Leadership

  • Jim Matheson, Chief Executive Officer
    NRECA staff portraits -- NRECA's newly announced CEO Jim Matheson outside the NRECA headquarters building in Arlington, Va., June 13, 2016.

    Jim Matheson is Chief Executive Officer of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provides service to 42 million people in 47 states. Jim joined NRECA in July 2016 following distinguished careers in both the public and private sectors.

    Prior to joining NRECA, Jim served as Principal, Public Policy Practice for the international law firm Squire Patton Boggs, based in Washington, D.C.

    From 2001 to 2015, Jim was elected to serve as a United States Representative from Utah for seven terms. During his tenure on Capitol Hill, Jim was known as a legislator who was able to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

    He was Chief Deputy Whip for the House Democratic Caucus and served as co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition. Jim also was a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as the Financial Services, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Science Committees.

    Prior to entering government service, Jim worked in the energy industry for several years. Jim was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from Harvard University, and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from UCLA. Jim’s wife, Amy, is a pediatrician, and they have two sons, William and Harris.
  • Jeffrey Connor, Chief Operating Officer

    Jeffrey Connor, COOJeffrey Connor serves as Chief Operating Officer of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Arlington, Va. He assumed that role in November 2015 from his position as NRECA’s chief operating officer and chief of staff. With a background in public policy, communication, politics and coalition building, he brings 14 years of experience on Capitol Hill to NRECA.

    In Congress, Jeffrey served as communications director and chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) from 2003 to 2013, when he joined NRECA. Previously, he worked as communications director for U.S. Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.).

    Jeffrey was also an associate staff member of the House Committee on Appropriations, where he guided the work of the Subcommittee on Financial Services for Chairwoman Emerson following the 2008 U.S. financial crisis. He also helped expand the reach of several non-partisan policy caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    He is a native Nebraskan and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. Jeffrey resides in northern Virginia with his wife, Emily, and their two children.

  • 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, International Foundation

    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.

  • 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, CEO, REA/REI

    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, Senior 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.

  • Mary Pat Paris, Vice President, Administration

    Mary Pat Paris, Vice President, Administration​​​​​​​​

    ​In her role as Vice President of Administration, Mary Pat heads up Building Operations, Meeting & Event Planning, and Membership. She has over 30 years of experience in a variety of trade associations and professional societies.

    Mary Pat led the NRECA Membership department for nine years before leaving to become the CEO of the International Registration Plan, a non-profit that supports the trucking industry. In 2013, MP returned to NR​ECA, again to head up the Membership Department, and soon assumed the duties of Building Operations and Meeting & Event Planning. In addition, Mary Pat supports NRECA’s Member Engagement and Service Excellence strategic initiatives.

    Mary Pat is a Graduate of Washington Adventist University with a degree in Organizational Development and is a member of the American Society of Association Executives.

  • Danielle Sieverling, Vice President and Chief Risk and Compliance Officer​

    Danielle Sieverling, Chief Risk And Compliance Officer​​​In her role as Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, Danielle currently oversees compliance for both the Homestead Funds, Inc. (a registered investment management company), and for the multiple-employer retirement, health, and welfare programs that the Association offers to member cooperatives. Additionally, she is responsible for leading the Association’s risk management strategy.

  • Jim Spiers, Vice President, Business and Technology Strategies

    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, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer

    Tom Stangroom, Senior Vice President and Chief Information OfficerTom has served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer 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, NRECA International Ltd

    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.