Kathy Nelson, Great River Energy principal telecommunications engineer, was elected first chairwoman of the Utilities Technology Council (UTC) board at its annual meeting in Charlotte, N.C., last month.
With 10 U.S. regions, five special board committees, and 10 divisions and councils, Nelson will be part of a select group of top influential industry professionals helping to shape the future of utility mission-critical technologies.
“It’s a privilege to be a part of such a talented group of individuals who are responsible for driving innovation, fostering collaboration and influencing public policy on critical utility infrastructure,” Nelson said. “I am excited to have the opportunity to and honor of representing Great River Energy and its members by offering the electric cooperative viewpoint.”
“Kathy’s participation in the UTC and this leadership position provides tremendous value to Great River Energy, our members and the utility industry by bringing visibility and a rural voice on important utility telecommunication issues,” said Great River Energy Vice President and Chief Information Officer Jim Jones.
Nelson’s journey to chairwoman started when Nelson began serving on the board in 2008 by participating on a rural issues committee. She later chaired a division that provided her with a broader understanding of our industry from a regulatory perspective, something quite different than the technical side she is accustomed to.
A member-colleague at UTC encouraged Nelson to get more involved and it wasn’t long before she began taking on larger, more influential leadership roles.
In 2015, she began the progression to chairwoman when she was elected to serve as secretary/treasurer officer on its board of directors, followed by vice-chair in 2016. Her advancement culminates with her election as chairwoman of the board.
“It means a lot to me to be entrusted to lead this great organization in the upcoming year. UTC is the only trade association that focuses on telecommunications and technology issues for all utilities and it serves a unique and vital role for utilities,” said Nelson. “It will be an honor to build upon the work from the chairmen who came before me and exciting to see what we will accomplish together this year.”