Week of July 4 – July 10, 2010, Vol. 5, No. 16

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective*

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” - Mark Twain en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain Send your favourite quote about celebrating co-operatives, communities and a better world for all, to circles1@nbnet.nb.ca  

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This Week in Co-op Circles

·        The Boards of Directors of Central Credit Union (O’Leary) and Evangeline Credit Union (Wellington and Tyne Valley) are exploring the opportunity for an amalgamation of the two Credit Unions. Both Boards believe that the Credit Unions share similar values and have strong commitments to their owners, staff and communities.  The Boards also believe that an amalgamation will build on the strengths of both Credit Unions, provide greater access and services for all owners and provide more career opportunities and specialization for staff within a larger organization. Once combined, the Credit Union would have assets of over $100 Million, three branches (Wellington, Tyne Valley and O’Leary) and some 10,000 owners. More information will be shared with Owners as plans are further developed. Management and Boards of both Credit Unions are working closely together as all of the necessary details are examined. Alfred Arsenault, current Manager of Evangeline Credit Union said “Status quo provides comfort whereas change provides opportunities.’ The final decision on the amalgamation will be with the membership meetings and a vote by owners of both Credit Unions. “It is a very competitive environment within the financial industry, and options such as amalgamations must be considered to ensure that we maintain our distinct advantage for the future” said Roger Young, current Manager of Central Credit Union in O’Leary. https://www.centralcreditu.com/Home/YourCreditUnion/AboutUs/WhatsNew/index.jsp

·        Tignish Credit Union invites applications for a full-time position as Commercial Account Manager. Applications can be sent to Louis Shea, General Manager, Tignish Credit Union, 284 Business Street, Tignish, PE COB 2BO Email: lshea@tignish.creditu.net Tignish Credit Union is a community based full-service financial institution with assets of $105 Million, operating a diversified lending portfolio with the business sector focus on small to medium enterprise. The membership base is approximately 10,000 with branch offices in Tignish and Alberton servicing these communities and surrounding areas.

·         Co-op Atlantic was recently awarded the Best Small Meeting Award in Canada for its 2009 Board Tour of Zone 4: Mainland Nova Scotia. This national award program is sponsored by Meetings & Incentive Travel magazine and the InterContinental Hotels Group. It recognizes and awards organizations that invest in meetings as an integral part of doing business. The winner had to have clearly defined goals and objectives for the meetings and be able to measure and calculate a positive return-on-investment for the event. Murielle DiDomenicantonio, the Board Liaison and Meeting Planner at Co-op Atlantic, submitted the award entry and provided a business case describing how Co-op Atlantic manages an event such as the annual Board Tour. Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.
MeetingFrom a total of 120 entries submitted from across the country, 19 were selected as finalists. The entries were tallied and vetted through an impartial board comprised of industry leaders across Canada. An awards ceremony will take place in August at the Incentive Works Trade-show in Toronto. 

·         Co-op Atlantic has been awarded the Canadian Co-operative Association’s Governance Award for 2010. This award recognizes co-operative organizations that display exceptional leadership in co-operative governance and whose governance process reflects the co-operative values and principles. The award cited Co-op Atlantic for: “going back to basics and turning the business around in very complex and challenging circumstances.” In presenting the award to Co-op Atlantic, CCA’s president, Claude Gauthier, praised our board’s “proactive and transparent communications with its member co-ops.” Co-op Atlantic has turned multi-million dollar operating profits for each of the past five years. In the early part of the decade, however, it experienced several years of substantial losses. The board and management made a number of difficult decisions, including closing more than a dozen money-losing locations. After making cuts to ensure profitability in all areas of its business, Co-op Atlantic has now achieved a level of financial stability that would have been unimaginable a decade ago. In expressing his gratitude at the announcement, Co-op Atlantic’s president, Marcel Garvie, said the award should be shared with the Executive Management Team because without the full collaboration and co-operation of both parties - Board and Management - this happy event would not have occurred. “This was really a joint achievement of the Board and the senior management. Without that synergy, the turnaround that we are seeing now would not have been possible,” said Garvie. The Governance Award competition required that candidates describe their leadership in governance, and the part it played in effecting a turnaround in the organization's financial situation. Readers will recall that the period covering the years 2003 to 2009 was indeed a challenging one. A successful turnaround plan was devised, under the governance of Co-op Atlantics Board of Directors, and the leadership of its Executive Management Team. Key components of this plan were the constant communication flow and the reception of feedback from the membership throughout the process.

