Everything Co-op

Podcast & Radio Show

Everything Co-op

Podcast & Radio Show

Everything Co-op

Podcast & Radio Show

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Marjaana Saarikoski, Director, Cooperative Affairs, discusses how Co-op Membership has Impacted the Level of Happiness of Residents in Finland

Marjaana Saarikoski, Director, Cooperative Affairs at SOK Corporation discusses her extensive experience with cooperatives, and how the country of Finland is impacted by having more than 90% of its households as members of cooperatives.

Marjanna Saarikoski has spent a major part of her career with consumer cooperative S Group. Since 1983 she has held various leadership positions in sales, marketing, chain/concept management and its membership & loyalty program of 2,5 million co-op members (80% of the Finnish households). 

Since 2015 Ms Saarikoski has been representing S Group in the national and global cooperative movement. Since 2017 she has been a committed member at the Board of the ICA. In addition, since 2020 she has held the office of President of the Euro Coop, a European sectoral organization of the consumer cooperatives. Ms. Saarikoski has extensive education and training. She holds a Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration,from The University of Tampere; has participated in leadership and strategy studies in Templeton College, Oxford in Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration where she acquired a Diplomas from the Leadership and Strategy Program AaltoJOKO, and Marketing for Professionals.

The Suomen Osuuskauppojen Keskuskunta (SOK) Corporation, also known as the S Group, is a Finnish network of companies in the retail and service trades. A grouping of 22 regional and local cooperatives, the S Group has over 1.9 million members and 1,697 outlets, including four supermarket chains, service stations, hotels, restaurants and car dealerships, with an international reach.

Our host, Vernon Oakes, is a consummate advocate for cooperatives. He is a Past President of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, and he’s served on several boards and committees to advance the interests of cooperatives. Recently, he served on the Limited Equity Cooperative Task Force, established by Anita Bonds, At-Large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia. Vernon is an MBA graduate of Stanford University, who has used his business acumen to benefit the community, by promoting the added value of the cooperative business model. 

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