Vernon interviews Cornelius Blanding Executive Director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives.
33 months ago by Vernon_Oakes
Vernon interviews Cornelius Blanding Executive Director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. Vernon and Cornelius wdiscuss FSC's upcoming Annual Meeting, and the role the Federation plays in assisting people to help themselves through cooperatives. Cornelius Blanding assumed the position of Executive Director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives earlier this year on March 1. He began his career in development work as an economic development intern for the City of Miami Beach. Since then he has gained a broad experience base including rural, international and cooperative economic development. Blanding has worked with the Federation for the past 17 years in various program and leadership capacities to propel the organization and its membership forward. Immediately prior to his appointment he served as the Federation's deputy director. During his tenure with the Federation, Blanding spearheaded several of the program's special initiatives, including its international work in Africa, the Caribbean and around the world. He has also spent more than two decades managing diverse, rural development projects worldwide. He has worked as a small business development and management consultant; managed a $3 million revolving loan fund, led disaster relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and a pilot urban agriculture project in Cleveland, Ohio. Blanding has also led the Federation's Cooperative Development Team working nationally and internationally to promote the cooperative movement. He developed the "Cooperative Roundtable" as part of the Federation's efforts to connect emerging and people-of-color cooperatives in the South with the more established cooperative movement in the nation. Cornelius has also served and continues to serve on various boards and committees, including the National Cooperative Business Association, Agricultural Safety & Health Council of America, Southeast Climate Consortium, Presbyterian Committee on the Self Development of People and was recently appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the Land Tenure Sub-Committee of the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers & Ranchers.