NASCO Inducts 2021 Cooperative Hall of Fame

Three headshots of Ronald Nelson, David Sparer, and Lana Wong.


On Friday, November 12, 2021 at NASCO Institute online, three cooperators were honored as inductees in the NASCO Cooperative Hall of Fame. The NASCO Hall of Fame, created in 1989, provides broader recognition to individuals who have made a truly significant impact within the cooperative movement. NASCO is proud to honor the 2021 inductees (pictured from left to right):


Ronald Nelson

Ron Nelson currently serves as the Director of Housing Services at the Inter-Cooperative Council at the University of Michigan, a non-profit cooperative student housing organization that serves 550 members in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is also an alumnus of ICC Ann Arbor, having lived in Luther Buchele and Coretta Scott King Houses from 2002-2008. Ron has committed most of his adult life to cooperative community building, policy development, team building, technological developments, food access and affordability (including serving on the Board of Student Buyers Association, a non-profit purchasing cooperative, as a member, President and Vice-President), and more - all for the benefit of student cooperative members to live, learn, and grow in housing cooperatives. 


David "Rosebud" Sparer

David “Rosebud” Sparer has been an attorney in Madison, Wisconsin since 1979. For over 40 years as an attorney, he has focused on representing and assisting cooperatives and non-profits. He has assisted housing co-ops, grocery co-ops, farmer co-ops, and worker co-ops, with everything from initial organizing, negotiating leases, litigation, contract negotiations, purchasing or selling real estate, and dealing with zoning. Rosebud has provided the framework by which many NASCO member co-ops are eligible for property tax exemption, and supported many co-ops in creating organizational structures that uphold cooperative principles. He has also been a presenter of several workshops at each NASCO Institute for the last 20 years, including this one! Rosebud has consistently been willing to share his knowledge over the past decades and remains an invaluable source of cooperative information. 


Lana Wong

Lana Wong started their co-op journey at Waterloo Co-operative Residence Inc. (WCRI) while studying at the University of Waterloo. Fascinated by members’ self-determination on the co-op’s values, how the co-op is organized, and what the future holds, Lana joined WCRI’s development project and served on WCRI and NASCO boards. In their 10 years of service to WCRI, Lana has seen the co-op through massive changes, most notably being the development of their newest building, Fenwick. The addition of Fenwick increased WCRI’s capacity by roughly 250 to the 1000+ occupancy they have today, allowing WCRI to introduce hundreds of more students to the co-operative movement each year. Lana has played and continues to play an instrumental part within the co-operative sector through their dedicated work with WCRI, NASCO, and the Central Ontario Co-operative Housing Federation.


Learn more about the NASCO Cooperative Hall of Fame here.