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Karen Zimbelman

Senior Director of Membership & Cooperative Relations, National Co+op Grocers

Driven by an unyielding commitment to cooperative principles, Karen Zimbelman has influenced the success of cooperatives in the consumer, housing, worker and credit union sectors. Her impact on cooperative development and innovation is evident at all levels of the movement.

Congratulatory Listings

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The Association of Cooperative Educators (ACE), North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO), and the Ralph K. Morris Foundation congratulate our mutual friend Karen Zimbelman on her well-deserved induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame. An exceptional trainer and educator, Karen has inspired and supported our organizations' members and the broader communities they serve.

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The former Board of Advisors of the Howard Bowers Fund for Food Cooperatives thank Karen Zimbelman for her commitment to the development of food cooperatives and her service to the Fund. Established by the Hyde Park Cooperative Society to honor the legacy of co-op grocer Howard Bowers, over the last 26 years the Fund granted over $500,000 to support the development and expansion of food cooperatives through professional education of board and staff.


Ann Fedorchak

Annie Hoy

Chuck Snyder

Mari Wood

Maureen Bowers

Michael Novak

Michelle Jacobson

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The 148 co-ops and staff that make up NCG congratulate Karen Zimbelman on her induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame. Thank you for being a champion of food co-ops and embodying the values we hold dear. This is a well-deserved honor!

Ashland Food Co-op

Belfast Co-op

BriarPatch Food Co-op

Chico Natural Foods Cooperative

Community Food Co-op - Bellingham

Community Food Co-op - Bozeman

Co-opportunity Market

Ever'man Cooperative Grocery & Cafe

Fiddleheads Food Co-op

First Alternative Co-op

Flatbush Food Cooperative

Grain Train Natural Foods Market

Hanover Co-op Food Stores

Honest Weight Food Co-op

Hunger Mountain Co-op

Lexington Cooperative Markets

Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op

Mississippi Market

Monadnock Food Co-op

Olympia Food Co-op

Orcas Food Co-op

Oryana Community Co-op

Outpost Natural Foods Co-op

People's Food Co-op - La Crosse & Rochester

PFC Natural Grocery & Deli

Portland Food Co-op

Roanoke Co+op

Sioux Falls Food Co+op

Skagit Valley Food Co-op

The Food Co-op - Port Townsend

Three Rivers Market 

TPSS Co-op

Valley Natural Foods

Willimantic Food Co-op

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Catalysts for Common Good

"You can't be an economic alternative if you're not around."

- Karen Zimbelman (KZ), circa 1985

KZ, thanks for sharing your wisdom, experience, vision, compassion, joy, humor and intensity for the good of so very many people for all these years. You have truly made a difference!

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National Cooperative Bank congratulates Karen Zimbelman on her induction into the 2021 Cooperative Hall of Fame. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to cooperatives - spanning across many sectors over your years of service. We truly appreciate all of your hard work in advancing the mission of co-ops.


Congratulations KZ! We are proud to honor you and your lifelong commitment to sharing the power of co-ops. Thank you for your leadership, dedication, and your contributions to the cooperative community.


From your friends at

Frontier Co-op

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NCG congratulates Karen Zimbelman on her induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame. KZ, your passion for and commitment to the cooperative movement is truly inspiring! Thank you for the leadership that has guided the success of so many co-ops for more than 40 years.


Congratulations, Karen Zimbelman, on your induction into the Co-op Hall of Fame! Thank you for your unwavering commitment and contribution to the growth and success of our movement, from the Neighboring Food Co-op Association and our member co-ops, including:

Brattleboro Food Co-op

City Market / Onion River Co-op

Fiddleheads Food Co-op

Flatbush Food Co-op

Hanover Co-op Food Stores

Hunger Mountain Co-op

Littleton Food Co-op

Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op

Monadnock Food Co-op

Portland Food Co-op

River Valley Co-op

Springfield Food Co-op

Upper Valley Food Co-op

Willimantic Food Co-op

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NCBA CLUSA congratulates our dear friend and colleague Karen Zimbelman (KZ) on her well-deserved induction in the 2021 Cooperative Hall of Fame. KZ's deep expertise and passion has helped shape NCBA CLUSA and the cooperative community. As a staff person, a member, and a Board director, KZ has given NCBA CLUSA and the cooperative community her time and talent to uphold the values and principles of cooperative enterprise. We are forever grateful.

Friends of Karen Zimbelman


Adam Schwartz

Alan Zepp

Amy Fields

Ann Hoyt

Anne Carter

Anya Firszt

Ben Nauman

Cathy Statz

C.E. Pugh

Chris & Andrea Maher

Cindee Lolik

Courtney Berner

Dan Gillotte

Dave Blackburn

Dave Gutknecht

David Fowle

David J. Thompson

E. Kim Coontz

Erbin Crowell

Gail Graham

Jenn Hileman

Jim Jones

Joe Holtz

Johanna Tyler

Judy Ziewacz

K. Jesse Singerman

Kelly Smith

Kevin L. Edberg

Kirstie Boyette

Learner Limbach

Leslie Mead

Linda Jones

Lizzy Haywood

Luke Schell

Lynn Benander

Marilyn Scholl & Sabine Rhyne

Martin Lowery

Mary Griffin

Megan Webster

Michelle Schry

Nicholas Coquillard, ICC

Pam Mehnert & Lisa Malmarowski

Paul Bradley

Paul Harton

Paul Hazen

Paula Gilbertson

Randy M. Lee

Rochelle Prunty

Rosemary Mahoney

Susan Futrell

Suzette Snow-Cobb

Terry Lewis

Walden Swanson & Kate Sumberg

William J. Nelson


Committed to a thriving and democratic cooperative movement, KZ has inspired and persuaded general managers and board members to enhance democratic governance and operational excellence.

Zimbelman: A Gravitational Center for Cooperatives

Honoring and Planning Committee

Mark Goehring

Jim Jones

Ben Nauman

C.E. Pugh

Anne Reynolds

Johanna Tyler

William Nelson

Nominated by:

C.E. Pugh


National Co+op Grocers

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