NRECA’s 2021 annual meeting of members will be unlike any other in its nearly eight-decade history.

Electric cooperative leaders will gather under a renamed, revamped event that will be entirely virtual because of continuing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. NRECA PowerXchange will take place over two consecutive weeks—Feb. 23–24 and March 2–4—and will be combined with the TechAdvantage Experience.

“Whether it takes place in person or online, the goal of PowerXchange is to provide a vibrant hub of engagement and discovery for our members, enabling them to connect with one another to share ideas and information,” said Tracey Steiner, NRECA’s senior vice president of education, training and events. “With our switch to a virtual setting, we see this as a unique opportunity to enrich and expand our annual meeting to reach new audiences in new ways.”

The virtual PowerXchange will feature general sessions, breakouts and networking events on Feb. 24 and March 3, both Wednesdays. The forum for proposed resolutions will be March 2, and the business meeting will be March 4.

This year’s event will have three themes: leadership through uncertainty, community resilience and recovery, and cooperative transformation in an evolving industry.

“We can certainly say that 2020 presented us with many challenges,” Steiner said. “We have seen an incredible amount of adaptation and creativity across our network by individual cooperative leaders, within their cooperatives, and extending that leadership into their communities. At PowerXchange, we want to explore how we leverage this agility to enable success in the future.”

A goal of PowerXchange is to promote the exchange of ideas and solutions among co-ops by providing more time to network. Breakouts and Spark sessions will continue, but three new opportunities will be offered: Meet Ups, Ask the Expert and Finish the Conversation.

All of these sessions will be held during the afternoons of Feb. 24 and March 3.

“Meet Ups are casual and are for those who want to find like-minded people and talk about issues,” said Kristen Wheeler, NRECA’s meetings program manager. “Ask the Expert sessions are one-on-one or small group meetings with NRECA staff, experts from our network partner organizations, or sponsors where folks can ask burning questions on a specific topic.”

In Finish the Conversation meetings, attendees will be able to ask speakers questions that didn’t get answered during their sessions, Wheeler says.

Also of note this year, one registration fee will provide access to all three annual meeting components: PowerXchange, the TechAdvantage Experience and the Expo. In previous years, annual meeting participants paid additional fees to attend all three. There’s no charge for the business meeting, which is open only to NRECA voting members.

Here’s a brief schedule of events:

General and breakout sessions, Feb. 24: NRECA CEO Jim Matheson will kick off the session followed by a keynote speaker. The day will include three one-hour blocks of breakouts and networking opportunities.

General and breakout sessions, March 3: The day will begin with three one-hour breakouts and networking blocks, and the general session will follow. The association will honor recipients of annual awards, and Curtis Wynn will deliver his final speech as NRECA president. He will then ceremoniously pass the gavel to his successor, whose term begins at the close of the March 4 business meeting. The day will end with a keynote speaker.

NRECA annual member business meeting, March 4: PowerXchange officially concludes at the end of the association’s annual business meeting, at which voting delegates will consider and vote on proposed resolutions forwarded by the national resolutions committee. All NRECA voting member systems are encouraged to certify a voting delegate to participate in this event. Participation in the business meeting requires connecting to the meeting via a laptop or desktop computer. Access to a reliable broadband connection is strongly encouraged. Additional information regarding the business meeting, including instructions on virtual voting, will be sent to voting member systems in the coming weeks.

To register, go to For more information, contact Kristen Wheeler at or 703-907-5695.