Verendrye Electric Co-op CEO Bruce Carlson with NRECA CEO Glenn English and former President Guidry. Photo credit: Mike Lynch
New Orleans, LA, Wednesday, February 20, 2013 —Bruce Carlson, CEO of Verendrye Electric Cooperative, received the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s William F. Matson Democracy Award for his outstanding efforts to increase the participation of cooperative consumer-members in the Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE®).
ACRE created the Democracy award to recognize the outstanding accomplishments and service to rural electric cooperatives through political action, political education and participation.
“Bruce personifies the purpose and value recognized by the William F. Matson Democracy Award,” said NRECA CEO Glenn English. “Carlson understands that the mutual benefits of political activism for co-ops and members: the co-op member benefits when elected officials can hear the voice of the consumer; the co-op benefits from political voice made stronger by consumer participation,” English said.
Carlson has been a leader in ACRE’s Co-op Owners for Political Action program, which encourages consumers to become activists and advance policies that can secure the future of electric cooperatives and their communities.
Carlson was one of the first co-op CEOs to be nominated and attend the yearly ACRE CEO Academy. In 2006 Verendrye Electric received the “Walking the Wood” Award for excellence in engaging co-op consumers through Co-op Owners program.
Since 2005, at least 1 percent of Verendrye members have joined Co-op Owners and Carlson continues to be a strong advocate for the programs. Each and every year at their annual meeting one of the agenda items is ACRE. As a guest speaker at both the Legislative Conference and ACRE CEO Academies, Carlson, an evangelist for ACRE, has inspired and helped other co-ops launch their own Co-op Owner programs.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.