Leadership

  • Jo Ann Emerson, Chief Executive Officer

    Jo Ann EmersonOn March 2, 2013, Jo Ann Emerson became the fifth CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Jo Ann was raised to put people before politics and during her eight-plus terms in the House of Representatives she did just that. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Jo Ann was the Chairman of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee and also served on the Agriculture Subcommittee and Legislative Branch Subcommittee. Her extensive involvement in economic development and rural policy issues enabled her to fully represent all her constituents in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District.

    After earning a B.A. in political science from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1972, Jo Ann pursued an active career in public affairs and grassroots communications. In her professional career, Jo Ann has served as the senior vice president of public affairs for the American Insurance Association, as director of state relations and grassroots programs for the small-business oriented National Restaurant Association and as deputy communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

    While in Congress, Jo Ann served as representative to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. She is also an Honorary and Life Trustee of Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., and as a former Girl Scout, Jo Ann is a leading supporter of that organization. She was co-chair of the Board of Directors for the Congressional Hunger Center and a founding member of the Bipartisan Congressional Retreat, whose mission is to foster better relations in Congress with Members from each party.

    As a wife, mother and grandmother, family is the foremost priority in Jo Ann’s life. She is married to Ron Gladney, an attorney, and is the proud mother of two daughters, Victoria and Katharine, five stepdaughters, Elizabeth Emerson Leger, Abigail Emerson Gray, Alison and Stephanie Gladney, Jessica Gladney Spaniol, and one stepson, Sam Gladney. Jo Ann is the proud grandmother of Cooper O’Brien Leger, Curt William Leger, Margaret Browning Gray and Barrett “Bear” Poe.

  • Peter Baxter, Senior Vice President of Insurance & Financial Services

    Peter BaxterPeter has overall responsibility for the multiple-employer defined benefit, defined contribution and health and wellness programs offered to member cooperatives representing over $12 Billion in qualified plan assets. Peter has over thirty years of experience in the employee benefits, group insurance and financial services industries.

    Prior to joining NRECA, he held a variety of leadership positions in not-for-profit, privately-held and public firms, including Mutual of America Life Insurance Company, Financial Institutions Retirement Fund, American Century Investments and EDS. He has also worked for leading employee benefit consulting firms Buck Consultants and Towers Perrin. At these firms, Peter’s responsibilities included executive leadership, market strategy, product design and development, administrative operations, vendor management and service delivery. He also has extensive experience in the use of technology and industry best practices to enhance business processes, customer service and program administration.

    Peter is a graduate of the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) and the Policy Advisory Board of the American Benefits Council (ABC) in Washington, DC.
  • Jim Bausell, Senior Vice President of Communications

    Jim BausellJim is responsible for guiding communications and marketing strategies to achieve NRECA’s mission and goals. Under his wing are media and public relations, digital strategy, national membership support, and association marketing.

    Prior to his appointment as SVP in 2013, Jim was the Chief Operating Officer of Touchstone Energy, the national brand for America’s consumer owned electric utilities. For over twelve years he built the brand from the ground up, developing over sixty programs that helped local cooperative utilities provide value to their consumer-members.

    Before joining the NRECA and Touchstone Energy, for over 20 years Jim was Vice President at PACE, a multinational semiconductor equipment manufacturer. At various points in his career, he had the opportunity to direct PACE’s operations in California, England, Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

    Jim serves on the Board of Directors of the Consumer Federation of America, and the National Rural Economic Developers Association. He holds his Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his MBA from Johns Hopkins University. He is a US Coast Guard licensed Captain (50-ton Master) and an accomplished sailor.

  • Marc Breslaw, Executive Director of NRECA International

    MarcBreslaw Marc leads the NRECA International Foundation in its mandate to provide increased funding and logistical support for our overseas program. This includes the implementation of existing projects developed with partner organizations as well as finding the financial resources to develop and execute projects of NRECA International’s own design.

    Before assuming his current role in August 2014, Marc was the director of external relations for Global Rights, a human rights advocacy organization active in Afghanistan, West and East Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. Earlier, he served as executive director of the U.S. Association for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the American organization responsible to educate the American public and raise funds for the U.N. Refugee Agency, a position he held until 2012. Marc was also chief operating officer for the New Israel Fund, a human rights and social justice organization that builds and trains civil society organizations in Israel that represent marginalized populations.

  • Jeffrey Connor, Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff

    Jeffrey Connor, Chief of StaffJeffrey leads strategic planning and implementation efforts and manages cross-departmental functions and coordination. With a background in public policy, communications, politics and coalitions, he brings 14 years of experience on Capitol Hill to NRECA.

