NCBA commends nomination of REI CEO to lead Interior

National Cooperative Business Association President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Beall commends President Obama for his choice of Sally Jewell as Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Jewell is President and Chief Executive Officer of America’s largest consumer cooperative REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.), the nation’s largest consumer cooperative.

“NCBA and its members are energized by President Obama’s selection,” said Beall. “Sally Jewell leads an extraordinary organization that represents the best of the cooperative business community, and we are pleased that she will now occupy a seat on the President’s Cabinet.

"REI is an organization that is grounded in the core principles that are shared by all cooperatives that has made them a financially sustainable business that also is grounded in volunteerism, concern for community and democratic governance. We have no doubt that her years of leadership at REI have prepared her well for this opportunity to for public service as the Secretary of the Interior.”

With revenues of $1.8 billion and assets of $1.1 billion, REI ranks as the 27th largest cooperative in the United States. REI’s 4.7 million members are among the more than 100 million Americans who participate as members of cooperatives.

REI is the nation’s largest consumer cooperative, but there are cooperatives in virtually every sector of the economy. “Whether it’s providing affordable housing through a housing cooperative, providing affordable financial services through a credit union, providing affordable and reliable utility services to rural residents, providing farmers and small businesses with access to markets, cooperative business enterprises are major players in the US economy," Beall said.

"We are proud that the President turned to the cooperative sector to select the newest member of his Cabinet.”

Posted 2/12/13