Co-operative enterprises
build a better world

Board of Directors

ICA Board 2017


Ariel Guarco
Ariel Guarco (Argentina)

Mr. Guarco is also the President of the Federation of Electric and Public Services Co-operatives of the Province of Buenos Aires (FEDECOBA) and secretary of the Inter-Federative Electric Co-operatives Confederation of Argentina (CONAICE) both since 2008. He’s the President of the Cooperative Confederation of the Argentine Republic since 2011. He’s Member of the International Co-operative Alliance’s Global Board since 2013 and Deputy Vice-President of Cooperatives of the Americas since 2014. He is the author of the book “The Argentine Cooperative Movement – A hopeful Look into the Future”. He has been elected president of the International Co-operative Alliance during the Alliance’s General Assembly held on 17 in Malaysia.

Vice Presidents:


Africa - Stanley Charles Muchiri

Mr. Muchiri was re-elected as President of ICA-Africa at their last Regional Assembly held in November 2016. He has served as Vice President for Africa on the Alliance Board since 2003. He has served the co-operative movement in various capacities for over 40 years. He has served the Board of the Co-operative Bank of Kenya as Director since 1986 and as Chairman since 2002. He serves as Chairman to many organisations including the Co-operative Bank Foundation, Kenya Co-operative Coffee Exporters, and Co-opholdings Co-operative Society. He holds diplomas in Co-operative Management from Turin, Italy, and from the University of Wisconsin Madison USA, and a Certificate in Co-operative Administration from the Co-operative University College of Kenya.

Americas – Ramon Imperial Zúñiga

Americas – Ramon Imperial Zúñiga

Mr. Imperial was re-elected as President of Co-operatives of the Americas at the IX Regional Assembly held in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) on 7 November 2014 for a period of four years. He has served on the Alliance Board as Vice President for the Americas since 2008. He is an industrial engineer and has held various positions mainly in the sector of savings and credit co-operatives, as well as in integration bodies, both in his country, Mexico, and internationally. He was President (1995-1999) and CEO (1990-2014) of Caja Popular Mexicana, the largest financial co-operative in his country. During his extensive trajectory in the co-operative movement he has also been President of the Confederation of Savings and Credit Co-operatives of Mexico (CONCAMEX), President of the Latin American Confederation of Credit Unions (COLAC), President of the Mexican Council of Popular Savings and Credits (COMACREP), Member of the Board of the International Raiffeisen Union (IRU), and President of the Co-operative System of Payment Means (SISCOOP), among other responsibilities.

Asia-Pacific - Chunsheng Li

Asia-Pacific - Chunsheng Li

Mr. Chunsheng was re-elected as President of ICA-AP at their last Regional Assembly held in New Delhi (India) on 18 November 2016 for a period of four years. He has served on the Alliance Board as Vice President for Asia-Pacific since 2007. He is currently the Vice President of All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives (ACFSMC). During his long period of service, he worked with Helihe farm in Heilongjiang Province, Forest Affairs Bureau and the State Council of China respectively, through which he gained rich experience on agricultural, management and leadership capacity. During his tenure at ACFSMC, he held major posts at the Farm Inputs Bureau, the Department of International Cooperation and the Vice President of ACFSMC.

Jean-Louis Bancel

Europe - Jean-Louis Bancel

Mr. Bancel was elected as President of Cooperatives Europe at their last General Assembly on 27 April 2017 in Malta. He began serving on the Alliance Board in 2008 when he was co-opted to represent the sectoral organisations. He was elected as a member at-large in 2013. Born in 1955, graduated from HEC (1978), ENA (1980-1982), PhD in Law. He chairs the Principles Committee of the Alliance Board. He is Chairman of the International Cooperative Banking Association (ICBA) since 2006. He was President of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) (2001–2005). He is a former civil servant of the French Ministry of Finance in various senior positions. He worked as Secretary General of Groupement des Entreprises Mutuelles d’Assurances (trade body of non-life mutual insurance, 1997–2004). He joined Crédit Coopératif in 2005 as Vice President and became Chairman in 2009.

Board Members:


AUSTRALIA – Gregory WALL – nominated by Capricorn Society Ltd.

