A recent opinion piece in the Rutland Herald acknowledged CDI’s work as part of a growing cooperative economy in the Northeast. The authors—Rob Miller of Vermont State Employees Credit Union, Kari Bradley of Hunger Mountain Co-op in Montpelier, and Edward Fox of the Hanover Co-op Food Stores—start by recognizing the residents of Weston’s Mobile Home Park in becoming owners of their community, a transition that CDI supported.
Congratulations to the residents of the former Weston’s Mobile Home Park on their successful property purchase. (See “Mobile home park now a co-op,” Jan. 3, Times Argus.) Such bold action is another example of how cooperative ownership of mobile home parks throughout New England is an inspiring success story.
This particular story, while inspiring, is not surprising to us. As leaders at three of the region’s larger consumer cooperatives, we know the extraordinary change that occurs when people work together. According to the International Cooperative Alliance, cooperative businesses generate $2.1 trillion in global economic activity annually. Yet, cooperative solutions to economic challenges are rarely taught in business school or profiled in business magazines. Fortunately, Times Argus staff writer David Delcore’s article highlights the noteworthy collaboration that turned those Berlin residents into owners of their financial future. In our region, the traditions of self-help and democratic solutions are time-tested, dynamic parts of the local economy. Add to that the principle of cooperation among cooperatives, and one can understand how residents of the newly named Weston’s Mobile Home Cooperative completed a $2.1 million transaction. They shared responsibility and leveraged their collective determination. They learned from and continue to work closely with specialists at Cooperative Development Institute and with the financing experts at ROC USA, both of which are based in New England.