Month: June 2016

NRECA Names Former U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson New CEO

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) announced that former U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson has been selected to serve as NRECA’s 6th chief executive officer. Matheson will succeed Jo Ann Emerson, who was stricken by a severe illness in August of last year. He will join the association and assume his duties as CEO in July.

“On behalf of our board of directors, we are extremely excited to have Jim join NRECA,” said NRECA President Mel Coleman. “Jim will bring to the position a broad knowledge of the issues facing rural America and will be an inspirational leader for America’s Electric Cooperatives.”

Matheson currently serves as principal, public policy practice for Squire Patton Boggs, a large well-respected international law firm based in Washington, D.C. During his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 2001 to 2015, he served as a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. The respect Matheson has on both sides of the aisle, and his ability to bridge political and policy divides to find common ground, will serve NRECA and all member cooperatives very well.

“I am excited by the opportunity to lead NRECA and to continue to build on its remarkable record of service to its members,” Matheson said. “I am honored to be associated with this member-driven organization that has a strong reputation for quality and integrity.  I look forward to working collaboratively with all of the cooperative community as we look to the future.”

In addition to his extensive background in Congress and public policy, Matheson worked in the energy industry for several years. He was a project development manager in the independent power industry. He worked at two consulting companies, including his own firm, providing services to large energy consumers.

Jim was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended public schools in Salt Lake City, received a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from Harvard University, and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from UCLA.

From a press release from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association—the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.

EKPC Leaders Mark Co-Op’s 75th Anniversary With Reflections On Achievements, Challenges

During today’s annual meeting, the leaders of East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) marked the co-op’s 75th year of improving the lives of Kentuckians by providing safe, affordable, reliable electricity.

“Our founding principles still guide us to work together to improve lives,” said Anthony “Tony” Campbell, EKPC’s president and CEO. “By being faithful to our mission and by looking for opportunities, we have a bright future ahead.”

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin was the featured speaker during the event at the co-op’s headquarters in Winchester.

“So often we take for granted simple luxuries like flipping on a light switch,” said Gov. Bevin. “So many great efforts are made every day behind the scenes by hard-working Kentuckians. I want to thank all the electric cooperatives for everything they do to provide reliable affordable electricity for rural Kentucky.”

Paul Hawkins, EKPC’s board chairman, noted EKPC has faced critical challenges in the past decade. But, he said, the co-op’s leaders have worked hard over the past five years to improve the overall health of the organization.

“Together with our CEO, executive staff and employees, we applied patience and old-fashioned elbow grease to restore EKPC as one of the biggest and strongest generation and transmission cooperatives in America,” he said.

Campbell noted several key milestones from the past year, including the purchase of Bluegrass Generating Station in Oldham County and the successful achievement of 15 percent equity-to-assets ratio, which was a key objective of the co-op’s strategic plan since 2011.

In the past year, Standard & Poor’s Rating Service affirmed EKPC’s credit rating of A- with a stable outlook, while Fitch Ratings affirmed a BBB+ rating with a positive outlook.

On the horizon, federal regulations pose a challenge, as coal-dependent generators like EKPC comply with rules to limit carbon dioxide emissions and more-tightly regulate coal ash disposal and water impacts.

Meanwhile, the co-op is preparing to request regulatory approvals to establish a utility-scale solar generating plant.

“Be assured, we will find the path that results in the least cost and most reliable service to our members,” Campbell said.

Hawkins, who is stepping down as board chairman, was honored for his work during the five years he has served in the role.

Joe Spalding, who represents Inter-County Energy, was elected today by the board to serve as EKPC’s board chairman for the next year.

East Kentucky Power Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative providing wholesale electricity to 16 owner-member distribution cooperatives that serve 530,000 Kentucky homes, farms, businesses and industries across 87 counties. EKPC provides power through coal-fueled plants located in Mason and Pulaski counties; natural gas-fueled peaking units in Clark and Oldham counties; renewable energy plants in Barren, Boone, Laurel, Greenup, Hardin and Pendleton counties; and more than 2,800 miles of transmission lines. Together, EKPC and its 16 owner-member cooperatives are known as Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. Visit EKPC at www.ekpc.coop.

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