ORECA’s midyear meeting in Bend offered a variety of speakers, including an inspiring address by NRECA President Curtis Wynn and a call for preparedness by OEM Director Andrew Phelps
By Ted Case
As one participant said, there was “a little bit of everything” at the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s July midyear meeting in Bend.
Returning to Central Oregon and the Riverhouse on the Deschutes for the first time in five years, the two-day ORECA conference focused on a variety of issues: from disaster planning and wildfire mitigation to communications and the recently concluded Oregon Legislative Assembly.
More than 100 Oregon electric co-op leaders and associate members of ORECA attended the conference.
A highlight of the meeting was a keynote address from Curtis Wynn, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association board president and CEO of
Roanoke Electric Cooperative in North Carolina.
Wynn addressed the rapid pace of change in the electric utility industry led by market forces and consumer expectations. One assurance for success,
Wynn said, was the rich history of cooperation among cooperatives that unites a widely dispersed network of 900 NRECA members around the country.
The number of NRECA members recently grew by one as Hood River Electric Cooperative joined the national trade association. In an emotional
ceremony, Hood River Director Roger Nelson described his 18-year quest to join NRECA.
Wynn presented Nelson and Hood River Manager Libby Calnon with a signed NRECA resolution welcoming HREC into the network. In her remarks,
Calnon noted that it was the rapid pace of change in the industry that Wynn described that led HREC to link up with the Arlington, Virginia-based association.
ORECA 2019 Midyear Meeting
Additional scenes from the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s midyear meeting in Bend