Mr. Wall is the CEO of Capricorn, a director of ICA and dot coop domain. He has held a variety of relevant directorships including CUSCAL, Edith Cowan University, Lavan Legal, Automotive Holdings, COOPS WA and Home Building Society. Mr. Greg Wall was the Chairman of the Australian International Year of Cooperatives Secretariat and led the formation of the Business Councils of Mutuals and Cooperatives in Australia and is a director.  He was instrumental in appointing the first Coop to the B20. He holds a Master of Arts- Futures and attended the CEO Institute at Berkeley and Cornell Universities, USA.

BRAZIL – Onofre Cezário De Souza FILHO

BRAZIL – Onofre Cezário De Souza FILHO – nominated by Organização das Cooperativas Brasileiras (OCB)

Dr. De Souza Filho graduated in Medicine from Federal University of Goiás and has a specialization course in Cooperatives Management by the Getulio Vargas Foundation. He started in the cooperative movement at the health cooperative Unimed Cuiabá, being one of the founders of the Unimed cooperative system. He was president of the Unimed Federation. Currently president of OCB and the National Service of Cooperative Learning – Sescoop in the state of Mato Grosso. Member of the Board of the Federation of Unions of Cooperatives of the Federal District and States of Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Tocantins.


CANADA – Alexandra WILSON – nominated by Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC)

Ms. Wilson has spent more than 40 years developing, managing, providing association services to and supervising housing co-operatives. CEO of the Agency for Co-operative Housing, she is a director of the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa and vice chair and chair of the Risk Committee of The Co-operators, a large Canadian insurance company. Three years’ service with the Canadian Co-operative Association’s international affairs unit and 23 years’ service on the board of ICA Housing have given her a strong appreciation of the international movement. Alexandra’s service has been recognized through multiple awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.


DENMARK – Susanne WESTHAUSEN – nominated by Kooperationen 

Ms. Westhausen is the CEO of Kooperationen. Board member in Cooperatives EU and current Vice President. "The alliance’ most important role is the work for global recognition of and the best possible framework and level playing fields for the cooperative business model by securing strong local regions and sectors. In these hard political times in the world we need a strong cooperative movement to ensure equal opportunities and the possibility of a good life for everybody", said while presenting her candidancy to the Board.


FINLAND – Marjaana SAARIKOSKI – nominated by SOK Corporation

Ms. Saarikoski is the Director, Cooperative Affairs and partnerships SOK Corporation, Vice Chair of The Alliance Gender Equality Committee. Marjaana Saarikoski has been with S Group since 1983 in various leadership positions in sales, marketing, chain/ concept management and its customer loyalty program. Ms. Saarikoski has wide business experience of retailing and cooperation with various stakeholders, which more than qualify her to work on the ICA Board. “I believe that the cooperative movement is a flourishing business model for the future, and in working together more deeply in new ways we are able to build a better world.”


FRANCE – Florence RAINEIX – nominated by Coop FR

Ms. Raineix has been the Executive Director of the National Federation of Caisses d'Epargne (FNCE) since October 2011. She was previously Secretary General and Executive Director of the “Caisse d'Epargne” Ile-de-France. Within the FNCE, F. Raineix is responsible for defining the CSR strategic orientations of the Caisses d'Epargne. She represents the interests of Caisses d’Epargne and promotes their cooperative model among international institutions. She also develops international cooperation. She is a member of the Office of the Higher Council for Social and Solidarity Economy. F. Raineix holds a Law Degree from La Sorbonne and an executive MBA from HEC Paris.


INDIA – Aditya YADAV – nominated by Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO)

Mr. Yadav is a young, committed Indian Co-operator, Member of the Board of Directors of the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) which is a strong, active and long standing member of the Alliance. As a proactive Board member of the global cooperative movement, he continuously ponders for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for cooperatives across the globe and has widely travelled to meet these objectives. His novel approach through IFFCO to empower Youth and Women is exemplary. Being ardent environmentalist, he promotes use of alternative energy through cooperatives. He is a staunch believer that “Cooperatives have Power to Transform Global Economy”.


ITALY – Carlo SCARZANELLA – nominated by A. G. C. I. – Associazione Generale Cooperative Italiane

Mr. Scarzanella was born in 1957 and has a law degree. Started his cooperative career in 1982. From 1999 to 2008 he was Chairman of AGCI local branch of Tuscany. Vice-President of AGCI since 2008. President of AGCI Culturalia, the sector which gathers tourism, culture, entertainment and communication cooperatives of AGCI. Member of the Board of the Alliance of Italian Cooperatives (ACI) where he is President of the sector for cultural cooperatives and Co-President of the sectors for the tourism, publishing and communication cooperatives. Member of Foncoop Board.


