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Arlington, VA.; December 3, 2012 — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today announced that Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer, effective March 1, 2013.  Emerson will take over for long-time CEO Glenn English, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

“We conducted an exhaustive search to identify the very best individual to lead a great association,” said NRECA Board President Mike Guidry.  “We’re convinced we found that person in Jo Ann Emerson.  Her background as a Member of Congress and a trade association executive – coupled with her extensive knowledge of the issues facing electric cooperatives and rural America – make Jo Ann eminently qualified to lead NRECA and represent the interests of our members.  The respect she has from both sides of the aisle and her proven ability to bridge political and policy divides and find common ground will serve NRECA well.”

Emerson was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 from Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District.  She serves on the House Appropriations Committee and Chairs the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Appropriations, with oversight of the U.S. Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, and various independent government agencies, including the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the General Services Administration, and the Small Business Administration.  In addition to a leadership role on agriculture, health care, and government reform issues in the House, Emerson has won recognition for her work on energy issues, including the NRECA Distinguished Service Award.

“Energy has a direct relationship with the vitality of rural America.  Without reliable, affordable electricity delivered by electric cooperatives serving thousands of communities, millions of Americans would be left without the energy that brings economic opportunity, unsurpassed quality of life, and the promise of growth in the future,” said Emerson.  “NRECA is committed to the electric cooperatives of this great nation that fulfill this vital need, and work so hard every day to improve the quality of life for their member-owners.  I am so very honored to join an outstanding organization to work on their behalf.”

In addition to her committee posts, Emerson also serves as co-Chair of the Tuesday Group, is a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and holds a position on the Board of the Congressional Hunger Center.  She is the first Republican woman from Missouri to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Emerson graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and held executive roles in communications and government affairs positions with the National Restaurant Association and the American Insurance Association before being elected to the first of nine terms in Congress.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.

Fayetteville Public Utilities recently announced improvements that will result in added reliability and room for growth.

FPU recently installed a 161 kV transformer at their Hamilton Substation to enhance system redundancy. The new 161 kV transformer will be tied to the TVA delivery point and will be fully operational by the end of the year to serve as a “back-up” unit in case of an equipment failure or major outage either at the station or in the areas served by the station.

“It has long been our goal to build an electric system with a redundancy plan that’s second to none,” says Ron Thomas, FPU’s supervisor of substations and metering. “Many years ago we began by constructing additional substations across Lincoln County and installing the SCADA link to communicate with each station so that when there was an operation affecting one substation, the electric load could be transferred to another substation temporarily to reduce the time that our customers are without electric service. Since that time, we’ve been able to install fiber communication to several of our substations to further improve outage response time and system monitoring.”

“Redundancy and system reliability planning has greatly helped us reduce the number of outages we experience as well as the length of those outages,” says Britt Dye, FPU’s CEO and general manager. “As a result of these types of upgrades, FPU continues to have one of the lowest power outage duration times across the nation.”

“Each year, FPU’s electric work plan calls for system upgrades which include power line and substation upgrades to better serve our growing communities across the area,” said Dye.

The Hamilton Substation was built in 1995 and provides service to approximately 4,500 customers who live in the city of Fayetteville north of the Elk River Bridge and portions of the communities of Molino and Howell.

In addition to the substation upgrade, FPU’s Electric Department also completed upgrades to 2.8 miles of three-phase line from their Park City Substation to Lincoln Road in the southern portion of Lincoln County. FPU upgraded existing 4/0 ACSR to 795 AAC and changed 46 electric poles to accommodate the new line. Crews also upgraded 2.8 miles of single-phase line to three-phase line in the Elora area along East Limestone Road. FPU crews will soon begin a new work plan to covert 2.6 miles of single-phase to three-phase in the Brookwood Subdivision area also located in southern Lincoln County.

NASHVILLE – The 71st annual meeting of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association was held Sunday – Tuesday, Nov. 18 – 20, at the Nashville Airport Marriott. The theme of the meeting was “Community,” and Bill Rogers, Caney Fork Electric Cooperative general manager and president of the TECA board of trustees, called the meeting to order.

Representatives from 23 member systems and one associate member were present for the business meeting. Rogers and TECA General Manager David Callis, the resolutions committee, TECA staff and representatives from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative presented reports and updates.

