CEC honors outgoing president

Published 10:17 pm Thursday, May 2, 2013

Community Electric Cooperative President and CEO James M. Reynolds was honored for his 36 years of service to electric cooperatives at a meeting of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives on April 22 in Staunton.

Reynolds had previously announced his plans to retire by the end of this year after serving since 1977 as the second of only two CEOs in the cooperative’s 75-year history.

During his long tenure, Reynolds served twice as chairman of the board of directors of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, the not-for-profit power supplier to 11 member distribution cooperatives.

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He has also represented regional electric cooperatives on the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, serving as NRUCFC director from 1983-1989.

When Reynolds joined CEC, the co-op had 31 employees and 6,300 customers. Nearly 40 years later, the co-op has grown to 11,000 members with just 34 employees.

Reynolds counts restoring service to members following the ice storm of 1989 and Hurricane Isabel in 2003 among the co-op’s most memorable accomplishments during his tenure.

In New York City for a business trip on Sept. 11, 2001, he found himself less than 200 yards from the World Trade Center on that fateful Tuesday morning. After the harrowing experience of being separated from his group and getting covered in ash, Reynolds was able to return home safely.