NRECA Annual Meeting
Dan Waddle is Senior Vice President at NRECA International.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: What do you do on a typical day?
Dan Waddle: I'll start by explaining what our program is about. That dictates what I do on a daily basis. Our program started at about the same time that the U.S. Agency for International Development was formed in 1961. The Peace Corps was established about the same time. The U.S. program was going from a reconstruction-oriented economic development activity that was focused on Europe, to being broader based. We were like an economic development program focused everywhere else, like Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia.
The U.S. government invited a number of non-profit institutions to join them in the effort. One was NRECA in 1962. Our program over the past almost 60 years has achieved remarkable success because it's a small program. We've facilitated, built ourselves, or supported other institutions to build about two hundred and fifty rural utilities in roughly forty-five countries that now serve about a hundred and sixty million consumers.
PUF: Where are they, and do they follow the co-op model?
Dan Waddle: As a cooperative institution, we know the power of the cooperative business model in economic environments where profits will be thin, if they exist at all. This is due to the fact that rural people, especially in developing countries, have low buying power.