Electric co-ops discuss a bright future at TECA’s 80th Annual Meeting

State’s electric cooperatives gather in Nashville for annual event

NASHVILLE – “Building a Brighter Tennessee” was the theme of the 80th annual meeting of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, held Sunday, Nov. 21, through Tuesday, Nov. 23, in Nashville. More than 350 electric cooperative leaders from across the state attended the event where they explored the impact electric co-ops can have on the future of the people and places they serve.

Gov. Bill Lee also addressed the attendees in a pre-recorded message. “I want to thank you for the important role you play in providing safe, reliable and affordable energy to millions of people in rural Tennessee,” said Gov. Lee. “We appreciate your partnership as we strive to ensure that every Tennessean across the state has access to broadband. Your efforts build on Tennessee’s strong economic development, bringing new jobs and investments and opportunity to our state. I commend you for your work to build a brighter Tennessee.”

“The future is built on the actions of today, and there are few groups investing more in Tennessee’s rural and suburban communities than electric co-ops,” said David Callis, executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “From energy to education to economic development, I truly believe that the future looks bright for Tennessee’s electric co-ops and the communities they serve.”

Elections were held for three positions on the association’s board of trustees. Dan Rodamaker, president and CEO of Gibson Electric Membership Corporation in Trenton; Russ Dixon, director on the board for Fayetteville Public Utilities; and Juduth Robertson, director on the board for Powell Valley Electric Cooperative in New Tazewell, were elected to four-year terms.

Dave Cross, CEO of Plateau Electric Cooperative in Onieda, was appointed president of the TECA board of trustees. Keith Carnahan, president and CEO of Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative in Centerville, was named vice president, and Albert “Buddy” Dicus, director on the board of Caney Fork Electric Cooperative in McMinnville, will continue to serve as board secretary.

“Congratulations to those honored with leadership positions,” says Callis. “Their talents and ideas will be valuable as we continue our mission to serve Tennessee’s electric cooperatives and their members.”

The annual TECA Top Tenn Communications Awards were also presented during the event. Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative received awards for Best External Newsletter or Magazine Section and Best Internal Newsletter. Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative was presented awards for Best Website and Best Use of Social Media. Middle Tennessee Electric was awarded Best Video, and Fayetteville Public Utilities received Best Photo. Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative and Middle Tennessee Electric each received two awards in the Wild Card category.

“Keeping co-op members informed is an important part of our work to build a brighter future for our communities,” says Robin Conover, TECA’s vice president of communications and editor of The Tennessee Magazine. “We congratulate these winners for telling the electric cooperative story in a consistent and professional way.”

Video of this year’s general sessions is available on the TECA website.

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