John Restakis steps down from BC Co-op Association
Sending a fist pump out to John Restakis upon news that he’s stepping down from his post as Executive Director of the BC Co-operative Association after 15 years of tremendous service! Thank you, John. You’re a hero.
via the BCCA e-newsletter:
Co-op Pioneer Leaves Lasting Impact: Co-op Growth and Elder Care Strategy
BC Co-operative Association ED John Restakis steps down
VANCOUVER, May 21, 2013 – John Restakis may be stepping down from the role of Executive Director at the British Columbia Co-operative Association (BCCA) but his legacy, which helped launch successful co-ops like Nelson’s Community First Health Co-op to upcoming projects targeting elder care and the arts, will forever change the way we think about co-operatives addressing societal problems.
Restakis took the helm of BCCA in 1998, effectively moving the association from a small subsidiary of the Canadian Co-operative Association to its own organization with staff centred in Vancouver.
For the next 15 years, he’d work relentlessly to see co-ops, partners, universities and the government understand the potential co-operatives have in addressing social and economic challenges. This included the creation of the Bologna Summer Program for Co-operative Studies with Vancity and the University of Bologna. This program brought more than 300 co-op and social economy leaders to northern Italy to study one of the world’s most successful co-operative economies.
BCCA would like to recognize the major contributions Restakis has made:
• BCCA recently received $600K to pioneer a national co-op elder-care strategy. Restakis is a leader in promoting the role of health and social co-ops in B.C. to address health and social care issues
• Through its co-op development program, BCCA is responsible for at least 50 per cent of all the new co-ops established in B.C.
• Restakis helped establish co-operative education in universities including the creation of UVic’s MA Program in Community Development and early support to UVic’s B.C. Institute for Co-operative Studies (now the centre for Co-operative and Community Based Economy)
• Restakis is a thought leader on co-op and social economies of B.C., publishing articles and promoting research with the B.C.-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance.
• In 2010, Restakis’ book Humanizing the Economy was published, presenting co-ops as solution to building a more humane society
• BCCA’s long-term involvement with Vancity helped the credit union to take a leadership role in co-op development
• BCCA worked with the B.C. government in 2000 to create the Co-op Advantage Program, a pivotal initiative that helped to boost co-op development in the province
• In 2000 and again in 2007, the province modernized the BC Co-operative Association Act, a result of many years of work by BCCA
“This is the longest I’ve ever been in an organization, 15 years, and without question it’s been the most stimulating, most productive professional work I’ve ever done,” says Restakis.
“I’ve had more satisfaction and learned more from my involvement with BCCA than any other professional experience I’ve ever had so I’m just profoundly grateful for that.”
“John’s legacy is the B.C. Co-op Association,” says Robin Puga, BCCA board president.
“John has been the driving force and caretaker of the co-op sector and really helped shape what the co-op sector could look like for people across the province.”