Cooperative Director Institute To Be Held At Penn State

December 10, 1997

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- New and incumbent directors of cooperatives can sharpen their business and organizational skills by attending the 1998 Pennsylvania Cooperative Director Institute, Jan. 27-29 at the Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel at Penn State's University Park Campus.

The institute will feature more than 15 sessions and informal discussions on topics such as cooperative finance, legal issues for cooperative directors, developing internal controls and environmental concerns. Speakers will include university specialists, cooperative staff and business leaders.

Samuel Hayes, Pennsylvania secretary of agriculture, and Robert Steele, dean of Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, also will address the participants.

The institute opens with registration at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 27, followed by lunch and welcoming comments. During the afternoon sessions on "director basics," Bruce Anderson, professor of agribusiness management at Cornell University, will focus on roles and responsibilities of the director, as well as cooperatives and their boards; and leadership consultant Gordon Milbrandt will profile "the successful director." As Tuesday's dinner speaker, Milbrandt will discuss "Identifying Key Elements for Board Governance Controls."

The morning agenda on Wednesday, Jan. 28 will include a breakfast update on the business and regulatory environment by Bill Frantz of Ocean Spray, followed by sessions on cooperative finances and developing goals and strategies. A panel discussion on leadership dynamics, board actions and strategies for success will highlight the afternoon program. Panel members will include experts from Agri-Link, Dairy Farmers of America, Cooperative Elevator Co. and Kroger Foods, the nation's largest grocery chain. At Wednesday evening's dinner, keynote speaker Don Dufek, retired vice president of Kroger Foods, will deliver a talk titled, "If You Controlled Your Business from Supply to Consumer, What Would You Do?"

Sessions on Thursday, Jan. 29, will focus on using self-assessment and controls to assure the right results, and legal implications of directorship. The event concludes with an afternoon luncheon and graduation ceremony.

The Pennsylvania Cooperative Director Institute is supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and organized by Penn State's Cooperative Business Education and Research Program. Since 1983, 344 cooperative directors and 72 management leaders have graduated from the institute.

For program details or registration information, contact Richard Poorbaugh by telephone at 814-863-0644 or by e-mail at


EDITORS: For more information, contact Richard Poorbaugh at 814-863-8636 or Chuck Gill 814-863-2713 814-865-1068 fax

Last Updated March 19, 2009