Longtime Cooperative Living magazine editor Bill Sherrod, known for his quarter-century of dedication to the electric cooperative community, is the 2020 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives.
As editor, Sherrod took the association’s flagship magazine to new heights, reaching more than 1.2 million readers 10 times a year with compelling stories, columns and essays that celebrated and advanced the cause of electric co-ops and small-town lifestyles.
Sherrod also served as vice president for communications and public relations for the VMD Association, developing communications strategies with the association’s 15 member co-ops and serving as spokesman on energy-related issues.
In presenting the award, Richard G. Johnstone Jr., president and CEO of the VMD Association, said Sherrod has embodied the cooperative spirit through his stewardship of Cooperative Living and his outreach to the communications teams at VMD member cooperatives.
“All of us involved with the electric cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware are thrilled that the Awards Committee unanimously felt that Bill’s 25-year career has been so exceptional in both achievements and service that it’s worthy of being celebrated and honored,” Johnstone said.
“Bill has been a bedrock for the association for a quarter-century, an integral part of every success we’ve enjoyed in all of our service areas, but most especially for his excellent work on Cooperative Living magazine,” Johnstone added. “His record of distinguished service to the electric cooperatives in our three states is one of the most exemplary I’ve ever seen or heard of.”
Fletcher “Bob” Jones, chairman of the VMD Association’s Board of Directors, said Sherrod has been an invaluable contributor to the cooperative movement.
“Bill’s exceptional communications skills have enabled us to tell the cooperative story to millions of readers, who rely on that information to improve their daily lives. He is a trusted friend and adviser, and this award reflects the pride we have in him,” Jones said.
A Richmond-area native, Sherrod attended Henrico High School and graduated from Randolph-Macon College in 1977. He is a past editor of the Times-Virginian in Appomattox, Va., and began his career with a newspaper in Lewes, Del.
He joined the VMD Association in 1994 and has won numerous writing awards. He served as president of the National Electric Cooperative Statewide Editors Association in 2006-07 and as a judge for the annual Virginia Outdoor Writers Association essay contests. Sherrod is an avid fisherman and outdoorsman. He currently holds the title of senior editor at Cooperative Living.