The Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA), a membership association for cooperatives based in the Philadelphia region, is launching the “PACA Kickoff Campaign” to draw more members and build a financial base for the budding organization.
“Establishing PACA as a strong voice for co-ops and credit unions in the Philadelphia area will help shine a light on this important alternative economic model – a fairer way of doing business that can build a better world,” said Bob Noble, a PACA steering committee member and the former board president of Weavers Way.
PACA formed in 2012 after the Drexel Co-op Conference, a gathering of Philadelphia co-ops and other co-ops from around the nation to discuss issues and opportunities facing the sector.
Less than two years later, PACA’s steering committee is filled with prominent figures from the sector, including representatives from Mariposa Food Co-op, Weavers Way Co-op, The Energy Co-op, Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, Sb1 Federal Credit Union, and others.
“We act as a chamber of commerce for cooperatives, creating opportunities for marketing, education, and advocacy that couldn’t exist without PACA as the hub,” said Caitlin Quigley, a steering committee member.
“This spring, we’ll be transitioning from an all-volunteer steering committee to a formal board by holding our first board elections. We’re also hoping to hire our first staff member, an executive director, through the support of a new partnership with the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA),” she added.
They’ve had a busy year indeed: in 2013, PACA incorporated, formed a partnership with National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), hosted the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy, provided assistance to startup co-ops, created a directory of local co-ops, and picked up its first seven members. In addition, PACA is in the process of applying for 501(c)3 status.
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Current members include:
- Sb1 Federal Credit Union
- The Energy Co-op
- Weaver’s Way Co-op
- Mariposa Food Co-op
- Home Care Associates
- Childspace Daycare Centers
All co-ops, as defined by the International Co-operative Alliance, are welcome. For more information on co-ops, this blog post from NCBA covers the national rise of these types of co-op associations.-30-
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