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Terri Naylor

Treasurer, representing GROWMARK, Inc.

Tell us a bit about yourself (i.e., your background (where you grew up, education, children, which co-operative you work for, your position, etc.)

Originally from Brampton, I settled in beautiful Erin for the past 30 years. I have been blessed with 3 children and two grandchildren. I have been in the GROWMARK system for 32 years at various co-operatives. I started with UCO in their finance department, then GROWMARK for a total of 12 years, moved to Midwestern Ontario Co-operative as their Controller for 5 years, UPI Energy for 13 years and now I went full circle and am back with GROWMARK. My current position is Manager, Business Integration and Special Projects. I work in the Member Services area where my primary responsibilities are working with our various member co-operatives on anything related to Energy encompassing: operations, financial, acquisitions, system conversions and anything else that comes up on a day to day basis.

How long have you been involved in the co-operative movement, and what do you love most about it? 

I have been in the co-operative system my whole career - 32 years. It is a system build on the ultimate meaning of teamwork and in my experience, it has heart and soul which is difficult to find in the typical corporate world.

If there is one thing you would want people to know about co-ops, what would it be?

Co-operative businesses have a united purpose, a united voice and their success impacts everyone involved especially their membership and the communities they are a part of. When you support a co-operative, you are absolutely supporting your neighbor. If you want to be part of a movement where you are heard and valued, be involved with a co-operative!

Why is your co-operative a member of OCA? 

GROWMARK, as a large agricultural co-operative, represents their member co-operatives, which service communities across Ontario. Being a member of OCA allows us to support and advocate for the well-being of all co-operatives.

What do you think are some of the benefits of being a member of OCA?

Being part of one voice that represents all co-operatives across the province. Access to resources, information and advice. Networking opportunities with other like-minded co-operative businesses. Being a member allows you to be on the leading edge of a growing movement!

Why did you decide to join the OCA board as a Director? 

I have been in one co-operative system my whole career, I am very intrigued by the diversity of the co-operative system as a whole. It is a unique system that is growing in popularity and in strength and I feel that OCA is an important part of that growth.

How has your past experience helped you in this role?

My lengthy time in the co-operative system has provided me with many different opportunities and roles.  I feel that broad background and my love of the system and its principles will enable me to be part of the future of OCA and the co-operative movement.

What do you think are some of the opportunities and challenges facing OCA in the next 3 - 5 years?

I feel the future of the co-operative system lies with bringing more education and awareness to various sectors in our communities. Those sectors include new and existing business sectors, existing co-operatives and our youth. Education and awareness will provide the necessary tools for OCA to expand the co-operative movement throughout Ontario and beyond.

What is your vision for OCA? 

My vision for OCA is for continued growth with all existing co-operatives and increased awareness across all other business sectors in Ontario. Education amongst our youth will provide that much needed awareness to build a stable platform for the long-term future of co-operatives.

Share a fun/silly thing that not many people know about you! 

I have a loud and distinctive laugh that I am told is infectious, but when I enthusiastically laugh, I snort! There is no mistaking me in a crowd!

Contact Terri Naylor at [email protected]