|Getting up every day and doing something to make the world a better place… |
In 2019, 146 individuals, cooperatives, and other organizations contributed more than $85,000 to continue Bill’s legacy as a cooperative developer and Cooperative Hall of Fame member to live on!
The goal was to raise funds to support these key priorities of Bill’s visionary work:
• Support for startup food co-ops
• Cooperative growth and development
• Coaching and mentoring
• International Cooperative Principles
To celebrate the life and work of Bill Gessner, using the funds to which you contributed, the following grants have been made:
The creation and administration of the Bill Gessner Startup Food Co-op Award, a new annual award to recognize excellence in startup co-op development. The $2,000 annual award will be administered for at least 10 years by the Food Co-op Initiative which seeks to increase the number, success, and sustainability of new food cooperatives delivering access to healthy food in diverse communities.
Support attendance at the annual CCMA conference by providing travel stipends to people who are awarded scholarships to CCMA. The Howard Bowers Fund will administer the funds, which will provide support for the next 10 years.
The Bill Gessner GM Coaching award, an annual award to provide coaching to a general manager of a food co-op. The program will be administered by National Co+op Grocers for the next 10 years.
Support cooperative development through a grant to Cooperative Development Services. CDS will honor Bill’s life and work in the Twin Cities and Upper Midwest by hosting an annual event highlighting the impact of cooperatives in meeting the economic, social and cultural needs of individuals and communities.
We are grateful to the Cooperative Development Foundation for assisting us with administration of this memorial.
Bill Gessner was a true Cooperative Hero. With his untimely death last year, the cooperative community came together to memorialize his life and to support the work most near and dear to his heart.
A sincere Thank You! to all of you who contributed to honor Bill and his immense contribution to the food co-op community.
The Bill Gessner Legacy Committee
Marilyn Scholl, Chair
Contributions are still being accepted.
“I had known that Bill was a force – gentle and dogged and able to move even the most ragtag co-ops forward. I saw how great this force could be when amplified with his deep well of generosity. Together we can help ensure that his good work continues.”
–Tim Bartlett, General Manager, Lexington Co-op, Buffalo NY
“Bill always magically found a spark he could gently fan into a flame to pull us forward and together. Bill Gessner’s wisdom and work to build a better world has been central to nurturing independent cooperatives into a growing cooperative movement.”
–Rochelle Prunty, General Manager, River Valley Co-op, Northampton, MA
Bill Gessner’s Memorial Slideshow Tribute – with his music.
Bill Gessner Cooperative Hall of Fame Induction Video
Bill Gessner Memorial Program: May 18, 2019
Bill Gessner pre memorial proceedings: May 18, 2019
Bill Gessner “Love is Large” at Esalen 2002
Bill Gessner “Rhode Island” Esalen 2002
Bill Gessner video singing Decorative Pillows