilst at University and was also a Local Authority representative on the Management Committee of a Short Stay School in Lancaster. For me, a strong community is one in which its residents go to work, shop and stand together. I’m involved with the Co-operative as through our businesses we unite people and help build a stronger community for all. I want to see a Council that isn’t afraid to fight for ordinary members.
I was first elected to the Co-operative Group as a member of the former Stockport and Macclesfield Area Committee. I have also served on the Regional Values and Principles Committee. My interest in the Co-operative Group has been inspired by its excellent record of community engagement and support for community groups which I have been proud to have contributed to. I believe that the values and principles of the Society set an example of how people should lead their lives. I want to see the Council grow to fulfil its obligations and to truly represent the members of the Society.
I’m a lifelong co-operator and deeply passionate about the movement. I worked for The Co-operative for 16 years and continue to work with co-operatives, credit unions and charities in a freelance capacity. My commitment to the values and principles is absolute and I relish the opportunity to truly help them shine in the Group and play an active role in rebuilding it to fulfil its full potential.
Frank Nelson (Senate member)
I worked for The Co-operative Bank for 33 years, leaving when made redundant and retired happily in December 2007. I was a Group Board member in 2014/15 and Co-operative Bank/ Group Pension Fund Trustee for over 20 years upto 2012. My wife and I shop regularly at our local Food stores; I hold a Funeralcare Bond; we still bank at The Co-operative Bank. I want the Council to be the authentic voice for all Members!
African Historian/Creative Practioner
Originating from Liverpool 8, and living in Whalley Range, Manchester for 30 years. Owned clothing and knitting businesses, a pioneer and Veteran of the Poetry Slam circuit, and Artistic Director of both ‘Ayo Touring’, and ‘Akua Ltd’. An author of 12 Children’s self-publications. I am particularly passionate about the geographical movement of people, and within community and corporate business models. As a newly elected member of the Co-operative Senate, I have knowledge and experience of full integration practices and participatory skills. Currently the Whalley Range Market Stall Organiser, showcasing European and Manchester Artists.
Martin Rogers (Senate member)
Head of Service Delivery (Co-operative Employee)
I’ve worked for Co-op for 11 years, after a career in investment banking in Frankfurt and London, and two years teaching HIV education and English for Voluntary Service Overseas in China. I’m hugely passionate about my role, listening to stores and leading service for customers and members. I’m proud of our history, excited by the future and energised by the present. We have an opportunity to make differences to communities across the UK and globally, leading in sustainable and ethical business. The Co-op will succeed when we return to our roots as a member owned business which makes commercial and social capital.
As a founder member of The Co-operative Group National Members’ Council from May 2015, I am excited by being involved at the centre of the organisation, representing Members in the North-West. My six years on the North Lancashire and South Cumbria Area Committee have been invaluable in further developing my understanding of how things tick and the vital importance of Values, Principles and other Co-op aims and ambitions. I enjoy being Member Pioneer for Lancaster and Morecambe, having led several Co-operative Local Forums so far and co-ordinating charity fund-raising events with the support of store managers and colleagues.
Gavin Ewing (Senate member)
Store Manager (Co-operative Employee)
Hi. I am proud to be an employee member and Store manager for the Co- operative for 23 years and an elected member for 10 years. I have served our Members in a number of positions in this time including Area Committee/ Regional Board and more recently National Members' Council and Senate. These are special positions to hold and I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to represent our member’s interests. Outside of work I enjoy riding my Fireblade motorbike, attending road races here and in the Isle of Man, and generally enjoying life.
Seasonal Deep Sea Fishing Captain
Hello everyone. I have been elected for over a dozen years in the co-op. I have been chairman of the Northern Ireland council for half a dozen years. I topped the poll in the Northern Ireland elections so I must be doing something right. I speak out at all AGMs and council meetings to increase the quality of service to members, to bring down the prices and to get value for money spent. I was a political councillor for nine years in Northern Ireland. I have plenty of energy and ideas and I know how to deal with big business.
Port St Mary
I have been a director of the Manx Co-operative for six years and its chair for the past year. I also represent the Isle of Man at the Co-operative Members Council. My Background is accountancy, finance and international trade working in local government, financial services, manufacturing, trading and corporate services provider organisations. I have worked to make the financial reporting of the Co-op easier to understand and ensure that policies are consistently applied. My current focus is on Membership and making it financial relevant to members while upholding the values and principles of Co-operation.
