REC CEO Receives National Recognition

Jan. 18, 2016

Kent D. Farmer, REC's president and CEO, recently received the 2016 J.C. Brown CEO Communication Leadership Award from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

Farmer was honored in January during the CEO Close-Up, a leadership conference for chief executives in the electric cooperative industry. The award, presented by NRECA interim-CEO Jeffrey Connor, recognizes a CEO who advances communication in the electric cooperative industry.

"Active, continuous communication with the members forms the bedrock of a consumer-centric utility," said Connor. “Leading an electric cooperative requires commitment to reaching out to all the members, meeting them where they are and urging them to become engaged. Kent Farmer is an innovator and collaborator who is committed to inspiring a culture of excellence and that culture of excellence is evident in REC’s communications.”

"I am humbled to have been honored with this significant industry award," said Farmer. "Being recognized by your peers is, in my opinion, the greatest honor."

"Effective communication with our member-owners is essential to the success of our cooperatives. The professional employees of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative understand and demonstrate that in their work. And it’s because of their efforts that we are able to receive this type of award. I am proud that REC’s efforts have earned me this distinguished recognition, but all of the credit goes to the employees at REC who do such a great job."

Farmer has been in his current role at the Cooperative since 2004. He plays a very active role in the co-op’s communications, reaching out to elected representatives, regulators, business leaders and young people. He has taken the co-op message to public meetings across the territory, with a special emphasis on education. Farmer has been influential with incorporating the co-op business model into college-level curriculum and in the development of new industry-focused trainings in rural areas.

The J.C. Brown award memorializes the late J.C. Brown, who – as editor and publisher of NRECA’s RE Magazine – is best remembered for his dedication to communication as a vital link connecting electric cooperatives with each other as well as with their consumer-owners. The panel of five judges consisted of communication and management experts in academia, business and industry, including electric co-ops.

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.

REC provides electric service to over 161,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 16,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


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kent_d_farmerKent D. Farmer, REC's president and CEO