Just two months after the chief executives at the Business Roundtable in the U.S. called for corporations to balance the needs of shareholders with customers, employees, and their communities, Howard Brodsky, co-CEO of CCA Global Partners in Manchester is being globally recognized for visionary leadership in doing exactly that.
The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), a consultative organization of the United Nations gave Brodsky its 2019 International Rochdale Pioneers Award, making him the first American to ever win the honor.
The award was presented during the biennial International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) Global Cooperative Conference, an event gathering delegations from more than 100 countries in Kigali, Rwanda, to celebrate cooperatives vital contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Recognized as the "Nobel Prize of Cooperative Business,” the Rochdale Award is given out every two years to an individual who has had the greatest impact worldwide through the innovations of shared ownership, specifically through the cooperative business model that anchors value with members, employees, customers, and their communities.
Cooperatives represent more than 12% of the global population and employ 20% more people than international corporations. In its history, the ICA has recognized only 16 individuals with Rochdale Awards.
“Throughout my career, I have felt that businesses should be more than profit centers. While profit is important, it is equally, if not more important, that businesses be a force for good. The cooperative business model epitomizes capitalism with a conscience. A more inclusive future is in our grasp. Shared ownership advances shared opportunity, shared wealth, and ultimately shared hope,” said Brodsky, “I am honored and humbled for this recognition.”
This award highlights Brodsky’s career of innovation by re-envisioning conventional business through shared ownership. Dedicated to what he calls the contemporary cooperative business model, he has fundamentally transformed family businesses in the United States in an array of industries by structuring the companies as cooperatives where putting people first, not profit, and leading with values is the fundamental way they do business.
“As a visionary leader and entrepreneur, himself, Howard has a passion for invention. He does not simply talk about the future – he leads through his actions,” said Trebor Scholz, director of the Platform Cooperative Consortium and associate professor for Culture & Media at The New School. “Howard is a rare leader that combines vision, innovation, gumption, and connectivity in all aspects of his work.”
Brodsky co-founded CCA Global in 1984, bringing scale to entrepreneurial family businesses by creating an international enterprise of 15 unique cooperative businesses in multiple sectors of the economy from home furnishings, business services, sports retail stores, to childcare, nonprofits and more. Together, they serve 1 million small businesses in four countries and 20,000 childcare centers across America.
Beyond his innovations domestically, Brodsky has emerged as a leader in the global cooperative movement, founding Cooperatives for a Better World (CFBW), a not-for-profit dedicated to sharing the benefits of shared ownership and the cooperative business model. CFBW has partnered with cooperatives in 14 countries, reaching over a quarter of the world population.