Superstore Manager (Co-operative Employee)
I have been involved in Cooperative democracy for over 12 years having been an Area Committee Chair for the Eastern Area Committee, and Regional Board Member for Scotland & N Ireland Board, being elected to a continunity seat in the Transitional Council, I was involved in sub groups that have helped form the new Council. I am currently Store Manager of a Gen2 Foodstore at Rosyth in Fife. I hope that Council can be a more modern democracy and challenge the Board on decisions that affect members and employees promoting a better and fairer way of doing business.
As the Council’s northernmost member, living 30 miles north of Aberdeen and elected in 2006, I wished my local stores were more sustainable. The Coop’s ethical stance, stand on E-numbers, its clear labelling policy, salt and sugar free canned foods, Fairtrade goods, and Divi to reward loyalty, attracted me. Having shared responsibility for rebuilding Governance after the Bank crisis, and grateful for learnings and opportunities being an elected member gave me, I wish to see Member representation firmly embedded again, so future generations of Members can ‘Have their say’ and help make our Co-operative a national treasure once more.
International Co-op Consultant
I was Director General of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) in Geneva from 2002 to 2010. In 2005 I was President of Co-operative Congress. In 2013 I was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Stirling. I am currently a Trustee of New Lanark and of the Adam Smith Global Foundation, a GlobalScot and a board member overseeing the Co-operative Management Education programme at St. Mary’s University, Nova Scotia. I am currently acting as an international co-operative consultant and would like to help in bringing the commercial and democratic success of international co-operatives to the UK movement.
Retired School Teacher
I am fortunate and privileged to have been an elected member of the Co-operative Group and its predecessor organisations for twenty years. I have extensive experience within the Co-operative’s Membership representative bodies from Area Committee to Regional Board. I hold the Certificate in Co-operation, the Diploma in Co-operation and the Group Board Development Centre Certificate. I am much better equipped to represent the views of membership and act on their behalf. It is my belief active membership is the lifeblood of the Co-operative Group and elected representatives have an expectation to ensure Member Voice is heard, acknowledged and acted upon.
My home is in Campbeltown on the beautiful Mull of Kintyre. Married to a teacher, we have three sons, now in their twenties. My big passion in life is football, and Hibernian FC in particular. I have been involved in Customer Service all my career, firstly in Insurance and latterly in Travel & Tourism. I came on to Council unsure if a 100 'strong' body will work. I remain to be convinced, though the 'Task & Finish' Groups do give me hope as does the breadth of talent and commitment that exists within it.
I became involved in Cooperative democracy in 2009, and served on the Regional Board and Area Committee. I have been a member of Council since May 2015 and serve on the Scrutiny and Governance Committees. My background is in IT, latterly in project management, and I also have extensive teaching experience. I believe there are two primary roles for Council members – holding the board to account, and representing the membership. Council strives to achieve these objectives, and a lot has been done, but at this early stage of its development Council has to change and develop as lessons are learned.
I have been an active Co-operator throughout my adult life. I am passionate about Fairtrade and wish to see the Co-op regain our leading role among retailers. I am committed to Co-op Heritage, being a member of the Fenwick Weavers and a huge admirer of New Lanark. I chair the Scottish Members Forum and I am working hard to set up local members forums I believe that from now on, the Co-op Group should ensure that it is known for promoting ethical values and that our members have a real voice in the business which they own.
CTM at Co-op Food
As the most northern employee member on the Co-operative Member Council and an employee in a food store in Stonehaven, I put myself forward to be elected, as I care about this organisation and I am passionate about the concept of Fair-trade. During my university days, I did a dissertation on this concept and got a 1st for my work. Every day, while volunteering, I put into practice some of the Co-operative principles and values, such as Concern for the Community & Caring for Others, therefore making me a creditable person to be representing you all on the council.
By way of introduction, I have considerable experience in the Co-operative movement having been involved for over 20 years starting through Woodcraft. I have undertaken various elected roles and served on a wide range of committees. My primary job role is a Manager with Marie Curie. As your representative on the Council, I consider myself your ‘Eyes and Ears’ on all business matters and ‘Your Voice’ when you have concerns that need addressed. The strength of the Society comes from its active membership base and my aim for the Council is to be the anchor from grassroots to the Board.
