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Twenty years and counting at Co-op

Kissarvik Co-op retail store manager Glenn Woodford was recognized for his 20 years of service to Arctic Co-operatives during a special ceremony for long-service awards held in Rankin Inlet on Aug. 17.

Kissarvik's David Bond received his five-year plaque during the proceedings.

Kissarvik Co-op president Noah Tiktak, left, and manager of member-management services for Arctic Co-operatives Ltd. Kelly Holben, right, present Kissarvik retail store manager Glenn Woodford with a plaque commemorating his 20 years with Arctic Co-operatives in Rankin Inlet earlier this month. photo courtesy Kissarvik Co-op

Woodford, 53, has spent the past 14.5 years in Rankin Inlet after joining the Co-op team at the age of 33.

He said at the time he joined Arctic Co-operatives, his reasons for applying to do so were the same as many Canadians.

"I simply needed the job at the time, but then as I learned more about the organization I decided this was the career path for me," said Woodford.

"Arctic Co-operatives is community minded and its goal is to help people.

"I truly appreciate that about this organization, as opposed to the corporate structure.

"Our intention is to run a business like a business, of course, but the goal that's always in mind is the betterment of the community."

Woodford met his wife, Sheena, while posted in Pond Inlet. The couple married in Rankin Inlet in 2009 and have three children together – Shelly (17), Troy (14) and Eileen (11 months).

He shows his pragmatic side once again when asked to offer some insight into how one successfully navigates 20 years in the Arctic with the same company.

"You get married and have to take care of your family," said Woodford as a matter of fact.

"You have to look after things.

"I still enjoy going to work every day because there's always new challenges and new things happening.

"There's really never a dull moment with our operation."

Woodford said he's made a lot of good friends during his time in Rankin and he loves being out on the land.

He said he enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time at the family cabin, while his family, being Inuit, enjoy being out on the land as much as anyone.

"I appreciate this recognition – which I look at as being a kind of over-and-above thank you for the work I've done – and I'm quite happy being with a company that's so community minded and people orientated.

"I've worked in the corporate environment and I'm not interested in going back there.

"I prefer to work in the Co-op because it's driven by its membership.

"I enjoy working with our core staff in Rankin because they're faithful to us, and they appreciate the Co-op and want to see it do well, and I appreciate that."