JAPAN – Toru NAKAYA – nominated by JA Zenchu (Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives)

Mr. Nakaya is President of JA Zenchu, the apex organization of agricultural co-operatives in Japan. Former President Mr. Akira Banzai is an outgoing ICA Board member. He also chairs the Japan Joint Committee of Co-operatives that consists of 17 ICA members, representing consumers, agriculture, fishery, forestry, banking, mutual, health and welfare and workers with over 65 million members. As a graduate of Central Academy of Co-operative, Mr. NAKAYA has been a leading co-operator from the field. As President of IDACA (Institute for the Development of Agricultural Cooperation in Asia), he strongly supports capacity-building of cooperatives in developing countries.


MALAYSIA – Kamarudin ISMAIL – nominated by Malaysian National Cooperative Movement (ANGKASA)

Mr. Kamarudin Ismail has contributed more than three decades to the development of school co-operatives in Malaysia while serving as Senior Assistant Director at the Education Ministry. He owns TESL degree from Edinburgh University, Scotland. He serves as the Vice-President of ANGKASA since 2012 and also holds other positions. He was awarded Co-curriculum National Figure Award and Excellent Service Award from the Education Ministry. His broad experience on youth co-operative has taken him to many countries where he represented Malaysia to talk about school co-operative. Mr. Ismail believes that co-operatives’ sustainability begins from youth at school level.


NEPAL – Om Devi MALLA – nominated by National Cooperative Federation of Nepal 

Ms. Malla was born on Dhuwakot V.D.C. of Gorkha District. Completed Master Degree on Sociology from Tribhuvan University. First Nepali woman to obtain Diploma in Co-operative Education from NCCE, India. First woman vice chairperson of National Cooperative Federation of Nepal. Enters cooperative sector since 1999. Considered as cooperative experts and BOD of National Cooperative Development Board. Actively participate in the International Cooperative Alliance's programs. Received cooperative trainings from more than 10 countries. A women activist for inclusion in cooperative. A member of legislative parliament. Awarded from various national and international organizations for continuous contribution in cooperatives sector.


SINGAPORE – Kok Kwong KWEK – nominated by Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF)

As Chairman of the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF), Kok Kwong is a strong advocate of collaboration and cooperation at national, regional, and international levels. He is also Chief Executive Officer of Singapore’s largest education and training co-operative, NTUC LearningHub, and has been instrumental in supporting the nation-wide SkillsFuture campaign to re-skill and up-skill the Singaporean workforce to better prepare for a fast-changing economy. Combining his passion for lifelong education and his rich experience in diplomacy and collaboration, Kok Kwong aspires to serve in the International Cooperative Alliance’s (ICA) Global Board to further strengthen the global co-operative movement.


SWEDEN – Anders LAGO – nominated by HSB

Mr. Lago is chairman of HSB, Sweden’s largest co-operative housing organisation. For him, the co-operative movement means democracy, commitment and development and opens up enormous opportunities to empower and develop human beings as well as communities. He is a proud member of the Board of We Effect (formerly Swedish Cooperative Centre) whose activities in 24 countries, are good examples of this meaningful way of making people grow and make a difference. He is also a board member of Folksam, the mutual insurance company that insures half of Sweden's population.


UNITED KINGDOM – Ben REID – nominated by The Midcounties Co-operative

An accountant by profession, Ben Reid began as co-operative employee in a small co-operative in Ilkeston, UK. Now Group CEO of Midcounties co-operative employing over 9,000 staff with an annual turnover of over £1.5billion, Midcounties is the most diverse, innovative and democratic consumer co-operative in the UK. A traditional co-operative, it has, under Ben’s leadership, moved into childcare, travel, health and energy to great acclaim. A committed international co-operator he is currently a Director of the ICA. Having used global examples over two decades to drive success at Midcounties he is now working to develop a stronger global co-operative movement.


UNITED STATES – Martin LOWERY – nominated by National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)

Dr. Martin Lowery is Executive Vice President, Member and Association Relations of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He is an inductee to the U.S. Cooperative Hall of Fame, the highest honor bestowed on individuals who have made heroic contributions to the cooperative community. Lowery serves on the board of the National Cooperative Business Association. He is Chair of the National Cooperative Bank board and serves on the Executive Committee of the Consumer Federation of America. He is U.S. representative to the board of the International Cooperative Alliance and is Chair of the ICA International Accounting and Regulatory Affairs Committee.                                 

