CEO Close-Up invites you to submit a proposal for presentation during the Conference, which will be held January 13-14, 2020 at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert, California. This is an exclusive opportunity for NRECA Service Members to share your knowledge and expertise with electric cooperative CEOs and General Managers.

Key Call for Presentations Dates

  • August 2 – Last Day to Submit a Proposal (NO exceptions)
  • August 5 – September 6– Proposal Review and Rating
  • September 9 - 13 – Final Selection and Scheduling
  • [Approximately] Week of September 16 – Proposal Acceptance Notifications
  • December 12 – FINAL PowerPoint presentations and collateral material (handouts) due

Subject Matter Categories and Topic Ideas

We are looking for proposals in the following subject matter areas. We have provided session ideas for your consideration. Feel free to submit a session proposal for one of these ideas or one of your own choosing.


  • How will this business differ from electric business? And the need for a different culture to succeed.
  • Due diligence; making the case, or not, for your co-op
  • Determining the right solutions for your co-op and members
  • Cost factors
  • Partnerships and collaborations
  • Installation and deployment, member communications case studies
  • Broadband as a catalyst for economic and community development

Community Development

  • Working with other community leaders to solve community issues


  • Creating a culture of cybersecurity in the workplace; how people with technology make a difference
  • Cybersecurity solutions for small and under-resourced cooperatives

Data Analytics/Data Mining

  • Big data/data management
  • Rate analysis and development using AMI Data
  • Using AI and analytics to provide benefits and outcomes
  • Using data to improve operations and efficiency, member relationships, create revenue streams, reduce cost

Distributed Energy Resources (DER)

  • Strategic choices regarding how a co-op will choose to play in this space and the corresponding business needs that result from it.
  • How to determine what’s right for our co-op?

Distribution Automation

  • Grid modernization


  • What are they good for?
  • Making the business case -- ways they are helping cooperatives lower worker and business risk and improve operational efficiency

Electric Vehicles

  • 101 – efficiency ratings: MPG (gasoline) vs. electric; cost/mile vs. gasoline over 5 years of operation; life expectancy; tax liabilities
  • Strategy options, barriers to acceptance
  • Deployments – internal and external fleet success stories and how cooperatives are handling infrastructure needs for vehicle charging
  • Performance issues (cold and hot weather)
  • Rate design

Energy Storage

  • What is it? What are co-ops doing in storage?
  • State of the technology/emerging technologies-not limited to battery
  • Residential, community and utility scale storage options
  • Technology and applications – in front of and behind the meter

Member Engagement

  • Deploying surveys as a listening devices to enhance member relationships
  • Using technology to keep members happy (member facing technology and strategies)

Pre-Payment Accounts

  • Making the case; determining if it is right for your cooperative
  • How to structure
  • Technology and systems integration

Procurement and Supply Chain

  • Single source alliances—how and why; consigned inventory; vendor managed inventory
  • Managing supply chain/procurement cybersecurity risks
  • Supply chain and procurement strategies to help co-op efficiency and effectiveness

Rates and Rate Design

  • Move toward demand or time-of-use rates: rationale behind them, adoption of rates and member response, revenue impacts, regulatory reaction
  • Communication and education strategies


  • Creating culture of safety and developing safety accountability
  • Recognition, complacency
  • Metrics and measures to help ensure what the CEO knows about is real

Technology Planning and Strategy

  • Value of a good technology plan to support business strategies and minimize technology overspend/under-delivery

Conference Sessions
Most conference sessions will run 60 minutes. Session length and presentation time allotment will be determined once the proposal review and selection process is complete. Note: It is possible that multiple proposal submissions for a particular topic will be combined to create a single session.

Review Process and Registration Policies

Demand always exceeds supply and we receive more proposals than we have available presentation slots. The maximum number of submissions accepted per company/organization is two. You do not need to provide the names of the speakers with your submission. We will request that information if your submission is accepted for presentation at the conference. Please take a few minutes to review the tips below before hitting the "Submit" button:

Tips to Increase Consideration of your Submission

  1. Include electric cooperative involvement in the proposal description. Demonstrated knowledge and experience working with electric cooperatives is a plus. Co-op CEO and/or employee co-speakers are encouraged.
  2. Know your audience – CEOs of electric cooperative utilities. Avoid a proposal that is more technically and operationally focused. Keep it higher level and strategic. Focus on results and outcomes.
  3. Learning objectives are critical. Please provide three learning objectives/takeaways for your submission. Be sure they are specific and focused on what the participant will learn from your presentation. “As a result of attending this session, the participant will…..”
  4. Eliminate the perception of a marketing and sales presentation by limiting references to products or vendors. This is a very sensitive issue among conference participants and obvious marketing and sales proposals will not be considered.
  5. Approximately 500 characters (65 words) are allocated for your proposal description. Make good use of those characters by typing in a block, no indentations, no tabs, etc.

Review Process
All submissions will be reviewed and rated by an advisory group of electric cooperative CEOs and NRECA subject matter experts. The rating scale is from one (1) to five (5) where one is the lowest and five is the highest. An explanation for a rating of three or less will be requested from the reviewers.

Speaker Process and Policies
You do not need to provide speaker names for your proposal at this time. We will collect that information if your submission is selected for presentation at the conference.

In October 2019 confirmed speakers will be sent a speaker confirmation letter and agreement form that outlines the specifics of their participation. Speakers are required to register themselves and pay appropriate registration fees unless other arrangements are made with program manager.

CEO Close-Up has instituted the following guidelines concerning Call for Presentations speakers/presenters:

  1. Proposal submitter will provide confirmed Speaker Names and contact information as requested by the date provided in submission acceptance email.
  2. Speaker confirmation letters and business agreement forms will be sent to ALL speakers. The Proposal Submitter will be copied on that communication.
  3. Completed agreement forms must be completed by the deadline provided in Speaker Letter.
  4. Requests for expense reimbursement (hotel, airline, ground transportation, meals) and/or waiver of registration fees will not be permitted unless agreed to in advance and outlined in the speaker business agreement form.
  5. Permission has been granted by the program presenters for official CEO Close-Up photographs.
  6. Presenters are responsible for obtaining written permission, if applicable, from copyright holders for the duplication of previously published materials distributed as handouts at any session.
  7. FINAL Presentations and collateral material are due December 12. Details will be provided in the speaker confirmation letter.

Submit a Proposal

Submission Deadline: August 2, 2019 (Your project profile submission only. Presentations are not due at this time. You do not need to provide speaker names with your submission.)

Note: you must use the online form to submit a proposal. Submissions received outside this form will not be considered. If you are not able to use this form, contact Val Parks, CEO Close-Up Program Manager, at to make other arrangements for submitting your proposal.