    In Congress, Jeffrey served as Communications Director to U.S. Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) and Communications Director and Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO). As Associate Staff of the House Committee on Appropriations, Jeffrey also guided the work of the Subcommittee on Financial Services for Chairwoman Emerson following the 2008 U.S. financial crisis. He helped expand the non-partisan Center Aisle Caucus and the policy-oriented Tuesday Group.

    Jeffrey is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

  • Kirk Johnson, Senior Vice President of Government Relations

    Kirk Johnson, Senior Vice President of Government RelationsKirk is responsible for formulating legislative and regulatory positions on issues important to cooperatives and developing and implementing strategies to advocate those positions before Congress and federal agencies.

    Prior to joining NRECA in 2001, Kirk worked for U.S. Senator Kent Conrad for 9 years, serving as the Senator’s energy, environment, and natural resources advisor. Kirk has spent over two decades working on energy and environmental issues in Washington, DC.

    In 2000, Kirk received the Lignite Energy Council’s “Public Service Award” for his efforts on behalf of energy development in the state. That same year Kirk was named a “Commodore” in North Dakota’s Mythical Navy by former Governor Ed Schafer (R-ND) for his work to develop North Dakota’s water resources and protect its communities from flooding.

    Kirk is a native North Dakotan, received his BA in Political Science from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN), and attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota. He is married to Janet Woodka and is an avid golfer who also loves fishing, sailing, traveling, and playing with their dogs Dakota and Gumbo.
  • Stephen J. Kaszynski, CFA, Director, President and CEO of Homestead Funds and RE Advisers

    Stephen J. Kaszynski, CFA, Director, President and CEO of Homestead Funds and RE AdvisersSteve has broad responsibility for shaping the strategic vision and directing the business activities of the NRECA-created mutual fund company, Homestead Funds, and its related money management entity, RE Advisers.

    He is an industry veteran with more than 35 years in the asset management business. Prior to joining NRECA, Steve held senior portfolio management and management roles at Eaton Vance, Credit Suisse Asset Management as Head of US Equities, and INVESCO Capital Management where he was lead portfolio manager for Value Equities. He was also a co-founder and principal of D.A. Capital Management, LLC. He is a graduate of Knox College, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Economics with Honors. Steve received his MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

    Throughout his education and career, Steve has been fortunate to live and work in many different regions of the U.S., and rural electric co-ops have been part of his family's experience and history.

  • Veneicia Lockhart, Vice President of Finance

    Veneicia Lockhart, Vice President of FinanceVeneicia oversees the finance and accounting operations for NRECA, its wholly owned subsidiaries and affiliated nonprofit entities, and the three multiple employer plans for which NRECA is both the plan sponsor and administrator. Veneicia is a CPA with over thirty years of experience.

  • Martin Lowery, Executive Vice President of Member and Association Relations

    Martin Lowery, Executive Vice President of Member and Association RelationsMartin ensures that NRECA excels in serving the needs of its 1,000 members and helping to direct the implementation of the association’s strategic plan.

  • Richard Meyer, Senior Vice President and General Counsel

    Richard Meyer, Senior Vice President and General CounselRich is responsible for the association’s legal, compliance, internal audit, risk and governance functions. Rich brings nearly forty years of legal experience in the association, government and private sectors.

  • Shaara Roman, Senior Vice President for Human Resources

    Shaara Roman, Senior Vice President for Human ResourcesShaara oversees recruiting, talent management, and employee health and wellness programs at NRECA.

  • Jim Spiers, Vice-President of Technology, Engineering and Economic Analysis

    Jim SpiersJim Spiers joined NRECA in June 2014 as the vice-president of technology, engineering and economic analysis. Spiers came to NRECA from Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association in Westminster, CO, where he served as senior vice president of business strategy/chief technology officer.

  • Tom Stangroom, Vice President and Chief Information Officer

    Tom Stangroom, Chief Information OfficerTom has served as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Vice President of Information Technology since 2000. Prior to that, Tom held leadership positions in information technology for NRECA, American Red Cross, and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). He began his career in information technology with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Washington, DC.

  • Tracey Steiner, Senior Vice President of Education and Training

    Tracey Steiner, Senior Vice President of Education and TrainingTracey's overall responsibility is developing and delivering NRECA’s Annual and Regional Meetings, national conferences, board of directors training, and executive and staff-level education and credentialing programs.

  • Dan Waddle, Senior Vice President of NRECA International

    Dan WaddleDan oversees the NRECA division that promotes cooperative development and designs programs to offer access to modern electric service in developing countries. Dan directs a portfolio of rural electrification and utility efficiency program activities in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central and South Asia that focus on low-cost expansion of electric service through establishing and strengthening rural electric utilities using conventional grid extension and off-grid energy solutions.