National Cooperative Business Association

Founded in 1916 as the Cooperative League of the United States of America, the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) is a United States membership organization for cooperatives, businesses that are jointly owned and democratically controlled.

National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International
TypeCooperative association
IndustryCooperative Business Association, International Development
FoundedMarch 18, 1916 (March 18, 1916)
Area served
United States
Key people
Doug O'Brien, President & CEO
Number of employees
HQ: 75 Worldwide: 700+

The league's founding president was medical doctor James Peter Warbasse, who served in that role until 1941.[1] Thereafter, the league's presidents included Murray B. Lincoln, former U.S. Congressman Jerry Voorhis, Stanley Dreyer, Glenn Anderson, Morgan Williams, Bob Scherer, Russell C. Notar, Paul Hazen, and Michael Beall.[2] In November 2015, after the resignation of Michael Beall, Judy Ziewacz became interim CEO until she was appointed by the board of directors as president and CEO effective February 1, 2016. Ziewacz was the first woman to hold the office of president and CEO in NCBA CLUSA's 100 years of service.[3] She was succeeded two years later by Doug O'Brien.

In its first few decades, it focused on consumer cooperation, and published a monthly magazine, Co-operation.


In 1922, it originated and trademarked the twin pines symbol used to represent North American cooperatives. "The pine tree is an ancient symbol of endurance and immortality. The two pines represent mutual cooperation—people helping people."[4]

In 2000 the group successfully lobbied the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to establish a new top-level domain exclusively for cooperative organizations. The domain, .coop, became active in 2002.

NCBA members include some well-known United States consumer brands, such as Ace Hardware, True Value, Nationwide Insurance, Cabot Creamery, Organic Valley, Land O'Lakes, and CHS Inc..


  1. ^ "Dr. James Peter Warbasse (1866–1957)". Cooperative Hall of Fame. Washington DC: Cooperative Development Foundation. Archived from the original on 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2008-10-18.
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  4. ^ Zeuli, Kimberly. "What is a Cooperative?" (PDF). United States Department of Agricultural Service. Retrieved December 12, 2014.

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