|More than 400 electric cooperative leaders from across Alabama recently gathered in the state’s capital for the 67th Annual Meeting of the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives.
During the meeting, attendees elected statewide officers, recognized 30 co-op directors from 11 Alabama cooperatives who have completed Advanced Board Leadership Certificates, and heard updates from several state department heads and other dignitaries.
Re-elected as AREA officers for 2014-2015 were: Chairman, Patsy Holmes of Central Alabama Electric Cooperative; Vice-Chairman, Randy Brannon, Pea River Electric Cooperative; and Secretary-Treasurer, David Hembree of Cullman Electric Cooperative.
Rep. April Weaver presented AREA President and CEO Fred Braswell with a framed copy of a joint resolution passed in the last session of the Alabama Legislature designating the first Monday in June as Alabama Lineman Appreciation Day.
The group heard from a number of state officials, including Dr. Donald Williamson, state health director; Steve Murray, director of the Department of Archives and History; Secretary of State Emeritus Beth Chapman; Regions Bank economist Richard Moody; Chuck Sykes, director of the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; and Jennifer Whitaker, founder and CEO of Executive Brilliance.
AREA also gave its Pathfinder Award to R. E. “Bob” Adams, longtime director at Dixie Electric Cooperative, for his commitment to the rural electrification program in Alabama, and gave the AREA Chairman’s Award posthumously to Ray Turner, who served faithfully for many years on the board at Clarke-Washington Electric Membership Cooperative.
In other recognition, Brian Lacy from Cullman Electric Cooperative received the 2014 Darryl Gates Communicator of the Year award, named for AREA’s longtime vice president of communications who passed away in 2012.
WTVY-TV of Dothan received the 2014 Award for Media Excellence for its well-rounded, balanced and unbiased coverage of electric cooperative activities.