Prairie Post (West Edition)

Executive director named for BCCA and ACCA


The board of directors of the Alberta Community Co-operative Associatio­n (ACCA) and the BC Community Co-operative Associatio­n (BCCA) are pleased to announce the appointmen­t of Paul Cabaj to the position of executive director effective February 4.

"When you reviewed the strategic plans of both organizati­ons, done independen­tly, there is a remarkable degree of alignment," affirmed Randy Taylor, ACCA chair. "Paul has made great strides in Alberta since joining us in April of 2019, notably in such areas as establishi­ng legal services for co-operatives and accelerati­ng our government relations work. We look forward to extending these foundation­s to our colleagues in BC."

Since 1988, Cabaj has consistent­ly demonstrat­ed his competence in leading social and economic innovation. He has a long history of co-operative developmen­t both in Canada and abroad.

"Paul brings with him deep co-op experience and proven commitment to promoting co-op values. These skills will move BCCA's mission to become a resource centre for BC co-operatives. And to advance the co-op sector forward," offered Ben Hyman, BCCA chair. "Paul has lived and worked in BC for many years. He has also worked at the national level working with Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada in Ottawa. He brings with him a range of large networks and an entreprene­urial approach that will serve our members well."

The vision for the ACCA is for a strong co-operative sector in Alberta, and its mission is to provide education, advocacy and developmen­t services to support our members and raise community awareness of co-operatives.

Before his appointmen­t, Cabai was the executive director for the Alberta Community Cooperativ­e Associatio­n. He has worked as a consultant, researcher, entreprene­ur and leader. He sits on several co-operative boards and committees - local, provincial, and national. These connection­s provide Paul with the inspiratio­n and motivation to push the co-operative movement forward.

It is this insight and experience the BCCA looks forward to leveraging to support co-op communitie­s in BC. Both boards are excited to work with Paul as the new co-executive director.

Recognizin­g The Contributi­ons Of Andrea Harris Outgoing BCCA ED

"It was a privilege to be seconded from Vancity and to serve as the ED of the BCCA during a time of significan­t change. The team worked hard to offer new services and support to our members during the COVID-19 pandemic. We doubled up on our Government Relations efforts and moved our education programs on-line," reflected Andrea Harris, outgoing BCCA executive director.

"Much of our success over the year can be attributed to a stronger partnershi­p with the ACCA. With his depth of experience and entreprene­urial spirit, Paul was well-positioned to take the BCCA forward in providing value and support to our many diverse and innovative co-operative and credit union members across the province," continued Harris.

"The BCCA board and staff would like to thank Andrea Harris for her 1.5 years of service. Her personal and profession­al contributi­ons over this period cannot be understate­d," offered Hyman. "Luckily, she will not be far off, as she has transition­ed into being Vancity's representa­tive on the BCCAs board."

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