I live in Bicester and have been a member of the co-operative movement for many years. Now retired, I spent my entire career in the IT industry. I have a BA and an MBA from the Open University. I am a Community Governor of a local primary school and I was a Games Maker at London 2012. I believe that the co-operative movement is an essential part of the fabric of the UK. As a Council member, it is my responsibility to ensure that co-operative values and principles are at the centre of the Co-operative Group and its activities.
Tricia Davies (Senate member)
I live in Thatcham Berks. I shop in my local Co-op almost every day and have done for the last 30 years. I am married and Mum to four sons and have a little granddaughter. I also run a bookkeeping and accountancy business. I have been privileged to have been involved as an elected member for six years. I hope to see thriving local member forums as vibrant local member activity is key to the success of the Co-op as a membership organisation and in turn provides an opportunity for increased trade and recognition for the business.
LGV Driver (Co-operative Employee)
I live in Folkestone, Kent. I am currently an LGV driver at out West Thurrock Depot where I have been for the past 18 months. Previous to this I was a store manager for 10 years. I have served on the area committee for 4 years. I also sit as the chair of a charity trust which I have held for 10 years and am pleased and proud the work we do with young people. As a council member it is my roe to hold the board to account and make sure our values and principles are alive in our business.
Retired Economics and Business Lecturer; now Cycle Trainer. Involved with the Group and its predecessors for 30 years at Committee and Board levels, and have always worked for good member and staff relationships, based on mutual respect. Naturally, the Council must hold the Board to account for the necessary commercial success. But Council must also require success in co-operative aims: long-term restoration of member economic benefits, significant membership involvement and the upholding of co-operative values and principles. I will retire from Council at the 2016 AGM.
I am privileged to have been an elected member of the Co-operative Group for many years including previously chairing the South East Regional Board during which time I championed co-operative values and principles at all levels. I have been a local councillor and am currently involved in the development of Adur Co-operative Local Forum where I am committed to improving links between the stores and the community so developing meaningful member participation. I want to see a commercially viable Co-operative Group that is valued for its ethical trading and is an organisation of which the members can be proud.
Paul A Newman
Having been a Co-operative customer and member (RACS) since student days my loyalty has been unwavering. I have experience in public sector management; leadership in community organisations and participation in local community and environmental groups. I attended the 2010 AGM as an Area Member Delegate when amid the banking crisis it seemed the Group was on the crest of a mutual wave and present also in May 2014 when SGM received Sir Christopher Kelly’s Report and overwhelmingly accepted Lord Myners’ recovery and restructuring proposals. I am a Co-op Party member based in Winchester.
Susan Smith (Senate member)
I live in Brighton and work at a local sixth form college. I have been actively involved with the Co-operative Group over a number of years and since 2006 have served as an elected member on the Group’s local, regional and national committees. I am also a Director of a local not-for profit Community Development Trust, as well as serving as a staff governor at my college. As a Council member, I believe application of our Co-operative Values and Principles can deliver a financially successful commercial organisation, which is ethical and sustainable – both as a business and as a co-operative.
A&E Ambulance Technician
I live on the Sussex coast and have been involved with the co-operative movement for many years – shopping with my mum, Labour & Co-operative District Councillor, Secretary of Sussex Co-op Party and then an elected member of Co-operative Group for 10 years. I work for the regional NHS ambulance service where I am both frontline 999 medic, and Staff-elected Governor for the Trust working with the Board (similar NHS role to Co-op Group National Members' Council). I want to help deliver a top quality, thriving and democratic co-operative that serves our members, customers and staff to the highest standards.
Store Manager (Co-operative Employee)
I have been an employee for over 10 years and over the years have developed my knowledge about co-operatives and the great things that can happen. I consider myself active in the community. I assist at my son’s primary school where I can and am also a Governor at my daughter’s secondary school. Having a say in my community helps our community grow stronger. I feel that working for a co-operative and being able to have an input into that society is how we all can grow stronger. I can usually be found on a weekend cleaning out the chickens.
Team Manager Coop (Co-operative Employee)
My name is Scott Allen and I have worked in the co-operative food store side of the business for the last 17 years. I am very passionate about our society and see how decisions impact both customers & colleagues on a daily basis. I feel colleagues voices are often ignored and intend to continue putting our point across.
