David Smith has been an important part of the cooperative
movement for more than three decades. Remarkably, all of his efforts have been
on a volunteer basis. He served as president of Penn South Co-op for more than
20 years, where he pioneered a program in energy conservation that resulted in
significant savings for the co-op and its members. Also in this role he successfully
fought to retain the limited equity nature of Penn South, and helped develop a
comprehensive senior citizens support program.
Smith was also one of the original organizers of the
Coordinating Council of Cooperatives, which brings together leaders of the largest
housing co-ops in New York City. He served as vice-chairman when it was first
established, as chairman for six years, and now as co-chairman. He also serves
as executive vice president of Coordinated Housing Services, a cooperative services
organization he helped found in 1976.
Nationally, Smith actively serves on numerous cooperative
boards and committees. He has consistently been the lead fundraiser for the Cooperative
Development Foundation's 5k race, and in 1994 took on the awesome task of leading
the efforts to celebrate the 150th anniversary of modern cooperatives. He has
also reached out to rural and producer cooperatives through exchanges with New
York City cooperatives.
Without question Dave Smith has strengthened the entire
U.S. cooperative movement through his incredible volunteer efforts. His devotion
to cooperatives is unwavering, his accomplishments immense, and his actions selfless.