·        The second annual NS Credit Unions Photo Contest kicked off in late May. Members and employees of Atlantic Credit Unions are invited to submit their photos for consideration. Twelve winning photos will be selected, with the winners receiving $100 each.  Photos will be chosen to demonstrate the variety and range of beauty and culture in the Atlantic region, throughout the seasons. Deadline for this contest has been extended to July 23, 2010.

·        Co-op Week 2010 will take place across Canada from October 17-23, with International Credit Union Day on Thursday, October 21.  This year’s Co-op Week theme is Experience the Co-operative Difference, a celebration of the advantages co-operatives have over other business models. Spread the word about the co-operative difference with these colourful and attractive Co-op Week posters, leaflets and buttons. Go to www.coopscanada.coop/CoopWeek2010 to find out more and download an order form.  Deadline for orders is Friday, August 13, and materials will be sent out by mid-September.  For more information, contact Donna Balkan at donna.balkan@coopscanada.coop or Tanya Gracie at tanya.gracie@coopscanada.coop.  For International Credit Union Day materials, contact Magda Stec at stecm@cucentral.com

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Co-op Ed 101 – This week, we present an interesting Nova Scotian co-op. EduNova is a non-profit co-operative association established to promote Nova Scotia’s expertise in education and training to international markets. EduNova was founded in 2005 with support and endorsement from the Province of Nova Scotia, the Canadian government, and several Nova Scotia based public and private education institutions. http://www.ic.gc.ca/app/ccc/srch/nvgt.do?lang=eng&prtl=1&sbPrtl=&estblmntNo=234567030952&profile=cmpltPrfl&profileId=21&app=sold   EduNova is a membership-driven organization with membership from all 11 universities in the province, the Nova Scotia Community College, the seven (7) English school boards through the Nova Scotia International Student Program (NSISP), and several private education and training partners. - Maureen MacLean

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Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - The Canadian Co-operative Association has just received confirmation from the Canadian International Development Agency for three more years of international internship programs for young co-operators. The application process will run a little faster than normal because of the late announcement of funding, so interested youth should contact CCA right away if interest in these programs. This year’s internships are as follows:

1)Assistant Administration Officer -Peru - Cooperativa Agropecuaria Atahualpa

2)Agriculture Advisor - Peru - Cooperativa Agropecuaria Atahualpa

3)Research and Systems Development Officer - Cambodia - Cambodian Community Foundation Network (CCFiN)

4) Communications Officer - Ghana - Ghana Co-operative Credit Unions Association Limited (CUA)

5) Gender Program Officer - Ghana - Ghana Co-operative Credit Unions Association Limited (CUA)

6) HIV/AIDS and Gender Program Officer - Malawi - Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Co-operatives (MUSCCO)

7)Credit Union Development Officer - Malawi - Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Co-operatives (MUSCCO)

8)Information Technology Officer - Ghana - Social Enterprise Development Foundation of West Africa (SEND)

9)Value-Addition Officer - Uganda - Uganda Co-operative Alliance

10)Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment Officer - Uganda - Uganda Co-operative Alliance

11)Micro Enterprise Development Officer - Rwanda - UGAMA

12)HIV/AIDS and Gender Program Officer - Rwanda – UGAMA.

To learn more about the internship programs and download the application form, visit http://www.coopscanada.coop/en/international_dev/CCA_International_Programs/IYIP  and send any questions to interns@coopscanada.coop. Interested applicants are asked to indicate interest and fill out an application form as soon as possible. Please circulate through youth networks. Deadline is July 19.  - Erin Hancock

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Contest of the Week – Last week’s winner: Last week we had no correct entries. Everyone must be on holiday. This week’s contest: Can you guess what the missing words are in the following 5 sentences?

