In more than four decades of cooperative service, Dwight Oberschlake's contributions to cooperative practice touched many lives. His guidance, selfless effort and leadership - given so graciously and unsparingly over many years - played a major role in the success of numerous cooperative endeavors and has made cooperative development truly an integral component in his life's work. Oberschlake's early experience in the cooperative sector included leadership in farm-supply and marketing cooperatives in his native Brown County, Ohio. As the longtime owner and operator of a 180-acre dairy farm, he knew first-hand of the challenges farmers encounter in producing and marketing their products.
Broadening his positive influence to the state, national and global levels, Dwight was a trustee of the Ohio Farm Bureau, president of the Ohio Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and in 1971 was elected a director of the National Cooperative Business Association. He became a board member of the Nationwide Insurance Companies in 1972, and board chairman of the parent Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company in 1989.