Making someone a Fellow of the Plunkett Foundation is the highest recognition the Plunkett Foundation bestows. The individuals listed below have been made Fellows of the Plunkett Foundation in recognition of the role that they have played in helping the Plunkett Foundation over a number of years.
Kate Targett began her career as a journalist in the USA, before arriving in the UK in 1984. Here she put her honours degrees in history and English to work as Press Officer and ‘wordsmith’ for five counties of the English Tourist Board. In 1992 she joined the Plunkett Foundation, initially with the international development department and subsequently as Information Services Manager, librarian and archivist. A substantial grant from the Ireland Funds in 1998 enabled her to undertake a major project of heritage conservation, preservation and electronic classification for the Foundation’s historic collection of co-operative books, journals, manuscripts and correspondence.
After a year studying and teaching English as a Foreign Language at Oxford Brookes University, Kate returned to her major interest in the Foundation’s heritage in 2003. At the invitation of ICOS Director-General John Tyrrell and James Moloney, Chairman of the IAWS (now One51), she transcribed, annotated and indexed the fifty-one volumes of Sir Horace Plunkett’s handwritten diaries. Covering the years 1881 to 1932, these documents clarify and amplify Plunkett’s colourful biography, as well as his unique role in the social, political and co-operative landscape of Ireland, England and America.
Since retiring in 2008 Kate has remained committed to promoting a range of social enterprises and occasionally edits material for co-operative publications. She became a Fellow in 2011.
John Tyrrell comes from a farming background in County Dublin and is a graduate of University College Dublin with an Honours Degree in Agricultural Science, specialising in Animal Production.
Between 1975 and 1978, he worked with ADAS in the UK as a Dairy Husbandry Advisor. In 1978 he joined the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS), the umbrella organisation for agricultural co-operatives in Ireland. In 1990, he was appointed Director General of ICOS. He has been deeply involved in the major structural changes which have occurred in the Irish co-operative sector since 1990 including the mergers of co-operatives. This has included chairing of merger negotiations. He has also played an active role in the development of the Irish position on the Common Agricultural Policy, and is on a number of expert groups which the Irish Government has set up to advise an food and agriculture policy.
ICOS advises co-operatives on policy issues, including sectoral policy, co-operative structures and representation of co-operatives' interests at national and international level. It also provides a wide range of services for co-operatives and has long been involved in facilitating the re-organisation of the Irish dairy sector.
He was Vice President of COGECA, the European Association of Agricultural and Fishing Co-operatives from 1996-99. He is also a member of a number of European Advisory Committees including the Common Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee.
David Button has almost thirty five years' experience in the Co-operative sector, having held key senior positions in Food from Britain, both as agricultural development director and as financial controller.
He is a past Chairman of the Plunkett Foundation holding the position for six years being instrumental in leading the organisation through an extensive strategic, financial and staffing review. This enabled the Foundation to maintain its key agricultural and rural co-operative development objectives whilst developing a leading role in the social enterprise sector.
David has considerable practical experience of all forms of cooperative development within the UK and also as a senior consultant working on international projects in Central and Eastern Europe funded by DFID and through them the World Bank He is currently a main Board member of Co-operatives uk representing its federal members and is also Chair of the UK Co-operative Forum where he also represents English Farming and Food Partnerships for whom he works as an Associate Consultant advising on all areas of agricultural collaborative development.
Edgar Parnell started his working life in a consumer co-operative in the north of England and subsequently held senior management posts within several UK co-operatives before becoming General Manager of the Co-operative Development Trust, Botswana, which established the nation’s first supermarkets and central wholesaling operations.
On returning to the UK he was appointed as a retail management consultant for Clarks Ltd and later held a similar position with the Co-operative Wholesale Society (UK). Next he became the Non-Food Retailing Manager covering co-operative stores throughout Scotland; then in 1974 adviser on co-operative management to the Government of Jamaica. Other appointments followed, including Manager for the Fund for the Research and Development of Africa and then UN/ILO adviser on management and marketing to co-operatives in India. In 1980 he was appointed as Education Officer at the Plunkett Foundation and thereafter served as Chief Executive from 1984 to 1998.
