Posted on

Courtney to step down as general manager at Medford Cooperative


Under his leadership Medford Cooperative has grown from $12 million to $75 million in sales

Medford Cooperative’s board of directors announced last week that Chip Courtney, General Manager since 1989, plans to retire in August 2021.

The board has engaged the services of Land O’ Lakes Retail Talent Management to conduct and facilitate the search for a new Medford Cooperative general manager. It is expected that once chosen, the new candidate will transition into the role later this summer.

Under Courtney’s leadership, the cooperative has recognized much growth. Over the past 32 years, the Medford Cooperative has grown from about $12 million in sales to about $75 million, with increased earnings from a loss of about $500,000 to a positive nearly $3 million. Courtney also led physical growth with numerous retail expansions and acquisitions; built a ground-up 600,000 bushel grain drying and storage facility; and expanded the energy service area to include over 10 counties in Northern Wisconsin, which included the purchase of a propane company and construction of a bulk propane storage facility in Elcho; as well as many more changes and improvements.

Prior to becoming general manager of the Medford Cooperative in 1989, Courtney was the General Manager of the Northern Lakes Cooperative in Hayward.

“Reflecting on all Chip has done for the Medford Cooperative, we are very grateful for his leadership,” commented Brad Dahlvig, board President. “Chip’s dedication to the principles of the cooperative system, coupled with sound fundamental business acumen has leveraged responsible, sustainable growth of our cooperative. He firmly believes in the people involved in each end of every co-op business transaction. After his 32 years of leadership, Chip will leave the Medford Cooperative with a very strong balance sheet and dedicated staff to continue the quest for future growth. It’s refreshing to note that Chip’s leadership has gone beyond the financial and physical aspects of today’s business world. He truly exhibits the company’s mission ‘to serve our community cooperatively and professionally’ and for that, we thank him!”

“This was definitely a bittersweet announcement for me to make. It has been my pleasure to lead Medford Cooperative for the past 32 years,” said Courtney. “Over the years, I’ve developed so many great friendships and I’ll truly miss the daily interaction with our employees and patrons. However, time marches on and I look forward to the next chapter of my life which will allow me the opportunity to spend more time with my family and doing more of the things I enjoy.”