In June, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) announced a new CEO, former U.S. Rep., Jim Matheson. Matheson took time out of his busy schedule to record a podcast with Cherryland’s Rachel Johnson and Tony Anderson for the 24th episode of Co-op Energy Talk.

Matheson began by discussing his extensive background in Congress and public policy as well as providing services to large energy consumers for many years before becoming CEO at NRECA. He also mentioned his friendly relationship with electric cooperatives during his time representing Utah in Congress.

Anderson had several questions for Matheson after a general overview of his career path, including discussions on microgrids, the ACRE PAC and grassroots participation, NRECA’s Telling Our Story Initiative, NRECA’s representation at both Democratic and Republican political conventions, and Matheson’s views on the upcoming election. Matheson also responded to some more personal questions, such as how he knows U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, and what he thinks best prepared him for his job as NRECA’s sixth CEO.

Throughout his interview, Matheson displayed his passion for the cooperative model. When asked how cooperatives should remain relevant today Matheson stated, “I think that co-ops have a critical role to play in terms of how we advocate because we are purely the voice of the consumer.”

The podcast is available on Cherryland’s website at