I am a sheep farmer and became involved with the Co-operative to understand about the food chain from farmer to consumer. I stood for election to the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Area Committee and soon learnt of the advantages of co-operatively-run businesses to owner-members and colleagues and met many committed and friendly people. Changing our democratic structure to a national one gives me confidence that we will be able to put members’ views forward more effectively and to help steer the Co-operative Group in the direction of running our businesses profitably and in our principled way.
A member since 1976 I shop regularly with Food, Insurance, E-Store, Co-operative Energy, Bank and PhoneCoop. Elected to Area Committee in 2009 I have represented on our regional and national committees and hold a Diploma of Co-operation. My role as a member of our National Members’ Council is to represent everyone including our employees who engage daily with our members. Community is key to our principles and I am fully involved in Wiltshire working with Coop Food, Funeralcare, Bank and Fairtrade; together we are contributing to a successful future for the Coop and our members.
I am originally from Venezuela, where I trained as a journalist, on coming to this country I immediately became a member of the Co-op because I was attracted to the Values and Principles of this great movement. I was a member of the Kennet and Avon Area Committee and am proud to have been part of the great tradition of Bristol Co-operators who have fought for our Values and Principles, especially when our democracy has been under threat. I stood for the National Members Council to be a voice for members and to defend and improve Co-operative democracy.
Early years practitioner / finance manager
I have been involved with Co-ops for over thirty years. I have founded co-ops, sat on Boards of Directors for a number of co-ops, and recently I was elected to the National Members Council. I see my role on the council is to represent members who elected me. To be the voice of the local member at a national meetings. To push for the Co-op to become a truly inspirational place to shop and work. I report back to members on my activities on my blog which can be found at email@example.com. Please get in touch. Many thanks Michael
Carer/ County Councillor
I have a work history in project management, archiving and the environmental movement. I moved to Bristol from Durham in 1974 where I have continued to live with my family. Until recently I was a Labour & Co-operative Party councillor in Bristol and am currently a Governor at UH Bristol NHS Trust. After graduating in Fine Art I went on to complete a Masters’ Degree in European Business Administration. I also studied Social Policy at post-graduate level, specialising in Equalities. I describe myself as a feminist, socialist and co-operator; a campaigner for social justice, the environment, human rights, and the Trade Union and European movement. I enjoy travel and languages.
Finance Director, Chartered Accountant
Finance Director - Chartered Accountant - Board Executive - Loyal Co-operative Customer - Members’ Champion. I truly care about the ‘Co-op difference’ and want its inspiring history and social values to be more widely understood. Because of this I’m proud to shop, insure and bank with the Co-operative. As Council Member for the South West my financial focus is to analyse what’s really going on behind the figures and support the group board. My personal approach is to be an effective and enthusiastic advocate for the Co-operative, tirelessly promoting its values and principles. It’s an honour to represent our members.
Retired (Ex Co-operative Employee)
I have been a committed Co-operative member since 1976 and a Plymouth society employee between the years 1969 – 2009 (now retired). Being born, raised and living in the South West all my life my focus and endeavours will be to ensure that the elected representatives are open and transparent and we do everything we can to engage our members in the business that we are proud of. My aspiration for the Council is that we work together to progress the ideals of the movement and regain the confidence of all the membership throughout the Country.
Retired council worker, former Director, stocktaker, and Pension Fund Trustee of Plymouth Co-op. Graduate University Wales and Ruskin College in Oxford. Working member of Hope Credit Union, for 15 years. Society member since 1974 and very active in the old Plymouth Society. Member of the National Progressive Federation.
Life-long co-operator – member since age 18. Working class background. Educated at state schools and Oxford University (MA). 8 years a County Councillor, in both Staffordshire (youngest member) and Devon, where Chair of 36 member SDP/Liberal Alliance group. SDP Parliamentary candidate twice. Former magistrate in Plymouth. Former Stafford and Stone Co-operative Society Director. Extensive business experience. Worked for multi-nationals and for last 21 years before retirement ran a successful not for profit trust (c 15 staff). Member of South Devon Area committee for 4 years. Regular charity volunteer. Member of Salvation Army. All Co-operative Group fees donated to charities.
Business Information Manager
I worked for The Co-operative Group for 19 years, only leaving when the Society sold our Pharmacy business. I was also a Group Pension Trustee until 2014. I currently work for the Pharmacy Group Well as Acquisition Integration Programme Manager. I use many of our business such as Food and General Insurance and also continue to use The Co-operative Bank for my financial needs. I want the Council to be a real voice for all Members, ensuring we truly have a say in the way we do business and the strategies we set to truly prosper.
