Barry Hart, CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, was presented with the Missouri Conspicuous Service Medal by Adj. Gen. Steve Danner during the association’s annual meeting Oct. 11. He is only the second civilian to be presented with this medal in the history of the state, Danner said.
The Missouri Conspicuous Service Medal is presented to individuals designated by the governor “who have done and performed distinguished and conspicuous service or services either civil or military which reflect honorably and creditably upon the state of Missouri.”
Danner, reading a citation from Gov. Mike Parson, cited Hart’s efforts as a “constant partner” with the Missouri National Guard in its mission to protect the people of Missouri. “Mr. Hart’s direct support was invaluable in equipping the Missouri Guard, on innumerable occasions, to effectively accomplish its mission,” Danner said. “Under Mr. Hart’s leadership the Missouri Electric Cooperatives entered an agreement with the Missouri National Guard to ensure continuity of electric services to the Missouri Guard armories in the event of an emergency or natural disaster occurring within the state.”
The agreement — the only one of its kind in the U.S. — ensured Guard armories will have power from redundant sources during an emergency. Electric cooperative employees even installed wiring that allow generators to be hooked up should power be knocked out at the armories. This was done when a source of funding could not be found by the Guard.
“Because of his efforts and commitment, the citizens of the state of Missouri are safer and more prepared for disasters than ever before,” Danner added. “Mr. Hart’s dedication greatly contributed to the readiness and preparedness of Missouri to respond to future challenges. He has consistently devoted himself to the welfare of the people of our state, enabling the Missouri National Guard to accomplish every mission and tasks under adverse and contingent circumstances.”
Hart recently announced his retirement in January 2019 after a career that spans 46 years beginning as an intern for Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative.
Pictured above: Barry Hart, CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives received the Missouri Conspicuous Service Medal by Adj. Gen. Steve Danner. He is shown here with his wife, Laura, Danner, and Danner’s wife, Kathleen Steele Danner.