It was a whirlwind start to new responsibilities for Addie Armato, who was appointed interim CEO of the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives by the organization’s board of directors August 23.
The appointment came on a Monday. The following Sunday—on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina—Armato was helping the state’s cooperatives deal with one of the worst hurricanes in Louisiana history. Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 storm, although it could be upgraded to Category 5.
In addition to planning ahead of the storm, the ALEC team arranged for mutual-aid assistance to help rebuild the devastated power infrastructure and handled communication tasks surrounding the disaster. “We have an exemplary staff at ALEC,” Armato said. “We work well together, whether on storms or legislative/regulatory issues. It is an excellent team. Cooperatives are all about family, and we are. As our tagline says, ‘We are one family, one voice … powering Louisiana.’”
Armato joined ALEC in May 2019, serving as director of member engagement. In that role, she developed communication strategies to support the state’s electric cooperatives, including overseeing production of statewide publications; directing the annual Louisiana Youth Tour trip to Washington, D.C.; serving as point person for crisis communications; assisting with emergency management planning; helping coordinate staff education, training and conferences; and partnering with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and other membership organizations.
“We have a wonderful team at the statewide,” said J.R. Hickman, president of the ALEC board and a director with Beauregard Electric Cooperative. “I have the utmost confidence in Addie’s ability to lead the organization.”
Armato has more than 10 years of experience working with cooperatives. Her father worked at a generation and transmission cooperative, so the unique sense of a cooperative family is something Armato has known all of her life.
In addition to her communications and member engagement skills, Armato has extensive knowledge of disaster recovery. That never was more in evidence than during the 2020 and 2021 hurricane seasons, when Armato handled logistics and communications following multiple hurricanes and tropical storms that caused widespread destruction throughout the state and affected all ALEC member cooperatives. In the last two years, more than 4,000 lineworkers from 14 states have come to the aid of Louisiana electric cooperatives to help with recovery efforts.
Prior to joining ALEC, Armato worked as a member services representative at Pointe Coupee Electric Membership Corp. in New Roads, Louisiana, for eight years. While at PCEMC, she dealt with four major hurricanes: Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike.
Armato has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Louisiana State University and is a graduate of the Leadership West and Leadership North community leadership programs. She and her husband, Joe Langlois, live in Ventress. She has a grown stepson, Alex.
Armato will fill the interim CEO position until the board makes a permanent appointment.