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Co-ops name new leader

from February 2013 Issue

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association announced that U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) will assume the role of CEO on March 1.

Emerson becomes the fifth CEO in NRECA's 71-year history, with the retirement of Glenn English after 18 years heading the organization that represents about 900 co-ops in 47 states.

NRECA board President Mike Guidry of Louisiana says Emerson's "background as a member of Congress and a trade association executive—coupled with her extensive knowledge of the issues facing electric cooperatives and rural America—makes her eminently qualified to lead NRECA and represent the interests of its members. The respect she has from both sides of the aisle and her proven ability to bridge political and policy divides and find common ground will serve us well."

Emerson, first elected to the U.S. House in 1996 from Missouri's 8th Congressional District, most recently served on the House Appropriations Committee and as chairman of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee. In addition, she has taken a leadership role on agriculture, healthcare, and government reform issues during her congressional career, and won recognition for her work on energy.

Along with her committee posts, Emerson serves as co-chairman of the Tuesday Group, a council of House GOP centrists. A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, she held executive roles with the National Restaurant Association and the American Insurance Association before being elected to the first of nine terms in Congress.

Emerson says, "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."

—National Rural Electric Cooperative Association