Membership and Party Support Officer
I work for the Co-operative Party in Membership. I am Chair of Revolver Co-operative a Fairtrade Co-op; A Trustee Board member of the Co-operative College; a Co-operative Trustee Governor of Stafford Manor High School; a Director of Stafford Rangers Supporters Trust, and “President” of Fairtrade Association Birmingham. I aim to help the Group business follow the Co-operative Values and Principles. And I hope to help the National Membership Council hold the Group Board to account.
I am a former Co-op employee, City Councillor and School Governor, and now a Public Sector worker and union rep living and working in Worcester. I represent members in the West Midlands Region on the Council, and am involved with the Hereford Local Forum, looking forward to the creation of the Worcester Local Forum. On the council I am on the Diversity and Food Policy working groups. I represent the Co-op Group on a range of outside bodies, as Director of Co-op Press, as an NEC member of the Co-op Party, and as a trustee of The Co-operative Foundation.
My main message to co-operators in the West Midlands is always feel free to get in touch. I have been a Member of the European Parliament and a borough councillor and know that democracy works best when there is a dialogue between electors and elected. My ambition is that the Co-op becomes a major brand on the high street and online. We must be part of every community and seen to be a vibrant contributor to the wider regional economy. We offer an alternative way of doing business and must show that we can be efficient, modern and customer focused.
I joined the Group Board in late 2013, following the Co-operative Bank’s difficulties and the potential impact on the Co-op, its employees and local communities. Following the formation of the new Members’ Council, I was elected as one of its Vice Presidents. As a chartered accountant and experienced auditor, I can critically evaluate financial information, business strategies and risks. Alongside supporting the business recovery plan, a key objective for me is to work within our values and principles and help develop the member proposition. The co-operative model is as relevant as ever. We must retain our co-operative difference.
I am passionate about co-operative solutions and I am privileged to be working on the Group National Council. My years of experience on North Yorks Area Committee and North Regional Board have enabled me to see the strengths within Group and challenges that still need to be resolved in Rebuild. I am especially campaigning for the creation of local forums that involve members, businesses and elected members in effective bodies that successfully enact our Principles and Values. Working on Co-ops UK has given me insights into Best Practice and an opportunity to connect Group with the wider Co-op movement.
I'm a Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies and a former Mental Health Nurse. Having worked in public service all my life, I wholeheartedly support the community goals and activities that form the basis of the Co-op. At a time when other traditional social institutions and support structures are in decline the Co-op’s values decrease isolation and strengthen communities. I’m proud to act as a Council Member and aim to do my bit in ensuring that the Co-op’s vital and vibrant history of community endeavour and principled business practices maintains a strong presence in the 21st century.
Store Manager (Co-op Employee)
I am married with 3 daughters. When I started working for "the Co-op" it was part time at my local store to fit in with the girl’s school and my husband’s shift work. Fast forward 16 years, the girls have left home and I'm a Store Manager. I was on Area Committee for 11 years seeing many changes for members and store colleagues. I’m passionate about working with other co-op businesses to support our communities, meeting and working with local groups/charity's to improve people's lives and environment. As members I feel you have a say and need to be heard.
I am retired from full time work having been employed for many years in the job centre network as a manager and subsequently I.T systems project manager. My later years of work were as a self-employed programme manager. I am now a co-opted member of Barnsley Council's audit committee as well as treasurer and trustee of Mind which I have been with for 20 years. I have been a co-operator for all of my life. Spending well over twenty years as elected member mainly at a local level although for the last six years at regional level also.
Retired Deputy Superintendant registrar
I have been an active Co-operator for over twenty years having been co-opted onto an Area Committee as representative of the Doncaster Wheatsheaf Singers (a supported Group of CRS). Since that time I have been Chair of my Area Committee, member of the North Regional Board, Member of North Region Values and Principles Committee, Trustee of The Co-operative Foundation and Director Member, and latteraly chair of, The Co-operative Enterprise Hub Board. My aspiration for myself and the Council is to ensure that we are a successful, community focused business, leading the way with our ethics, values and principles.
Retired HR Manager
My experience encompasses retail management, employee relations and governance. As a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, I regularly attend update sessions on Human Resource Management. As your first President, I used the skills gained in developing the John Lewis governance model to help set up our new governance structure. My aim remains to develop our Co-operative difference. To do this, Council needs to build better links with our Members, ensure colleagues have greater opportunities to understand our Co-operative difference and crucially, we must help create a better balance between our business aspirations and democratic objectives.
