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  Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative  
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ODEC RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD

 

(CHASE CITY) Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is pleased to announce that its power supplier, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), has received the 2012 National Community Service Award for Community Investment from The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). The award was presented to Jack Reasor, president and CEO of ODEC, and David Hudgins, director of member and external relations, on March 5 by CEO Glenn English and Board President Mike Guidry of NRECA during NRECA’s annual meeting in San Diego, Calif.

 

ODEC, the Glen Allen, Va.-based power-supply cooperative for Mecklenburg and 10 other electric cooperatives, was recognized for its forward-looking work in establishing Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC) to deploy fiber-optic backbone to help spur economic development in rural southern Virginia. In 2000, southern Virginia faced an enormous challenge as the industries that built the region’s economy — furniture, textiles, and tobacco — were declining or moving overseas, and its rural communities struggled to recruit and retain 21st- century jobs.

 

John Lee, President and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) and member of the ODEC Board of Directors stated, ”We are, of course, honored to receive this national recognition and, more importantly, are elated that MBC is making a substantive difference in areas served by cooperatives including MEC. MBC enables Southside Virginia to offer a critical infrastructure requirement to businesses who are searching for new locations and will bring with them much needed tax base, as well as, quality jobs for those who live in our area.” Lee added, “Cooperatives are committed to the communities they serve and our role in establishing MBC is one more testament to our economic development efforts that help improve the quality of life for those we serve. I would also like to recognize the efforts of MBC President and CEO Tad Deriso and his staff at MBC, because while the concept was the vision of ODEC’s David Hudgins, and the cooperatives made the commitment and forged ahead to form the organization, it’s remarkable and ongoing success can be attributed to their hard work and the strategic direction provided by MBC’s Board of Directors. There is little doubt that MBC will continue to bring value to our area by both attracting new businesses, and by offering state of the art technology to those who are already here, strengthening their business models, and keeping them from looking elsewhere for their operations.”

 

ODEC and its Director of Economic Development at the time David Hudgins identified and sought to overcome one of the region’s greatest hurdles to competing in the 21st century economy — lack of broadband access. ODEC started working in the early 2000s to deploy a fiber-optic backbone along Route 58 in the heart of southern Virginia.

 

To accomplish this goal, the cooperative helped establish Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative. With the help of ODEC, MBC was able to secure millions of dollars in state and federal funding for the project; and in 2006 MBC began transmitting data via fiber-optic cable along Route 58.

 

With the continued support of ODEC, MBC has been able to expand its mission far beyond the originally proposed service area along Route 58 into 20 Virginia counties. To date, MBC has provided fiber-optic links to 60 industrial and technology parks, and it is currently working to bring broadband to all of the secondary schools in its service territory.

 

MBC’s efforts have been successful in bringing new jobs to the region. Since the deployment of the broadband, millions of dollars of corporate investment have been made in the area as a direct result of the new services. Last year, the region took another step forward when Microsoft announced plans to locate a $650 million data center in Mecklenburg County. In addition, southern Virginia students now have the opportunity to prepare for 21st-century jobs through the broadband services MBC provides to schools and community colleges.

 

“This national recognition underscores how important community service is to the mission of electric cooperatives,” said Reasor. “Because community service is one of the seven cooperative principles, ODEC and member cooperatives like Mecklenburg Electric were in the ideal position to assist with getting MBC up and going. And it has, indeed, benefitted the communities of southern Virginia.”

 

“The Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative was just the right thing at a critical time in southern Virginia’s history,” added Hudgins. “We feel blessed to have been able to help the region meet its economic challenges during this difficult transition from a natural-resource-based economy to a 21st-century economy.”

 

About ODEC

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit member-owned electric generation and transmission cooperative that provides power to a consortium of electric distribution cooperatives. It owns 11.6 percent of the North Anna Nuclear Power Station in Louisa County, Va., and 50 percent of the Clover Power Station in Halifax County, Va. It also owns and operates combustion turbine facilities in Fauquier County and Louisa County, Va., and owns 50 percent of a combustion turbine facility in Cecil County, Md.  For more information, visit www.odec.com.

 

About NRECA

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. For more information, go to www.nreca.coop.

 

 

About Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is an electric distribution cooperative, headquartered in Chase City.  With district offices in Chase City, Emporia and Gretna, this not-for-profit energy provider brings power to over 31,000 homes, farms and businesses throughout nine Southside Virginia counties. 


 

 
 
 

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