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Co-op leader Stan Dreyer dies.

Stanley W. Dreyer, regarded as a model cooperative leader and mentor to generations of fellow cooperators, died in October at his home in Springfield, Va. He leaves behind a profound and lasting impact on the cooperative world.

Dennis Johnson, former president of St. Paul Bank, where Dreyer began his career in cooperative finance, called him "America's co-op ambassador to the world." He noted that Dreyer travelled the world as a tireless champion of cooperative development.

Dreyer was raised in Brighton, Colo., where as a youth he worked in a local co-op supermarket and participated in 4-H. He went on to serve as president of the Cooperative League of the United States (now National Cooperative Business Assoc. CLUSA International), was a board member of the International Cooperative Alliance and was senior officer of the National Cooperative Bank.

Dreyer was involved in the formation of a large fertilizer cooperative in India and was an advocate for the formation of the Southern Federation of Cooperatives. He was also a guiding force behind the formation of the National Cooperative Bank and a founder of the Cooperative Hall of Fame, to which he was inducted in 1997.

Although Dreyer's involvement in cooperative development crossed sectors and continents, colleagues agree that his most urgent energies were spent closing gaps in cooperative finance by creating a national cooperative bank. Early in his tenure as president of NCBA CLUSA, Dreyer commissioned a study on the need for a non-agricultural cooperative bank to serve non-ag cooperatives.

After five years of relentless advocating and recruiting influential supporters, Dreyer and his team were finally successful. Congress passed the 1978 Bank Act, creating the first-ever bank for consumer cooperatives. Ed Jaenke, former governor of the Farm Credit Administration, called it Dreyer's "most historic and greatest contribution to the cooperative idea."

"Stan made a real and lasting difference," says Rich Larochelle, chair of the Cooperative Development Foundation's board. "He radiated co-op values. It would be difficult to find a kinder or more genuine person. He was inspiring and a giant in the co-op world."

Donations in Dreyer's memory can be made to benefit co-op development and education through the Cooperative Development Foundation's Stan Dreyer Memorial Fund. For more details, visit:

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Title Annotation:Newsline: Co-op developments, coast to coast
Publication:Rural Cooperatives
Date:Nov 1, 2017
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