Sectoral Organisation Representatives:


BULGARIA – Petar STEFANOV – nominated by Consumer Cooperatives Worldwide (CCW)

Mr. Stefanov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. He has been the President of Central Cooperative Union - Bulgaria since 2003. He holds a Phd Degree in Economics and in 2017 became a Professor. He has been a member of Group III of Economic and Social Council of Bulgaria since 1995. He is an ICA Board member and Chair of the ICA Governance Committee since 2009; President of CCW since 2015 and member of the CCW Executive Committee since 2001; Cooperatives Europe Vice-President (2009-2013; 2013-2017), and Euro Coop Board members since 2006. Throughout his tenure on international level, Petar Stefanov has been at the forefront of supporting several key developments for the co-operative movement, such as harmonising co-operative legislation, a signle co-operative brand, coop-to-coop trade and youth policy. He represented global consumer co-operatives at the 2017 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in the first-ever panel on co-operatives.


FRANCE – Isabelle FERRAND – nominated by International Co-operative Banking Association (ICBA)

Ms. Ferrand is the Chief Financial Officer of Credit Mutuel’s central body, where she is in charge of accounting and regulatory policies, consolidated financial statement, prudential reporting to the competent authorities and financial control. Credit Mutuel Group is the 34th largest bank in the world, with two main activities: banking and insurance. It employs close to 80 000 people. She represents the International Co-operative Alliance on the IFRS Advisory Council. She has a master’s Degree and a Superior Accounting Studies Diploma. 


SPAIN – Manuel MARISCAL – nominated by International organisation of cooperatives in industry and services (CICOPA)

Mr. Mariscal, born in El Coronil, Seville, began his cooperative activity with the start-up Barranco. He put his substantial experience in the management of cooperative enterprises at the service of FAECTA, the Andalusian Federation of Worker Cooperative, where he was president between 2000 and 2011. He was vice-president of COCETA, the Spanish Worker Cooperative Confederation between 2005 and 2017. He is vice-president of CECOP– CICOPA Europe, the European Confederation of industrial and service cooperatives. He has been president of CICOPA, the sectoral organisation of the International Cooperative Alliance for industrial and services cooperatives, since 2011.


SOUTH KOREA – Kim BYEONG-WON – nominated by International Co-operative Agricultural Organisation (ICAO)

With the strong belief that cooperative business models bring opportunities to better the socially and economically weak, Dr. Byeongwon Kim has devoted his entire life to agriculture and cooperative movements. He began his career at a member cooperative in 1978, and after serving as president of Agri-cooperative and NACF Food Grains, he was elected as Chairman of NACF in 2016. He is also serving as the president of ICAO and a board member of ICA-AP, and was awarded a presidential medal for agricultural development by the Korean government. He also strived to nurture young talents at the Korea Agriculture College.

Gender Equality Committee:

COLOMBIA – Maria Eugenia Pérez Zea

COLOMBIA – Maria Eugenia Pérez Zea – nominated by Cooperativa Médica del Valle y Profesionales, COOMEVA 

Ms. Pérez Zea was born in Medellin, Colombia. A lawyer with specialization in administrative Law, Socioeconomic Evaluation of Projects, and postgraduate in Cooperative Law. She has been a cooperative leader in Coomeva for 18 years. The first woman to reach the highest managerial position at Coomeva as Chairperson of the Board of Directors 2010-2017 and also as Chairperson of the Board of directors at Ascoop 2015–2017. She served as President of the Alliance Gender Equality Committee 2011–2018, President of CREG ACI Gender equality Regional Committee 2010-2014 and Vice President of CREG ACI Gender equality Regional Committee 2014-2018.

Youth Representative:

FRANCE – Sébastien Chaillou

FRANCE – Sébastien Chaillou – nominated by the Youth Network

Mr. Chaillou lives in Paris (France). He became passionate about social change and concrete action when he joined a student union in university: He has ever since been driven by the will to help people answer their immediate needs but also contribute to the transformation of our society. He joined the Solidarité Etudiante initiative in 2013 to create a cooperative which would help students self-organize and manage their own services on campus. He became Chief Director of this multistakesholder coop. He is also involved in many associations to promote cooperation and represent young cooperators, in particular co-founding the Young European Cooperators Network.