Alma Johnson: ‘I Am Inspired by Great Leadership’

Job Role: Group Compliance Consultant in the Office of General Counsel

Department: Compliance Office

Tell us a bit about yourself. How would your friends and family describe you? What are you passionate about?

Alma Johnson

My friends and family would describe me as kind, friendly, reliable and their go-to person for personal computer issues and questions related to human resources or health benefits.

I am passionate about computers and technology. They have fascinated me from a young age, and I don’t mind spending hours  on the computer creating websites or learning something new.

Describe your career at NRECA. What is the core function of your current role, and how does it support the mission of the organization?

I am a group compliance consultant in the Office of General Counsel. I provide expert benefit plan compliance consulting and advice to member cooperatives and internal staff related to NRECA’s group medical, dental and vision plans and the CBA-administered section 125 plans and health reimbursement arrangements. I also prepare and serve as testing lead for several critical plan disclosures, including the summary plan description and summary of benefits and coverage. Another core function of my current role includes speaking about compliance topics at NRECA’s Interact Conference and the Basic Benefits Training.

I joined NRECA in 2002. I have more than 19 years of experience in benefit plan operations and administration, including several years as the benefits administrator for NRECA’s Human Resources department. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in computer systems, a minor in international business management, and a certificate in web design from the University of Maryland Global Campus. Additionally, I hold a GBA designation (Group Benefits Associate) from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

What drives you professionally, and what do you feel are the keys to professional success?

I am driven by the need to get positive results. The keys to professional success are education and preparation, believing in yourself and making wise choices.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by great leadership. Leadership can come from a parent, a manager, a colleague, or anyone who influences and inspires you to be your very best. I am also inspired by people who come from humble beginnings, and against all odds, use their skills to propel themselves to the top.

What brought you to NRECA?

NRECA’s mission, vision and enthusiasm for encouraging employee growth through education and training, as well as a generous benefits package that supports employee financial and physical wellness.

What keeps you at NRECA? What is your favorite thing about your job and NRECA as an organization?

NRECA is a great place to work. The people I work with are phenomenal, and the work I do is exciting and challenging. My favorite thing about my job is traveling a few times a year to the conferences and meeting our members. My favorite thing about NRECA as an organization are the seven cooperative principles (Open and Voluntary Membership; Democratic Member Control; Members’ Economic Participation; Autonomy and Independence; Education, Training and Information; Cooperation Among Cooperatives; and Concern for Community). 

If you had a piece of advice for someone who was just entering into the job market, or starting a job search, what would it be?

If you are entering into the job market, look for opportunities to network, be positive, ask questions to make sure you understand what is expected of you. When starting a job search, do your research on the companies you are interested in, and look at the benefits that are offered.

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