Starheim is New Delaware Electric Cooperative CEO

Delaware Electric Cooperative has named Greg Starheim the new president and chief executive officer of the Greenwood-based not-for-profit utility.

Greg Starheim

Starheim most recently served as senior vice president of Business and Industry Development at the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. and will replace longtime CEO Bill Andrew. Starheim was selected by the co-op’s board of directors in May to lead DEC’s 170-person workforce after a comprehensive national search.

“The energy industry is currently undergoing an unprecedented transformation. The board is confident that Greg’s expertise will guide the co-op and its dedicated employees through these changes and allow DEC to provide members with energy that is even more reliable, sustainable and affordable,” said board member Michael Brown, who worked closely with CarterBaldwin Executive Search and other board members to select the new CEO.

After decades working at General Electric, Greg joined the co-op world in 2003, serving as CEO and general manager of Delaware County Electric Cooperative in New York. From 2012 to 2015, Starheim served as president and CEO of Kenergy Corp., a 56,000-member electric cooperative headquartered in Henderson, Ky. He is an expert in power supply and finance, and in delivering high levels of customer satisfaction. He brings more than 37 years of experience in the energy industry to DEC.

According to Greg, “I’m humbled to be given the opportunity to lead DEC. The co-op has some of the most innovative and committed employees in the nation and our focus will remain on how to provide clean, affordable power and exceptional service to our 106,000 members.”

Starheim will take the reins of the cooperative on July 1. According to Bill, “Greg will provide the leadership and vision to ensure DEC continues to be a national leader in renewable energy, conservation and innovation. He is excited to meet our members and visit the communities the co-op proudly powers. DEC and our members will be in good hands.”

—Report by Lauren A. Irby, Manager of Public Relations & Community Outreach, Delaware Electric Cooperative


In Memoriam: John Bruce

John Bruce, a longtime journalist at Cooperative Living and other electric cooperative publications, died June 9 at his home in Monterey, Va.

John Bruce

John began his career as editor of the Goochland Gazette in Manakin-Sabot, Va. He later was associate editor of Cooperative Living, writing news and feature articles, as well as taping, scripting and editing video documentation of power generation facility construction.

“John was an excellent photojournalist and quite eccentric, funny and a key part of our success from 1987 to 1997,” said Richard G. Johnstone Jr., the retired president and CEO of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives and retired executive editor of Cooperative Living. “I’ll remember him fondly as a big part of my work life for many years.”

From 1997 to 2009, he was editor of South Carolina Living, the magazine of electric cooperatives in the Palmetto State.

He was also instrumental to the National Country Market Sales Cooperative in Austin, Texas, as a founding board member, serving 10 years as board chair of the advertising sales cooperative with a circulation exceeding 7 million readers.

In August 2011, John became the Highland County news editor for The Recorder in Monterey, where he served the community for nearly 10 years with award-winning features, photography and investigative journalism.

Our condolences to his wife, Carol; his son, Jacob “Jake” Robert Bruce and his wife Linghan Song of Richmond; his grandson, Connor Everett Song Bruce; and sister-in-law, Catherine Bruce. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at

—Report by Steven Johnson, Editor, Cooperative Living


Full STEAM Ahead

NOVEC and NOVEC HELPS support solar energy workshop for students

A STEAM participant works on a Pink Space Theory project. (Photo By: Monica Nichols)

This fall, NOVEC HELPS and NOVEC will help the Pink Space Theory organization hold the first Solar Design Stars workshop benefitting Title 1 schools in Prince William County. The 3-week program will teach participants the importance of green energy and environmental stewardship while introducing them to the engineering design process. They will also learn about careers in renewable energy.

Pink Space Theory exposes underserved and underrepresented students in prekindergarten through 12th grade to hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) learning experiences. The workshop will be part of the nonprofit organization’s Girl Power Program Series, which helps girls build STEAM knowledge and self-esteem.

Monica Nichols, Pink Space Theory founder and president. (Photo By: Ashley Arnold)

Monica Nichols, Pink Space Theory founder and president, says she was inspired to start the organization after her own struggles with math. “As an African-American female engineer, I want to do my part by providing youth, especially girls, with learning opportunities to engage, expose, and empower them to want to explore the wonderful world of STEAM. I want to remove any barriers that may preclude girls from wanting to pursue it.”

The partnership between NOVEC HELPS and NOVEC will cover the program expenses, including paying for a local county teacher, George Mason University instruction, and solar kits. At the end of the three weeks, students will participate in a design challenge to make a solar-powered boat. Engineers will judge their entries.

—Report by Ashley Arnold, NOVEC community liaison


Lanier Frantz Wins Unsung Virginia Award

A Craig County resident is the 2021 recipient of the Unsung Virginian Award for his work in promoting aviation, as well as conservation, in his community.

Mary Ann Gober and Jeff Ahearn, CEO of Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative, present the award to Lanier Frantz.

Lanier Frantz of New Castle received the award, bestowed annually since 1968 by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives. The Unsung Virginian Award honors a citizen, who has not previously been recognized, for services rendered to the Commonwealth without thought of personal gain.

“Through his drive and determination, Lanier Frantz has truly made a difference in the lives of those in Craig County and beyond. Lanier epitomizes the Seventh Cooperative Principle of Concern for Community, and his efforts carry on the tradition of the Unsung Virginian Award,” said Jeff Ahearn, CEO of Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative.

Representatives of the VMD Association and Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative presented a certificate of honor to Frantz, who also was recognized at a Memorial Day weekend ceremony in New Castle.

Read the whole story of Lanier Frantz.


Brad Hicks and NNEC Join Northam at Broadband Bill Signing

Brad Hicks, president and CEO of Northern Neck Electric Cooperative, represented Virginia’s electric cooperatives at the bill signing of HB2304 and SB1413 with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on June 9 in Franklin, Va.

The law will expand broadband access in Virginia by allowing investor-owned electric utilities to recover costs of and revenue from expanding broadband to unserved areas. This paves the way for Virginia’s electric cooperatives, including Northern Neck Electric Cooperative to create partnerships with other investor-owned electric utilities, like Dominion Energy, to establish broadband in their service areas.

“Every Virginian needs access to high-speed internet to participate in modern society,” Northam said. “Add the pandemic has highlighted how urgent this is – for workers, for businesses, for students, for telehealth.”

After the bill signing, Brad said, “Since the 1930s, it has been the role of the electric cooperatives to connect their communities with the world through electricity. Today, the need to connect is similar, but the tool is broadband. This law will allow cooperatives like ours to better serve our members, our communities, and our region, connecting them to the world.”

In 2020, Northern Neck Electric Cooperative signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Dominion Energy and All Points Broadband to aid in the deployment of broadband throughout the Northern Neck. Work has begun on the project in the western part of the region.

—Report by Kyle Allwine, Manager, Public Relations, Northern Neck Electric Cooperative



In Memoriam: Sue Glisson

Sue Glisson, who formerly worked at the VMD Association and as an advertising assistant for Cooperative Living, died May 1. She was 71. Sue graduated from Huguenot High School in Richmond and from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1971. She was at the association for more than 18 years before her retirement in 2016. If you called the magazine, chances were that you spoke to Sue, as she handled a variety of tasks, including classified ad manager.