Monday, July 30, 2012

Chief Executive Officer National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Position Specification Chief Executive Officer National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Our Client The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is the national service organization dedicated to representing the national interests of cooperative electric utilities and the consumers they serve. It represents more than 900 not-for-profit rural electric cooperatives and public power districts providing retail electric service to more than 42 million consumers in 47 states and whose retail sales account for approximately 12 percent of total electricity sales in the United States. NRECA’s members include consumer-owned local distribution systems - the vast majority - and 66 generation and transmission (“G&T”) cooperatives that supply wholesale power to their distribution cooperative owner-members. Distribution and G&T cooperatives share an obligation to serve their members by providing safe, reliable and affordable electric service. NRECA membership includes other organizations formed by these local utilities: • Generation and transmission cooperatives for power supply; • Statewide and regional trade and service associations; • Supply and manufacturing cooperatives; and • Data processing cooperatives. In 2011, the association’s consolidated operations include the General Membership programs, Fee-for- Service programs and Cost Reimbursable programs. NRECA ended the year with total revenue of $287 million consisting of: • $27 million in membership dues, which fund the core membership programs that benefit all members. These core programs consist of the lobbying, regulatory and communication programs. • $189 million in reimbursements for administering the pension and other trust programs and payments to service providers of the pension and other trust programs, as well as the Cooperative Research Network® and Touchstone Energy®. All costs required to administer these programs are reimbursed to the association on an actual cost basis. • $24 million in revenue from the member fee-for-service programs. These programs are paid for by the members that use them and include training and conferences, consulting, RE Magazine, the Annual and Regional Meetings, as well as others. • $47 million in revenue from the non-member fee-for-service programs, which include the International Programs, the buildings owned by NRECA, and fees for managing the Homestead Funds®. The margins from these programs are used to fund other programs that were requested by the membership through the resolution process and which benefit the majority of the members. Examples of such programs are Education and Training development and Market Research. Having been superbly led by its current Chief Executive Officer, NRECA, in a careful and orderly transition, is seeking a new Chief Executive Officer who will provide the organization continued strong, strategic, and creative leadership. The Role The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports to the Board of Directors of NRECA and is responsible for the overall management and leadership of the activities and business of NRECA. He/She will work closely with the 47-member Board on the development and implementation of the Association’s strategic vision and plan and the policies and programs to advance the interests of the membership. The new CEO will be charged with building upon the rich history and strong foundation to make the Association an even more vibrant organization, designed to effectively serve its members and take innovative and strategic leadership roles on business and policy issues facing the industry and the cooperative system. He/She will work with the Board to help set the direction and priorities for the Association and then lead the members and staff to achieve the specific goals and objectives needed to accomplish that strategy. NRECA is committed to hiring a strong leader who can lead the organization at this important time in its history. The successful candidate will have leadership responsibility, along with the Executive Committee and Board, for the development and implementation of the Association’s public policy positions and programs. He/She will lead the organization’s advocacy efforts before Congress, the Administration, and other officials, maintaining NRECA’s reputation as one of the most influential political and legislative organizations in Washington. The CEO will be called upon to act as an external spokesperson and representative for the industry to a wide range of key constituents and the public, and will be expected to be actively engaged in the public policy issues facing the industry. Further, he/she will creatively lead the organization on a variety of initiatives, products and services that are important to NRECA’s members. He/She will oversee the continued provision of the health, retirement and financial services products and services that members of the cooperative system need and want. The successful candidate will be expected to enhance and further develop NRECA’s relationships with all relevant constituencies, including state associations, related organizations, coalitions, legislators, and policymakers, to enlist support for issues critical to its members and the electric cooperative system. Further, as NRECA is an organization with a diverse membership, the CEO will play a critical role in maintaining and building relationships with the broad range of members, and continuing the unity that has been so important to the organization and its membership. He/She will be charged with helping build and drive consensus among its Board, and membership on a wide variety of matters. The CEO will also be responsible for the overall management of the organization. He/She must effectively oversee NRECA’s resources, both personnel and fiscal, in an efficient and competent manner. The CEO will help keep NRECA fiscally strong to ensure that it can help meet its members’ short- and long-term needs. Moreover, it is critical that he/she is an inspirational leader who will motivate, develop, leverage, hire, and retain outstanding staff. Candidate Profile For this extremely important position, our client is seeking a visionary, strategic leader. The successful candidate will be a person with stature and executive presence, capable of leading an organization that represents the vibrant electric cooperative system during a ongoing evolution and change. He/She will have demonstrated strategic planning abilities and be skilled at executing to deliver results. The new CEO will excel at working with a Board to articulate and create an evolving vision for the future of the organization and how it can help its members and the industry, generate consensus around that vision and its priorities. The new CEO must be a charismatic and inspiring leader to implement and execute on the goals and objectives. He/She needs to have creative and innovative ideas, and be able to lead the Board and members in setting a public policy agenda, a plan for continued and enhanced partnerships among the relevant constituencies, and a products, services and education strategy – all designed to help lead the members and the system into the future. He/She must have an open and entrepreneurial mindset for continuing the ongoing process of refining the organization so that NRECA provides value to its diverse membership in an evolving industry. The new CEO will be respected for his/her deep knowledge of public policy issues and advocacy. Further, it is essential that this individual be skilled at developing and maintaining strong bi-partisan relationships across all branches and levels of government effectively. In addition, because its members are woven into the fabric of every local community