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Arlington, VA.; December 3, 2012 — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today announced that Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer, effective March 1, 2013.  Emerson will take over for long-time CEO Glenn English, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

“We conducted an exhaustive search to identify the very best individual to lead a great association,” said NRECA Board President Mike Guidry.  “We’re convinced we found that person in Jo Ann Emerson.  Her background as a Member of Congress and a trade association executive – coupled with her extensive knowledge of the issues facing electric cooperatives and rural America – make Jo Ann eminently qualified to lead NRECA and represent the interests of our members.  The respect she has from both sides of the aisle and her proven ability to bridge political and policy divides and find common ground will serve NRECA well.”

Emerson was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 from Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District.  She serves on the House Appropriations Committee and Chairs the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Appropriations, with oversight of the U.S. Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, and various independent government agencies, including the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the General Services Administration, and the Small Business Administration.  In addition to a leadership role on agriculture, health care, and government reform issues in the House, Emerson has won recognition for her work on energy issues, including the NRECA Distinguished Service Award.

“Energy has a direct relationship with the vitality of rural America.  Without reliable, affordable electricity delivered by electric cooperatives serving thousands of communities, millions of Americans would be left without the energy that brings economic opportunity, unsurpassed quality of life, and the promise of growth in the future,” said Emerson.  “NRECA is committed to the electric cooperatives of this great nation that fulfill this vital need, and work so hard every day to improve the quality of life for their member-owners.  I am so very honored to join an outstanding organization to work on their behalf.”

In addition to her committee posts, Emerson also serves as co-Chair of the Tuesday Group, is a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and holds a position on the Board of the Congressional Hunger Center.  She is the first Republican woman from Missouri to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Emerson graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and held executive roles in communications and government affairs positions with the National Restaurant Association and the American Insurance Association before being elected to the first of nine terms in Congress.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.

Fayetteville Public Utilities recently announced improvements that will result in added reliability and room for growth.

FPU recently installed a 161 kV transformer at their Hamilton Substation to enhance system redundancy. The new 161 kV transformer will be tied to the TVA delivery point and will be fully operational by the end of the year to serve as a “back-up” unit in case of an equipment failure or major outage either at the station or in the areas served by the station.

“It has long been our goal to build an electric system with a redundancy plan that’s second to none,” says Ron Thomas, FPU’s supervisor of substations and metering. “Many years ago we began by constructing additional substations across Lincoln County and installing the SCADA link to communicate with each station so that when there was an operation affecting one substation, the electric load could be transferred to another substation temporarily to reduce the time that our customers are without electric service. Since that time, we’ve been able to install fiber communication to several of our substations to further improve outage response time and system monitoring.”

“Redundancy and system reliability planning has greatly helped us reduce the number of outages we experience as well as the length of those outages,” says Britt Dye, FPU’s CEO and general manager. “As a result of these types of upgrades, FPU continues to have one of the lowest power outage duration times across the nation.”

“Each year, FPU’s electric work plan calls for system upgrades which include power line and substation upgrades to better serve our growing communities across the area,” said Dye.

The Hamilton Substation was built in 1995 and provides service to approximately 4,500 customers who live in the city of Fayetteville north of the Elk River Bridge and portions of the communities of Molino and Howell.

In addition to the substation upgrade, FPU’s Electric Department also completed upgrades to 2.8 miles of three-phase line from their Park City Substation to Lincoln Road in the southern portion of Lincoln County. FPU upgraded existing 4/0 ACSR to 795 AAC and changed 46 electric poles to accommodate the new line. Crews also upgraded 2.8 miles of single-phase line to three-phase line in the Elora area along East Limestone Road. FPU crews will soon begin a new work plan to covert 2.6 miles of single-phase to three-phase in the Brookwood Subdivision area also located in southern Lincoln County.