Elections were held for four-year positions on the TECA board of trustees. Robert Kendrick, board member at Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation, was elected from Region I. Britt Dye, CEO and general manager of Fayetteville Public Utilities, was elected from Region II. Robert Drinnen, Appalachian Electric Cooperative board member, was elected from Region III.

“Congratulations to those who have been chosen for leadership roles,” said Callis. “We appreciate their service and are confident they will provide sound direction and represent Tennessee’s electric cooperatives with honor.”

Throughout the year, TECA presents training and education programs for cooperative directors. Recognized at this year’s annual meeting, board members receiving Credentialed Cooperative Director status were Michael Bouldin, Caney Fork EC; Anthony Kimbrough, Duck River EMC; and Robert Sherrill, Sequachee Valley EC. Board members receiving the more involved Board Leadership certification were Dale Fain, Appalachian EC; Glen Page, Caney Fork EC; Stephen Douglass, Cumberland EMC; Nelson Crouch and Baxter White, Duck River EMC; and Britt Dye, Fayetteville Public Utilities.

The Tennessee Magazine reception, featuring products made or produced in Tennessee, was held on Sunday evening, Nov. 18. Attendees to this year’s meeting also heard from Maj. Dan Rooney, professional golfer, retired fighter pilot and founder of Folds of Honor; Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lee Greenwood; Tom Laing, researcher with TSE Services; Allen Borden, assistant commissioner with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development; Tre Hargett, Tennessee secretary of state; NRECA President Mike Guidry; and Van Wardlaw, executive vice president of customer relations with TVA. The Quebe Sisters Band provided entertainment at the banquet.

The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association is a trade group representing the interests of Tennessee’s 23 electric distribution cooperatives and the 1.1 million consumers they serve.

Images from the Annual Meeting are available here.

President Lacy Upchurch announced recently that the TRH Board of Directors has named Anthony Kimbrough as the next chief executive officer of TRH Health Plans. The board made its decision in a special-called meeting Nov. 21.

“I look forward to working with Anthony in his new role as CEO of TRH,” said Lacy Upchurch, board president. “Anthony has a dynamic personality and excellent people skills. In his responsibilities related to marketing and government relations, Anthony has proven himself as a dedicated and knowledgeable employee. He has been at the forefront of company development as TRH has expanded product offerings to assist other state Farm Bureaus. He has worked with current management through the many challenges, including the unknown possibilities related to the Affordable Care Act. Having that experience and the great working relationship with the current management team will enable Anthony to hit the ground running. We congratulate him on the recognition of his talent and commitment.”

Long-time CEO Lonnie Roberts, who announced his retirement to the board on Nov. 1, will step down at the end of December after a 25-year career at TRH, including the last 16 as CEO.

“The Board of Directors has made an excellent choice in Anthony,” said Roberts. “He has a high energy level, excellent communication skills and he understands what it means to be a part of a membership organization. He will do a great job leading the TRH team for years to come.”

Kimbrough, 49, has been in the Farm Bureau family since September 2000, when he became the first employee to share responsibilities for government relations work for both TRH and Farm Bureau Insurance. He was named vice president of government relations in that joint role in 2004 and then, in September 2007, moved to TRH as Vice President of Marketing and Government Relations.

“To say ‘I am blessed’ is quite an understatement,” said Kimbrough, an Arkansas native who moved to Tennessee in 1989. “I came to this organization a dozen years ago largely because I was attracted to its values and its people. That appreciation has only deepened during my time here. I thank the board for the trust it has placed in me, as well as Mr. Roberts and the many, many colleagues and co-workers in the TRH and Farm Bureau families who have made this opportunity possible.”

Kimbrough and his wife Michele live in Columbia and have two teenage daughters, McKayla and McKenzie. They are active members at First Baptist Church. He serves as a board member for Duck River Electric Membership Corporation.

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) recently announced that the members of the TRA have elected Director James Allison to serve as chairman of the agency. In the capacity of chairman, he will have the responsibility of formulating the broad strategies, goals, objectives and long-range plans and policies of the TRA. Mr. Allison succeeds TRA Director Kenneth C. Hill who has served as chairman since October 2011.

On accepting the role as TRA chairman, Mr. Allison said, “I am honored to accept the role as chairman to continue the Tennessee Regulatory Authority’s commitment to protecting the public interest.” He resides in Shelbyville, Tennessee and was appointed to the TRA in 2012 by Governor Bill Haslam, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell.

