Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives


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National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, Dulles, VA

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Co-operate 2021

Co-Operate 2021 logo


The purpose of Co-operate 2021 is to celebrate, collaborate and expand the impact of co-ops by re-energizing the value proposition of the cooperative business model. The event will bring co-op directors, employees and members together for two days of resource sharing, networking and learning.

Hosted by

The Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives and in partnership with the North Dakota Coordinating Council for Cooperatives.


Bismarck State College National Energy Center of Excellence
November 16 & 17, 2021
1200 Schafer Street
Bismarck, ND 58501


Dan Thurmon 

A teacher of peak performance, an author of impactful books and presentations, and a lifelong student of success, happiness, and achievement, Dan Thurmon is on a mission. To encourage attendees' uniqueness and contributions. To discover a sense of purpose and greatness. To have meaning at work, and in their lives.

At an early age, Dan learned the power of performance, on stage and in the various parts of our life. When he was eleven years old, he encountered a mentor who taught him some amazing physical skills, but also gave him a channel for his bountiful energy. He quickly excelled as a variety artist, comedy entertainer, and entrepreneur. Even in his high school years, the connection between business awareness, high level service, and self-improvement became evident and fascinating.

Graduating with honors, his entertainment business paid for his business degree at the University of Georgia. He applied the lessons in sales, management, and marketing to his entrepreneurial ventures in real time.

Since that critical pivot of life and work, he has worked with organizations around the world, in every spectrum of business: Fortune 500 companies. Startups. Associations across hundreds of industries. Troops on the front lines. Students, teachers, and entrepreneurs. Through his presentations and workshops, Dan helps these organizations to accelerate improvement, facilitate true breakthroughs and enable and encourage greatness.

Inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame and a member of the illustrious Speakers Roundtable, Dan also served as President of the National Speakers Association, leading their CEO, staff and 3,500 world-wide members in a profound transformation.

Dan believes deeply that the right words, presented in the right way, at the right time, can change everything. His lifelong study of language and presentation skills have enabled a mastery of landing the critical idea that will shift an individual...or an organization. His opening presentations enable more productive and transformational meetings. Or as a closer, he provides a call to action that elevates the experience and the ROI of a meeting investment.

Organizational change happens when people make breakthroughs. Dan's presentations help organizations to become more of who they strive to be. When that happens, people become better. Companies become better. And the world becomes better.


Shel Holtz

Shel Holtz

Shel Holtz is director of internal communications at Webcor, a California commercial builder. Before joining Webcor in 2017, Shel had spent 21 years as principal of Holtz Communication + Technology, helping companies adopt technology for organizational communication uses. He has written six communication-themed books and has been podcasting about communication and technology since January 2005. He is a certified Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP), a Fellow of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), a Senior Fellow of the Conference Board's Marketing and Communications Center, and a Platinum Fellow of The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media.


Daniel Côté, PhD

Daniel Cote

Daniel Côté completed his doctorate at Louisiana State University in 1985. He wrote a thesis on the comparative efficiency of private, public and cooperative businesses. He was a professor at HEC Montréal (Business School) from 1983 to 2014. He mainly taught courses on business strategy. In addition, he has been conducting research on cooperatives for over 30 years. His main concern has always been the management of cooperatives in a competitive environment. In 2018, he published "Cooperative management: a successful business model facing the challenges of the future, JFD, 423 p.".

For the past 25 years, he has served on several boards of directors (NPOs and cooperatives). Member of the Board of Coop HEC ($ 10 million in turnover, 100 employees) since 2008, he has assumed the chairmanship of the Board since 2012. Since 2006, he teaches a graduate course on cooperative management as part of the program cooperative management education program at Saint Mary's University (Halifax, Nova Scotia). This program is offered to managers of cooperatives internationally. Also with St-Mary’s, he has developed an executive seminar on cooperative management which has been offered in Canada and internationally since 2014. To date, this seminar has been offered 12 times.

Dr. Mike Cook

Michael L. Cook is the Robert D. Partridge Endowed Professor in Organization Economics in the Division of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Missouri, Columbia (MU).  His research activities include work in more than 60 countries and 100 published works.  His primary research addresses the ownership costs of vaguely defined property rights in patron-owned and controlled enterprises.  His research and outreach work is embedded into Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership (GICL) programs. 

Dr. Cook is Executive Director of GICL.  He served for 12 years in senior management positions with three global enterprises, two of them cooperatives, and has occupied board positions with numerous cooperatives, subsidiaries, and associations.  In May 2012, Cook was inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame at the National Press Club, Washington, DC.  In 2015, Cook received the Frederick B. Mumford Outstanding Faculty Award at MU, which recognizes a faculty member with a sustained record of excellence in teaching, research, and/or extension/outreach who is viewed as an exemplary educator by both students and faculty. 


For more information contact:

Frayne Olson, Director QBCC


Kristi Schweiss, Assistant Director QBCC

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