Chair and Director, Mayfields Community Trust Active in 6 local groups National Council member on Ethics and Social Responsibility and Diversity Committees as well as Task and Finish Group on Sustainability. Labour Party activist and Co-operative Party Member.
Store Manager (Co-operative Employee & youth representative)
I have been a co-operative food manager for 4 years and in the management team for 3 years previous to this, during this time I have seen the co-operative change dramatically with some good and some more challenging times, I firmly believe the co-operative is heading in the right direction and that the council are responsible for insuring its success. I would like to see the co-operative really get back to its roots and start shouting about what we do and why we are different to the competition.
I live in Newborough on the beautiful Ynys Môn and my primary job is as an Agricultural Researcher. Butterflies and their conservation has always been a passion of mine and I was made a Fellow of the Millennium Awards for my work in this area. My involvement with the Co-operative movement began over 30 years ago when I worked, within the food industry, for the CWS. More recently, on the governance side, I have served on my Local Area Committee, on the Regional Values and Principles Committee and was elected by Members in 2015 to the National Members Council.
Auditor (Co-operative Employee)
I have been a Co-operative employee and member for over 16 years. I am a qualified Chartered Certified Accountant working for the Groups Internal Audit Department. From my work in Internal Audit I have gained an overview of all the Group’s business activities, products and services and their commercial impact within the retail sector. I am an active member of the Co-operative Credit Union, both as a member, Director and Chair of its Credit Committee. I firmly believe in Co-operative Values and Principles and am committed to adding value to the Members' Council.
Key Holding Supervisor (Youth representative)
I have been enthusiastic about business all my life. I currently open stores around the world for Superdry. I’m an active member of the Cooperative Young Members Board and have helped with many key things in the past 3 years from work on purpose and strategy to social media. I look forward to continuing my involvement. I’m familiar with the work that The Co-operative does in the community through my own work with Young Enterprise; where I’ve been a board member for 5 years. I have a passion for working with young people and introducing them into the business world.
Insurance Product Consultant (Co-operative Employee)
My name is Debbie Sheen and I have worked for the Co-operative for the past thirty years. During this time I have embraced the values and principles in both my professional and personal life. I would like to see the Council play an active part in ensuring that these values and principles are considered in all strategic decisions and acts as a voice for the members it represents.
Team Manager (Co-op Employee)
I’m Adam Taylor, I’m 23 and have worked for the Co-op for 3. I am currently an Assistant Manager at our largest and busiest store on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. Prior to joining, the Group I worked for the Clydebank Co-op Society, where I first learned the ‘Co-op difference.’ I am elected by my Co-op Young Members Board colleagues to represent them on the Council. I hope to work hard to represent young peoples’ interests when working with the council to hold the board to account. Please feel free to get in touch via Twitter.
Midcounties Co-op Society
I began my life as Co-operator in the early 70s with four years as a shelf stacker and Saturday boy in my local store in Swindon where I continue to live 70s.This led in turn in the early 80s into support for my local CDA and membership of the Coop Party leading from the mid-80s into Board membership of the OS&G where I served as a Vice President and President. I served on the Board of Midcounties from its formation until 2012 and was re-elected in November 2015. I have a keen interest in Co-operative Development.
John Dalley (Senate member)
Scotmid Co-operative Society
An Independent Society representative on the Members’ Council from Scotmid, where I am Society Secretary and Chief Financial Officer, giving me a depth of practical experience applying co-operative values and principles. A chartered accountant by training, most of my career has been in retail and consumer goods. Using my co-op experience and retail sector business knowledge my aspiration is to help the Council to positively challenge and support the Board in the delivery of long-term, sustainable success for The Co-operative Group. I am married with two children and live in East Lothian and shop in the local co-operative store.
I'm a lifelong co-operator and have been an elected member at Central England Society and its forbears for over 35 years. Currently I am the Vice President. l I represent the Co-operative Press where I've been a director since 2008 and Chair since 2013. I've previously been a Co-operative College governor, Vice Chair of Supporters Direct and a member of the Group's former Values and Principles Committee representing all the independent societies. It is imperative for the national movement that the Co-operative Group regains lost ground and is successful for us all to move forward.
