Co-ops Recognize Arkansas and Indiana Leaders with International Award

(NEW ORLEANS, La.) Leaders representing co-ops from Indiana and Arkansas were recognized for their contribution to international development today. Tom VanParis, CEO of the Indiana Electric Cooperatives, Duane Highley, CEO of the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, and Bill Reffert, CEO of ERMCO, represented the two states and received the 2016 International Award from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

“The strong collaboration between Arkansas and Indiana co-ops resulted in the construction of eight miles of power line in the challenging mountains of Guatemala, providing power to 265 households,” said NRECA CEO Jeffrey Connor. “Their collective leadership has served as an inspiration and successful model for other statewide collaborations for international volunteer activities. The time and effort invested in this project is proof that the cooperative spirit is alive and strong, and that our concern for community has no boundaries.”

The International Award recognizes exceptional dedication to the development of international communities through electrification, cooperative development and global commitment.

More than 6,000 representatives from electric co-ops across the nation are attending NRECA’s Annual Meeting, Feb. 14-17, during which they will set NRECA’s legislative and organizational agenda for 2016. In addition to considering and acting upon policy resolutions, delegates receive reports from NRECA officials, hear addresses by key public figures and business experts, and attend educational forums on major issues affecting electric cooperatives and their consumer members.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is 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.