across the country, the new CEO should be able to help NRECA effectively build upon and leverage those critical grassroots relationships. NRECA’s new CEO will have the ability to be an outstanding spokesperson for the organization's issues and causes. Because advocacy is a primary activity of NRECA, it will be helpful if the CEO has a track record of dealing effectively with issues in Washington, and is capable of successfully managing and leading individuals and an organization charged with advancing goals related to complicated public policy issues. The CEO must serve as a passionate advocate and public voice for NRECA’s members and the cooperative system, and its important role in our country and its communities. While knowledge of rural issues, the cooperative system, energy, environment or electric utilities is desirable, it is not required. If the individual does not have a relevant substantive background, he/she must quickly learn about the industry and its issues and become a believer in the cooperative system. The new CEO will be a poised and energetic leader who is also down-to-earth and approachable, both in a group setting and one-on-one. The individual must have outstanding interpersonal acumen and communication skills. He/She will be a service-oriented listener who engages all constituencies in a meaningful and respectful manner. The CEO must be a diplomat who is skilled at building bridges and developing relationships in a variety of settings with diverse constituencies. He/She must have a track record of successfully leading and building consensus in complex environments. Experience operating within a trade association environment would be beneficial, but is not required. A strong emphasis will be placed upon the proven ability to deal with a broad range of individuals, backgrounds, and perspectives in a collaborative, strategic, and consensus-driven manner. The successful candidate will be able to build strong relationships with key partners, business interests, a wide range of external constituencies, including policy makers. In addition to the critical, externally-focused competencies, he/she must also possess outstanding leadership skills that will enable him/her to oversee the management of a large organization with a large staff and efficiently manage an appropriate budget. The successful candidate must be able to set strategic direction for NRECA and its products and services, prioritize and define clear goals for staff, and manage performance toward achievement of those goals. Further, he/she must have the executive skills to manage a large Board in an efficient manner. The successful candidate will be a person of the highest integrity with exceptional energy. He/She must possess self-confidence, but also be humble. The successful candidate needs to be gracious in manner and comfortable in any situation. The new CEO must be able to be self-deprecatory, to see the lighter side of difficult situations, and have a sense of humor. In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following: Leadership: Ability to Develop Strategy and Execute The new CEO of NRECA will be a strategic individual who can provide leadership for the membership and the cooperative system. He/She must have creative and innovative ideas, and be able to lead the Board and members in setting a public policy and advocacy agenda, a plan for continued and enhanced partnerships with key constituencies, and a products, service and education strategy. The new leader must have both diplomacy and the strength of his/her convictions to assimilate and balance the many different interests of the various constituents, generate ideas from the membership, and help the members arrive at consensus on strategy and direction. He/She must have the focus and persistence to lead the execution efforts to achieve NRECA’s objectives and goals and drive positive change for the association, its members and the cooperative system. Interpersonal Acumen and Communication Skills While the successful candidate must be a decisive, strategic leader, this individual must also have outstanding interpersonal skills. He/she must be a passionate and effective spokesperson and advocate for NRECA’s members and the electric cooperative system. The successful candidate will have a style that is collegial, approachable, and direct. He/She must be a keen listener who picks up on detail and nuance and can intuitively develop insights regarding people and situations. It is critical that NRECA’s CEO be the kind of person who can build meaningful and sincere relationships with its diverse membership. This individual must be able to work easily and effectively with people who have diverse backgrounds and perspectives, including members, policy makers, and other constituencies. He/She should be perceptive, open to alternative ways of doing things, and adaptable. The CEO must be service-oriented, always looking out for the members and best interests of the organization as a whole. The new CEO must be highly articulate and able to convey important messages in a clear and compelling manner – both in writing and orally. Moreover, the person must be able to communicate extraordinarily well with different audiences, in groups and one-on-one. Building Relationships and Using Influence He/She must have a strong, positive personal presence and be a diplomat, collaborator, motivator, and relationship builder. The successful candidate will have a track record of creating and cultivating networks of people and leveraging them to accomplish important public policy objectives. He/She must have the ability to build and sustain real and meaningful relationships with relevant parties, including members, key partners, staff, policy makers, and other trade associations. The ability to build bridges and alliances across the broad spectrum of external constituencies, including with other business interests, is an essential skill. This individual must be articulate and persuasive, and able to convince others to act on compelling logic and facts. He/She must also be the type of person who can represent the membership well externally in all venues. Managing Teams and Budgets The ideal candidate will possess leadership experience and the ability to effectively manage a team or an organization. He/She must work well in a team environment and be able to inspire and motivate staff and the membership. Ideally, the successful candidate would have a demonstrated track record of effectively running a complex organization or large team, both from a fiscal and personnel standpoint. Business experience, or at least a strong sense of business acumen, will be helpful for leading the member services aspects of the organization. The new CEO will understand how to leverage his/her staff, as well as the resources of the membership. He/She will value talent and inspire and motivate teams to work together with a clear direction and purpose. The candidate should have experience setting an overarching strategic direction, prioritizing, defining clear goals, and ensuring that everyone understands their responsibilities and is motivated to achieve results. While the candidate needs to be a manager and leader, it is also essential that he/she be a “roll up the sleeves do-er” and “not just a presider”. The successful candidate will demonstrate resolve, balanced with reasonableness and diplomacy, when leading the team to execute for results. Contact Denise Grant Russell Reynolds Associates 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 400 Washington, DC 20006-5805 Tel: +1-202-628-2150 Fax: +1-202-331-9348 Eric Vautour Russell Reynolds Associates 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 400 Washington, DC 20006-5805 Tel: +1-202-628-2150 Fax: +1-202-331-9348

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