Lincolnshire Co-operative Society
Alongside my role on the Council, my day job is working as the Head of Marketing & Membership for Lincolnshire Co-op, which is an independent Society based in the East Midlands. When I’m not at work, I can generally be found running around after my husband and two young children and planning my next holiday! I hope that during my elected term on the Member Council that we successfully relaunch our membership scheme, and our members to carry their card with pride knowing that they own a share in one of the best and well-loved businesses in the UK.
Central England Co-operative Society
My involvement with the movement is as member and employee of Central England Co-operative where I’m currently Corporate Services Executive having previously been the Chief Financial Officer. I’m a Chartered Accountant and have been with Central England since 2010 having previously held senior finance and operational roles with Tarmac, DTZ and PwC. I’m part of the Council because I’m qualified to help ensure that the Society gets the balance right between retaining its important points of difference whilst rebuilding financial position. The Co-operative Group has a great history but there is work to do in creating an even better future.
East of England Co-operative Society
I have been on the East of England Board since it was formed with three more years before our rules enforce a break. I am also a director of CUK and Harwich Connexions transport co-op. It was, however, 45 years ago that I first was on the Hinckley and Barwell board: until I moved, started a family and became distracted! I try to look at Co-ops through the members eyes – what it means to them on a day to day basis; how does it affect them, their communities and their future, I see membership value and engagement as the core.
Southern Co-operative Society
I am currently Chairman of The Southern Co-operative (TSC), its Governance Committee, Remuneration Committee and Pension Scheme Trustees . I am a member of the Institute of Directors. As Chairman I’m working with the Board and colleagues to ensure that TSC’s governance structure is fit for purpose as TSC grows in scale and complexity. I have also been instrumental in continued investment not only in bricks and mortar, but of our most valuable resources, our people. As a lifelong believer in cooperative values and principles I hope to support the Members' Council in re-establishing these in a challenging commercial competitive world.
Lincolnshire Co-operative Society
My Co-operative story starts in the 1960’s when I used to run to the local store for my parents. Before retiring I worked for Lincolnshire Co-op for 30 years as a pharmacist branch manager and became a director in 2007. I believe that the way to a better society is through co-operation and education, when not "Co-operating" I spend a lot of my time as a governor at a local infant school.
Nick Matthews (Senate member)
Heart of England Co-operative Society
Midcounties Co-operative Society
Bev Perkins (Senate member)
East of England Co-operative Society
Like you, I care deeply about The Co-operative and first joined the Transitional Council to review Governance. I also represent members on the East of England Co-operative Society Board. My voluntary experience spans 25 years and includes creating a community food festival and promoting volunteering and grassroots cooperation. As a director in multinational business, I realised that my passion was sustainable food. In 2007, I took a Masters degree in Sustainability and now work as a consultant on this issue. On the Council and Senate I focus on balancing business performance with Values and Principles to best serve Members interests.
Channel Islands Co-operative Society
I started working for the Birkenhead and District Co-operative Society in 1977 as a trainee manager, over the next 21 years I work my way up through the Society holding several senior roles. In 1998 I was offered a position at the Channel Islands Co-operative Society, and now hold the position of Chief Commercial Officer. Having now spent 39 years working with the Co-operative movement, you could say I am a true “Co-operator”. I was honoured when I was accepted to sit on the Members Council, after spending so much of my working life within the movement.
Channel Islands Co-operative Society
I'm a 57 year old Guernseyman who has been on the Board of Channel Islands Co-op for 23 years, including a 5 year stint as president. I drove “hippy busses” to/from/around India in the late 1970s. In 1982, at the age of 23, I became the youngest member of Guernsey’s parliament. From 1992 – 2,000 I was a broadcast journalist working first for the BBC then Channel Television. I then re-entered Guernsey politics and held both the Agriculture and Health portfolios. These days I am a smallholder and freelance writer. I am absolutely passionate about the concept of co-operation and mutual ownership.
Central England Co-operative Society
Scotmid Co-operative Society
My Co-operative beliefs in values and principles are influenced from importantly our Members, following on to its affiliated organisations. As someone steeped in the V&Ps of our Movement, has experience and understanding of the interpretation of core financial information required, having the availability to attend the meetings, I am proud to serve as a member on the Co-operative Group Council, to expand my knowledge and experience in such an organisation is motivating, my experience as a regional and board member of Scotmid, hopefully gives me the credentials required to serve the group within its new democratic structure.
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