I have found that the most reliable path to success is to hire smart people and let them work their magic.
Walden grew up in Texas and graduated from the University of Texas. He got involved with cooperatives in the early 1970's and has worked almost exclusively in that arena ever since. In fact, Walden's work has been recognized nationally, and he was inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C. Walden is Chairman of the Board of Coop Metrics, a company that provides data warehousing to cooperatives across the country in numerous industry sectors. Walden's partner Kate, also an enthusiastic supporter of cooperatives, will join him on the cruise. Kate was also inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2008.
Walden's work with cooperatives has been his career, but it's also where he volunteers. He has been involved in the Green House Project, which was financed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This remarkable project has created an entirely new nursing home model where all the rooms are formed in a circle around a hearth and community living space. The residents are no longer isolated down long, barren hallways, and their quality of life is visibly improved. This model of care has been featured in Parade Magazine and on PBS News Hour, and it is being adopted in many states. The bottom line is that it dramatically improves care and quality of life without increasing cost.
Walden also worked with USAID in the 1990's in Eastern Europe where he and his team helped bring market and cooperative solutions to local economies. He worked on grain shipment projects, drafted business plans for emerging companies and industries, and brought improvements to dairy herd management. He did this while working in association with the National Cooperative Business Association.
Walden and Kate are also volunteering their time and energy to help establish a local food cooperative. As Walden says: "It's great to see these young people so enthusiastic about cooperatives. I help where I can and offer advice based on my years in the industry, but they do the heavy lifting. Cooperatives have found a new life, and it's great fun to watch them prosper. I love the David versus Goliath story."