Colorado Rural Electric Association’s former executive director Ray Clifton accepts President’s Award from NRECA president Mike Guidry. (Photo credit: Mike Lynch)
San Diego, CA.; March 6, 2012 — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today awarded Ray Clifton, former Executive Director of the Colorado Rural Electric Association, with its 2012 President's Award. Clifton was honored for his nearly 50 year career dedicated to advancing rural electrification and the goals of rural electric cooperatives.
Clifton retired in 2009 after more than 24 years at the helm of the Colorado Rural Electric Association (CREA). He began his career half a century ago as a part-time employee in the Georgia EMC mailroom, and he held many of the top jobs there until leaving for Denver in 1986 to build Colorado's statewide association. At the national level, Clifton served as President of the Rural Electric Statewide Managers Association.
"Throughout his 49 year career, Ray Clifton showed the determination, and it took those qualities to build a viable statewide association in Colorado in the midst of turbulent political upheaval and industry changes. Clifton's leadership and expertise has been essential to advancing the goals of rural electric cooperatives and has benefitted thousands of cooperative consumers," said NRECA CEO Glenn English.
At CREA, Clifton took on numerous challenges on behalf of electric cooperatives including deregulation of electric distribution cooperatives, attacks by municipalities on the electric service territory of association members, and other legislative initiatives that threatened co-ops on the state or federal levels.
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.
More than 8,000 representatives from cooperative electric utilities across the nation are attending the NRECA Annual Meeting March 4-7 in San Diego, Calif., during which they will set NRECA's legislative and organizational agenda for 2012. In addition to considering and acting upon policy resolutions, delegates receive reports from NRECA officials, hear addresses by key public figures and business experts, and attend educational forums on major issues affecting electric cooperatives and their consumer owners.