Tune in to WOL 1450 AM on December 1, at 10:30 am, for Everything Co-op, hosted by Vernon Oakes. This week Vernon interviews Paul Hazen, Executive Director, U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council, (OCDC). Vernon and Paul will discuss how OCDC brings together organizations committed to building a more prosperous world through cooperatives.
Paul Hazen became executive director of the Overseas Cooperative Development Council in February 2012. Previously, he represented one of the member organizations and served as OCDC’s board chair and as a board member. One of his most-recent initiatives with OCDC is the formation of its Research Group, whose mission is to research, formulate and share effective strategies for the development, performance and growth of cooperatives in developing countries.
Throughout his career, Hazen has championed the U.S. cooperative system, which encompasses 29,000 co-ops; generates $654 billion in revenue; and creates more than two million jobs, representing $75 billion in wages and benefits. U.S. co-ops include Ace Hardware, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Sunkist, REI and the Associated Press. Hazen helped establish federal legislation promoting rural co-op development, formed a national network of co-op development centers and initiated national research into the impact of co-ops on the U.S. economy.
Active in cooperative matters at many levels, Hazen is the one of the founders of DotCoop the top-level domain for cooperatives around the world. He also serves on the boards of the National Cooperative Bank, Capital Impact Partners and the Community Purchasing Alliance Cooperative. Past board service includes the International Co-operative Alliance, Consumer Federation of American, Cooperative Development Foundation, Cooperative Business International and NCB Retail Finance Corporation.