The TRA members also elected Director Herbert H. Hilliard to serve as vice chairman of the agency.

The mission of the TRA is to promote the public interest by balancing the interests of utility consumers and providers. For more information on the TRA, visit online at www.tn.gov/tra.

Mike Knotts, director of government affairs

Last Tuesday, Tennessee reelected all nine of its Congressmen to another term and history was made in the state legislature. On the national stage, EPA regulations will come to the forefront of national political discussion following the Presidential election.

In a tight race, the country reelected President Barack Obama (D) to a second term over the challenger, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R). The Congress will remain split. Democrats maintain majority control in the Senate holding 53 seats to the 47 seats held by Republicans. The House will remain under the control of Republicans who hold 240 seats whiledemocrats claim 190.

Tennessee will see no change in its Congressional delegation. The much talked about fourth district race went to the incumbent, Scott DesJarlais (R), with 56% of the vote over former Democratic State Senator, Eric Stewart. Senator Bob Corker (R) defended his seat comfortably as he earned 65% of the vote.

As our Congressional delegation returns to Washington, they face a fast-approaching fiscal cliff, which (if ignored) will result in the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the much talked about automatic spending cuts. Beyond the fiscal cliff, our delegation will see a much more active EPA than it saw in President Obama’s first term.

Reuters (11/7) reports that analysts expect President Obama’s second term will bring tougher regulations for the energy industry. A separate Reuters (11/7, Gardner) article also suggests Obama’s stance on oil and gas regulation is likely to get tougher during his second term.

During Tuesday night’s victory speech, Obama spoke of the need to ensure children live in a country that, “isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet”. These anticipated changes in energy policy means the work of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association will be more important than ever.

At the state level, history was made Tuesday night. For the first time, Republicans will have a supermajority in the State House and State Senate. The only incumbent to lose in the general election was Jim Gotto (R—Hermitage) who lost his seat to Democrat Darren Jernigan. This district is not served by any TECA member electric power systems.

New members winning contested races include: Timothy Hill (R—Blountville), Micah Van Huss(R—Sulphur Springs), Gloria Johnson (D—Knoxville), Andrew Farmer (R—Sevierville), Kent Calfee (R—Oak Ridge), Dawn White (R—Murfreesboro), William Lamberth (R—Gallatin), Courtney Rogers (R—Goodlettsville), Bo Mitchell (D—Nashville), Jason Powell (D—Nashville), Darren Jernigan (D—Hermitage), Barry Doss (R—Lawrenceburg), Mary Littleton (R—Dickson), Debra Moody (R—Covington), and Billy Spivey (R—Lewisburg).

New Senate members include: Frank Nicely (R—District 8), Todd Gardenhire (R—District 10), Janice Bowling (R—District 16), Ferrell Haile (R—District 18), Steve Dickerson (R—District 20), Mark Green (R—District 22), John Stevens (R—District 24) and Joey Hensley (R—District 28).

TECA worked over the past year to become acquainted with the newest members of the General Assembly prior to election day. These relationships will be helpful in long-term policy work, as will the continued friendships TECA has with manylegislative leaders. TECA will continue to monitor and influence legislative matters effecting electric cooperatives.

Crew, weary from setting light poles by hand, proud to be helping so many in need.

BROWNSVILLE – New Yorkers may not understand the word “y’all”, but they do understand that Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation crews are there to help. Nine lineworkers from the Brownsville, Tenn., based cooperative are in Bethpage, New York, assisting Long Island Power Authority restore electric service following Hurricane Sandy.

STEMC crews work outside Bethpage, New York

The workers departed Jackson on Sunday, Oct. 28, to assist restoration efforts in Virginia. On Wednesday, Oct. 31, the crew completed their work there, and a call for assistance came in from New York. “About five minutes later the crew was on their way,” says Mullins. “The hardest part of the trip was crossing over into Long Island. The tunnels that lead to the island were flooded by the storm, so they had to travel further north and cross over on the George Washington Bridge, through the Bronx and into Queens.”

The workers were housed in FEMA trailers with no heat or water for the first two days, and later they were moved to a gymnasium. Now that power is beginning to be restored, the crews are staying in a motel.

The Southwest Tennessee Electric crew is working with a crew from Colorado to repair major three-phase distribution lines. A tree-trimming crew removes trees and the line crews follow repairing or replacing poles and splicing wire. “Because of the underground utilities in the area, all digging must be done by hand,” says Mullins. “Have you ever dug a seven-foot deep hole with posthole diggers?”