4 s___ in a y___.

30 d___ in S___.

32 t___ in a m___.

26 l___ in the E___ a___.

50 s___ on the A___ f___.

Please keep those entries coming! Everyone who enters has their name placed in the contest can for the month end drawing. The Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon. Send your entry to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca

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Today’s Smile - A smile 4 our instant message friends: What u call dog with no legs? Don't matter wot u call him, he ain’t gonna come.

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Co-op Cooking - If you are looking for an elegant dessert to finish a meal, try this semifreddo. Although semifreddo means partially frozen, this can freeze quite firmly. If very firm, place in refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes before serving to soften slightly.

Raspberry Lemon Semifreddo with Melba Sauce

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 cup whipping cream
1 bag frozen raspberries, divided
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water

For the semifreddo, in a mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and whipping cream. Beat on high speed until thickened and soft peaks form. Fold in 1/3 of frozen raspberries. Spoon the mixture into a plastic or glass lined 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Freeze for 4 to 5 hours, or until firm. Cover if freezing overnight.
For the sauce, in a saucepan, combine remaining raspberries, raspberry jam, orange juice and sugar. Bring mixture to a gentle boil, cooking until raspberries are very soft, (about 8 minutes). In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with water and mix thoroughly. Add to raspberry mixture, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Strain through a fine sieve to remove seeds. Cover and refrigerate. To serve, take semifreddo from pan. Cut into slices; place on serving plates and spoon melba sauce over slices. Semifreddo can be made ahead, wrapped well and frozen for up to five days.
Melba Sauce can be covered and refrigerated two days ahead or frozen for two weeks. Note: Spray loaf pan before fitting with plastic wrap. This helps the wrap to stay in place. – Glenna Weagle

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Co-op Community Bulletin Board

Remember to send news items and bulletin board items to circles1@nbnet.nb.ca.

·        August 6-8, 2010: The Work We Do is the Solution, 2010 National Worker Cooperative Conference, Clark Kerr Conference Center at UC Berkeley, Co-hosted by the USFWC and Bay Area worker cooperatives. http://www.usworker.coop/events/conference2010

·        Sept. 10-12, 2010, 750+ people will be in Boston for the largest Fair Trade conference in North American history. http://fairtradeconference.ning.com/ *Learn how to bring more Fair Trade into your Life, Town, and Business*Meet face-to-face with the Fair Trade Artisans and Farmers behind cool Products*Build Relationships with the larger Fair Trade Community*Pick up practical advice that's tailored to your needs as an Activist, Entrepreneur, Student, etc*Be a part of history! Futures Conferences only happen every five years - don't wait to be a part of this growing movement for change!

·        Oct 17-23, 2010 – Co-op Week

·        Oct 21 – International Credit Union Day

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Our Readers Write - Tell us what you think. Send news, events and information for the Co-op Community Bulletin Board. Suggest features you think might be beneficial to people reading Co-op Circles. We want this electronic newsletter to serve you (be sure to include your e-mail and phone number). Send your item(s), comments and suggestions to News1@nbnet.nb.ca

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Co-op Circles is part of Rising Tide Collective’s commitment to the Co-op Principles of Co-op Education and Concern for Community. This electronic newsletter is published every week. It is available free of charge to anyone with an e-mail address and an interest in co-operative and community development in Atlantic Canada and around the world. We will be happy to put you on our Co-op Circles mailing list. We are proud that co-operators from Canada, the U.S, England, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand are part of our Circle. To subscribe: circles1@nbnet.nb.ca or to unsubscribe: circles2@nbnet.nb.ca  Tell your friends about it. Please e-mail us with your questions, suggestions and memories at circles1@nbnet.nb.ca

Thanks to the Marie Michael Library, Coady International Institute, for archiving Co-op Circles. http://www.mystfx.ca/coady-library/coop_circles/index.htm Next Co-op Circles: Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rising Tide Collective* - Erin Hancock, Brenda MacKinnon, Maureen MacLean, Glenna Weagle, Steve MacDowall