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October 2017

Sarah’s world

As communication manager at the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA), Sarah Crozier has an up-close view of the difference cooperatives are making in the U.S. and around the world. This month, the Canada-born communicator is helping to shine a brighter spotlight on the many benefits of the producer-, worker- and user-owned business model as co-chair of the 2017 Co-op Month Committee.

Sarah’s duties include managing content and editorial schedules for more than 25 international programs. This keeps the passport-packing globetrotter on the go to tell co-op success stories.

Working in remote spots of the world is nothing new for Sarah. She was a communications manager for the Peace Corps in Ethiopia prior to accepting her current position.

How did you come to work for NCBA CLUSA?
I was living in Ethiopia and looking for work that combined my love of storytelling with supporting international development around the world. I got connected to NCBA CLUSA through the international programs side – understanding that community-led development and working with producer organizations and cooperatives abroad was really a best practice for international development. I then learned much more about the U.S. cooperative community.

What are some job highlights for you?
We recently put on the Co-op Festival on the National Mall. Such a large-scale event with the Washington Monument in the background really elevated the co-op story. Another favorite memory is travelling with the PBS Series “Visionaries” producers to our project out in East Timor [a country in Southeast Asia] and meeting the coffee farmers whose lives have been changed by the healthcare system set up through their co-op.

Where have you traveled recently?
Just after the CCA Institute this year, I headed to Guatemala to tell the stories from one of our cooperative development projects in the highlands region of the country. Working with coffee co-op partners, we have been able to train community leaders who are supporting nutrition in their communities. Starting chicken co-ops and other small businesses has increased protein intake in the region and is supporting the health of children. That project is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Tell me about your work with the Co-op Month committee.
In partnership with the Cooperative Network, we have been able to set up a diverse group of co-op communicators who all contribute to the design, content and marketing of Co-op Month materials. With the support of CCA, it’s been great to have a cohesive Co-op Month message.

CO-OP CAPSULE

Name: National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International

Headquarters: Washington, D.C., and over 20 countries around the world

Description: The primary voice in the U.S. for people who use cooperatives to build a better world. Promotes, advocates and defends cooperative businesses – on Capitol Hill, in the U.S. and around the world.

How did you get involved with CCA?
My good friend and co-op colleague Cassie Durand from the Cooperative Development Foundation recommended the organization to me when I first joined NCBA CLUSA.

What’s your professional superpower?
I’m an eternal optimist, so I keep the energy high on the team.

What might CCA members be surprised to know about you?
I am a master carpenter from my time designing sets for a theater company in Boston.

What do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy playing the piano, and I always get in some snowboarding when I’m visiting family in Colorado.

What cereal best describes you?
Honey Nut Cheerios

My guilty pleasure:
HGTV home repair shows.

The place in Washington where I take all of my out-of-town guests:
The National Portrait Gallery.