Youth Leadership Council spokesman Devin Oliver addressing the 2013 NRECA Annual Meeting. Photo credit: Mike Lynch
New Orleans, LA, February 19, 2013 — Today Devin Oliver, spokesperson for the national Youth Leadership Council (YLC) and a high school senior at Bluffton High School in S.C. , addressed more than 6000 electric cooperative leaders from across the country at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).
Oliver attended NRECA’s YLC in July of 2012, where he was chosen to be the national spokesperson for the 42-member council.
Speaking to electric cooperative leaders gathered in New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Oliver reflected on the meaning of E Pluribus Unum or “one from many.” He reminded his audience that “two hundred thirty five years ago, our founding fathers knew of the importance of this power of diversity and the strength that it creates. Our founders knew that people from different backgrounds, races, religions, political backgrounds, education and upbringing would form together to create a better, stronger country to live in….”
“Electric cooperatives were created to serve rural consumers when private, for-profit companies wouldn’t. Co-ops were formed to serve the needs of the many. The same spirit of E Pluribus Unum is why you are gathered in this hall today and when you represent your members in your boardroom back home.”
Oliver, the son of Palmetto Electric Cooperative member-owners Bruce and Suzi Oliver, will attend the Citadel in the fall of 2013.
Each state attending the Youth Tour selects a representative for the NRECA Youth Leadership Council. The YLC delegates attend a weeklong summer Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. A national spokesperson is selected during the conference to address both the NRECA Annual Meeting and the Youth Tour delegates the following summer.
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.
Nearly 6,000 representatives from cooperative electric utilities across the nation are attending the NRECA Annual Meeting February 18 -21, during which they will set NRECA’s legislative and organizational agenda for 2013. In addition to considering and acting upon policy resolutions, delegates receive reports from NRECA officials, hear addresses by key public figures and business experts, and attend educational forums on major issues affecting electric cooperatives and their consumer owners.