During the opening ceremonies of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual Meeting on March 11 in Orlando, Florida, Emily Staton of Magazine represented Arkansas as part of the Youth Leadership Council’s Parade of States by carrying the Arkansas flag. Staton, who attended the 2018 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., as a representative of Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative, was selected by tour chaperones to serve on the Youth Leadership Council.
More than 6,000 representatives from electric co-ops across the nation, including Arkansas, attended the annual meeting, which took place from March 7-13. The meeting sets NRECA’s legislative and organizational agenda for 2019. Co-op representatives also heard from NRECA officials, key public figures and business experts about issues affecting electric cooperatives and their consumer-members. The annual meeting was held in conjunction with TechAdvantage, a technology learning event and expo that features more than 30 exhibitors showcasing their state-of-the-art technologies, equipment and services.
NRECA is the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. As local businesses built by the consumers they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $12 billion annually in their communities.