Joseph L. Hansknecht
Joseph L. Hansknecht has been a tireless and successful leader in promoting and developing credit unions and other cooperatives for more than 45 years. His ability to help bring together diverse groups to recognize and act upon their mutual objectives in effective coalitions has won many pivotal co-op battles. He was a key player in forging and activating a broad coalition that succeeded in establishing the National Cooperative Bank. He joined the League Life Insurance Company in 1963, and played a critical role in the early stages of the company's rapid and successful growth. As an official of that cooperative, he sought and cultivated opportunities for low-income and minority groups to use the co-op form of economic democracy to meet their particular needs. He was one of the founders of the Southern Cooperative Development Fund, and served as a board member since its beginning and as vice-chairman for ten years. In addition, Hansknecht was a member of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) for more than two decades, helping to ensure that the interests of consumer and agricultural cooperatives and credit unions are understood by the array of organizations represented in CFA.