There’s more to Northern Neck resident Genevie Boarman than derring-do and dimples.

Genevie Boarman is the first female lineworker among Virginia’s electric cooperatives.

The 24-year-old, who was featured on the cover of the January 2020 issue of Cooperative Living, is now officially scaling new heights as Virginia’s first female electric cooperative lineworker.

Northern Neck Electric Cooperative added Boarman to its workforce as of Feb. 10.

A graduate of Southside Virginia Community College’s Power Line Worker Training School, Boarman was hired as an apprentice lineworker. In her new position, she will assist with substation repair, installing transformers and regulators, setting and replacing utility poles, repairing and constructing overhead and underground primary lines as well as secondary lines, and working outages to restore power, among other things.

“We are pleased to welcome Genevie into the Northern Neck Electric Cooperative family. As the first female cooperative lineworker in Virginia, she has demonstrated that through hard work and training, anyone, regardless of gender, can reach their goals and help their community by working to keep the lights on,” said Greg White, Northern Neck Electric Cooperative’s president & CEO.

“Words cannot express how very proud the entire Southside Virginia Community College community was when we saw our Power Line Worker Training School graduate, Genevie Boarman, on the cover of the January Cooperative Living. Laura Emery did a great job capturing the essence of our program and the amazing journey of Genevie in her article, ‘Aiming High.’ Our training program is top-notch and would not be available without the support of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives,” said Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D., president of Southside Virginia Community College.

Said Boarman, “I’m excited about my new career path. I appreciated the Cooperative Living article. A lot of people told me they really enjoyed it.”

Genevie being featured in Cooperative Living raised awareness on how the male-dominated profession is evolving. As a result, the 33-member Gaff-n-Go Committee and Working Group announced Feb. 6 that it will change the name of its annual rodeo event from Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo to Gaff-n-Go Lineworker’s Rodeo.

Says John C. Lee, Jr., chairman of the Gaff-n-Go Committee and president and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, “First, let me extend my sincere congratulations to Genevie for her very significant accomplishment in becoming our very first Virginia Electric Cooperative female lineworker. Her hard work at our Power Line Worker Training School helped her earn an employment offer from a cooperative in the Commonwealth and she is now a member of the great team that serves the members of Northern Neck Electric Cooperative.

There is no doubt that this is an appropriate time to rename our annual rodeo event from the lineman’s rodeo to the lineworker’s rodeo. The number of female lineworkers in our industry is growing and we welcome and encourage their participation in our annual competition. The mission to provide our members with safe and reliable electric power knows no gender bias and neither does our Gaff-n-Go Lineworker’s Rodeo. We look forward to seeing Genevie at the rodeo competing and representing Northern Neck Electric Cooperative.”