(WASHINGTON, D.C.) –Martin Lowery, Executive Vice-President for Member and Association Relations at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) was inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame on May 7 the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Nationwide, a sister cooperative organization, sponsored the sold-out dinner and ceremony.
Induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame is the highest honor that the U.S. cooperative community bestows on “extraordinary men and women who have made genuinely heroic contributions in support of the cooperative form of enterprise.”
“Martin has spent his career serving cooperatives and the co-op business model, exemplifying the conviction, dedication, determination and loyalty of a co-op hero,” said Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of NRECA. “Martin’s keen insight and his ability to articulate a vision for cooperatives have steered co-ops through challenges that threatened the viability of electric co-ops. Electric cooperatives are thriving, scoring higher in consumer satisfaction than any other electric utility – that is Martin’s legacy,” Emerson said.
For more than three decades, Martin Lowery has been a forceful advocate for the cooperative business model, with an unshakable conviction that enabling people to empower themselves represents the best was to improve the quality of their lives. He began with the NRECA in 1982, and since then has taken a lead role on many projects, including forming and promoting new cooperatives such as the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative – the first electric co-op in Hawaii.
Lowery also played an important role in drawing together disparate groups during the creation of Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives, a brand formed in 1998 to bring individual co-ops from around the country under one banner for the first time. He currently oversees NRECA’s Cooperative Research Network (CRN), which has resulted in groups of cooperatives coming together in large research projects such as a $33.9 million Department of Energy grant for smart grid technologies. Lowery has also taken lead roles in numerous safety, education, and international arenas.
Other 2014 inductees include Harriet May, former president and CEO of the Government Employees Credit Union; Papa M.D. Sene, Senior Technical Advisor for the National Cooperative Business Association; and Barry Silver, Executive Vice President for the National Cooperative Bank.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.