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Kitchens, Hance and Mergen Reelected at New Orleans Meeting

Randy Sukow

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NRTC held the second session of its 2020 annual meeting this afternoon in New Orleans. Electric-industry members reelected three incumbent members to the board of directors: George Kitchens of Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Corp. in Trinity, AL (District 3); Bob Hance of Midwest Energy Cooperative, Cassopolis, MI (District 4), and Tim Mergen of Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association, Litchfield, MN (District 6. Like the two telephone-industry (District 12) board members reelected during the first session of the NRTC Annual Meeting, Kitchens, Hance and Mergen ran unopposed.

Elections were the main business of the meeting, along with addresses by Board Chairman Shannon Clark and NRTC CEO Tim Bryan. A popular portion of the meeting was Bryan’s interview of Marine Colonel Matthew Reid, a highly decorated veteran of counter-insurgency missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. The colonel received a warm ovation after his description of his service in the Middle East.

Much of Reid’s mission has been to help local people and communities to rebuild. Bryan asked Reid to draw comparisons to the mission NRTC members carry out every day. “The goal of most of the folks in here [at the annual meeting] is to build and support their rural communities … It’s remarkably similar to a mission that Matt had, which was to rebuild [war-torn] communities,” Bryan said.

“If you’ve studied small wars or just how you get after an insurgent force, you have to partner with the people,” Reid said. The Marines embedded troops in the communities so that they got to know the families and their needs. “We can’t project what we think they need, we have to listen,” he said.

Pictured above, Col. Reid (left) posed with members of the NRTC board. Also pictured are Clark and  Board Vice Chairman Tim Mergen.

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