Cheryl WallaceCheryl Wallace

This can be a challenging issue. Centralized vs decentralized each has it’s own benefits and considerations. I have seen this type of scenario in many organizations / industries. I was with our local health authority when it when from 16 small health boards to one. I was also on the board /employee of the YMCA which has a federated model but local YMCA’s had the ability to have autonomy to deliver programs that are most applicable to the local communities. Similarly cooperatives can truly benefit from economies of scale and scope through a centralized system without losing their autonomy. As many have mentioned above the consultation has to be there but also the trust that the FLC will make decisions in the best interest of the greater good of the smaller cooperatives. The smaller cooperatives may not have the infrastructure and expertise to deal with complex issues that affect the entire industry. FCL will need to clearly communicate and consult to ensure they are taking into account challenges of local coop’s.

Some of this consultation can be done in a number of different ways. As we do at our local CU’s we have boards that should be representative of the membership that can speak to the greater good. There will always be some that disagree which you have to have sound logic with your decisions to ensure you can justify them.


“I thoroughly enjoyed the Good Governance Matters course offered by Co-operatives First. The course provided a solid background on governance generally and specific examples of good governance practices in co-operatives. It is uncommon to find governance training specific to co-operatives so this was refreshing.”

Janet Taylor (Corporate Secretary)

Libro Credit Union

“The Good Governance Matters Course was a valuable course. I shared it with the [Arctic Co-operatives Limited] Senior Leadership Team. If it ever comes up again, I highly recommend others to take it.”

Mary Nirlungayuk (Corporate Secretary and Vice-President, Corporate Services)

Arctic Co-operatives Limited

“The online course, Good Governance Matters was very informative, easy to navigate and discussed issues relevant to our needs as a Board of Directors. This course is a great tool for boards to build their knowledge to become strong, strategic boards.”

Lori Sanders (President)

Sherwood Co-op

“This course has greatly increased my understanding of what good governance could/should look like and how each part (boards, management, members) plays a vital role in the co-operative’s success.”


“This course was highly enjoyable, and relevant to working in not only the co-op space, but with any group that needs to make decisions.”