He has undertaken consultancy and training assignments for co-operatives both in the UK and in over 40 other countries. He also served as: a member of the General Assembly of the International Co-operative Alliance, co-chairman of the EU Committee for the Development of the Rural Economy of Poland, a member of the Council of the Federation of Agricultural Co-operatives (UK), chairman of the UK national Co-operative Development Agency, Education and Training Committee, and on various COGECA (the EU federation of agricultural co-operatives) working parties. Edgar Parnell is the author of many publications of which the best known is Reinventing the Cooperative - Enterprises for the 21st Century, which has been translated into several languages. Edgar is author of the Co-op Pundit blog http://www.co-oppundit.org/ and also uses the Twitter name @Co-opPundit.
Born 06.04.1935 Professor Müenkner studies law from 1955 to 1961 before training as co-operative adviser for developing countries from 1962-1963. From 1963 to 1972 Professor Müenkner was a research fellow and lecturer at Marburg University, Institute for Co-operation in Developing Countries (ICDC).
Professor Müenkner studied for a Doctorate in Law in 1970 and from 1972 became Professor for law of business organizations and co-operative theory, Marburg University. From 1992-2000 he was Director of ICDC and specific areas of research were the development of self-help organisations, co-operative legislation and land law. Since 1992 Professor Münkner has been a patron of Plunkett Foundation before becoming a Fellow in September 2009. From 1990-1995 he was a member of reference groups of the ICA on co-operative values and co-operative principles. In 2000, Professor Müenkner retired from active service at Marburg University. Since 2000 he has been a member of the Faculté Europénne des Sciences du Foncier, Strasbourg.
Professor Müenkner is a consultant of ILO, FAO, UNIDO, UNDAD, USAID, GTZ etc. on revision of co-operative development policy and co-operative legislation in Europe, Africa, Asia and South Pacific.
Hi is also the author of numerous books and articles on development, policy and law of co-operatives as well as on land law, poverty alleviation and alternative forms of economy, e.g. Legal Framework for Enterprises with Social Objectives in Germany, Marburg 2001; How to form a co-operative self-help organisation? Marburg 2005. As editor and contributor: 100 Years Co-operative Credit Societies Act, India 1904 A worldwide applied model of co-operative legislation, Papers presented at a Colloquium in Marburg, 10-12 September 2004, Marburg 2005; full documentation published by ICA Asia Pacific, New Delhi 2005; textbook and self-study book “Our Co-op, idea – mission – achievements”.
Dr Rita Rhodes, a long standing member and former Trustee of the Plunkett Foundation, graduated from the Co-operative College in 1957 and after this time took on a number of co-operative education roles. Her roles included Lecturer in Co-operative Studies at Magee College, University of Ulster, Londonderry, the Co-operative Union’s Scottish Sectional Education Officer, the Education Liaison Officer of the National Co-operative Development Agency, London and the Education Officer and Secretary to the Women’s Committee of the International Co-operative Alliance in London and Geneva.
In 1995 she completed her Ph.D at the Open University on The International Co-operative Alliance During War and Peace 1910-1950 and her thesis was published by the International Co-operative Alliance in the same year. She has since co-authored Thematic Guice to ICA Congresses 1895-1995 in 1996 and authored An Arsenal for Labour – The Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society and Politics 1896-1996 in 1997. Currently, she is preparing a history of the development of co-operatives in the British Empite 1900 – 1960. Dr Rhodes has written numerous articles for Co-operative journals and has delivered papers for national and international co-operative research conferences. She has undertaken co-operative education and training assingments in Malaysia,Sri Lanka, Egypt and Mongolia for the Plunkett Foundation and ILO, often for co-operative women members.
Dr Rhodes is a Visiting Research Associate of the Co-operative Research Unit at the Open University, a member and past Chair of the Society of Co-operative Studies and Review Editor of the Journal of Co-operative Studies and a founder member of the Scottish Co-operatives Development Committee.