STEMC crews repair lines damaged by Hurricane Sandy

The crew is seeing the challenges faced by residents in the area. With no electricity, most gas stations cannot pump gas from underground tanks. Over the weekend the crew drove into an area to work, and people immediately began to line up at a station to purchase gas, even though there was no electricity. The crew worked all day to restore service to the town, and by that time more than 400 people were in line for gas. A police officer asked if the power would be restored that day or if he should disperse the crowd. STEMC crews assured him that the power would be restored, and it was. The station owner later told them that the 14,000 gallons of gas he had was gone by the next morning. The Southwest Tennessee Electric crew had to wait more than two hours to refuel their vehicles.

“Our men say that the idea of ‘northern rudeness’ is a myth so far as they are concerned,” says Mullins. “People blow their horns and wave, shout ‘thank you’ and constantly bring food and drinks to the crew while they are working.”

On Sunday the crew restored power to 27,000 people in Glen Cove, New York. As of Monday, Long Island Power Association still has almost 300,000 customers without power. The Southwest Tennessee Electric crew expects to be there through the end of the week.

Assistance provided by Southwest Tennessee Electric is arranged through mutual-aid agreements in place between utilities. Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation is a member-owned, not-for-profit distribution cooperative serving 50,000 homes, businesses and institutions with power in nine West Tennessee counties. The cooperative, headquartered in Brownsville, has offices in Jackson, Covington, Henderson and Munford.

Tennessee electric cooperatives send volunteers to restore power in Virginia, Maryland

NASHVILLE – As the massive Hurricane Sandy bears down on the Atlantic Seaboard, 60 lineworkers from Tennessee’s electric cooperatives are prepared to assist with power restoration once the storm subsides.

“Seven Tennessee cooperatives are sending volunteer lineworkers and equipment to assist cooperatives in Virginia and Maryland,” said David Callis, executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “We expect this storm to cause extensive power outages, and our crews are staged in the area to respond quickly once it is safe to do so.”

Emergency work plans were put into place on Friday, Oct. 26, and crews from Tennessee headed for Virginia and Maryland beginning early on Saturday, Oct. 27. This cooperation is enabled through mutual aid agreements between electric cooperatives.

Assisting Northern Neck Electric Cooperative in Warsaw, Va.:

  • four lineworkers from Chickasaw Electric Cooperative, Somerville

Assisting Rappahannock Electric Cooperative in Fredericksburg, Va.:

  • five lineworkers from Duck River Electric Membership Corporation, Shelbyville
  • four from Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative, Madisonville
  • 12 from Powell Valley Electric Cooperative, New Tazewell

Assisting Choptank Electric Cooperative in Denton, Md.:

  • eight lineworkers from Fayetteville Public Utilities, Fayetteville

Assisting A&N Electric Cooperative in Tasley, Va.:

  • 10 lineworkers from Appalachian Electric Cooperative, New Market

Assisting Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative in New Castle, Va.:

  • nine lineworkers from Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation, Brownsville

Assisting Community Electric Cooperative in Windsor, Va.:

  • eight lineworkers from Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative, South Pittsburg

Tennessee’s Mountain Electric Cooperative, Mountain City, is expecting more than 10 inches of snow to fall in its service area as a result of the hurricane.  MEC abandoned plans to assist in Virginia and are now prepared to respond in the event of snow-related outages.

The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association is a trade association representing the interests of Tennessee’s 23 electric distribution cooperatives and the 1.1 million members they serve.

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Trent Scott | [email protected] | 731.608.1519

Updates will be provided as additional details become available.

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The 2012 National Institute on Cooperative Education (NICE) Conference was held July 28- August 1 on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. The theme for this year’s conference was “The View is NICE at the Top.”

Tennessee 4-H was represented at this event by Lynsey Jones and Holly Nehls, both are Senior 4-H members from Knox County. These students were awarded the trip as runners-up in the Level II leadership and citizenship competition at Tennessee 4-H Congress in Nashville last April.

FFA was represented by Cheyenne Hanloh, Daniel Deas, Spencer Sanders, and Station Camp High School Agriculture Teacher – Brad Kirkham. These students were selected because of their achievements in the State FFA Star Agribusiness and State Proficiency Competition which was held in Gatlinburg last April as well.

