Associated Electric Cooperative, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives— Inducted in 2016
Jim Jura is a leader. During his tenure as CEO of Associated Electric Cooperative, he became a legend. Members have unparalleled trust in him. Beyond Missouri, in fact, all across the nation, "When Jim Jura speaks, cooperative CEOs listen."
He was so well regarded in the power supply business nationally that he could have worked anywhere. He chose Associated Electric and positioned it as the lowest cost, most reliable generation cooperative in the country. Associated is a nationwide leader in board governance, performance and environmental compliance. Associated is recognized for financial and risk management. Jim found ways to reduce debt while simultaneously investing in the cooperative's future. His management achieved a remarkable AA bond rating from Wall Street. Throughout his tenure, Jim developed strong relationships and strategic alliances. He reached out often to other utilities, government, cooperative associations, railroads, coal companies, engineering firms and others - all to benefit Associated's members.
When Jim arrived at Associated in 1991, he was already a power industry leader. He put his skills to work as Associated moved through the difficult process of closing mines. O.B. Clark, Associated's board president at the time, noted Jim's ability as a negotiator, saying, "He doesn't just listen to people - he hears them."
In that first year, Jim focused on priorities: communicating, building alliances, staying close to members and working with government. These priorities evolved into Associated's current business principles and strategies. With 25 years of service, Jim is the longest serving CEO in Associated's history.
Under his direction, Associated diversified its portfolio of generation resources to include natural gas and wind power in order to meet a peak demand that doubled during his career. He found innovative ways to market surplus power, and made the most of the coal fleet owned by Associated, setting production records from power plants that others would have thought obsolete. All of this put the electric cooperatives in the Associated system at a tremendous competitive advantage.
Jim remained committed to the member. He constantly challenged staff to find new ways to ensure electricity is affordable and reliable. Cooperative employees must strive daily to meet or exceed member expectations. He originated a mentoring program for employees to develop leaders as well as senior management succession planning.
Among the many programs created under his direction is the "Take Control & Save" campaign that provides rebates for energy-efficient appliances and information on getting the most out of the electricity that is used. Through this program, members have saved enough electricity to power all the homes in a city the size of Springfield, Mo.
His career has taken him to Boeing, OSHA, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Bonneville Power Administration, where he was administrator of the agency. Yet, Jim is quick to say his time in the electric cooperative program has been "without a doubt, the most rewarding and enjoyable."
Unparalleled respect and trust; visionary leadership; financial and environmental stewardship; exceptional communicator who truly listens; and dedicated service to cooperative members