Hazel Corcoran is the Executive Director of the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF), and she has been in all aspects of worker co-op development and support for more than 30 years.
A trained lawyer, Hazel has served the co-operative movement in a variety of capacities, including as Director of the national francophone apex organization as it then was, le Conseil canadien de la coopération (“CCC”) (1994-2005)and Executive Director of the CoopZone Developers’ Network through CWCF (2005-2018). She was on the founding Board of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada from 2013 through 2016. She was elected to the Board of Co-operators in 2016 and continues to serve there. She is also a co-founder of the Big Idea Rainbow Foundation, whose goal is to spread the message of co-operative values and potential through art, stories, songs, social media, and popular culture generally: the Big Idea is the unleashing of creativity for the solidarity economy.
Hazel was recently elected to the board of CICOPA, the international worker co-op association. She has been actively engaged with CICOPA-Américas and CICOPA-North America since 2011.
Hazel is especially proud of the recent work she has co-led at CWCF in the area of racial justice, led by CWCF’s JEDDI Committee (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Decolonization, and Inclusion), BIPOC Advisors, and Board. CWCF was the inaugural recipient of the CMC Award which was presented in June 2023, to CWCF for its work notably in its JEDDI Business Conversion project, with an emphasis on Equity-Denied Groups.
She is the recipient of the CCC Co-operative Merit Award, highest degree (2012), and the Association of Cooperative Educators’ William J. Nelson Award (2016).
Born and raised in New Orleans, USA, Hazel first moved to Canada to study languages. She holds a B.A.(Honours) in Romance Languages from the University of Alberta, an M.A. in Linguistics from UC Berkeley, and a J.D. from Dalhousie University. She resides most of the time in Calgary, Alberta, and sometimes in the Halifax region of Nova Scotia, near CWCF’s head office.