The NICE Conference is intended to provide a deeper understanding of cooperatives to the youth participants who are the cooperative members, customers, employees, directors, and leaders of tomorrow. Participants gained an understanding of how cooperatives differ from other business forms and will hear cooperative success stories in both the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors. In a team setting, attendees will serve as managers of a simulated cooperative store, competing with other stores in their market area for sales and profit. Teams will also analyze case studies, develop their own student-run cooperative or STUCO and participate in team-building and leadership development activities. The closing session will recognize the teams that have been the top performers in various conference activities. The Youth Scholar Program provides both educational and social activities.

The youth and adults attending the NICE conference also toured the McCormick Farm & Workshop in Raphine, VA. Cyrus McCormick, founder of the McCormick Harvest Machine Company which became part of International Harvester Company is credited as the “inventor” of the mechanical reaper. The group also visited the Natural Bridge and the Natural Bridge Caverns all located in Virginia.

The trip was sponsored by the Tennessee Council of Cooperatives (TCC). Mr. Todd Blocker, Director of Member Relations at TECA and a member of the TCC Board of Directors accompanied the students on the trip. Youth from Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and South Dakota also attended the conference.

NASHVILLE – More than 40 electric cooperative lineworkers from Tennessee are heading to Louisiana to restore power to those affected by Hurricane Isaac. Crews departed early Thursday morning.

“Seven electric cooperatives in Tennessee are sending personnel and equipment to Louisiana to assist electric cooperatives impacted by the storm,” said David Callis, executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “Louisiana has seen high wind, heavy rain and widespread power outages.”

Electric cooperative organizations across the southeast began developing response plans on Monday and details have been adjusted as the exact path of the storm and the extent of the damage became more certain. This cooperation is enabled through mutual aid agreements between electric cooperatives.

Crews will be assisting Dixie Electric Membership Corporation in Greenwell Springs, La., approximately 10 miles east of Baton Rouge.

Assisting in the recovery will be:

  • four lineworkers from Chickasaw Electric Cooperative, Somerville
  • nine from Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation, Clarksville
  • seven from Fayetteville Public Utilities, Fayetteville
  • six from Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative, Madisonville
  • eight from Plateau Electric Cooperative, Oneida
  • six from Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative, South Pittsburg
  • six from Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation, Brownsville

“One day we will be in need,” says Callis, “and when that tornado or ice storm arrives, we know that this assistance will be repaid. Cooperation is one of the founding principles of electric cooperatives.”

Additional news coverage

  • Channel 2 (Nashville, Thurs., Aug. 30, 6:00 a.m.)
  • Channel 5 (Nashville, Wed., Aug. 29, 10:00 p.m.)
  • Channel 5 (Nashville, Thurs., Aug. 30, 6:00 a.m.)

(Shelbyville, TN) Duck River Electric Membership Cooperative became the first electric cooperative in the seven state TVA service territory offering members access to green power through the newly constructed 25.92kW solar farm. Ribbon cutting festivities were held Wednesday, August 15th at 1:00pm. Representatives from DREMC’s Board of Directors, DREMC management staff, local school officials, students, elected officials and TVA representatives attended the event.

The DREMC Solar Farm Limited Partnership is located at 1411 Madison Street in Shelbyville, TN. Duck River Electric is the fourth largest electric cooperative in the state providing power to approximately 71,000 homes and businesses in all or portions of Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Grundy, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marion, Marshall, Maury, Moore, Rutherford, Warren and Williamson counties.

The new DREMC Solar Farm Limited Partnership allows its members to invest in solar energy without the cost of installing or maintaining their own system. “Many people don’t want to incur the cost of home solar installation or their location isn’t ideal for solar because of their home design or an abundance of shade trees in the yard,” said Jim Allison, President and Chief Executive Officer of DREMC. “This allows our members to participate in solar energy sustainability efforts at a fraction of the cost of installing their own system.”

DREMC members can invest for as little as $600 for one unit of limited partnership interest. They will see an energy credit on their monthly bill for the duration of their ownership of the unit(s) of interest in the DREMC Solar Farm. Member investors will receive premium pricing offered by TVA in their Generation Partners Program that will help offset their original investment. DREMC will also provide its members with financing for up to a year.

