Keeping Pace

Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association

January 2022

Volume 1, Issue 1

Welcome to Keeping Pace

ORECA is pleased to announce the return of Keeping Pace, our new monthly member electronic newsletter. Keeping Pace will keep you updated on co-op people, events, and the great work being done by Oregon’s electric cooperatives. Story ideas, photos, and feedback can be submitted to Britni Davidson at 

Winter Snowstorms Strike Oregon Co-ops

After unusually high winds and snowfall, several Oregon electric co-ops began the new year responding to power outages. "The combination of high winds, closed roads and deep snow made it difficult, but crews worked without a break to ensure our members got power back as quickly as possible," said Kevin Knutz, Umatilla Electric Cooperative's (UEC) Operations Manager.

Read more about the winter snowstorms in February's ORECA Ruralite.

Snow and ice cause damage in the Hood River Valley.


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Consumers Power and mutual aid crews worked in wind, snow, and freezing temperatures to restore power to members.


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UEC crews work to restore power with the help of the co-op's snowcat.


ORECA Kicks off Gubernatorial Candidate Forums

On January 18, ORECA welcomed Independent Gubernatorial Candidate Senator Betsy Johnson to their first Candidate Forum. Senator Johnson said her top three priorities as governor will be to improve public safety, address homelessness, and advocate for children in public schools. Johnson discussed the importance of the Lower Snake River Dams, broadband, and how she will bridge the urban/rural divide. ORECA will continue hosting candidate forums in February. 

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Case Receives Telecommunications Award

ORECA Executive Director Ted Case is presented with an award for Excellence in Telecommunications Legislation or Policy at the Oregon Connections Conference in Ashland, Oregon. ORECA was recognized for their work in the Oregon Legislature to pass legislation to streamline the easement process for the deployment of broadband.


PNGC is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for power resources to explore options to augment their current and future preference power allocation from the Bonneville Power Administration. “Our mission to our members is to deliver reliable, affordable, and clean power. We want to be proactive in meeting our members’ needs now and in the future. We see this RFP as beneficial not only to us, but public power in general," said Roger Gray, PNGC Power's President and CEO.

To read the full press release click here

Capital City


The Oregon Legislature will meet on February 1 for the 35-day short session. ORECA will be closely following the session and advocating for our members. While legislation is still being released, ORECA has been working with stakeholders on two bills that impact Oregon’s electric co-ops:

HB 4092 Establishes broadband governance for the state through the Oregon Broadband Advisory Council, among other provisions.

HB 4058 Directs the Oregon Health Authority to create a program to acquire and distribute air conditioners and air filters on an emergency basis. Allocates $10 million to Oregon Department of Energy for heat pump incentives to low-income and environmental justice communities.

ORECA Elects Executive Committee

At the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Annual Membership Meeting held late last year, Fred Flippence, General Manager at Harney Electric, was elected Board President, Joe Van Meter, Director at Salem Electric, was elected Vice President, and Shirley Cairns, Director at Douglas Electric, was re-elected as Secretary/Treasurer. At-large Executive Committee Members include Peter Radabaugh, Director at Coos-Curry Electric, and Russ Sapp, Director at Consumers Power Inc.


A special thanks to outgoing President Bob Durham for his service and dedication to the board. 

Above: Past ORECA Board President Bob Durham passes the gavel to Fred Flippence as he assumes the role of Board President.

ACRE Auction is a Hit

Thanks to everyone who participated in the recent ACRE auction, which raised over $4,000 to support ORECA's political activities. “Thanks to all the individual participants who donated items - we appreciate your support,” said ACRE Co-Chair Ingrid Kessler, Director, Lane Electric.

ORECA will continue to build its political program. “With the midterm elections upon us, ACRE needs your continued support,” commented Lori Anderson, ACRE Co-Chair, Director, Columbia Basin. For more information about ACRE please contact the co-chairs or ORECA.

Above: ACRE Co-Chairs Lori Anderson (right) and Ingrid Kessler hand out awards at the ORECA Annual Meeting.

Britni Davidson Joins ORECA

Britni Davidson has joined ORECA's staff in a newly created role as the organization's Deputy Executive Director. Davidson comes to ORECA after spending 18 years at Salem Electric, most recently as Member Services Manager.

"Britni brings a depth of knowledge and experience to ORECA. She will be a great asset to the statewide," said Ted Case, ORECA Executive Director.

Cooperative Spotlight

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Umatilla Electric Cooperative (UEC) welcomed Robert Cromwell as Vice President of Power Supply, a new position at the Hermiston-based cooperative. Robert will support the creation of UEC's Power Supply Team and help meet the power and transmission needs of the membership.

Lisa Atkin joined Columbia Power in December as the co-op's General Manager. "I'm excited for the challenge of fostering the core values of the cooperative model through the collaborative engagement of our members, our Columbia Power team and our regional partners to continue efficiently delivering safe, affordable and reliable power for all," Atkin said.

Atkin previously spent several years with the Eugene Water & Electric Board.

ORECA Membership Directory

The 2022 ORECA Membership Directory will be mailed to members soon. For additional copies, please contact

Congratulations to Kelsey Bozeman of Coos-Curry Electric whose photo, Natural Bridges Viewpoint at Samuel J. Boardman State Park, was selected as this year's cover photo.

Upcoming Events & ORECA Key Dates


Oregon Legislature in Session

February 7 & 15

Virtual Candidate Forums

February 14-18

NRECA's Credential Cooperative Director

(CCD) Training


March 6-9

NRECA PowerXchange

Nashville, TN

April 2-5

NRECA Director's Conference

Austin, TX

April 19 (Tentative)

Virtual ORECA Board Meeting

May 1-3

Legislative Conference

Washington D.C.

July 11-13

ORECA Mid-Year Meeting

Bend, OR

November 29 - December 1

ORECA Annual Meeting

Salem, OR

Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association

8565 SW Salish Lane Suite 130

Wilsonville, OR 97070