CEO Ron McElheney Announces Retirement…

After a distinguished career of 45 years, where he has lead Jones-Onslow’s unprecedented growth to that of one of the largest and most respected electric cooperatives in the United States, Chief Executive Officer J. Ronald McElheney has announced his retirement at the end of 2015.

Mr. McElheney, who has served in his current position since June 1988, has established JOEMC as one of the most progressive and innovative electric cooperatives in the country. Focusing on providing affordable and reliable electric service, while striving for the best customer service experience possible, Mr. McElheney has never forgotten that despite its complexities, the electric business is all about people.

“Remember…we have only one thing to sell — SERVICE,” Mr. McElheney always tells employees. “Do it with a smile on your face and with genuine care and concern for any problems our customers may have. This kind of attitude makes all our jobs easier.”

Over the years, Mr. McElheney has represented Jones-Onslow at the statewide level by serving as President of the North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC) and the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives (NCAEC).

“During his tenure as Jones-Onslow’s CEO, Ron has been an extremely valuable member of both the statewide boards, having served in every officer role of both organizations and having held important leadership positions on key committees,” stated Joe Brannan, Executive Director and CEO of NCEMC and NCAEC. “In particular, he has been a long-time member of the NCEMC’s Power Supply Committee and has been instrumental in efforts that ultimately led to key electric generation investments by our group. These decisions were made for the betterment of JOEMC members as well as for members of other electric cooperatives across the state.”

“Ron has set high standards in mentoring new electric cooperative CEOs and fellow directors on the importance of supporting the statewide organizations,” Brannan continued. “He has consistently maintained great relationships with business leaders and elected officials, not only locally, but in our state and nationally. While we will miss Ron’s significant contributions and leadership on many, many issues, I can say that we are in a better position due to his many contributions.”

Under Mr. McElheney’s leadership, Jones-Onslow has been recognized twice by its national organization, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, for outstanding achievement. In 2000, JOEMC received the National Community Service Award “Building for the Future” for the cooperative’s dedication to youth and educational programs. In 2010, the cooperative received the Paul Revere Award for its grassroots advocacy efforts on energy issues including affordable electric rates for consumers.

Another shining legacy of his career has been Mr. McElheney’s dedication to giving back to the communities that Jones-Onslow serves. Whether providing grants to local teachers through the Bright Ideas Educational Grant Program, awarding scholarships to young adults continuing on with their college education after high school, or working with economic developers by providing grants for job creation, Mr. McElheney has instilled in the employees of JOEMC the importance of giving back to the community and being a caring, corporate partner.

Mr. McElheney has also personally dedicated his time and effort over the years, serving on the boards of Coastal Carolina Community College, the Jacksonville-Onslow Economic Development Commission and Committee of 100, and the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce, where he was recognized in 1998 as its Golden Eagle “Man of the Year.” He was also chairman of the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee (MAC), which is regarded as one of the best MACs in the United States.

“To run a successful company you need a leader who is a visionary and believes in technology and innovation, someone who looks ten or twenty years into the future,” stated Board Chairman John Pierce. “Ron McElheney has been that kind of leader.”

“Whether speaking at the annual meeting, working with the board on decisions that will impact the cooperative and its customers, talking with employees about customer service, or representing JOEMC and its interests in Raleigh or Washington, Ron’s genuine concern and commitment has always shown,” Pierce continued. “Whatever the topic, whatever the issue, Ron has always asked the question of how will this impact our customers and is it in their best interest.”

“In the end, the thing I respect most about Ron, the thing that is most commendable, is that he will leave things better off than when he came here…he has had an impact on JOEMC, its customers, and this community. It has been a true honor to work and serve with him over the years.”


Play it Safe: Wall Outlets

Wall outlets are the bridge from electricity to appliances. They make it possible for our lamps, cellphone chargers, coffee makers and televisions to run. We don’t even think about how that happens or whether there are any dangers associated with them, however, there are a few things you can look out.

  • Make sure to regularly check outlets for damages. All wires should be covered and plates should be tightened down. If the plates are cracked, replace immediately.
  • If outlets are warm to the touch or discolored, contact an electrician to determine the cause.
  • In older homes, consider upgrading outlets to the safer, three-prong style that are grounded. If you don’t have three-prong outlets, never force a three-prong plug into a two-slot outlet.
  • GFCI outlets should be installed in any area where there is water, such as kitchens, pools, crawl spaces and bathrooms. These outlets monitor electricity flowing in a circuit and trip the circuit if an imbalance is detected, protecting people from electric shock.
  • If young children are in the home, cover outlets with plastic child safety plugs to keep little fingers and objects out of tempting outlets.
  • Don’t plug too many electrical devices into an outlet; this increases the risk of fire. If a power strip is filling up, transfer some items to another outlet. Turn the switch to a power strip off when appliances are not in use.

Attention Educators…Tell us Your Bright Ideas!

It’s that time of year again—Jones-Onslow is searching for Bright Ideas grant applications from teachers and principals, grades K-12, in the 48 public schools in Jones and Onslow counties, as well as the Topsail area of Pender County.

The grants, which are awarded in any discipline, enable educators to help students learn through innovative scholastic projects that are not covered by regular school funds. Educators may apply for individual grants up to $500 or in teams for grants up to $2,000.

After twenty one years, JOEMC’s Bright Ideas Grant Program has awarded 1,350 grants to more than 4,300 educators. These funds have had a direct impact on the education of close to 435,000 students in our community schools.

All grant applications must be received by Jones-Onslow no later than 5:00pm on Friday, September 25, 2015.

Bright Ideas grant recipients will be announced in the fall and honored at a special awards banquet.

Early Bird Entries: Get your Bright Ideas application into the JOEMC Office by Friday, September 11, 2015, and your name will be put in a drawing to win an Apple Ipad for your classroom.

Click here to go to the Bright Ideas Grant Page


Stay Plugged In

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