Greg White, who retired last year as president and CEO of Northern Neck Electric Cooperative, received recognition for his long and distinguished career as part of the Virginia Cooperative Council’s annual breakfast.

White received the 2021 Cooperative Career Leadership Award from the council, as about 40 representatives of cooperative businesses, the VMD association, government agencies and educational institutions gathered Sept. 30 to celebrate National Cooperative Month.

VCC Board President Bradley Brown of Augusta Cooperative Farm Bureau praised White for his four decades of service in leadership at Northern Neck, the VMD Association, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative.

“The opportunity to be part of the cooperative family has really been a highlight of my career,” White said.

A Career Cooperative Leadership Award also went to James Graves of Madison County. The Graves Mountain Lodge, owned by his family, is the annual host of the Virginia Institute on Cooperative Education. Graves joined the council’s board of directors in 1967 and has served two terms as its president.

Thomas Beckett of Carolina Common Enterprise addresses the Virginia Cooperative Council breakfast. (Photo By: Steven Johnson)

Hosted by the Virginia Cooperative Council, the annual breakfast event gave participants a chance to mingle and also from a speaker with strong co-op ties. Thomas Beckett, executive director of Carolina Common Enterprise, described how the Durham, N.C.-based endeavor helps startup co-ops go successfully hurdle business obstacles.

CCE targets economically and socially disadvantaged communities to create and expand cooperatively based opportunities, Beckett told the meeting, held at The Place in Glen Allen, Va. It has helped to form a variety of cooperatives, such as worker co-ops and food co-ops.

“Cooperative development is an important undertaking and the reason why we do that is that it keeps economic activity in a community,” he said. “It creates a more level playing field for local communities.”

—Report by Steven Johnson, Vice President, Communications, VMD Association

Above photo: Greg White receives the cooperative leadership award from VCC Board President Bradley Brown. (Photo By: Jim Robertson)