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February 2013


by Mike R. Hagy


Emerson Named New NRECA Head


The National Association of Electric Cooperatives (NRECA) is the national organization that represents the interests of SWRE and other electric cooperatives in Washington, D.C. The non-profi t organization is head- quartered in Arlington, VA. In addition to lobbying and legislative matters, NRECA provides a wide range of services to its member co-ops, including SWRE. For the past 19 years the NRECA has been led by CEO Glenn English. English will retire this month. Many people in our area know Glenn English well because he is a native of southwest Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Cordell and represented Oklahoma’s Sixth District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 20 years –1974 to 1994. As head of the NRECA, Glenn English has been a tireless advocate for rural electric cooperatives and the members they serve. After an exhaustive search for his replacement, the NRECA announced in December that JoAnn Emerson has been chosen as the organization’s new head. Like English, she comes to the post after many years


of distinguised service in the U.S. House of Represen- tatives.


Following is the NRECA’s offi cial December 14 an-


nouncement regarding Emerson’s selection for the post: The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association


(NRECA) today announced that Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson will assume the role of Chief Executive Offi cer, effective March 1, 2013. Emerson will take over for long-time CEO Glenn English, who announced his retirement earlier this year. “We conducted an exhaustive search to identify the


very best individual to lead a great association,” said NRECA Board President Mike Guidry. “We’re convinced we found that person in Jo Ann Emerson. Her back- ground as a Member of Congress and a trade associa- tion executive – coupled with her extensive knowledge of the issues facing electric cooperatives and rural America – make Jo Ann eminently qualifi ed to lead NRECA and represent the interests of our members. The respect she has from both sides of the aisle and her proven ability to bridge political and policy divides and fi nd common ground will serve NRECA well.” Emerson was fi rst elected to the U.S. House of Repre-


sentatives in 1996 from Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District. She serves on the House Appropriations Com- mittee and Chairs the Subcommittee on Financial Ser-


vices and General Government Appropriations, with oversight of the U.S. Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, and various independent government agen- cies, including the U.S. Securi- ties & Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the General Ser- vices Administration, and the Small Business Administration. In addition to a leadership role on agriculture, health care, and government reform is- sues in the House, Emerson has won recognition for her work on energy issues, including the NRECA Dis- tinguished Service Award. “Energy has a direct relationship with the vitality of


rural America. Without reliable, affordable electricity delivered by electric cooperatives serving thousands of communities, millions of Americans would be left without the energy that brings economic opportunity, unsurpassed quality of life, and the promise of growth in the future,” said Emerson. “NRECA is committed to the electric cooperatives of this great nation that fulfi ll this vital need, and work so hard every day to improve the quality of life for their member-owners. I am so very honored to join an outstanding organization to work on their behalf.” In addition to her committee posts, Emerson also


serves as co-Chair of the Tuesday Group, is a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and holds a position on the Board of the Congressional Hunger Center. She is the fi rst Republican woman from Missouri to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Emerson graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and held executive roles in communications and government affairs positions with the National Restaurant Association and the American Insurance Association before being elected to the fi rst of nine terms in Congress. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association


is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profi t, consumer- owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.


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