What to expect from the new CEO
Every now and then, we hear about the coach of a highly successful athletic program who has retired after an impressive and lengthy run. These successful coaches are often labeled as a “Legend” by their many fans, given their incredible accomplishments, and are held in high esteem by almost everyone. However, after these legendary individuals have coached their final game, most fans feel a deep sense of loss and great concern about the future direction of their team. That’s not unlike the position in which I find myself at this point in time. After a 36-year term as the president and CEO of Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, Charles Dalton is entering retirement this very month. His has been a career that could definitely be classified as “impressive, lengthy, and successful.” As we look to the future, it’s my plan to build on the legacy Charles has cultivated over his nearly four decades of service. We’ll continue to focus on serving our members as efficiently and effectively as possible, remaining faithful to our slogan of “Service Second Only to Safety.” As your new president and CEO, I pledge to you to be available, attentive, and vigilant as to the needs of the cooperative membership. Throughout my 35-year career at Blue Ridge, the values of integrity, accountability, innovation, and commitment have been at the core of all we do. Those same values will be my guide during the coming years. While the evolution of technology is a constant challenge, our organization is in the midst of exciting times when it comes to new and emerging technologies. My goal as CEO is to keep Blue Ridge on the cutting edge of all technology, especially in the way we communicate with and provide service to our members. However, as these advancing methodologies continue to evolve, I pledge that we’ll never forget that person-to-person interface is the most-important form of service. The goal is always the same—to provide reliable and affordable power to each of you. Moreover, I look forward to continuing to strive for excellence for the duration of my tenure here. As I assume the co-op’s reins, there are several factors I find reassuring. First of all, I’m blessed to have a very supportive board of directors. They truly believe in the cooperative concept and fully endorse what our organization is seeking to accomplish. Secondly, I’m inheriting a great group of dedicated employees. Finally, I recognize that the cooperative’s members are some of the best people in the world. Those foundational ingredients represent a recipe for further favorable outcomes in the years ahead. Becoming President and CEO of Blue Ridge Electric is, no doubt, one of the great honors of my life. I take this responsibility as the caretaker of your electric cooperative very seriously, and as the caretaker, I vow to make decisions with the best interests of the members in mind. As I conclude this report, I want to wish each of you a happy and prosperous New Year.