Agribusiness & Cooperative Management
Welcome to the Bill Fitzwater Endowed Cooperative Chair Web Page. This page provides access to information and educational material relating to the cooperative form of business. It provides easy access to informational resources at Oklahoma State University and from other sources.
The mission of the Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair is to enhance the performance of existing cooperative businesses, facilitate the development of emerging cooperative enterprises and provide education on the cooperative form of business for the leaders of today and tomorrow.
Bill Fitzwater Advisory Committee
- John Berg
- Mr. Jay Cowart
- Jennifer Dempsey
- Greg Justice
- Kent Prickett
- Dr. Clint Roush
- Joe Royster
- Brent Smith
- Steve Sweeney
The Bill Fitzwater Endowed Cooperative Chair was created in 2001. The chair was made possible by investments of $1M by the Oklahoma cooperative industry that was matched by the State of Oklahoma Higher Regents. The $2M from the endowment were used to create the position and to fund on-going programs.
Bill Fitzwater was born February 19, 1952 and was raised on a farm outside of Protection, Kansas. He was the youngest of eight children of Garland and Irene Fitzwater. As a youngster, he worked on the family farm and also worked at his local home town co-operative. He married Janet Webster on June 10, 1972 and received an Associate degree from Dodge City Community College, an Associate of Claims degree from the Insurance Institute and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) from the American Institute for Property and Liability Underwriters, Inc. He held a number of positions in the insurance industry including claims adjuster with Kansas Claims Service, western Kansas field adjuster for Farmland Mutual Insurance Company. At Farmland his career quickly expanded to include positions as Illinois State Claims Manager, Regional Claims Manager for Illinois and Kansas. He then progressed to the home office where he held positions as Director of Claims and Director of Commercial Lines Underwriting.
Due to Bill's extensive background in insurance, in July of 1991, he was asked to join Triangle Cooperative Service Company in Oklahoma as Vice-President of Operations to implement the formation of Triangle Insurance Company. On May 1, 1992, Bill was elected President of Triangle Cooperative Service Company and its subsidiaries. In 1993, Triangle assumed management of Producers Exchange Cooperative of Texas. In 1996, these two organizations merged, forming a service cooperative with over 250 members in Texas and Oklahoma. Bill served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Co-op Retirement Plan, Oklahoma Agricultural Cooperative Council, and the Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council. Bill died in 1997. The memorial money from Bill's funeral was donated to the Bill Fitzwater Endowed Chair at Oklahoma State University, and the funds were matched by several companies.
- Arthur Capper Cooperative Center
- Agricultural Marketing Research Center
- Dacoma Farmers Cooperative
- Kentucky Center for Cooperative Development
- Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives