Judy Ziewacz, Cooperative Innovator, Monona, WI. For over 40 years, Judy has been a dogged champion for cooperative development, articulating a steady and unswerving vision about the power of cooperation, and persistently reminding cooperatives and cooperative institutions that they exist to empower people. Her incredible capacity as a strategist has resulted in cross-sectoral coalitions that have created critical infrastructure for the co-op community domestically and internationally. She has done all of this with consummate integrity and professionalism, engendering trust and respect.
Judy's clear vision, strategic focus, and acumen for organization building has created a solid track record of accomplishment that has enriched our cooperative community. She was a driving force behind favorable state and federal legislation and policies that were enacted to empower people through diverse cooperative enterprises.
Ziewacz was instrumental in launching the nation's first statewide cooperative development center now known as Cooperative Development Services. She also played a key role in establishing CooperationWorks!, a national cooperative development network, which is responsible for the creation of hundreds of co-ops, thousands of jobs, and serving hundreds of thousands of members. As the Executive Director of the Cooperative Development Foundation, she led the charge for the creation of dotCoop, an important branding tool for cooperatives in the internet age.
Through her work as a cooperative innovator, anchor cooperative institutions have been strengthened, and their focus and support for cooperative development renewed.