Electric co-ops build relationships during day on the hill


More than 175 electric cooperative leaders from across the state, including directors and staff from Gibson Electric Membership Corporation gathered in Nashville on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 20 and 21, for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s 2024 Legislative Conference.

Attendees at the event heard from political strategists and policy advisors as well as Tennessee leaders, including advisors to Gov. Bill Lee and Secretary of State Tre Hargett.

“Reliability took center stage during discussions with legislators this year,” said Ryan King, vice president of government affairs for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “From cybersecurity to EPA regulations, co-op leaders advocated for specific legislation that will harden the grid and protect energy supply.”

Meetings were also about building relationships. “When a bill crosses a legislator’s desk that can impact energy or rural and suburban Tennessee, we want them to know who to call,” said King. “Building strong relationships with lawmakers can have a significant impact on bills that are passed and, ultimately, an electric co-op’s ability to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy to its communities.”

 “This event is an important part of Gibson Electric’s mission to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy to our communities,” says President and CEO Dan Rodamaker. “We go to Nashville to help lawmakers understand the real-world impacts of law and policy and to advocate for our co-op members and rural Tennessee. We appreciate our legislators who took time to hear from us.”

Gibson Electric trustees Tony Bargery, Rana Buchanan, Eric Dupree, Brian McDaniel, Joan Mouser, Wray Pulliam, and Steve Sanders along with Community and Member Engagement Specialist Jessica Toliver and President and CEO Dan Rodamaker attended this year’s conference. Visits with Representatives Rusty Grills, Brock Martin, Chris Hurt, and Chris Todd and Senators John Stevens and Ed Jackson were scheduled while they were at the Capitol.

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