November 2, 2021 – CarterBaldwin Executive Search has been enlisted to find a chief executive officer for Southside Electric Cooperative. Current president and CEO Jeff Edwards has announced his retirement, effective July 2022, closing a 37-year career at electric cooperatives. Partner Chris Guiney and consultant Elizabeth Rushing are leading the assignment. The new CEO will assume leadership of a foundationally strong cooperative and, as the face and voice of SEC to its employees, member-owners, suppliers and the community, the CEO will be expected to use proven leadership skills to cultivate and instill a culture of integrity, teamwork, trust and innovation into the organization. Thus, the CEO will be an intuitive and highly motivational executive who is a natural leader with an exceptional ability to align the cooperative’s strategic initiatives with operational objectives, performance metrics, and community and member satisfaction.
According to CarterBaldwin, the CEO will be well-regarded and recognized as a servant leader who faithfully seeks to do what’s right for people first. The incoming CEO should have a high level of personal integrity and ethical standards with a demonstrated ability to formulate and articulate a strategic vision that will excite, energize, and earn the support necessary to achieve strategic initiatives. Other key descriptive qualities include:
- A trusted leadership style that is decisive, open, and fact-based, with high ethical standards and professional conduct, possessing the competence, judgment and personal commitment that will be expected at SEC.
- An extremely polished and articulate communicator who can partner effectively with the board, senior managers and members as well as industry partners, community third parties and all other stakeholders.
- Brings the board of directors very clear, concise, and interesting perspectives for each new investment, strategic initiative, or growth opportunity. Can help create board meetings where inquiry, curiosity, and debate are encouraged and welcome.
- Possesses excellent interpersonal, relationship-building skills allowing for the ability to positively influence all those around her/him; highly proficient at explaining and educating on complex cooperative industry issues.
- Recognized as an exceptionally strategic thinker who can anticipate and interpret change and challenge as actionable opportunities for SEC to create exciting options and solutions for members.
- Savvy and experienced with finance and financial risk management including margin stabilization, capital credits, power supply contracts, etc.
- Has a keen understanding of the complexities of the political and regulatory landscape impacting the SEC region and its members and can navigate these complexities in a strategic and skillful manner allowing for long-term positive outcomes.
Founded in 1937, Southside Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric distribution utility with more than 47,500 residential and commercial members across 18 counties in central and Southern Virginia. Headquartered in Crewe, SEC has district offices in Altavista, Crewe, Dinwiddie and Powhatan. With more than 8,370 miles of lines, SEC is an established member of the communities it serves, and the cooperative strives to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity and related services at the highest value to member-owners, resulting in an enhanced quality of life.
Headquartered in Atlanta, CarterBaldwin provides executive search services in the healthcare, technology, non-profit, consumer services, industrial and media/telecom sectors. Its clients include name-brand institutions, such as KPMG, ADP, Teradata, First Data, Duke University, Pepperdine University, New York Life, Fleet Pride and Berkshire Hathaway. The firm is listed among a variety of rankings published by Hunt Scanlon Media, including its Top 50, Private Equity Power 100, and Top 40 Higher Education Search Firms.
After a national search, CarterBaldwin Executive Search recently placed Greg Starheim as the new president and chief executive officer of the Delaware Electric Cooperative (DEC), a Greenwood, DE-based not-for-profit utility. Chris Guiney, partner and energy and infrastructure practice leader, led the assignment for the search firm. Mr. Starheim, who most recently served as senior vice president of business and industry development at the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. (CFC), replaces longtime CEO Bill Andrew, who has retired.
Mr. Guiney’s clients include energy, power, utilities, communications, and infrastructure businesses as well as professional services firms. For over 25 years, he has assisted companies with critical team building initiatives including executive search, succession planning, executive effectiveness, and organizational design. Before joining CarterBaldwin in 2016, he led global executive search consultancies and has also founded and led his own executive search and leadership consulting firm, the Guiney Group.
Ms. Rushing started her professional career looking for ways to ensure organizations had the right talent and were using it effectively. As her career progressed, she developed a passion for ensuring employees were happy with their contribution and “fit” within their respective organizations. Before joining CarterBaldwin, Ms. Rushing worked for one of the largest global talent management firms and would further hone her technical skills in a psychometrically-based selection and assessment firm.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media