Co-op education, collaboration is key to leading communities
In order to fulfill their mission to improve the quality of life for members, electric cooperatives must continue to adapt to a changing industry and society. And the key to co-ops being leaders in and of their communities is to be proactive in helping members and communities move forward. That was the message leaders from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) shared with nearly 5,000 cooperative leaders who gathered for the association’s PowerXchange, held March 4-9.
“We’ve proven how far we can extend the promise of electricity,” NRECA CEO Jim Matheson says. “We’re demonstrating how far we can take the co-operative model. But we are never finished showing how much we can accomplish as a community.”
During the meeting Matheson presented the George W. Haggard Memorial Journalism Award to the staff of Rural Missouri. The occasion marked the sixth time the magazine has received the award, which goes to the statewide co-op publication that “demonstrates the most forthright, concise and balanced presentation of ideas advancing electric co-ops and their consumer-members.”
NRECA President Chris Christensen of Montana spoke about the importance of co-op education and training, and charged cooperative leaders to stay engaged with their peers across the country and members back home.
“Learning through our shared experiences and partnerships — that’s cooperation among cooperatives,” he says. “It’s also the key to ensuring all of us in this room are taking proactive measures to be successful for future generations of our members. I say, ‘bring it on.’ Our co-ops are smart, capable and stronger when we work together.”