Indiana’s electric cooperatives recognized for international philanthropy

Indiana’s electric cooperatives were recognized Tuesday at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) annual meeting with the International Award. The award recognizes exceptional dedication

NRECA Interim CEO Jeffrey Connor presents IEC CEO Tom VanParis with the International Award

NRECA Interim CEO Jeffrey Connor presents IEC CEO Tom VanParis with the International Award

to the development of international communities through electrification, cooperative development and global commitment.

Through an international philanthropic effort dubbed “Project Indiana,” Indiana’s electric cooperatives are encouraging sustainable change – moving beyond electrifying villages to making them a better place to live an enhancing the community – just as happened 80 years ago when electricity was first delivered to rural Indiana. With support from the NRECA International Foundation, the aim of Indiana’s electric cooperatives is to provide electricity, the tools and resources the villages need to unlock their potential.

“With Project Indiana, the hearts of Hoosiers extend beyond our borders and into countries that have never had the opportunities we have,” said Tom VanParis, CEO of Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “It’s rare when you get to be part of a project that sets progress in motion. The world is a better place when we help those places of the ‘have-nots’ to become the ‘haves.’”

In 2012, two teams of Indiana electric cooperative linemen spent a month electrifying three remote villages in Guatemala. In 2015, a team of 14 Indiana electric linemen electrified another village in one of the poorest parts of northeastern Guatemala.

Indiana Electric Cooperatives, located in Indianapolis, represents 38 electric distribution cooperatives that serve 1.3 million Hoosiers in 89 of the state’s 92 counties. The cooperatives are collectively the second largest electricity provider in Indiana. For more information about the association, visit

Additional Project Indiana information, photos and videos are available by visiting