Gateway Co-op president elected to national Federated Co-op board

Lyle Olson, of Endeavour and Preeceville area, was recently elected to the board of Federated Co-operatives Ltd (FCL) at the 91st annual meeting in Saskatoon on March 2.

Olson has been the Gateway Co-op president for the past five years and projects that he will be stepping down from the position as soon as Gateway is able to host its annual meeting.

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Olson started his Co-op career in the late 1980s when he worked at the Preeceville and Canora locations for numerous years and briefly at Pelly for six months. He and his wife Grace built the Tempo gas station in Sturgis with dreams of working for themselves, and owned and operated the business from 1992 to 2005. The Tempo was served by the Co-op at that time and continues to be affiliated with Co-op.

He was elected to the Gateway Co-op after he sold his business. He continues to be part of the family’s business, Cool Springs Ranch, where he was the main butcher since 2010 when he received his certification. In the last few years he has stated that he has taken a more relaxed part in the family business.

"It is a great honour to be elected to the Federated Co-op and I look forward to continue serving Co-op but in a more challenging role," said Olson. He was one of three delegates nominated for the position.

"Co-op has undergone a lot of changes through the years, technology being the biggest change,” continued Olson. “In the beginning Co-op was in dire straits with being faced with an older fleet of trucks and facilities were not up to par but Co-op has made a tremendous amount of changes which has made it the success it is today.

"I feel I have a lot to offer Federated Co-op as I have been involved within all the aspects of Co-op, from the bottom level to the administration level."

Olson previously served on the Gateway Co-op as a board member for 10 years prior to being elected as president, a position which he has filled for five years.

Working together, FCL and local retail co-ops form the Co-operative Retail System (CRS) which helps build, feed and fuel individuals and communities from Vancouver Island to Northwest Ontario and into the Arctic.

Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) does business differently. At its core, FCL is a co-operative that supports other co-operatives that serve people in Western Canada.
FCL is a wholesaling, manufacturing, marketing and administrative co-operative owned by more than 170 independent retail co-operative associations. These retail co-ops own and operate agro centres, food stores, gas bars/convenience stores and home centres. Over the years, FCL has been involved in a wide variety of business ventures. There has been great growth, as well as challenges. Through it all, FCL has remained focused on providing long-term sustainable value for its members. Strong co-operative governance is the foundation upon which we pursue a common purpose with our retail owners.

Federated Co-op is a leverage to financial strength to steward the sustainable growth of the Co-operative Retailing System. At Co-op, members/customers feel at home, because we are part of the fabric of the communities we serve. We foster meaningful careers and inspire our employees to bring our brand to life every day. We model and celebrate a culture of teamwork, learning and innovation, stated the FCL web site.