“Who do you have coming this year?”
It’s a question I get quite often from my members around annual meeting time. It’s the 10th year I have planned ORECA’s annual meeting. I can say it’s one of the great joys of this job to put together what is hopefully an informative, educational and inspirational program for the more than 200 Oregon co-op leaders who congregate in Salem for classes, industry speakers and fellowship.
I am acutely aware that some of my members will drive seven hours across snow-filled mountain passes to attend the meeting. (No pressure there.)
But to answer the question about who’s coming? This year we have a diverse program that will cover the hemisphere.
We will hear more from the experts at NRECA International about a potential program for Oregon co-op leaders to bring rural electrification to Central America. We will get a legislative update from some leading lawmakers in Salem, including influential State Sen. Cliff Bentz. I am also excited to hear my good friend Nelle Hotchkiss, senior vice president of corporate relations at the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives on the lessons learned from the deadly hurricanes that devastated the southern United States this year. And we will cap it off with a little inspiration as we hear from Jim Craig, the goalie on the U.S. Olympic hockey team that shocked the Russians and the world in 1980. There are a couple other surprises in store that my members will just have to wait for.
So I say to Oregon electric co-op leaders: I will see you in Salem—and watch those curvy mountain roads. Thanks for making the trip and for an amazing 10 years.