Tag Archives: Rogue Federal Credit Union

For Dee: A Very Special Teacher

2 Jul

About two weeks ago my husband, Emile, and I attended the SOREDI 25th Anniversary Annual Dinner.  At the dinner, some people were recognized for helping SOREDI get its start, while others were honored for creating businesses that have prospered in southern Oregon.

Emile is the General Manager of the Medford Coop and since 2012 was declared the International Year of Cooperatives by the United Nations,  one of the groups that was honored that night were the representatives of the cooperatives in the Rogue Valley.  Those four coops are: The Ashland Food Coop, The Medford Food Coop, The Grange Coop, and the Rogue Federal Credit Union.

All of the coop representatives sat at one table and it was quite a nice group.  I sat next to Barry Robino,  the CEO of the Grange Coop.  It seems that Emile had told Barry about my pie adventure and he asked me about it.  When I told him that most of my children’s teachers had received pies, Barry mentioned that his wife, Dee, was a kindergarten teacher.  And then he told me a story.

First some background:  Every year, Barry’s wife, Dee, creates a book for each and every one of her students.  This book is for the children to keep and it is all about them.  That is an amazing feat when you consider that Dee has two kindergarten classes and upwards of 42 students to do this for!

Now for the story: It happened that one night, one of Dee’s students was getting ready for bed and while most of the time his Mom was the one who read to him, on this particular night, his Dad was the one reading to him. The young boy had selected the book Dee had created and his Dad began to read it to him.  At one point in the book the Dad noticed that his son was crying and he stopped reading and asked him what was wrong.  The son replied, “Oh it’s okay Dad.  I always cry at this part of the story.”

I thought, “What a wonderful thing Dee has done!  She created a book that really touched this child… what a gift.  He will treasure that book and remember it forever.”  And since I have been thinking about that story for the last few weeks, I finally realized that I needed to make a pie for Dee… to thank her for her love and commitment to her students and for going the extra mile to make their kindergarten experience so special.  I only wish that all children could have such a wonderful start to their educational career.

raspberry Rhubarb Pie

Teaching is leaving a vestige of one self in the development of another.  And surely the student is a bank where you can deposit your most precious treasures.  ~Eugene P. Bertin


Day 294: International Year of Cooperatives

25 Jan

 International Year of Cooperatives is intended to raise public awareness of the invaluable contributions of cooperative enterprises to poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. The Year will also highlight the strengths of the cooperative business model as an alternative means of doing business and furthering socioeconomic development. From Argentina to Zambia, the 1.4 million co-operatives across the globe will be celebrating and showing how they build a better world. (from the UN website

On October 31 of last year, the United Nations General Assembly launched the International Year of Cooperatives.  Cooperatives are businesses that are owned and managed by their members.  In southern Oregon, there are several cooperatives that you might have noticed: Rogue Federal Credit Union (RFCU), the Grange Coop, Ashland Food Coop, and the Medford Food Coop.  Recently, Bill Meyer of KMED, interviewed managers of those coops on RFCU’s Living Local Blog (hosted by Gene Pelham).  You can link to that interview here.   Two things that I learned from that interview are that those four cooperatives provide jobs for more than 600 people in southern Oregon and they have combined gross sales of $113 million.

Tonight my husband, who manages the Medford Food Coop, was at a coop meeting. I thought I would surprise him and his team with dessert. Shortly after their meeting began, I walked in with a Chocolate Pecan Pie (still warm from the oven) to help them keep up their strength for the tasks at hand.

As I drove home, the aroma of that pie was still present and smelled so delicious, it’s a wonder I was able to give it away at all!