Electric cooperative CEOs and general managers from throughout the country will have an opportunity to connect online in January to discuss the future of energy and other key issues as part of a new program called CEO Focus.

The virtual program will be held Jan. 19-20. Registration is free, but interested participants must sign up by Jan. 13.

In a Dec. 9 letter to co-op leaders, NRECA CEO Jim Matheson said the association wanted to give CEOs the chance to interact in January despite the postponement of the annual CEO Close-Up conference, which has been rescheduled for Aug. 18-21 in the original location of Amelia Island, Florida.

“Because the CEO Close-Up Conference is an important event for electric co-op leaders at the beginning of the year, we want to provide you with opportunities to connect with your peers nationwide, as well as with subject matter experts and NRECA staff members," Matheson wrote.

“The format will be discussion-driven, with small breakout groups for you to share ideas and ask questions of one another. Facilitators and subject matter experts will participate to help ensure the conversations are rich and impart actionable takeaways."

The CEO Focus program will emphasize strategic industry and leadership issues, Matheson said. Among them:

  • Workforce and leadership development, including recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce and developing future leaders.

  • Cooperative culture, including promoting a diverse and inclusive culture and keeping a good culture alive while working apart.

  • Looking beyond 2020 to new challenges and opportunities, including which pandemic changes are worth keeping.

  • Board relations, with a focus on building trust and understanding.

  • Keeping safety fresh, including ways to get employees' buy-in of best practices.

  • The future of energy, with a focus on expected changes in energy policy and the role that CEOs can play in advocacy efforts.

Each topic will be offered twice to give CEOs flexibility to participate when it's convenient for them.

New CEOs will have a chance to gather online at 10:15 a.m. ET on Jan. 19 for a 45-minute networking session before the official program begins.

Explore the CEO Focus schedule and register for the event on cooperative.com.