2016 Highlights

Published on February 14, 2017 by Lacey


2016 was a BIG year for ACCA, here’s some of our most notable accomplishments:

img_0524Liane Courchesne celebrated ten years as the Youth Program Coordinator, managing all aspects of hosting ACCA’s renowned summer Co-operative Youth Leadership Program. In addition to putting another 222 youth through the program this year, she also helped secure 11 new sponsors for the program and worked to ensure 95% of the participants received sponsorship to attend.



Seth Leon, ACCA’s Manager of Co-operative Services, was recognized as one of the most outstanding co-operative educators in North America by the Association of Co-operative Educators. Seth received the William Hlusko Award for Young Co-operative Educators.

Seth taught 290 post-secondary students about co-operatives as a business model, and facilitated training workshops for 175 employees from various ACCA member organizations. He was also invited to share his expertise in co-op development and facilitate workshops at two American conferences on top of two keynote addresses at conferences here in Canada.




Lacey Chyz organized ACCA’s first series of Member Engagement sessions and implemented internal tools for measuring and improving member value.

She was named Canada’s Emerging Co-operator of the Year, has supported ACCA’s work with Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada by helping facilitate discussions on  national strategies in co-operative education and awareness building, as well as support for co-op development. In the fall, she was elected president of the national co-op youth committee, Canada’s Emerging Co-operators.



From June – October, Brian McCann, a Masters of Public Policy graduate from the University of Calgary joined the ACCA team as intern. Brian was hired through the Career Focus Internship Program to help ACCA research and report on the economic impacts of co-operatives in Alberta. Brian worked with federal and provincial governments, researchers, federations and member organizations to gather and analyze as much information as possible in his 16-week placement. Some of Brian’s work has been summarized into a one-page primer “Alberta Co-op Sector Quick Facts 2016.” 

The Career Focus Internship Program was offered to all ACCA members and non-members alike, and Chief Mountain Gas Co-op hired someone through the program. An engineering graduate was placed in Cardston, AB to work on GIS mapping and other tech-projects with the co-op.




ACCA spent more than 500 hours on government affairs and put together a member-driven committee on Government Relations. Michele Aasgard, Executive Director also sat on the Government of Alberta’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel.

ACCA’s first Reception for Members of Legislative Assembly received rave-reviews from the 50 co-op sector leaders and the 43 MLAs who attended. The event was organized by Seth Leon and Lacey Chyz with direction from ACCA’s government relations committee. Members from the NDP, Wildrose and Conservative parties were all in attendance.



We had 12 member organizations collaborate and support ACCA projects and co-op services in 2016. ACCA also worked one-on-one with 4 rural communities to explore economic development solutions using the co-op structure.

In addition to the 60 people from the general public who attended in-person workshops and the 50 who joined online webinars, we also gave 3 grassroots groups free presentations on co-operatives.

ACCA has provided co-op expertise in: healthcare, telecom, elder-care, renewable energy and more!


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