This Week's Guest:

Air Date: September 28, 2023
Cooperative Advocate, Cooperative Hall of Fame

Sheldon Petersen, 2023 Co-op Hall of Fame Inductee, discusses his Cooperative Journey


Sheldon C. Petersen retired governor and CEO of the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), discusses his co-op journey, and projections about the future of the cooperative movement.

Sheldon Petersen served as Governor/CEO of CFC for 26 years from 1995 until his retirement in 2021. He began his career in the rural electrification program in 1976 as staff assistant for Nishnabotna Valley REC in Harlan, Iowa. He later served as general manager of Rock County Electric Cooperative Association in Janesville, Wisconsin in the early 1980’s.

Petersen joined CFC in 1983 as an area representative providing financial management and consulting services to CFC members in the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, and the Dakotas. In 1990, he moved to CFC headquarters where he held various management positions. Petersen also served as the CEO of two CFC affiliated organizations targeted to the financial needs of the electric cooperatives and rural telecommunications companies and cooperatives. He continues to serve as board member of the Homestead Funds, a position he has held since 2005. Homestead is a mutual fund complex with roots in rural America.

The 2023 Everything Co-op List: Vernon Oakes’ Picks for Heart, Mind, Body, Soul, and Community

For nearly 10 years, Vernon Oakes, Everything Co-op’s founder and host, has dedicated himself and the show to promoting the cooperative model to build economic resilience, expand employment, and provide dignity of work and home. It does this by highlighting and amplifying the work, products, and services of cooperatives, their members, and their allies.

This year we are proud to expand those efforts by offering a thought-fully curated list of products and services from the cooperative community centered around five categories, each mirroring Vernon’s interests – Heart, Mind, Body, Soul, and Community. These categories embrace a wide variety of items that reflect the cooperative ethos of mutual support, sustainability, and community welfare.
We’re inviting the community to help select these products and services. If you provide a product or service that you would like to highlight or if you are a customer of a product or service, please feel free to submit them. (Submit Link)

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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