NRECA board president speaks to Basin Electric board

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Chris Christensen, a director of Basin Electric Class C member NorVal Electric Cooperative in Glasgow, Montana, and new president of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) board of directors, spoke at Basin Electric’s July board meeting.

Christensen, a former educator, says he will focus on educational opportunities during his term as president. “It’s important that our employees, directors, and CEOs have the right education so they can make the very best decisions possible for their consumer-members,” Christensen said. He said NRECA has “tremendous” educational opportunities, and COVID-19 increased the number of people participating in its educational offerings threefold, because many of them are offered virtually.

Christensen said one of the most important things he’s learned as NRECA president so far has been the importance of cooperatives having a unified voice. “We don’t want co-ops all over the place on issues – that depletes our success. We get together with all these different states, all these different co-ops, and determine through negotiations or debate exactly where we want to be, then when we go to Congress we have that unified voice – that’s what people respect,” he said. “Congressmen tell us they are so supportive of NRECA and our views because we don’t change our minds a lot. We come in with a unified voice and they know that if they make a decision that helps the co-ops, they are helping 42 million consumer-members.”

While in North Dakota, Christensen also spoke at North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives’ board meeting.

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