NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Tony Anderson, whose career has spanned working at five electric cooperatives in five states, emphasized the importance of “the co-op family” after being elected NRECA president at PowerXchange.

“I’m here today because of family—my personal family and all of you, my cooperative family,” Anderson said Wednesday, launching his two-year term at NRECA’s annual gathering of more than 9,000 co-op representatives.

“America’s electric cooperative network is a special one,” he said. “One where we value service, community, and family above things like profit and ego. These core values have always kept us together.”

Anderson, NRECA’s Michigan director and general manager of Cherryland Electric Cooperative in Grawn, succeeds Chris Christensen, the NRECA director from Montana and board member of Glasgow-based NorVal Electric Cooperative.

Colorado director Joe Martin succeeds Anderson as vice president, and Mike Partin was elected secretary-treasurer at NRECA’s board meeting March 5. Partin is the president and CEO of Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative in Pittsburg, Tennessee.

A South Dakota native, Anderson got his start as a billing clerk at Moreau Grand Electric Cooperative in Timber Lake. He was then hired as office manager at Sheridan Electric Cooperative in Medicine Lake, Montana, followed by general manager positions at Niobrara Electric Association, in Lusk, Wyoming, and Oconto Electric Cooperative in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin. He’s been at the helm of Cherryland for 20 years.

“I have always been confident in my mission and service at NRECA because I stood on a foundation of support and encouragement from all my bosses back home,” he said. “I have been blessed with some great co-workers at every stop on this long journey.”

Anderson also used the spotlight to bring attention to the Cooperative Family Fund, a new nonprofit to aid children whose parents die while employed full time in any occupation at an electric co-op.

“Our co-op families are important to us, and on their darkest days, we should support them together,” he said.

Anderson said he is ready to lead the co-ops in a united front as NRECA president.

“I promise you—the members, the NRECA board and every employee at your national association—that I will make every effort to hold up my responsibilities for pushing the America’s Electric Cooperative mission forward,” he said. “It is time to stick together. It is time to lead. I know you all are ready. I am, too.”

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