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Volunteer Spotlight - Anthony Okuchi

Anthony Okuchi (far right) with Enkhbold Nyamaa (middle), President of Mongolian National Co-operative Association (MNCA) and Myagmar-Ochir Tsagaan (left), Executive Director of Mongolia Co-operative Information and Training Centre (MCTIC) and Vice President of the MNCAMeet Canadian Co-operative Association volunteer, Anthony Okuchi. Anthony has 20 years experience in the financial services industry working in all aspects - strategy, marketing, research, project management, and operations. He has been a past CCA volunteer/coach in Uganda and Ghana providing coaching advice on day to day operations of credit unions in those countries as well as in Cambodia to work with micro-credit unions and develop a growth strategy. He recently completed a volunteer assignment in Mongolia on strategic planning with the Mongolian National Co-operative Association (MNCA) and Mongolia Co-operative Information and Training Centre (MCTIC).

Why were you interested in a volunteer assignment with CCA?
I was interested in volunteering with CCA as I really like strategy and strategic planning. It is a personal passion to feel that I made a small contribution in helping co-operatives move forward to create a vibrant, healthy co-operative sector in other countries. I like CCA's partnership approach to development and co-operatives. When I volunteer, I feel as if I learn just as much as we pass along to fellow co-operators. Co-operation among co-operatives at its best!

What is innovative (new or different) about the outcomes being achieved in the project?
The innovation for the INVEST Co-op project is creating a more flexible and adaptable strategy that incorporates the current capacity of staff and the various associations.  In other words, we are working on a plan that is easy for stakeholders to understand and implement.

Anthony Okuchi pictured with a monk in Ulaanbaatar at the Parliament Buildings (the highest priest of Buddhism in Mongolia)What have you learned?
My biggest learning is to remind myself to think about hidden meanings through body language, be open minded as all countries have different cultures and social customs. I also realize that you need to focus on the fundamentals of how people work together. Collaboration, respect, understanding and empathizing is important as well as the needs of all stakeholders.