Rural Missouri - March 2018 - 4
| C O O P E R AT I O N
Boone Electric Director Kim Ponder recently joined the
NRECA Director Advisory Group.
Ponder to serve
photo by Paul Newton
Representatives from Barton County and Sac Osage electric cooperatives meet with State Sen. Ed Emery of Lamar during
a full day of visits to the Missouri Capitol as part of the 12th Annual AMEC State Legislative Conference in Jefferson City.
Advocating for their members
Missouri co-op grassroots army hosts annual legislative conference
issouri's electric cooperatives made new
connections and reunited with old friends
during the 12th Annual AMEC State Legislative Conference in Jefferson City on
Attendees were able to get a legislative update
from the statewide team, but also met with their
elected representatives in the statehouse.
State Sen. Mike Cunningham who is sponsoring
important rural broadband legislation addressed
the attendees before a morning spent at the Capitol.
"You're well respected at the Capitol and almost everyone is aware of co-ops because of the large area
of the state you cover," he said. "Legislators trust the
co-ops to do the right thing because your consumers
own you and you provide them services they want."
The cooperative team has an ambitious agenda
and leaned on its members for the face-to-face meetings that mean so much to protect all of Missouri's
co-op members' best interest.
"Concern for community and cooperation among
cooperatives are two of our seven guiding principles,"
said AMEC CEO Barry Hart. "If an issue affects one
co-op, it affects all co-ops. We're all in this together."
In total, 175 Missouri cooperative managers, employees and directors attended the conference. Before making their ﬁrst visits to the Capitol, the group
"Devoted to the rural way of life"
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RURAL MISSOURI | MARCH 2018
heard from Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt
and House Majority Leader Rep. Rob Vescovo.
Schmitt cited a fast-changing economy both at
the state and national level as a reason to keep rural Missouri connected. "It is not an option to have
whole parts of our state or country disconnected
from what's happening in real time."
Ensuring rural access to broadband is one key
issue for the rural electric cooperatives in 2018. This
is fundamental so even those at the end of the line
can have access to high-quality education, health
care, public safety, business, agriculture and economic growth.
Another issue the group met with legislators
about is making sure Missouri's nonproﬁt electric
cooperatives governance remains at the local level
with duly elected directors from the membership.
Other issues discussed by the group included the
state energy plan, net metering and the Public Service Commission.
Leader Vescovo urged the cooperative leaders to
lean on their long-standing history of doing the right
thing for their members. "Myself and many people
in the legislature understand what the co-ops do.
We understand a lot of places in rural Missouri
wouldn't have electricity without co-ops. That's
something that's not overlooked by many of us."
im Ponder, a director for Boone Electric
Cooperative, has been appointed to the
Director Advisory Group by the National
Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
She will be one of 18 advisors in a term that will
last from January 2018 until January 2020.
Her selection from 40 candidates from electric
cooperatives across the country nominated for
the position was based on years of service on the
cooperative's board, geographical representation
and the need to include directors from a diverse
group of electric cooperatives based on their size,
number of members, state and region.
Since its beginning in 2015, the Director Advisory Group has provided helpful input for the
NRECA director-oriented educational programs
The group has discussed a wide range of topics important to electric co-op directors. These
have included consumer engagement, performance appraisals, strategic planning, cybersecurity, capital credits, power supply options and
more. The idea is for the group to provide input
into how the national association can assist its
member cooperatives in addressing these issues.
Kim, who lives in Columbia, has been a member of the Boone Electric Cooperative Board of
Directors since 2013. "We are proud to have Kim
representing Missouri's electric cooperatives on
this important committee," says Barry Hart, CEO
of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. "Her willingness to serve will pay dividends
for all of the nation's electric cooperatives."
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - March 2018
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