NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The CEO of a Florida electric cooperative and a world-renown international development expert were recognized today for their contribution to international development. Steve Rhodes, CEO of CHELCO, and Myk Manon, former NRECA International country director, received the 2018 International Award from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
The International Award recognizes exceptional dedication to the development of international communities through electrification, cooperative development and global commitment.
“Steve and Myk go above and beyond with their time and dedication to our cooperative spirit,” said NRECA President Phil Carson. “Steve is well-known for his relentless effort to raise awareness about the need to help bring electricity to those around the world who live without it. Myk is an icon in the international development community, and his work ethic and passion were impossible to miss throughout his four decades of work in 11 countries.”
Rhodes accepted the award with his wife Tami and daughter Samantha. In 2016, they climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and used this feat to raise awareness for the millions of people still living without power on the African continent, and to raise funds for NRECA International. The awareness and fund-raising outreach continued upon their return at various local and co-op events.
Manon spent more than 40 years leading efforts to bring electricity to tens of thousands of people around the world. Prior to his retirement in 2016, Manon served as NRECA International’s country director in Haiti. After the Haiti earthquake in 2008, Manon led the first energy assessment team into the country. Over his four-decade career with NRECA International, Manon has worked in countries located in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
More than 6,000 representatives from electric co-ops across the nation are attending NRECA’s annual meeting, which runs from Feb. 25-28 in Nashville and sets NRECA’s organizational and legislative agenda for 2018. Co-op representatives also hear from NRECA officials, key public figures and business experts about issues affecting electric cooperatives and their consumer members. The annual meeting is held in conjunction with TechAdvantage, a technology learning event and expo that features more than 300 exhibitors showcasing their state-of-the-art technologies, equipment and services.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.