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MEC chief operating officer finalist in ‘Virginia Business’ CFO Awards

Glen Gillispie, chief operating officer for Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC), has been recognized as a finalist in the Virginia CFO Awards sponsored by “Virginia Business” magazine.  

The Virginia CFO Awards recognize achievements by the top chief financial officers in nonprofit organizations, private companies, and publicly traded companies throughout the state.  

This year’s annual recognition program attracted 43 nominations. Gillispie, who oversees the Cooperative’s accounting and finance departments, was nominated for the “Large nonprofit/Govt. agency” category by the employees of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative. The category includes companies with 100 or more employees, and MEC has 114 employees.

Bernie Neimeier, president and publisher of “Virginia Business” magazine, notified Gillispie of his nomination and selection as a finalist stating, “I offer my sincere congratulations on your recognition as a finalist in the Large nonprofit/Gov’t agency category,” advising that, as a category finalist, Gillispie’s name will be included in the August issue of the publication. 

Upon learning of the honor, Gillispie said, “I am proudest of the fact that I was nominated by my co-workers at the cooperative, and frankly, it was very humbling to be included among the very capable nominees in the category.” 

Nominees and finalists for the awards were honored at a black tie dinner at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, and nearly 300 people were present.

Among the letters of recognition submitted as part of his nomination were those from MEC President and CEO John Lee, ODEC President and CEO Jack Reasor, LeClair Ryan Regulatory Attorney John Pirko and Terry Berge, a recognized expert in cooperative rate design and accounting. 

Lee’s letter stated, “Glen is a strong and competent leader and is well respected throughout our organization and with his peers at other cooperatives and the many organizations with which we have business relationships.  He is also a great representative of our organization in the community where he is also widely known and well respected.  Perhaps the most notable of his many qualities is his ability to teach others.  Seldom will you encounter anyone who possesses a more impressive and innate ability to pass on the knowledge he has accumulated over his 32-year career here at Mecklenburg to not only the employees in his department, but others in the organization as well.”

The official nomination form included five questions pertaining to the nominee’s qualifications for the award including, “How has the nominee contributed to the company’s growth and/or profitability?” 

Gillispie’s nomination included the following response to that question: “Under the guidance of Mr. Gillispie, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s financial state continues to exceed expectations even in the volatile economic environment we are currently experiencing.  As with the electric industry in general, the cooperative is a capital intensive business with a debt portfolio of approximately $86 million. In the last several years, Mr. Gillispie has aggressively re-priced and refinanced the cooperative’s debt, and our year end 2011 blended interest rate stood at 4.37 percent (one of the lowest of electric cooperatives in the country), saving the cooperative several million dollars in interest expense over the life of its loans.”

In response to the question of “How has the nominee made contributions outside the company?” the following response was submitted on behalf of Gillispie’s nomination: “Even though Mr. Gillispie spends a tremendous amount of time at the office, he also shares his time with the community, and views his leadership role at the Cooperative as synonymous with being a community leader.  Over the years, he has been a little league baseball coach, a member of the Chase City Ruritan Club, helped produce the community’s annual Haw Hee fundraising show, and was instrumental in fundraising efforts for our local community center.  He has been a church deacon since 1983 and plays a strong role in the church’s leadership and activities.  In addition, as an employee of a company with a strong, local community presence in the areas we serve, Mr. Gillispie does not hesitate to provide contributions to those in need, whether they be a fellow employee, a member who is having a hard time, or food for local families at Thanksgiving and Christmas.”       

Gillispie has been employed at the cooperative for 32 years, where he began his career as an office manager trainee in June of 1980. In his climb to chief operating officer at the cooperative, Gillispie also held the positions of staff assistant, office manager, vice president of data processing and administrative services and vice president of corporate services. 

The Virginia CFO awards recognize nominees based on excellence in accounting and finance, leadership, critical thinking ability, contributions to community, significant achievements and awards, and their organization’s success in the areas of growth and/or profitability and their contributions to other areas of corporate management.

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is the not-for-profit consumer-owned energy provider to over 31,000 homes, farms and businesses located in portions of the counties of Halifax, Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania, Southampton and Sussex.  It is headquartered in Chase City with district offices in Chase City, Emporia and Gretna.  

For more information, visit www.meckelec.org.