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For more information on Along Those Lines and to access the most recent episodes, view our main podcast page. Below, listen to episodes from podcast's third season.

March 23, 2021: The bulk of the electric cooperative workforce has traditionally been filled by men due to the nature of the work that co-ops do. But over time, women have been stepping into more and more jobs across the industry spectrum. In honor of Women’s History Month, hear from several of the women making strides and taking on leadership positions in the co-op world: Amanda Opp of Flathead Electric Cooperative, Libby Calnon of Hood River Electric Cooperative and Janet Rehberg of Tri-County Electric Cooperative.

This episode is sponsored by CoBank.


April 22, 2021: NRECA’s Achieving Cooperative Community Equitable Solar Sources project, a three-year initiative funded by the Department of Energy, aims to bring the benefits of solar into low- and moderate-income communities. NRECA is partnering with seven co-ops across the country to deploy solar projects that help LMI consumer-members and share the lessons they learn. Hear from ACCESS principal investigator and technical adviser Deb Roepke, NRECA’s Keith Dennis and Oklahoma Electric Cooperative’s Nick Shumaker.

This episode is sponsored by Today’s Power Inc.


May 25, 2021: When an unprecedented Arctic blast and winter storm hit the Midwest and South in February, Texans faced days of outages and crippling power supply shortages. What happened in Texas, why was it so much worse there than in other states, and what can we learn from this situation? Hear from Mike Williams, CEO of Texas Electric Cooperatives, as well as Mark Jones, who was part of a University of Houston research team that surveyed Texas power consumers in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

This episode is sponsored by Milsoft Utility Solutions.


June 22, 2021: The electric utility industry has recently been moving in the direction of renewable generation. Solar has found widespread adoption, with a broad mix of installations, while wind power has been nearly all at utility scale. Now, the Department of Energy is working to change that with a new program called RADWIND. In this episode, we go inside this initiative with Michael Leitman, NRECA’s system optimization director, and Aaron Ruschy, VP of operations and engineering at Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative.

This episode is sponsored by RE Magazine.


July 26, 2021: The concepts of emotional intelligence and soft skills in the workplace have been around for a long time, but the COVID-19 pandemic has brought them to the forefront. As electric cooperatives assess how they’ve managed the challenges of the past 18 months, how have lessons they’ve learned informed business practices going forward? Hear from NRECA’s Tracey Steiner and Charlie Dunn, CEO of Farmers Electric Cooperative in Greenfield, Iowa.

This episode is sponsored by LDR Leadership.


Aug. 24, 2021: As utilities have deployed new connected technologies to monitor the grid, the need for strong cybersecurity on the operations technology side has grown exponentially. NRECA worked with co-ops and other partners to develop the Essence tool, which began as an innovative way to quickly identify anomalies on downline systems and evolved to become a robust method for detection, visualization and reporting of potential cyberattacks. Learn more about Essence from Emma Stewart, NRECA’s chief scientist.

This episode is sponsored by IPKeys.


Sept. 28, 2021: Typically, when a state is hit with a natural disaster and the power grid is impacted, utilities will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to rebuild to where the grid was before the event. Lately, though, electric co-ops have been working to secure federal reimbursements for restorations that go further to harden their system and create more resilience. Learn more from Mike Heinen, general manager of Jeff Davis Electric Co-op in southwest Louisiana, and Martha Duggan, NRECA's senior regulatory issues director.

This episode is sponsored by PLP.


Oct. 11, 2021: Ransomware became a household word earlier this year when the Colonial Pipeline, a major fuel delivery source on the East Coast, was shut down for several days after hackers attacked its billing system. With these highly disruptive and costly network intrusions on the rise, how can electric co-ops avoid becoming victims of this sophisticated malware? And what should they do if they are attacked? Hear from NRECA’s Ryan Newlon as well as Dave Eisenreich, an FBI special agent in the Cyber Division.

This episode is sponsored by Meridian Cooperative.


Oct. 19, 2021: With the influx of electric vehicles into the U.S. market, utilities—including electric cooperatives—and other interests are working to build EV infrastructure that can keep pace with the expected demand, and this growing web of connected charging stations will create a host of new cybersecurity vulnerabilities. To learn more about what those vulnerabilities are and how to mitigate them, we’re joined by Shannon Murry with the FBI’s Cyber Division along with NRECA’s Brian Sloboda.

This episode is sponsored by Meridian Cooperative.


Nov. 8, 2021: As co-ops face workforce challenges due to retirements and changes in the industry’s key technologies, military veterans rotating out of active duty and into civilian life bring training and expertise that’s often ideally suited to co-ops’ needs. Hear from three veterans who served their country and now focus their skills on their communities as co-op employees, and learn about the Vets Power Us program from NRECA’s Desiree Dunham, who manages this effort to help veterans explore co-op careers.

This episode is sponsored by Milwaukee Tool.


Dec. 14, 2021: As changes in policy, energy markets and consumer expectations drive major changes in how utilities generate and deliver electricity, the industry faces one of its most challenging times. Co-ops have been adding wind and solar to their generation portfolios, but how does the acceleration of the energy transition affect the ability to provide reliable, affordable power? Hear from Seminole Electric Cooperative’s Lisa Johnson and Pat O’Loughlin of Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives and Buckeye Power.

This episode is sponsored by Meridian Cooperative.