“The partnership with TVA gives our members the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the solar industry,” said Allison.  “We’re proud to offer our members the chance to support efforts in making green energy more widely available and have located this installation in proximity to elementary, middle and high schools so that it can be used as a teaching tool as well.”

Duck River Electric Membership Corporation is a member owned electric distribution cooperative founded in 1936 that currently serves nearly 71,000 members with its headquarters in Shelbyville, TN. Additional information can be found at www.dremc.com.

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Gibson Electric Membership Corporation President and CEO Dan Rodamaker recently received the Touchstone Energy Brand Champion Award in recognition of living the “power of human connections.”  Rodamaker was the only co-op leader in Tennessee and one of only six co-op leaders in the nation to receive this award.

“I’m honored to receive this award, but I’m more proud of what it represents,” Rodamaker said.  “Gibson EMC, our leadership and our employees work conscientiously every day to provide our members with the highest level of service excellence,” he said.  “This is our ongoing commitment to our members and to the communities we serve.”

As part of its efforts toward service excellence, Gibson EMC surveys member-owners and benchmarks its survey results against those of other electric energy providers.  The rating from Gibson EMC’s last survey was a 91 in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a system used nationally to rate performance and customer satisfaction among energy providers.  This was nine points higher than the average of 82 for other Touchstone Energy Cooperatives for the same period and 16 points ahead of the national utility industry average.

“Naturally we’re honored by our member-owners’ ratings and by Touchstone Energy’s recognition of our utility,” said Rodamaker, “but it only strengthens our commitment to serve our members and our communities even better going forward.”

Touchstone Energy is a national alliance of local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives providing high standards of service to customers large and small.  More than 700 Touchstone Energy Cooperatives in 46 states are delivering energy and energy solutions to more than 27 million customers every day.  Touchstone Energy Cooperatives serve members with integrity, accountability, innovation and a longstanding commitment to communities.

Gibson EMC, a Touchstone Energy Member since 2006, is a local, not-for-profit, member-owned and member-controlled electric cooperative. Gibson EMC serves about 35,000 member-owners in Gibson, Crockett, Dyer, Haywood, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison, and Obion counties.  Its corporate customer service center is in Trenton and its satellite customer service centers are in Alamo, Medina, Tiptonville and Troy.

Jim Allison, president and CEO of Duck River Electric Membership Corporation, has been named as a director for the Tennessee Regulatory Authority by Gov. Bill Haslam.

“TECA staff has been supportive of Jim’s selection, and we’re extremely pleased to learn of his appointment as a TRA director,” says David Callis, executive vice president and general manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “Jim is a well-respected leader, and brings extensive utility industry experience to the TRA.”

A media release from Gov. Bill Haslam’s office is attached.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Executive director, two directors appointed to reconfigured TRA

NASHVILLE – The newly reconfigured Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) has its first full-time executive director and two new part-time directors after Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s reforms were passed during this year’s legislative session.

Haslam worked with Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) and House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) on the joint appointments of business executive Earl Taylor as executive director and utility industry veteran James Allison as a director.

The governor also appointed Herbert Hilliard, executive vice president and chief government relations officer of First Horizon National Corporation, as a TRA director.

“It is our job to make state government as accountable and responsive as possible to Tennesseans,” Haslam said. “These appointees bring years of experience and expertise to the TRA. I am grateful for their willingness to serve our citizens and appreciate the lieutenant governor and house speaker for their efforts in this selection process.

Passed during this year’s legislative session and signed into law by Haslam, HB 2385/SB 2247 changed the membership of the TRA from four full-time members to five part-time members and established the executive director position, the first of which was to be jointly appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and house speaker.

The TRA sets utility rates and service standards of privately-owned telephone, natural gas, electric and water utilities.

Taylor practiced law in Johnson City for ten years and has an executive background as part owner of the CBS affiliate in Knoxville and as a business developer in Knoxville, the Tri-Cities area, Florida and Texas. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a J.D. from the University of Memphis. Taylor serves as a Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority commissioner, Knoxville Fellows Program mentor and as a Young Life of Knoxville committee member.

Allison has utilities experience in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, and is also regarded as one of the top instant replay officials in college football after having been an on-field official in the Southeastern Conference for more than 12 years.

Hilliard has spent 42 years at First Horizon and is currently the board chair for the National Civil Rights Museum, a board member of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee and a commissioner for the Memphis/Shelby County Airport Authority.


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