NEW ORLEANS—The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Board of Directors said some hellos, as well as some emotional goodbyes, as it elected a new leadership team to guide the association through the next two years.

At its Feb. 17 meeting, held in conjunction with the NRECA annual meeting, board members elected Curtis Nolan, the NRECA director from Arizona, as president. Nolan has been vice president since 2011.

Mel Coleman, the Arkansas director who has been secretary-treasurer, was elected vice president, while Phil Carson, the Illinois director, is the new secretary-treasurer.

“I have every confidence that this leadership team will make this association even better,” said outgoing president Michael J. Guidry.

Nolan has been a director of Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative in Willcox, Ariz., since 1993. He joined the national board in 2002 and has owned Nolan Builders since 2005.

Coleman is chief executive officer of North Arkansas Electric Co-op, Salem, and formerly chaired the board’s Legislative and Advocacy Committee.

“What an interesting two years it’s going to be—and has been,” Coleman said.

Carson has been a director at Tri-County Electric Cooperative in Mt. Vernon, Ill., since 1999 and a national director since 2006. In 2011, he was honored as Outstanding Cooperative Director by the Illinois Cooperative Council. He is a dairy farmer on a 160-year-old family farm, and pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Ill.

“We’ve got a lot of challenges ahead of us, and also a lot of opportunities,” he told the board following his election.

With several former NRECA presidents in attendance, NRECA CEO Glenn English and Guidry made their final formal appearances at an NRECA Board meeting.

English said he has worked to fulfill his aim to make NRECA the finest trade association in Washington, D.C., while Guidry said he’s considered his two years as president to be “a privilege. I have enjoyed every minute of it.”

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